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These Grilled Chicken Tacos are quick, easy and loaded with flavour. Piled high on warm tortillas with homemade Guacamole and a delicious Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa, it’s the perfect recipe for a weeknight dinner or game day spread.

Grilled Chicken Tacos with Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa and Homemade Guacamole

Ingredients You Need for the Grilled Chicken Tacos

  • Chicken: I like to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs because they’re juicy, flavourful and cook quickly. For a leaner option, substitute chicken breast.
  • Onion: Marinating the chicken with some sliced onion will help to flavour the chicken and tenderize the meat.
  • Orange Juice: I used freshly-squeezed Florida oranges, but you can substitute store-bought OJ if preferred. Just be sure to use 100% orange juice that is not from concentrate for the best flavour.
  • Lime Juice: For a bit of twang and to also help tenderize the chicken, add some freshly-squeezed lime juice to the marinade.
  • Taco Seasoning: Feel free to use your favourite taco seasoning mix (I used this one from Dalkin & Co) or use the Taco Seasoning recipe in my cookbook – which can be used for chicken, beef or pork. It’s super easy and you probably already have most of the spices in your pantry.
Marinated and grilled chicken for tacos

Ingredients You Need for the Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa

  • Tomatoes: I used vine-ripened tomatoes because they were the best option at the market I shopped at. However, Roma tomatoes are usually a better variety for making salsas because they have less seeds and moisture inside them. They’re also typically less expensive.
  • Onion: You can use yellow, white or red onion here. Each variety will impart a slightly different flavour and colour to the salsa for your grilled chicken tacos.
  • Garlic: It’s optional, but I like to roast a couple cloves of garlic along with the other vegetables. It gives the salsa a delicious, caramelized flavour.
  • Jalapeño: For a bit of heat, I like to add jalapeños to the salsa. It has a mild, fruity heat that won’t overpower the other ingredients. Grilling the jalapeño and removing the seeds will significantly reduce the spice level, resulting in a mild heat. To make it completely mild, omit the jalapeño altogether. Or, for a spicier Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa, use more jalapeño or don’t remove the seeds.
  • Cilantro: I like quite a bit of cilantro in my salsa. It adds colour, flavour, aroma and freshness. If you are not a fan, you can omit it.
  • Lime Juice: For best results, use freshly-squeezed lime juice for the salsa.
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: It may not be common, but adding a drizzle of good quality olive oil to this fire roasted tomato salsa will give it some body, mouthfeel and flavour.
Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa for tacos

How To Make the Homemade Guacamole

Homemade guacamole couldn’t be easier to make and requires just a few ingredients, 3 of which you’re already using for the grilled chicken tacos!

In a bowl, use a fork to mash together ripe avocado, finely chopped cilantro, finely chopped onion, and fresh lime juice until smooth but still a little chunky. Season to taste with salt and serve with your tacos!

Quick and Easy Homemade Guacamole

Chicken Thighs or Breasts?

Personally, I prefer chicken thighs. They’re juicier, more flavourful, less expensive and more forgiving to cook. If you prefer a leaner meat, you can substitute chicken breast.

How Long Should You Marinate the Chicken?

Ideally, you will want to let your chicken marinate for 4 to 6 hours to absorb the flavours of the seasoning, citrus and onions. If you are in a rush, you can marinate the chicken for 1 hour before grilling.

Marinated and grilled chicken for tacos

Traeger Grilling Tips

  1. Start on a Clean Grill: Sounds obvious, but starting on a clean grill is important. Not just for hygienic reasons, but also because you want to ensure good contact between the chicken and the grill grates so that the meat develops a crust.
  2. Preheat the Grill: Make sure your grill is fully preheated before adding the meat. That way it starts to sear and develop a crust right away. If the grill grates are not up to temp, the meat will not sear and will develop less of a crust, which can make it stick to the grill or overcook before it has had a chance to sear.
  3. Cook Over High Heat: Because Traegers use indirect heat, it’s best to have the grill running on a high heat (450F or higher) to develop a nice crust on the chicken. Essentially, you’re relying on the heat of the grill grates and ambient temperature within the grill to develop a sear.

