What is Chicken Tinga?

Chicken Tinga is a classic filling for tacos or tostadas. It is made with shredded chicken, sliced onions, and a tomato-chipotle sauce. It tastes smokey, and the chipotle gives it just the right amount of heat. All over Mexico, people eat tinga.

In Puebla, the famous tinga taco, also called a stew taco, is often made with chicken cooked in a mild chipotle-tomato sauce with garlic and a bit of piloncillo, or raw cane sugar. The shredded meat is served in a tortilla with chopped onion, cilantro, and lime. You can add chicken tinga to tostadas, burritos, or enchiladas, or put it on top of tostadas.

What is Chicken Tinga

Chicken Tinga Nutrition Facts

Chicken Tinga Nutrition Facts

What is Chicken Tinga?

Tinga A red chilli sauce is added to shredded beef or chicken to make this Mexican dish. It’s usually made with shredded chicken, tomatoes, onions, and chipotles in adobo sauce. The sauce gives the dish a flavor that is slightly smoky and a little bit spicy. The word “tinga” refers to a stew often made with common Mexican ingredients like tomatoes, onions, smoky chipotle, garlic, oregano, thyme, and bay leaf.

How to Make Chicken Tinga?


  • 1 pound whole boneless chicken breast
  • Four plum tomatoes
  • One ¼ large white onions
  • Three cloves of garlic
  • Two tablespoons of canned chipotle
  • One teaspoon of Mexican oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Three tablespoons of cooking oil
  • Salt to taste

Shredded Chicken

  • Add enough water to cover the chicken by an inch in a large pot.
  • Get the water to boil. Turn down the heat and let it cook for 20 minutes.
  • Take the chicken out of the water. Keep the soup.
  • Let the chicken cool enough to touch.
  • Shred the chicken very small. Cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces, then use your fingers to pull them apart.

Chipotle Tomato Sauce

  • Remove the seeds and cut the tomatoes up.
  • Throw some tomatoes into the blender.
  • Put two tablespoons of chipotle in a can into the blender. If you want it to be spicier, add three tablespoons of chipotle.
  • Put one clove of garlic, one teaspoon of Mexican oregano, and a quarter teaspoon of black pepper in the blender jar.
  • Then add 1 cup of the chicken broth you saved.
  • Mix until it’s smooth—about 1 minute.

Prepare the Tinga

  • Cut one large white onion into thin slices. It takes about 1 1/2 cups.
  • Cut up two garlic cloves.
  • Add three tablespoons of cooking oil to a large pan and heat it over medium-low heat.
  • Add the sliced onions to the pan. Cook until the onion starts to become translucent in about 4 minutes. Do not allow the onion to brown.
  • Slice the garlic and add it to the pan—Cook for another minute.
  • Turn the heat to medium and slowly pour the sauce into the pan with the onions and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. The sauce will start to reduce.
  • Turn the heat to low.
  • Add the shredded chicken to the pan and mix well with the sauce.
  • Cover the pot and let it cook on low heat for 20 minutes. The sauce will get even thicker and coat the chicken and onion.
    Salt to taste.


This recipe for chicken tinga calls for chipotles in adobo sauce that have been canned. You should be able to find them in most grocery stores in the Hispanic or chile and salsa section.
Reheat it in the microwave or a pan with a splash of water, so it doesn’t dry out and stick.

It will stay good in the fridge for three days.
Chicken Tinga is an excellent food to freeze. Make a double batch and keep it on hand when you need a quick meal.


Serving: 1/2 cup | Calories: 109kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 225mg | Sugar: 2g

How to Serve Tinga?

Serve To make chicken tinga tacos, warm up some corn or flour tortillas and put a small amount of chicken tinga in each one. Add avocado, fresh cilantro that has been chopped up, cotija cheese, and red onions that have been pickled. To make chicken tinga tostadas, bake or fry corn tortillas until they are crispy. Top with chicken tinga, refried beans, mashed black beans, crema, sour cream, or fresh cheese.

