This Fried Chicken Tacos recipe is perfect for a weeknight meal because it only requires a few simple ingredients and can be prepared in under 30 minutes. This recipe is easily adaptable to your dietary needs and preferences. You can use gluten free chicken tenders, vegan chicken alternatives, or even tofu or tempeh. It is gluten free, nut free and can be made low fat, low carb, vegan or dairy free!
why you’ll love this recipe
- The combination of crispy chicken (or vegan alternative), creamy ranch, tangy feta, and fresh lettuce creates a delicious and satisfying flavor profile.
- The black beans add a boost of protein and fiber, while the optional toppings like red onion, cilantro, and avocado provide additional freshness and texture.
- This Fried Chicken Tacos recipe is perfect for a weeknight meal because it only requires a few simple ingredients and can be prepared in under 30 minutes.
- Using pre-cooked and crispy chicken tenders or vegan alternatives saves time and effort.
- Air frying the chicken is a quick and healthy way to cook it, and warming the tortillas takes just a few seconds in the microwave or pan.
ingredients & substitutions
Corn tortillas: Base of the Fried Chicken Tacos, soft and foldable. You can use flour tortillas if you prefer, or gluten-free options are available.
Crispy chicken tenders: Star of the Fried Chicken Tacos show! Use pre-cooked, gluten-free chicken bites for quickness. Vegan alternatives like tofu, vegan chick’n or tempeh work too.
Black beans: Protein and fiber boost, rinsed and ready to go.
Romaine lettuce: Fresh, crisp base for the toppings. Other leafy greens like spinach or kale can be used.
Vegan feta: Creamy, salty crumbles. Crumbled tofu or nutritional yeast can replace it for a vegan option.
Spicy ranch dressing: Adds tangy kick. Adjust the amount to your spice level. Vegan ranch options are widely available.
taste & texture
The crispy chicken bursts with savory flavor, contrasting with the cool crunch of fresh lettuce. Tangy feta crumbles add a salty surprise, while creamy ranch dressing brings a welcome coolness. Each bite of the Fried Chicken Tacos is a satisfying mix of textures and tastes, from the juicy chicken to the smooth feta and the pops of crisp lettuce.
Add the chicken or chick’n to aligned baking sheet. Air fry on 400 for 20 minutes.
Warm the corn tortillas in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes so they’re easier to work with.
Remove the tortillas from the oven and top with lettuce, crispy bites, enchilada, black beans, feta and ranch.
expert tips & tricks
- Get creative: Don’t be afraid to add your favorite toppings! Chopped red onion, cilantro, pico de gallo, avocado slices, and hot sauce all make excellent additions.
- If you don’t have vegan feta, you can substitute crumbles of tofu or nutritional yeast.
- Feeling adventurous? Try making your own vegan spicy ranch dressing with cashew cream, nutritional yeast, spices, and lemon juice.
- Leftover ingredients? Use them to create a delicious Fried Chicken Taco salad or bowl the next day!
how to make this lower carb
Ditch the tortillas and build the Fried Chicken Tacos on a bed of romaine lettuce instead! You can also use cauliflower tortillas as well!
how to make this low fat or healthier
Opt for baked or grilled chicken tenders instead of fried. Skip the ranch dressing and use light salsa or a squeeze of lime for a zesty kick for low fat Fried Chicken Tacos.
how to make this vegan
Choose vegan chicken alternatives like chick’n, tofu or tempeh crumbles seasoned with taco spices. Swap in creamy cashew crema for the ranch dressing and use vegan feta for vegan Fried Chicken Tacos.
how to serve, store and meal prep
Serving: Pile the Fried Chicken Tacos high with toppings and enjoy immediately for the freshest experience.
Storing: Leftover Fried Chicken Tacos without dressing store well in the fridge for up to 2 days. Freeze prepped ingredients like chopped lettuce and cooked chicken for longer storage.
Reheating: To revive chilled Fried Chicken Tacos, warm tortillas briefly in the microwave or oven. Reheat chicken separately to maintain crispness. Avoid reheating with dressing, as it can get watery.
Meal prep: Assemble individual Fried Chicken Tacos with all the components except dressing and store them in the fridge for easy weekday lunches. Simply add fresh greens and dressing when ready to eat.
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Fried Chicken Tacos (gluten free, vegan option)
- 3 corn tortillas
- 2 cups of crispy chicken tenders gluten free or vegan sub
- 3 tbsp black beans
- 3 large pieces of lettuce
- 1 tbsp vegan feta
- 1-2 tbsp vegan spicy ranch
- Add the chicken or chick’n to aligned baking sheet. Air fry on 400 for 20 minutes.
- Warm the corn tortillas in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes so they’re easier to work with.
- Remove the tortillas from the oven and top with lettuce, crispy bites, enchilada, black beans, feta and ranch.