Baked Chicken Tacos
What’s better than baked chicken tacos that can be made in advance… it’s not just for taco Tuesdays!
I’m always ranting about eating healthy, so when I post a recipe like this one, people are often surprised.
Yes, I eat tacos. Yes, you can eat tacos too — and still be healthy!
And, tacos are awesome!
These tacos are made with chicken (and you can cheat a little like I did by shredding up a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken; I was lucky enough to find an organic one…) I used non-dairy cheese and organic taco shells. They are filled with lots of healthy ingredients, taste really decadent, and OMG, they are so good!
One of the best things about this baked chicken tacos recipe is that you can make them in advance and reheat them in the tray right before you want to serve them. The recipe that inspired me to make a pan of baked tacos is from The Cookie Rookie, and it called for those taco shells that have flat bottoms so they stand up by themselves. I didn’t use those because I wanted to use the organic ones, so I lined the bottom of my pan with kale and then nestled the taco shells amidst the kale. This worked great, and as an added bonus, we got to eat the kale!
And if you are looking for another recipe to use up some rotisserie chicken, make my Chicken Sandwiches With Mango Salsa!
Yup, these tacos are healthy:
Chicken is something I push people to buy organic if possible. For this recipe, I used a pre-cooked organic rotisserie chicken from the market, but you can use whatever kind of chicken you have. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery or childbirth. People who have some conditions that we consider “excess heat” conditions should limit the amount of chicken they eat. So, if you have an illness that gives you a bright red tongue or severe dryness in your body, check with your doctor first.
Hot peppers contain more vitamin C than any other vegetable and they are good at fighting off the common cold. Whenever I have a cold I eat lots of hot sauce. So, if you like spice, as I do, use a generous amount of whatever hot peppers you like. The main component of hot peppers is capsaicin. Capsaicin actually works with your body and mind to make you feel happy. It’s also good for reducing swelling and can relieve arthritic joint pain. If you have high blood pressure, check with your doctor before eating too many hot peppers because they can actually raise the blood pressure in some people. This recipe uses ground chili powder, ground chipotle chili powder, and fresh hot peppers, so there’s a lot of good hot stuff here!
I filled the bottom of these taco shells with refried beans. I used refried kidney beans, but you can use whatever kind you have. Kidney beans are great for your digestion, can help with both constipation and diarrhea, and can help reduce swelling in the body because of their diuretic capabilities.
Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!
Corn and corn products aren’t allowed in my recipes unless they are can organic. Corn is a crop that’s just too heavily sprayed with chemicals and so much corn is GMO that I really like to be careful. I used organic corn taco shells for this recipe. Corn helps those who have hepatitis, heart disease, and hypertension. Cornsilk is also a Chinese herb (Yu Mi Xu). It’s often used to reduce edema, help with hepatitis and reduce the symptoms of some painful urinary conditions.
- 1 organic pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, shredded
- 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 head lacinto (black) kale, thick bottoms of stems removed
- 12 organic corn taco shells
- 1 med onion, chopped
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ¾ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp chipotle chili powder
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 oz canned chopped green chilies
- 1 15-oz can refried beans
- 1 cup shredded vegan mozzarella cheese (or use cheese of your choice)
- ½ cup Daiya shredded pepper jack cheese (or use cheese of your choice)
- 1 hot red pepper, sliced
- 1 hot green pepper, sliced
- cilantro or parsley leaves, for garnish
- optional serving ideas: extra salsa on the side, plain coconut yogurt combined with fresh lime juice
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with 2 tsp oil
- Lay the kale leaves in the bottom of the dish
- Arrange the taco shells on the leaves, so they stand up as best as they can.
- Heat 2-tsp oil in a medium skillet.
- Add the onion, and all of the spices. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and chopped green chilies. Add the chicken. Cook, stirring, about 10 minutes.
- Put a big spoonful of refried beans in the bottom of each taco shell.
- Next, fill the shells with the chicken mixture.
- Sprinkle the cheeses into each shell.
- Bake 15 minutes, or until the cheeses are fully melted and the shells are starting to brown on the edges.
- Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the tacos with the sliced hot peppers and the cilantro or parsley leaves.
- Serve with salsa and coconut yogurt mixed with lime juice on the side.