Chicken Tinga Recipe

Making Chicken tinga the right way!
This Chicken Tinga recipe is less elaborate than the one I previously posted a few years ago. This is the most popular version of Tinga all over Mexico, with fewer ingredients but still very delectable. Tinga can also be made with pork or beef, but the key ingredient is always the chipotle peppers. One of the main uses of this dish is as a filling for empanadas, tacos and tlacoyos, and also as a topping for sopes and tostadas. Tinga is a dish from the state of Puebla, the state where that famous “5 de Mayo” battle took place in its capital with the same name back in 1862 when the Mexican army defeated the French armada. Additionally to Tinga, Puebla has some of the most renowned dishes in the country,  like Mole Poblano and Chiles en Nogada, which were created in some of the many convents in this colonial town. Puebla’s gastronomy is extensive; they have a large variety of stews including pipián verde, pipián rojo,  manchamanteles, adobos, huaxmole, Mole verde, just to mention a few. In addition, the candy industry in this state is highly regarded in the country since colonial times where candies were elaborated in convents, sugar mills, small artisanal shops run by families and still do nowadays. If you ever get the chance to visit Mexico, the city of Puebla is located just 1 1/2 hour driving distance from Mexico City, the trip is really worthwhile, you will fall in love with the feel of the city, the beautiful climate and their hospitable people. I lived there for a year and oh boy! It is just a gorgeous city to live in.
Chicken tinga recipe


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 3 cups tomato, diced
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped plus extra for garnish
  • 2 chipotle peppers, chopped (canned)*
  • 3 cups chicken, cooked and shredded**
  • salt and pepper to taste.
* a number of peppers can be adjusted to your liking.
** I used leftover rotisserie style chicken.

Chicken Tinga recipe Mexican perfect with tostadas and tacos.
1. Heat oil in a large frying pan at medium heat and add the sliced onion. Stir fry for 3 minutes and stir in the garlic. Cook for another 2 minutes until fragrant.
2. Mix in the chopped tomato and parsley, lower the heat, stir and let cook until tomatoes start releasing its juices. This step will take about 6-7 minutes. If your tomatoes aren’t juicy enough add a couple of tablespoons of water.
3. Finally, add the chicken and chopped chipotle pepper. Simmer for about 8 more minutes until all the flavors had blended. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, garnish with chopped parsley. You can serve it as a main dish with rice and a salad or as a topping for tostadas, sopes or for empanada filling. If you have leftovers this dish freezes well for about a month.

¡Buen provecho!


I hope you enjoy this Chicken Tinga recipe and come back to let me know about it!


  1. Se me antoja una tostada con esa deliciosa tinga de pollo! Rico con sabroso!

  2. Hi Mely :) this is a great way to use up left over roast :)

  3. Hi Mely, can you use canned chicken breast for this recipe?

    1. Hello,
      I had never try canned chicken, but it doesn't hurt to try. Please let me know if you make it.

      Happy Cooking!

  4. Hi Mely! I love your recipes...I have tried a few and have loved them so I decided to make some more from your Independence day email to celebrate Mexican Independence day's.

    For Chicken tinga your recipe sounds so easy and delicious...I was wondering if I added a packet of Sazon con culantro y anchiote would it ruin the flavor? Maybe not "ruin" it, but change it too much? Love the stuff and not sure if it would change the smoky, deep taste of the chipotle's.

    Also what is the "right" time to use that stuff? I've seen Latin American use the stuff like salt...can I just use it on everything?

    Thanks in advance and keep up the great blog...We love it and it's a great source for delicious authentic meals.

    1. Hello Michael,
      Thank you for trying the recipes. ;) You can use your own taste to season the Tinga. The flavor for sure will change but I know it will taste good. That type of seasoning is for Puerto Rican and Cuban food, I'm not very familiar with it, I had tried on rice and it takes fine.

      Thank you for your kind comments. Happy cooking!

    2. I just made this lovely dish and it came out delicious! Thank you for your lovely recipes Mely

  5. Mely, puedo sustituir ó omitir el chile chipotle ya que me es difícil de encontrar?

    1. Hola José,

      EL chile chipotle es uno de los ingredientes más importantes de esta receta, el que le da ese sabor único a la tinga. Pero entiendo que si no lo encuentras puedes usar guajillo o un poquito de chile ancho con chile de árbol.


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