Chicken Tinga

Chicken Tinga

Chicken Tinga
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes



Place chicken breast, 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt in a large pot and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, blend the tomatoes, ½ an onion in chunks, garlic, teaspoon of salt, oregano, chipotle or red chile sauce and remaining 1 cup of water in a blender until smooth. Add the sauce to the pot with the chicken and add the sliced onions and then stir to combine, coating the chicken. Cook over medium low heat until the chicken is cooked through and tender enough to shred. Remove from the heat and shred the chicken with forks in the sauce and then return to the heat to simmer another minute or two. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with minced cilantro and warm tortillas.

Recipe Notes

This recipe could be called One Pot Chicken Tinga. After making tinga several times, I realized that this dish is too simple to overcomplicate. The chicken does not need to be boiled separately and then shredded, and then cooked in sauce. In fact, this dish could technically be done with a rotisserie chicken and some tomato-y store-bought salsa in about 10 minutes. I’m inclined to be a little harsh on this recipe because chicken breast cooked in tomato sauce can turn out very bland if you don’t taste and season as you go. I think the dish would be improved with bone-in chicken and a combination of white and dark meat. The dish also greatly benefits from red chiles in the form of chipotle or Mexican Red Chile Sauce that might be on hand. 

While I am critical of this recipe, I make it all the time. Why? It’s simple to put together and it can be made in bulk. In fact, it can be made in a crockpot. It’s versatile and can be folded into tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, salads and more. Picky eaters will probably like it. Meal preppers will love it. As uninspired as I may seem about Chicken Tinga, it’s a dish you probably need in your repertoire.


Four generously filled wine glasses for the reasons stated above.

Recipe Attempts

This recipe has been attempted by the author 10+ time(s).