Baked Cholula Chicken Tacos with Mango Slaw

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These tacos require ALMOST zero chopping, which I feel like is just a very huge weeknight win. Sometimes I just want to be able to dump and stir, I don’t want to dice 5 garlic cloves and fifty shallots. The taco meat itself takes all of 15 minutes to cook, with zero prep time. If you need a FAST, easy dinner, just make the taco meat and throw it in some tortillas with salsa and whatever other toppings you can dig out of the fridge. Or make a taco salad!

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If you have about 15 minutes more time, though, make these baked tacos. They’re a bit like a quesadilla meets taco hybrid (but they’re very light on the cheese and still a very healthy option), and they just help mix it up if your fam already does a lot of taco nights.

Make it a full meal by serving it with this super tangy, DELICIOUS mango slaw. If you have a family of big eaters, cauliflower and beans would be a great addition to make this is a super hearty meal. I happily enjoyed two tacos and a big serving of slaw, George scarfed down four tacos and a tiny serving of slaw. To each their own. Either way, these tacos are fun and delicious, a simple but impressive meal.

5 from 1 vote

Baked Cholula Chicken Tacos with Mango Slaw

Servings 4 people

Ingredients

PURPLE CABBAGE AND MANGO SLAW

  • 1 small head purple cabbage, core and tough ribs removed, thinly shredded
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 large mango, diced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

TACOS

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken 
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock (or water in a pinch)
  • 2 to 4 tbsp Mexican hot sauce such as Cholula (depending on desired level of spiciness)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder1
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro 
  • 12 (8-inch) corn or grain-free tortillas (I used Siete Foods cassava flour tortillas)
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (you want the kind of mozzarella that comes in a block like Cheddar, not the fresh kind that often comes in a ball shape, packed in water)
  • 100% oil cooking spray
  • Optional: salsa, guacamole, avocado slices, hot sauce, sour cream, sliced radishes

Substitutions:

  • Ground chicken Shredded chicken, ground turkey, ground pork, or a very lean ground beef.
  •  Chicken stock any stock or broth works. In a pinch, use water. 
  • Cholula I’m a Cholula person, but use whatever hot sauce you keep in the house. Even an Asian hot sauce like sambal or gochujang or sriracha would be great. No hot sauce? Add 1 tablespoon chili powder, a pinch of cayenne, and another couple tablespoons of water. 
  • Garlic powder 2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
  • Tomato paste Add 1/4 cup of tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, or tomato salsa. You’ll just have to cook the chicken for longer for it to absorb the excess liquid.
  • Cilantro omit.
  •  Tortillas You can also just use hard shell tortillas from the get-go! Or, use no tortilla and make this a grain bowl or taco salad. 
  • Mozzarella cheddar or Mexican cheese are great subs, but any melty cheese works. 
  • Purple cabbage I also love Napa cabbage here! Any cabbage works. Or, just make it a normal salad and use whatever greens you have! Kale would be fab.
  • Mango pineapple or strawberries!
  • Apple cider vinegar lime or lemon juice

Instructions

  • First things first, make your slaw! It needs to marinate while we make the tacos.
  • Toss the cabbage into a large bowl and sprinkle it with salt. Now, get in there with both hands and massage the hell out of it, grabbing it and releasing it over and over until it starts to feel soft, or at least loose a bit of it’s stiffness. Massage for about a minute, until it starts to feel more like slaw. Add in the rest of the ingredients and toss to combine! Place in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat. Can be made up to 24 hours in advance, but if you make it that far in advance, don’t toss in the cilantro until you’re ready to eat. It will get weird and soggy.
  • Now let’s make those tacos.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
  • Add the ground chicken and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon or spatula into the smallest crumbles that you can.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Add chicken stock, hot sauce, lime juice, tomato paste, salt, garlic powder and chicken stock and stir to combine. Simmer until all liquid is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove skillet from heat and stir in cilantro.  Allow to cool while you heat your tortillas.
  • Heat up and lightly char each tortilla over the open flame of your stove by placing it directly on the gas burner, over low heat, for about 15 seconds per side. You want it to get a bit of char on it. If you don’t have a gas burner, wrap all of the tortillas in a damp paper-towel and microwave for 10 to 15 seconds until pliable. We need to be able to fold them in half without ripping!
  • Place six tortillas onto each baking sheet. They can be slightly overlapping. Cover each tortilla with a thin layer of cheese. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of chicken taco meat onto one half of each tortilla, then fold it in half over the meat. Spray both sides of the taco with cooking spray (or rub with olive oil).
  • Bake for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for 5 more minutes. They should be lightly crispy, but won’t take on a ton of color in the oven.
  • While the tacos are cooking, prep your toppings, like chopping up some radishes or tomatoes, smashing up some avocados, etc.
  • Serve tacos immediately with slaw and desired toppings.

Notes

  • Make it kid-friendly: leave out the cholula, and instead use your favorite mild taco seasoning! Or just use whatever spices you know your kids are into – a little garlic powder, oregano, and chili powder would be delicious!
  •  If you’re only feeding 2 people, only make 6 tacos (or however many you think you’ll eat! These won’t hold well in the refrigerator. You can either make more the next day, or use the meat to make normal tacos, taco bowls, a taco salad, etc! 
Author: Caroline Chambers
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  1. 5 stars
    Love the tacos! Made the slaw but added more mango. Really enjoy the crunch, sweetness, and feeling like I’m getting my veggies in. Thank you!

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