    Running the grill on a high heat will also help the grill to more quickly recover lost heat that occurs when opening the hood.
  4. Use the Perimeters: Traegers typically run hottest around the perimeters of the grill grates. This is because the grease pans on most models sit in the centre of the grill and the circulating hot air flows up along the edges, kind of like a convection oven.

    You can use these hotter spots to your advantage when searing foods by positioning them along the perimeter.

    IMPORTANT: Do not allow large amounts of rendered fat to fall below the grease pan or you run the risk of starting a grease fire.
  5. Let the Grill Do the Work: Once the chicken is placed onto the grill, close the hood and leave it alone! Avoid opening the hood to prevent heat escaping and don’t try to flip it or move the chicken until grill marks have formed and a crust has developed. You’ll know it’s ready to flip when it easily releases from the grill grates. And if it doesn’t, go back to steps 1 & 2.

No Grill, No Problem!

If you don’t have a Traeger Grill or other style of grill, you can still make these Grilled Chicken Tacos and the Tomato Salsa by cooking the chicken in a grill pan or cast-iron skillet and roasting the salsa ingredients in your oven at 425F.

Substitution Ideas

If you’re not in the mood for chicken, try using the same marinade on skirt steak, flank steak or pork chops for some delicious carne asada tacos.

For a vegetarian option, substitute portobello mushrooms instead of the chicken.

Other Ways to Enjoy the Grilled Chicken and Salsa

If you’re not in the mood for tacos, or want to keep things Whole30, you can try serving the grilled chicken over a bed of greens with grilled veggies.

Another option is to use Romaine lettuce or thinly sliced jicama instead of tortillas.

Grilled Chicken Tacos with Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa and Homemade Guacamole
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Grilled Chicken Tacos with Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa and Homemade Guacamole

Quick, easy and loaded with flavour, these Grilled Chicken Tacos with Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa and homemade Guacamole will be a family fav!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Marinating Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

For the Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa:

  • 4 vine-ripened tomatoes, substitute Roma tomatoes
  • ½ yellow onion
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 3 cloves garlic, skin-on
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper, to taste

For the Guacamole:

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • ¼ cup finely chopped white onion
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Kosher salt, to taste

For the Grilled Chicken Tacos:

  • 1 pound boneless and skinless chicken thighs, substitute boneless and skinless chicken breast
  • ½ yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning, store bought or homemade
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 10 to 12 tortillas of your choice

Instructions 

For the Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa:

  • Preheat your Traeger grill to 450F. Place the tomatoes, onion, jalapeño and garlic cloves on the lowest grill racks and cook, flipping halfway, until lightly charred all over, around 20 minutes. Transfer all of the ingredients to a bowl, cover, and let steam 10 minutes.
  • Discard the tomato skins, garlic skins and jalapeño seeds. Finely chop the tomato, onion, jalapeño and garlic and add all of the ingredients to a bowl. Add the cilantro, lime juice, olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust with salt, pepper and lime juice, as desired.
  • Cover the bowl and set aside until ready to serve.

For the Guacamole:

  • In a bowl, combine the avocado, onion, lime juice, cilantro and season with a pinch of salt. Using a fork, mash everything to combine until smooth yet still a little chunky. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt or lime juice as desired. Cover and set aside until ready to serve.

For the Grilled Chicken Tacos:

  • In a bowl, combine the chicken, orange juice, lime juice, taco seasoning, and avocado oil and toss everything to combine. Cover and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours.
  • Preheat your Traeger Grill to 450F.
  • Place the chicken near the outer perimeters of the lowest grates of the grill and cook, undisturbed, until grill marks form, around 10 minutes. Flip and cook the other sides until grill marks form and the thickest part of each thigh registers between 165F and 180F.
  • Transfer the chicken thighs to a cutting board and let them rest 5 minutes before dicing into small pieces. Meanwhile, warm your tortillas on the grill for 1 minute per side.
  • To assemble the tacos, spread a layer of guacamole onto the tortilla, add a small amount of chicken and top with the fire roasted tomato salsa.

Nutrition

Calories: 656kcal, Carbohydrates: 52g, Protein: 30g, Fat: 40g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 24g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Cholesterol: 108mg, Sodium: 364mg, Potassium: 1503mg, Fiber: 17g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 1649IU, Vitamin C: 37mg, Calcium: 108mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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