Cheesy Chicken Street Tacos

Cheesy Chicken Street Tacos (Tacos de Pollo y Queso)

Cheesy Chicken Street Tacos

These Cheesy Chicken Street Tacos are inspired by the taco stands on the streets of Los Angeles, and they’re one of my favorite things to order! I’ve watched their process (and eaten quite a few tacos) to perfect this at-home version, and now these have made their way into our weeknight meal rotation. This recipe calls for my Marinated Chicken for Tacos & More, so head to that page for the recipe!

Marinated Chicken for Tacos & More
Simple and incredibly flavorful marinated chicken thighs – perfect for tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and more! This recipe is ideal to prepare in bulk and freeze for easy meals, I usually prepare at least 3 lbs at a time.
Check out this recipe
Marinated chicken for tacos

The marinated chicken is freezer friendly, meaning you can prep a big batch of it when you have some time, and pull it out of the freezer for a quick meal when you don’t! You can choose to either freeze the raw chicken in the marinade to cook when you plan to eat it, or freeze the cooked chicken for an even easier meal. Obviously, you can also make a single batch of this chicken fresh just for this recipe! I tend to freeze this chicken already cooked, and that’s what was used for the batch in the photos (though I hope to reshoot it with a fresh batch sometime in the future).

Key Tips – Cheesy Chicken Street Tacos

Prepare the chicken in bulk and freeze it for easy meals later!

  • My favorite way to prepare this meal is prepping the meat in bulk over a weekend and freezing the cooked meat for easy weeknight meals. I usually toss a big batch in my smoker, where I can make quite a few pounds at once. Another option is to freeze the raw chicken in the marinade, and cook it before preparing the tacos. Head over to the Marinated Chicken for Tacos recipe for the full details.
Marinated chicken for tacos

Don’t skip the toppings, but it doesn’t need much else.

  • The onion, cilantro, and lime may not seem like much, but they really help to balance out the flavor. Even the little squeeze of lime juice on top at the end really adds a lot, so don’t skip the lime wedges!
  • I like to serve these tacos with a bit of avocado salsa, or just as written with no additional toppings.

Use street taco size tortillas if you can find them.

  • Street taco tortillas are very small, they’re even smaller than the “small” size tortillas at most grocery stores. Look for ones that say “street taco” sized, or “taqueria style”. I use these Taqueria Style Mini Corn Tortillas.
  • If I’m using flour tortillas, I typically go for these Flour Street Taco Tortillas.
Cheesy Chicken Street Tacos

Corn tortillas should be doubled up!

  • Corn tortillas are typically thinner than flour tortillas, and street tacos are almost always served on a pair of corn tortillas. When you warm up the tortillas, keep the pair stacked together the whole time.

Use Oaxaca cheese if you can find it, but mozzarella will also work.

  • Oaxaca cheese is similar to mozzarella cheese in texture, but it has a bit more flavor. If you can find Oaxaca cheese definitely try it out, but if you can’t mozzarella is a great substitute.
  • Oaxaca cheese is typically sold as a block, so you’ll have to shred it yourself for the recipe. If you want to save some time, you could pick up shredded mozzarella instead.
Cheesy Chicken Street Tacos

Cooking the cheese is a bit tricky, but the results are worth it!

  • This method is based on the method used at my favorite taco stand (they’re working on a big flat top griddle). The results are delicious, but it involves putting cheese directly onto a hot pan, which can get a little messy.
  • Make sure you’re using a good non-stick pan, and spray it with some oil before you add the cheese. I typically do two at a time, any more than that is a little hard to manage.
  • You can use as much or as little cheese as you like, pictured below is on the lighter side.
Cheesy Chicken Street Tacos
Cheesy Chicken Street Tacos

Heating up the tortillas makes a huge difference, especially for the corn ones. Don’t skip this step!

  • The method in this recipe is similar to what they do at my favorite taco stand, and it makes a huge difference. Give a pair of corn tortillas a super quick dip in stock or water, then let them cook a pan briefly as instructed in the recipe. This step is recommended even if you’re skipping the cheese and making normal street tacos.

Dietary Restrictions – Cheesy Chicken Street Tacos

Make it Gluten-Free:

  • Serve on corn tortillas rather than flour (this is the recommended prep anyway!)
Cheesy Chicken Street Tacos

A Note On Serving Sizes

Serving sizes are a very personal thing, making it very difficult for me to select a serving size that suits everyone. This recipe makes 8-10 tacos (pictures show 12 oz of cooked chicken (about 1 lb of raw chicken) divided across 8 tacos).

Cheesy Chicken Street Tacos

Cheesy Chicken Street Tacos (Tacos de Pollo y Queso)

Easy and delicious cheesy chicken street tacos that are just like what you'll find on the streets of Los Angeles. This recipe calls for my marinated chicken thighs, which can be prepared in bulk and frozen to pull out for an easy meal whenever the craving hits!
4.84 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 8 tacos
Calories 220 kcal



  • Begin with 12 oz of cooked, prepared chicken from the Marinated Chicken for Tacos recipe. I make this chicken in bulk, freeze the cooked chicken in 12 oz portions, and defrost to use in this recipe for a quick meal.
    Warm the defrosted chicken in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, as you prepare the rest of the meal (skip if chicken has been freshly prepared and is still warm). Add a splash of chicken stock or water to the meat if it seems a bit dry.
    Cheesy Chicken Street Tacos
  • Meanwhile, prepare the tortillas – For corn tortillas, give a pair of tortillas a quick dip in water or chicken stock, shake off any excess, then place in a pan over medium heat (still stacked). Cook for about 30 seconds, then flip the stack and cook for about 30 seconds more. Keep the pair of corn tortillas together and use them to make one taco. Tent with foil to keep warm as you work through all the tortillas. I typically do two stacks at once.
    (Flour tortillas should not be doubled and don't need a dip in the water/stock, just warm them for about 30 seconds per side)

Melting the Cheese

  • