This chicken tinga recipe is a much easier and less elaborated version of the authentic tinga recipe I previously posted a few years ago since that one is traditionally flavored with chorizo. This is the most popular version of chicken tinga all over Mexico with fewer ingredients but, still very tasty!
What Is Chicken Tinga
Tinga is made with shredded chicken but can also be made with pork or beef. The key ingredients are always the onion, tomatoes, and chipotle peppers. It's what really gives it that delicious flavor as well as that bright red color most people know it for.
One of the many uses for chicken tinga in Central Mexico is as a filling for empanadas, tacos, and tlacoyos. Many people also use it as a topping for sopes and tostadas!
The History Behind Chicken Tinga
Chicken tinga is a dish from the state of Puebla, the state where that famous “Cinco de Mayo” battle took place, in its capital ( Puebla City) back in 1862 when the Mexican army defeated the French armada.
Besides this chicken tinga dish, 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.
As you can see, Puebla knows what it is doing so clearly this tinga dish is just another must-have!
Note: If you ever get the chance to visit Mexico, the city of Puebla is located just within a 1 and ½ 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. And of course the food, like this easy chicken tinga dish!
Video Tutorial On How To Make Mexican Tinga
If you prefer to watch a recipe video, here is a video tutorial showing you how to make this tinga recipe step by step. If not, keep reading to follow along with the written instructions!
Chicken Tinga Recipe
Here is the list of ingredients you will need...
- Vegetable oil
- White onion slices
- Garlic cloves
- Cubed tomatoes
- Chopped parsley
- Chipotle peppers in adobo
- Cooked shredded chicken
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
Please note: For exact measurements of the ingredients listed above, scroll down to the recipe card located at the bottom of this post!
Quick Cooking Tips
- Adjust the number of peppers to your personal liking. Depending on how spicy you like it, you can always reduce the number of chipotle peppers you use in the sauce.
- Use leftover roasted chicken. If you don't have time to make a batch of shredded chicken, you can also buy a rotisserie chicken and shred the chicken that way. Or, you can use some leftover from another recipe.
How To Make Mexican Chicken Tinga: Step By Step Tutorial
To make things easier for you, I am going to breakdown the directions to this recipe into sections.
Cook The Garlic And Onions
- Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and add the sliced onions. Stir-fry for 3 minutes and then stir in the chopped garlic cloves.
- Cook for another 2 minutes until fragrant.
- Mix in the chopped tomatoes and parsley with the cooked onions and garlic.
- Lower the heat, stir and let cook until the chopped tomatoes start releasing their juices. This step will take about 6-7 minutes. If your tomatoes aren’t juicy enough, add a couple of tablespoons of water.
Finish By Adding Chicken And Chipotle Peppers
- Finally, add the chicken and chopped chipotle pepper to the rest of the cooked ingredients.
- Simmer everything together for about 8 more minutes until all the flavors had blended.
- Season with salt and pepper.
Cooking Tip: If you like your chicken tinga a little dry, let it cook a little longer.
How To Store Chicken Tinga
To properly store this chicken recipe, make sure to use an airtight container to help the chicken not dry out and maintain its delicious flavors while in the fridge.
If you have leftovers, this dish freezes well for about a month.
What To Serve With Tinga
I highly recommend serving this chicken tinga recipe as a main dish topped off with some additional chopped parsley with some Mexican rice and a salad. You can also use the tinga as a topping for tostadas, sopes, or for empanada filling!
More Authentic Mexican Recipes To Enjoy
If you enjoyed this recipe for chicken tinga, take a look at some of these other authentic Mexican recipes:
- Doña Maria Chicken Mole Recipe
- Chicken With Creamy Poblano Sauce
- Arroz Con Pollo
- Braised Chicken With Tomatoes
- Pollo Asado Adobo
I hope you make this recipe for Mexican chicken tinga! If this recipe was of any help to you, come back to let me know your experience. Please leave us a comment done below and tell us all about it!
Chicken Tinga Recipe
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1 medium white onion cut into slices
- 2 large garlic cloves finely diced
- 3 cups of tomato cut into cubes
- 2 tablespoons of parsley chopped extra to decorate
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo chopped (the ones that come in a can) *
- 3 cups chicken cooked and shredded **
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and add the sliced onion. Stir-fry for 3 minutes and stir in the garlic. Cook for another 2 minutes until fragrant.
- 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.
- 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.
- Adjust a number of peppers to your personal liking.
- you can use leftover roasted chicken.
This was so good. I usually don’t like chicken tacos, fajitas, enchilada, etc bc chicken is so bland and/or dry. Not this, this was so flavorful and tender chicken shreds. 100% will make this again. (I did add a half a tube of soyrizo, bc I had to use it up).
Good tomatoes are difficult to find in the winter, where I live. I was wondering if I could substitute canned tomatoes and what size can--15 ounce or 28 ounce?
Thank you. I love your recipes and am always excited to try a new one.
Yes, you can use canned tomatoes, use a 15-ounce can.