Tinga makes an excellent filling for the following:

  • Tinga tacos: You can use either corn or flour tortillas to make chicken tinga tacos. Tacos made with corn tortillas are my favorite, but tacos made with flour tortillas are still delicious.
  • Tinga tostadas
  • Tinga burritos

What are the Best Side Dishes to Serve with the Chicken Tinga?

Here are the six best sides that will instantly improve the taste of your chicken tinga:

1. Tortilla Chips

When it comes to Mexican food, one of the most popular dishes is tortilla chips. Isn’t it great to eat shredded chicken tinga with a piece of crunchy tortilla chips? Would this side dish have a mildly sweet corn flavor and be a favorite and healthy snack?

2. Refried Beans

Refried beans are a typical side dish when serving a meat-based main word in the South. You can make refried beans from scratch or buy them in a can at any grocery store in the country. This side dish goes well with chicken tinga because it is soft and tastes sweet and earthy.

3. Rice Pilaf

Chicken tinga also works well with a rice dish.

Rice pilaf is a fun way to add flavor to plain white rice that has been steamed. It takes a while for the rice in this dish to get fluffy and soft, but the wait is well worth it. Rice pilaf is hearty and filling and can keep you full for a long time. It has a lot of flavors, but not so much that it overpowers the chicken tinga.

4. Salsa

You can also put salsa on your chicken tinga. Salsa can be cooked or raw, and it can also taste different. When served with chicken tinga, salsa, mostly made from tomatoes or fruits and has a fresh taste, can help make your meal more balanced. Salsa is also easy to make with cheap, easy-to-find ingredients, so even someone who has never cooked before can make it without trouble or going over their budget.

5. Guacamole

Guacamole is another classic Mexican dish you should serve with your chicken tinga. This smooth avocado mash tastes like ripe avocado and has a smooth texture. Guacamole goes well with meat dishes because its mild flavor can balance out the rich, savory taste of the meat.

6. Salad

Salads are a great way to add vegetables to any meat-based dish. There are many different salad recipes with different kinds of ingredients and sauces. So there are a lot of choices. Salads usually have a crunchier texture and a more refreshing taste than chicken tinga, which can help balance the flavor.

What does Tinga Taste like?

Seasonings: Traditionally, tinga is made with a simple mix of ground cumin, Mexican oregano, and sometimes bay leaf. The Mexican oregano gives the sauce a hint of extra citrus and licorice flavor, but if you don’t have any, you can use regular (Italian) oregano instead.

Chicken Tinga is a filling for tacos or tostadas made with shredded chicken, sliced onions, and a tomato-chipotle sauce. It has a lot of flavors and is a crowd-pleaser. It tastes smokey, and the chipotle gives it just the right amount of heat.

Can I Freeze Leftover Chicken Tinga?

The chicken tinga left over can be frozen in an airtight container. Please put it in the fridge overnight to thaw, then heat it before serving. The leftovers can also be kept in the refrigerator for 3–4 days in a container that holds air out. Before serving, heat it again in the microwave.

What’s the Best Chicken to Use?

Rotisserie chicken is an excellent choice for this dish because it is easy to find at the store and doesn’t require much work. You can cook chicken breasts in an Instant Pot, slow cooker, or oven and then shred them by hand. With this recipe, you can use up any leftover chicken.

Who Invented Tinga?

During the colonial era, cooks in the Mexican state of Puebla came up with things, which are a mix of Spanish and Mexican food. Tinga is one of the most popular dishes in Mexico. It is made with a blend of European and Mexican foods and a European way of cooking. Garlic and onions are cooked in a pan. Recipes for Chicken Tinga can be found as far back as the 1800s, but the dish probably comes from the native foods of the area, which use tomato, onion, and chipotle as main ingredients.


Most of the time, chicken tinga tastes best with a Mexican side dish that goes well with its flavor. The side dish you choose with your tender, juicy, and flavorful chicken tinga will depend on how you like your food to feel and taste.  Even though people eat tinga all over central and southern Mexico today, it is thought to have come from Puebla. Chicken tinga is a versatile Mexican dish from Puebla. It is made with shredded chicken in a sauce made of tomato, chipotle pepper, and adobo. It’s easy and quick to make and the kind of comfort food we all want.