Creamy chicken tacos may have just become the best version of baked tacos made quickly with shredded chicken, Rotel, and cream cheese and piled into corn taco shells and baked to cheesy perfection. For any taco lovers and especially chicken tacos lovers, these tacos are for you! Plus, I can make this shredded chicken in 10 minutes in the Instant Pot so from start to finish I still can have baked tacos on the table in under 30 minutes!
These chicken tacos are just like the ground beef version, but with chicken. The chicken used in this recipe can be leftover grilled chicken, shredded chicken, or chicken cooked specifically for this chicken taco recipe. Regardless, this baked taco recipe is easy and fast to make.
Baked Chicken Tacos Ingredients
The staples for this baked chicken taco recipe need to be on hand at ALL times. Your family is going to want these on the regular menu at your house.
- Chicken thighs, cooked and shredded. Leftover chicken chopped can work for this too.
- Rotel - Canned tomatoes and chilis are a must for this recipe
- Taco Seasoning - Your standard go-to taco seasoning. Adobo seasoning works perfectly too.
- Spicy Ranch Seasoning - Spicy ranch seasoning is my go-to for this recipe, but if you don't love heat then you can just use regular ranch seasoning.
- Cream Cheese - Full of creamy goodness, a block of cream cheese is a must for this.
- Mexican Cheese - Shredded Mexican cheese. This can be shredded from the store or grab the queso quesadilla cheese and shred.
- Stand Up Hard Taco Shells - For the most part, corn is going to be what you will be able to find. A few times I have been able to get my hands on hard flour taco shells.
- Toppings - Lettuce, tomatoes, taco sauce, salsa, sour cream, shredded cheese
Start making these chicken-baked tacos by starting with the chicken. If you are starting with raw chicken, use your Instant Pot for a quick shredded chicken. Season the chicken thighs with taco seasoning and ranch seasoning.
Turn the Instant Pot to pressure cook. As it starts to heat up, place the chicken in the IP and let begin to brown. Flip over the chicken. Pour the can of Rotel over the chicken. Then put the lid on and pressure cook it for 5 minutes.
When the pressure turns off, quickly release the lid. Cut the chicken up while in the pot and drop the block of cream cheese over the chicken. Place the lid back on the IP and pressure cook for another 2 minutes. Quick-release and then remove the lid to mix the cream cheese and cut up or shredded chicken together.
There will be quite a bit of liquid. Drain the liquid off or scoop the chicken out and into another bowl to reduce the amount of liquid. Mix one cup of the shredded Mexican cheese into the drained creamy chicken.
Next place the taco shells in a 13X9 pan or a rectangular casserole pan. Place them close enough together so they help stand each other up. Also, put them across the top of the pan to fill it up with as many taco shells as possible. Then put the cheesy shredded chicken mixture into the taco shells, filling them about half full with the chicken. Spread the mixture out so it is filling the shell from end to end for the maximized taco-eating experience. Top off with additional shredded Mexican cheese.
Then bake the ground beef tacos for 10 minutes at 350°. The cheese will be completely melted while the taco shells will begin to brown from the baking. If your oven runs hotter or cooler than normal this could take a bit longer or shorter time.
While the tacos are baking, get your taco toppings ready. We love lettuce, taco sauce, sour cream, pico de Gallo, lettuces, and guacamole on our tacos. Load the tacos up individually or all of them at once completely in the pan.
Creamy Chicken Baked Tacos
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 1 tablespoon spicy ranch seasoning
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 can Rotel
- 8 crunchy taco shells
- 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
- taco toppings
- Preheat the oven to 350° and then start heating up the Instant Pot. Season the chicken with the taco seasoning and spicy ranch seasoning. Place in the bottom of the Instant Pot for one minute. Flip the chicken and pour the Rotel over the top. Place lid on top and cook on high pressure for five minutes.
- When done cooking, quick release pressure. Cut up chicken or shred with a fork. Drop the block of cream cheese over the chicken. Pressure cook for another 2 minutes.
- When done cooking, quick release again. Stir the cream cheese into the chicken. Drain the liquid or scoop out into another bowl to stir in one cup of the shredded cheese.
- Place the taco shells in a rectangular baking dish. Then fill half full with the creaming chicken mixture. Top with the shredded cheese.
- Bake the taco for 10 minutes at 350° or until the cheese is melted and shells turning brown around the edges.
- Top the tacos with your favorite taco toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, taco sauce, sour cream, and avacado.
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