Chicken Tinga Recipe


This chicken tinga recipe is packed with authentic Mexican flavors, reminiscent of the red sauce version I love from my favorite taqueria. It’s perfect for topping tostadas or filling burritos, quesadillas, flautas, or tacos.

Preparation time: 15 min
Cooking time: 1 hour 15 min
Resting time: 30 min
Total time: 1 hour 15 min
Serves: 6


  • 1 (7 ounce) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 large yellow onion, halved
  • 3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 3 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled cotija cheese, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra to taste
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus more to taste


  1. In a large pot, combine chicken thighs, chicken stock, water, halved onion, garlic cloves, salt, and oregano. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer onion halves to a bowl, and chicken thighs to a separate bowl. Strain the broth into a large bowl.
  3. In the same pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onions and cook until they begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Pour the strained liquid over the onions. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium-low and simmer until the broth reduces by about half, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Transfer the boiled onions to a blender. Add chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, along with a bit of water from the can. Add tomatoes. Cover and pulse until partially blended, then blend on medium speed until smooth, about 1 or 2 minutes. Pour this mixture into the pot with the broth and onions.
  5. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the sauce reaches your desired thickness. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
  6. Shred the chicken into bite-size pieces and add to the pot. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with cilantro and crumbled cotija cheese.

For a smokier flavor, you can char the halved onion and garlic cloves in a dry skillet over medium-high heat before adding them to the pot. This step adds depth to the dish without much extra effort!

Nutritional Info:
Calories: 482
Carbs: 14g
Protein 39g
Fat 30g

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