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Gluten Free Tacos | With Chicken

Gluten Free Tacos | With Chicken

Try this easy recipe for gluten free tacos, made with perfectly seasoned meat, tomatoes, simple cole slaw, cheese, and spicy sour cream, and get dinner on the table fast!

Overhead image of hand grabbing a corn tortilla with taco fillings

What makes these gluten free tacos special?

These crispy, crunchy, spicy gluten free tacos are the sort of quick, healthy and satisfying dinner that I couldn’t get through the week without. The alternating layers of hot and cool flavors can be dialed up or down, depending on your family’s appetite for spice.

I make some version of the seasoned taco meat at least once a week. Sometimes, I make what we call “taco chicken,” and serve it simply, with steamed broccoli over white rice.

We pile it with plenty of shredded cheese and add some tomato salsa or pico de gallo. It’s also great just drizzled with some Sriracha, or spicy chili paste.

Cooked chicken pieces with red taco seasoning in black wok

Can I make these tacos with beef?

Yes! The homemade gluten free taco seasoning used in this recipe is perfect for beef, chicken, or even stir-fried vegetables. We don’t eat a lot of beef in our house, but when we do, it’s usually in tacos or deconstructed taco bowls.

To replace the sliced chicken with beef, add all the same taco spices plus the cornstarch. The only real difference is the timing.

Instead of letting the mixture sit on the raw meat, begin to cook your raw, unseasoned ground beef in the same hot skillet. Break it up as it cooks, and when it’s still pink in spots, add the seasoning mixture.

Mix in the seasoning, and then let the mixture cook, undisturbed, until the beef is no longer pink at all and has begun to brown. The beef mixture will become really fragrant.

To serve, instead of cole slaw, I like shredded romaine or iceberg lettuce. Instead of crumbly, salty Cotija cheese, I prefer shredded cheddar cheese. But it’s all a matter of taste.

Cooked chicken pieces with red taco seasoning in black wok

Does taco seasoning have gluten in it?

Many packaged varieties of taco seasoning are safely gluten free. Be sure to read labels carefully, and only buy a brand that you trust to disclose any potential hidden sources of gluten on the label.

I have my own blend of homemade gluten free taco seasoning that I make in triple batches, so I always have some on hand. It’s balanced just right, and since I control the ingredients, I can always add more or less heat.

Below, I’ve provided the right proportion of ingredients to make only 2 tablespoons of the taco seasoning mix total. I’ve also added 2 tablespoons cornstarch, since that is necessary to coat the raw chicken pieces before cooking.

If you’d prefer, you can click over to our recipe for taco seasoning, and make a full batch, or even double batches. I keep mine in a small glass jar with a lid, and store it in my pantry.

You would then measure out 2 tablespoons of the blend, add the cornstarch to it, and proceed with the recipe as written.

Closeup image of cooked taco chicken, cheese, red sauce, and red cabbage in corn tortilla in white paper

Are corn tortillas gluten free? Are hard taco shells?

Almost all corn tortillas are naturally gluten free. The same goes for almost all hard taco shells. But there are always exceptions, so it’s important to read labels.

There are quite a few brands of gluten free corn tortillas that I recommend. The ones we buy most often are Mission brand, since they’re pretty soft, easy to find, and inexpensive.

You can, of course, also make your own homemade gluten free corn tortillas. They’re not hard at all, but they’re not as easy as opening a package of corn tortillas.

Overhead image of 5 corn tortillas with taco fillings in white paper in a round metal tin

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy

The  dairy in this recipe is only in the Cotija cheese, and the sour cream. You can use any nondairy cheese you like, and a nondairy sour cream substitute, too.

Cornstarch

The cornstarch helps coat the chicken and keeps it really tender by protecting the moisture in the chicken from escaping too quickly in the heat of the pan. In its place, you can try using another starch, like potato starch or arrowroot.

Sriracha

I use and recommend Huy Fong Foods Sriracha hot chili sauce. It’s naturally gluten free, and you can find it many places online, and even in some larger grocery stores.

Instead of Sriracha, which is really just chili paste and spices, you can add some gluten free taco seasoning to sour cream. To thin the sauce a bit, you can try adding some honey, since Sriracha also has some sugar.

