Chicken tacos with all the greens! Grilled spiced chicken, salsa verde, easy homemade guacamole and a simple goat cheese-yogurt sauce.
Inspired by all things fresh and green, these tasty chicken tacos are loaded with fresh ingredients:
- Grilled cumin-lime chicken
- Simple homemade guacamole
- My essential herby green sauce
- Tangy yogurt-goat cheese cream (the crema!)
Oh, and let’s not forget the other green/crunchy things:
- Green onion
- Lettuce leaves
I’m not gonna lie — easy, grilled chicken tacos topped with salsa out of a jar and other refrigerator leftovers have made many a meal in our house.
But it only takes a few more steps to make tacos that are vibrant, green and healthful.
The beauty of tacos is that they are not a complicated dish.
Elevating them beyond face-stuffing sustenance means taking time to be sure every component is as fresh and tasty as can be.
That means making a few of the condiments yourself.
For instance, the guac.
I just learned that “how to make guacamole” is one of the most Googled phrases.
It’s kind of hard to believe that a recipe for mashing avocado needs to exist, but I’m here to help!
My basic recipe for guacamole contains just three ingredients (I like to go heavy on the lime juice).
Along with that, I filled up these tacos with a creamy yogurt-cheese mixture and my favorite all-around pantry staple, a simple green sauce made with cilantro, parsley and green chili.
Green sauce works magic on everything you put it on (I strongly encourage you to try out the recipe, but you have permission to use a good-quality jarred salsa verde instead 🙂
And tacos made with rustic corn tortillas? Yes, please.
After traveling a bit in Mexico where you can get fresh, warm tortillas straight from a “tortilla lady’s” hands, I’m forever craving that flavor.
- The heat level in these tacos is mildly spicy — add your favorite hot sauce and/or add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper to the finished tacos if you want to dial it up.
- To heat corn tortillas for serving, hold them with a pair of tongs directly over a gas flame on your stovetop for a minute or so on each side. Wrap in a napkin to keep warm.
- Alternatively, pile tortillas in a clean towel, wrap them up and heat in a microwave for 15 – 30 seconds. If you can find fresh locally-made tortillas in your market, they’ll make these tacos even better.
- Approved shortcuts — use prepared salsa verde instead of the green sauce. Cook the chicken up to 3 days ahead.
Green Chicken Tacos with Goat Cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 pounds (750 g) boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs
- 4 ounces (125 ml) plain whole milk yogurt
- 4 ounces (125 g) soft goat cheese
- 3 ripe avocados, pitted
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Taco assembly and toppings:
- 12 corn tortillas, warm
- Washed lettuce leaves
- 1 cup each thinly sliced cucumber and radish
- 1 small jalapeño, thinly sliced
- 3 green onions, scallions, thinly sliced
- Simple Green Sauce or prepared salsa verde
Marinate the chicken
- Mix the lime juice, olive oil, cumin, granulated garlic and salt in a medium bowl. Add the chicken and toss around to coat with the marinade. Set aside for 30 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 hours ahead.
Make the crema
- Put the yogurt in a small bowl and crumble in the goat cheese. Stir until the mixture is smooth.
Make the guacamole
- Scoop the avocado flesh into a bowl and add the lime juice and salt. Lightly mash together with potato masher or wooden spoon. Taste for seasoning and add more lime juice and salt, if you like.
Cook chicken and assemble tacos
- Heat an outdoor grill to medium-high or a heavy grill pan or cast-iron skillet on the stovetop (be sure to use your exhaust fan or open a window). Oil the pan, if using. Cook the chicken, turning frequently, until browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes per side. Let the chicken rest 10 minutes, then slice or chop into thin slices or bite-size pieces.
- To make the tacos, put 1 or 2 lettuce leaves on each tortilla. Put a spoonful of guacamole on the lettuce. Arrange some chicken on top then add some cucumbers, radishes, jalapeño and green onions to each one. Spoon over some of the crema and Green Sauce.