Add these delicious homemade cilantro-lime tacos to your family dinner plan and have more fun making dinner.
Days seem to get more hectic for everyone in the fall, no matter what your family’s schedule looks like.
Along with jam-packed days, maybe those well-intentioned goals to get a handle on daily meal planning fall by the wayside.
Family meals are easy to put on the back burner, but it’s important not to.
Study after study provides significant, measurable scientific proof about the positive, lifelong benefits of family meals.
That’s where the beauty of taco night comes in!
Traditional tacos are humble fare, arguably the original handheld meal.
Plus, everyone loves them.
Quick, Family-Friendly Chicken Tacos
They satisfy hunger relatively quickly and economically, but in addition to that, there’s just something about having a taco-making night that feels like a special event.
It might have something to do with how tacos can be personalized, rolled around any number of fillings, sauces and condiments.
Plus they happen to be one of the few meals that we can stuff freely into our mouths, no utensils required!
Planning taco night at home requires minimal advance work, then it’s all a matter of assembling and eating!
While I’m not in favor of strict rules when it comes to making tacos, I do believe that if your goal is making really delicious ones at home, using fresh, high-quality ingredients is a must.
Think about it — with something as basic as a taco, it’s all about a tortilla that functions as the wrapper for all the tasty things inside it.
If possible, look for ingredients made without preservatives and try to use corn or flour tortillas with a minimal list of ingredients. So that means keep ingredients for taco night fresh and simple — my mantra!
I definitely approve of prepared salsas whose label breakdown lists fresh whole ingredients and not much else.
For this recipe, I used a store-bought Jalapeño Cilantro flavor, but any one of your favorite salsas will work to make these tacos. (Half of the fun is being able to customize!)
How to have a family taco night:
When all the individual components are ready and made ahead, it’s just a matter of assembly.
That’s a moment that becomes the perfect opportunity for wrangling some quality family time, while allowing every member to customize their taco just they way they like.
- Find the best place in your house to gather – the dining table, kitchen island, or a table in the backyard. It’s fun switching things up!
- Ask for help getting all the prepared ingredients together, then have each person build their own taco. It’s a fun way to get everyone involved in the process of preparing and eating a meal together.
- ½ cup prepared salsa, plus additional for serving
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Kosher salt
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 ripe avocados, pitted
- 12 corn tortillas, heated *see note below
- 1 ½ cups romaine lettuce or baby salad greens
- ½ cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
- Optional taco garnishes:
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Sliced jalapeños
- Thinly sliced sweet onion, such as Vidalia, or red onion
- Hot sauce
- Mix the salsa, 2 tablespoons of the lime juice, cilantro, oil, cumin and salt in a bowl or shallow baking dish. Add the chicken and toss the pieces to coat. Set aside to marinate 15 – 20 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 hours.
- Scoop the avocado flesh into a bowl and add the remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice and ½ teaspoon salt. Lightly mash with a potato masher or wooden spoon. Taste for seasoning and add more lime juice or salt.
- Heat an outdoor grill to medium-high or an oiled heavy grill pan or cast-iron skillet indoors on the stovetop (be sure to use your exhaust fan or open a window). Cook the chicken, turning frequently until cooked through, about 7 minutes per side. Let the chicken rest 10 minutes, then slice or chop into bite-size pieces.
- To make the tacos, put some lettuce leaves on each tortilla. Put a spoonful of mashed avocado on the lettuce. Arrange the chicken on top. Top with cheese, more salsa and additional garnishes, if desired.
*To heat tortillas, hold them with a pair of tongs over a gas flame on your stovetop for about 30 seconds on each side. Or wrap tortillas in a kitchen towel, pile on a plate and heat in a microwave on high for 15 – 30 seconds, until soft and warm. Whatever method you choose, keep the tortillas wrapped in a towel to keep warm.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 901 Total Fat: 36g Saturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 23g Cholesterol: 216mg Sodium: 957mg Carbohydrates: 61g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 15g Sugar: 10g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 85g