Overhead image of 4 corn tortillas with taco fillings on white paper-lined metal tray

Gluten Free Tacos | With Chicken

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: gluten free taco seasoning, gluten free tacos
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Resting time: 1 hour
Servings: 5 servings
Author: Nicole Hunn
This easy recipe for gluten free tacos is made with perfectly seasoned meat, tomatoes, simple cole slaw, cheese, and spicy sour cream.
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Ingredients 

For the taco seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons (18 g) cornstarch

For the chicken

  • 1 ¼ pounds skinless boneless chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) grapeseed oil (alternatives are: canola, vegetable, peanut oils)
  • 1 tablespoon extra gluten free taco seasoning optional

For the cole slaw

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounces shredded red cabbage

For the spicy sour cream

  • ½ cup (128 g) sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha

For serving

  • 15 small gluten free corn tortillas
  • 1 large tomato chopped and seeded (optional)
  • 2 ounces Cotija cheese crumbled (optional)
  • Sriracha for drizzling (optional)
  • 1 lime sliced into wedges (optional)

Instructions

For the taco seasoning

  • In a small bowl, place all the ingredients, including the cornstarch, and whisk to combine. Set aside.

For the chicken

  • Trim the chicken breasts of any fat. Slice the breasts into thin slivers, each about 1/8 inch thick and 1 to 2 inches long, and set it aside.
  • In a medium-size mixing bowl, place two tablespoons of the taco seasoning, including the cornstarch. Add the sliced chicken breasts, and toss to combine. Add the remaining taco seasoning mixture, and toss again to combine.
  • Let the chicken rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes while you make the cole slaw. (See Recipe Notes)
  • When the chicken is ready, drizzle the cooking oil into a nonstick wok or other large skillet, and turn the heat on to medium. Add the prepared chicken pieces to the pan and separate them from one another a bit.
  • Cover the pan and allow the chicken to cook, undisturbed, for 2 minutes. Uncover the pan, stir the chicken around, flipping the pieces over as best you can.
  • Replace the cover and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Uncover the pan, add more taco seasoning by the quarter teaspoonful if you like, and stir the chicken briefly.
  • Allow the chicken to finish cooking, mostly undisturbed, until it darkens in color and registers at least 165°F on an instant read thermometer.

For the cole slaw

  • In a medium-size mixing bowl, place the mayonnaise, vinegar, and salt, and whisk to combine well.
  • Add the shredded cole slaw, and toss to coat the shredded slaw completely in the dressing. Place the cole slaw in the refrigerator to chill.

For the spicy sour cream

  • In a small bowl, place the sour cream and Sriracha, and whisk until smooth.

For serving

  • When you're ready to serve the tacos, begin by warming the corn tortillas. You can warm them in a single layer in a 300°F oven or toaster oven in a single layer on a baking sheet, for about 5 minutes, or until pliable. You can also wrap the stack of them in a moistened paper towel and microwave on high for 20 or 30 seconds.
  • To assemble each taco, hold a warmed corn tortilla in the palm of one hand. Remove the cole slaw from the refrigerator and place about 1 tablespoon of it in a single line down the center.
  • Top the slaw with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the cooked chicken, then with some chopped tomatoes, and crumbled cheese. Finish with some spicy sour cream.
  • Repeat with the remaining corn tortillas and fillings. Drizzle the filled tacos with some extra Sriracha and serve immediately with the lime wedges.

Notes

For the chicken:
If you'd like to prepare the raw chicken ahead of time, you can place it in the refrigerator for up to 1 day (provided the chicken is fresh enough to last). Before cooking it, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature before cooking it.
  • Riri-sensei
    June 28, 2021 at 4:06 AM

    Amazing recipe! :D Thank you!5 stars

    • Nicole Hunn
      June 28, 2021 at 9:02 AM

      You’re very welcome!

  • Yvette Thrush
    June 25, 2021 at 4:35 PM

    Looking for a great Mexican taco spice try Mickey & T’s gourmet seasonings. Salt free. No msg. You will not be sorry when you try their spices. Just takes them a bit to ship

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