Pollo Asado Tacos are a delicious way to make tacos on a weeknight or weekend. This Pollo Asado Taco recipe roasts the chicken in the oven, creating flavorful and juicy chicken that will be a big hit with the family for your next Taco Tuesday.
“Pollo” means chicken in Spanish, and “asado” means roasted or grilled, coming from the word “asar,” to roast or grill. Traditional pollo asado recipes use achiote powder, also called ground annatto, which is a spice made from the seeds of the evergreen Bixa Orellana shrub. Achiote powder has a mild flavor and bright red color and adds a red color to foods.
This recipe’s pollo asado taco marinade combines fresh orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, chili powder, coriander, cumin, paprika, oregano, and garlic. And this means lots of excellent flavors!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Olive oil – this help keep the chicken tender and delicious. Feel free to use avocado oil or canola oil if preferred.
- Fresh orange, lemon, and lime juice – citrus juice helps to tenderize the chicken while marinating and adds a light citrusy flavor.
- Chili powder – adds a mild flavor and a nice dark red color. Pollo asado traditionally uses achiote powder, but this may not be easy to find.
- Ground coriander – has a floral and citrusy flavor and goes well with the other spices in this pollo asado recipe.
- Paprika – another beautifully colored spice made from red peppers that adds a sweet and peppery taste.
- Oregano – is commonly used in Mexican cuisine. It adds a sweet, herbal flavor.
- Cumin – is a rich and earthy spice that also has a touch of citrus taste.
- Garlic – is an excellent addition to flavor the chicken while it’s marinating.
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs – flavorful chicken thighs are perfect for this recipe.
- Yellow onion – is always a great way to add flavor to tacos; roasting them with chicken allows the onion to caramelize.
- Street taco corn tortillas – these tortillas are a little smaller at 4.5 inches compared to typical 6-inch tortillas. Corn tortillas have a great flavor and are perfect for Pollo Asado tacos.
Feel free to substitute chicken breast for the chicken thighs. However, you may need to cook chicken breasts a little longer to ensure they are cooked thoroughly.
You can also substitute your favorite tortillas if you prefer flour tortillas or lettuce wraps to keep it low carb.
Step by Step Instructions
First, whisk the olive oil, freshly squeezed orange, lemon, and lime juice, chili powder, ground coriander, paprika, oregano, cumin, garlic cloves, salt, and pepper a large bowl. Then, place the chicken thighs and onion in a large resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade, tossing to combine. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
Next, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the chicken from the plastic bag and shake off any excess marinade. Throw out the remaining marinade. Transfer the chicken to a parchment-lined baking sheet with yellow onion and bake for 30-40 minutes until the chicken has cooked thoroughly.
Then, chop the chicken on a cutting board into bite-size pieces and toss with the onion and pan juices. Serve the chicken and onions in warmed tortillas and top with your favorite toppings such as pico de gallo, sour cream, shredded cheese, or cilantro. Serve with lime wedges for an extra pop of flavor.
What are pollo asado tacos?
Pollo asado tacos are made with roasted or grilled chicken and are a traditional Mexican dish. The chicken is also marinated with citrus and cumin and served with fresh tortillas and pico de gallo.
What is the difference between chicken and pollo asado?
Pollo asado is grilled or roasted chicken. Not all chicken tacos are as pollo asado. Typically, pollo asado is marinated with citrus juice, cumin, and achiote powder and then grilled or roasted. However, you can prepare chicken with various methods and seasonings.
Is pollo asado spicy?
This Pollo Asado Taco recipe has a mild spice level, and the traditional pollo asado recipe does not use any hot spicy flavors.
Chicken is known for being a great source of lean protein, versatile, and can be prepared in many ways. This recipe uses chicken thighs which are more tender and flavorful than chicken breast from the higher fat content. One boneless, skinless chicken thigh has about 109 calories, 13.5 grams of protein, and 5.7 grams of fat.
Paprika is made of dried peppers and contains capsaicin which has many health benefits. For example, it has antioxidants that can help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. And paprika may also improve your immune system and digestion. Paprika also is a good source of vitamin A, folate, niacin, vitamins B-6, E, and K.
Another super spice, cumin, promotes healthy digestion by increasing the activity of digestive enzymes and bile, which helps digest fats and other nutrients. Cumin is also an excellent source of iron and provides 20% of the daily value in just one teaspoon.
Store any leftover cooked chicken from the pollo asado in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. You can also freeze the cooked chicken for up to 4 months.
What to serve with pollo asado tacos?
While these tacos are great on their own, you can also serve them with rice, a side salad, or a side of pinto or black beans to round out the meal.
Be sure to take pictures of your Pollo Asado Tacos masterpiece and tag @noshnourishwander on Instagram if you make this recipe!
Also, pin this recipe to your Pinterest board! And be sure to leave a rating and comments about the recipe! Thank you!
More Healthy Recipe Ideas!
- Easy Healthy Burrito Bowls with Cauliflower Rice
- Quick and Easy Turkey Taco Skillet
- Chicken Fajita Tacos with Avocado Crema
Pollo Asado Tacos (Sheet Pan)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh orange juice
- 1 juice of lemon
- 2 limes juice of 1 lime, plus 1 lime sliced into wedges
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 garlic cloves smashed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 large yellow onion quartered
- 12-14 small corn tortillas street style
- toppings such as pico de gallo, sour cream, cilantro, shredded Mexican cheese
- First, whisk the olive oil, freshly squeezed orange, lemon, and lime juice, chili powder, ground coriander, paprika, oregano, cumin, garlic cloves, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Then, place the chicken thighs and onion in a large resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade, tossing to combine. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
- Next, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the chicken from the bag and shake off any excess marinade. Discard the remaining marinade. Transfer the chicken to a parchment-lined baking sheet with yellow onion and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the chicken has cooked thoroughly.
- Then, chop the chicken on a cutting board into bite-sized pieces and toss with the onion and pan juices. Serve the chicken and onions in warmed tortillas and top with your favorite toppings such as pico de gallo, sour cream, shredded cheese, or cilantro. Serve with lime wedges for an extra pop of flavor.