Tender shredded chicken braised in a smoky chipotle sauce gives this Chicken Tinga an explosion of bold, classic Mexican flavors. It's delicious served over cauliflower rice, in tortillas or with a simple side of roasted veggies.
❤️ Why You’ll Love this Chicken Tinga Recipe
- Tender shredded chicken in smoky chipotle sauce
- Bold classic Mexican flavors
- Serve in Keto friendly tortillas with toppings of your choice
- Easy to prepare in under 30 minutes
This amazing Mexican dish will take you South of the border with just one bite! Tender, juicy shredded chicken, with tomatoes and onions, is simmered in a homemade smoky chipotle sauce that's bursting with robust flavors.
The best part is, this is one of those easy recipes that comes together so quickly, but tastes just like a restaurant-quality meal, if not better! And because the savory chicken Tinga sauce is all made from scratch, you can easily adjust the seasoning, and spice levels to suit your personal preference.
Whether you serve it as tacos, with these Keto Tortillas, on top of Mexican Cauliflower Rice, or as an added protein to your favorite salad, you'll have a healthy, low carb and tasty meal the whole family will love.
🛒 Chicken Tinga Recipe Ingredients
- Chicken breasts
- Diced tomatoes
- Yellow onion
- Chicken broth
- Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- Bay leaf
- Tomato paste
- Olive oil
- Dried oregano
- Ground cumin
- Ground black pepper
*Exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below.
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🔪 How to Make Chicken Tinga
Shred the chicken breast and set it aside.
Tip: You can either use rotisserie chicken breast, bake or poach your own.
Heat a skillet to medium and add in the olive oil, onions, pepper and half the salt. Sauté until they are translucent.
Add in the garlic and sauté for 15 seconds, making sure not to brown it.
Add in the ground cumin and allow it to toast for 10 seconds.
Tip: Allowing the cumin to toast helps to wake up the flavors. I do this a lot when adding spices to dishes, it really makes a difference!
Then pour in the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf, remaining salt, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce.
Tip: If you like very spicy food, you can even use 3 chipotle peppers instead. If you like it more on the mild side, you can use 2 smaller ones. I used 2 large ones, and it was perfect for me.
Simmer on low for 10 minutes and it will thicken slightly.
Discard the bay leaf, then transfer the sauce to a food processor and puree.
Pour the sauce back into the skillet, then add the shredded chicken.
Toss the chicken in the sauce to coat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Serve it as Chicken Tinga tacos in these Keto friendly tortillas or in lettuce cups with these optional toppings:
- Mexican Coleslaw
- shredded cabbage
- sliced avocado
- thinly sliced red onion (or quick pickled red onion)
- pickled jalapeño peppers
- queso fresco
- chopped fresh cilantro
- squeeze of lime
Easy Chicken Tinga Variations and Add-ins
- Protein options: Instead of chicken breasts, you can use other types of meat like shredded pork, beef, for your tinga.
- Chicken choices: We used chicken breast, but feel free to use thighs or even a whole shredded Roasted Chicken. For a shortcut, rotisserie chicken from the grocery store is a great option.
- Vegetables: Though not traditional you can always add colorful vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, or a small amount of carrots or corn, depending on how low carb your diet is. Because the sauce cooks quickly, you may want to give the veggies a quick sauté before adding them.
- Fresh herbs: Experiment with other fresh herbs such as chopped parsley or lemon thyme, Mexican Oregano or Mexican Tarragon.
- Citrus zest: A little lemon or lime zest is always a great way to brighten up the flavors in Mexican foods.
If you don't have chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, you can substitute with smoky paprika. This spice will lend a similar smoky flavor to your tinga. Adjust the amount based on your desired level of heat and smokiness.
How Many Carbs are in Tinga?
For this recipe, there are 5 net carbs per serving that comes naturally from the tomatoes and spices.
How to Make Tinga Without Chipotle Sauce
Chipotle-free Tinga is going to lack the smoky intensity that the traditional recipe has. But if you're just not a fan or you can't seem to find it, you can use smoked paprika instead.
What Does Tinga Mean in Mexican Food?
In Mexican cuisine, the term "Tinga" originated from the Nahuatl language, spoken by the Aztecs, and it means "mixture" or "stew."
What is Tinga Sauce Made of?
The sauce is usually made with ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, garlic, and a variety of spices. Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are a common ingredient used to add smokiness and heat to the Tinga sauce.
Other Ways to Serve Chicken Tinga
I've already mentioned a few tasty ways to serve Chicken Tinga, but here are some other popular ways you can serve this delicious chicken dish:
- Stuffed Bell Peppers: Fill bell pepper halves with Chicken Tinga and top with shredded cheese. Bake in the oven until the peppers are tender and the cheese is melted and golden.
- Keto nachos: Layer Keto tortilla chips on a baking sheet, then scatter shredded chicken tinga, sliced jalapeños, and shredded cheese over the chips. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Finish with dollops of sour cream, guacamole, and Pico de Gallo.
- Quesadillas: Spread a layer of Chicken Tinga onto a homemade Keto tortilla, sprinkle with shredded cheese, like Monterey Jack or cheddar, fold it in half, and cook in a skillet until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is golden brown.
- Stuffed avocados: Fill the center of an avocado half with a scoop of Chicken Tinga and garnish with diced tomatoes, crumbled queso fresco, and a squeeze of lime juice.
More Keto Mexican Recipes
- Easy Taco Casserole
- Creamy Chicken Poblano
- Baked Southwest Skillet
- Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Mexican Breakfast Casserole
FREE 20 EASY KETO RECIPES EBOOK
- 5 cups cooked chicken breast, rotisserie is fine
- 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, lowest carb
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 chipotle peppers, in the can
- 2 teaspoons adobo sauce, from the chipotle peppers
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Shred the chicken breast and set it aside.
- Heat a skillet to medium and add in the olive oil, onions, pepper and half the salt. Sauté until they are translucent.
- Add in the garlic and sauté for 15 seconds, making sure not to brown it.
- Add in the ground cumin and allow it to toast for 10 seconds, then pour in the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf, remaining salt, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce. Simmer on low for 10 minutes.
- Discard the bay leaf, then transfer the sauce to a food processor and puree.
- Pour the sauce back into the skillet, then add the shredded chicken. Toss the chicken in the sauce to coat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Serve in either lettuce cups or Keto friendly tortillas with your favorite toppings (see recipe notes for suggestions)
*Make sure to scroll up and read the post for substitutions, additions and helpful tips for making this recipe.
*Nutritional data is provided as a courtesy and is accurate to the best of my knowledge. You can verify it using the nutrition calculator of your choice. All data is based on net carbs, without sugar alcohol: Swerve, Erythritol, Monk Fruit or Allulose.
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