‘Best Chicken Tinga’ Juicy and Spicy Chunks of Chicken

Chicken Tinga

Chicken Tinga is one of the best Mexican dishes made with chicken. Chicken tinga is prepared with tomato chipotle sauce and sliced onions. It tastes yummy that is the only reason it is famous in Mexican.

Tinga is a Pueblan dish traditionally served on crisp tostadas and finished with toppings like crema, avocado, and shredded lettuce. The best part is that it comes together super quickly but tastes like you’ve been simmering for hours.

What is Tinga?

Tinga is a Mexican dish made with chicken, called tinga de Pollo in Spanish. Tinga is super popular in tacos or on a tostada with refried beans, lettuce, cheese, crema, and salsa. It’s smoky, with just a hint of heat.

Ingredients for 3-4 people

  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 7 oz chipotle peppers in adobo 1 small can
  • 15 oz fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano sub regular oregano if needed
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 1 cup chicken stock low sodium preferred
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups cooked shredded chicken or 2lbs boneless skinless chicken
  • Special Equipment
  • instant pot
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How to make Chicken Tinga?

  • Blend the sauce and set aside.
  • Caramelize the onions on sauté high then add the sauce, raw chicken, and chicken stock to the pot.
  • Set to 5 minutes at high pressure. Quick release when done.
  • Open the lid carefully then remove and shred the chicken.
  • Add the chicken back to the sauce and simmer on sauté high for a couple more minutes until the sauce is reduced.
  • Crockpot chicken tinga
  • Blend the sauce and set aside.
  • Sauté some onions in a pan on the stove and when caramelized, add them to the slow cooker, along with the raw chicken, sauce, and chicken stock.
  • Set the slow cooker to 2-3 hours on low or 1-2 hours on high. When the time is up, remove the chicken and shred, then add back into the sauce.


  • Add the garlic, chipotles, tomatoes, oregano, and cumin to a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside
  • Heat up 1-2 tablespoons oil in a frying pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, slowly, until caramelized and brown, stirring every so often, 5-8 minutes.
  • Stir in the blended sauce, the chicken stock, bay leaves, and the cooked chicken. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Enjoy in tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, flautas, with tortillas and rice, or just as is!
  • Alternately, if you want to just cook the chicken in the sauce, add the boneless skinless chicken thighs or boneless skinless chicken bust to the sauce and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the sauce, shred and add back into the sauce.
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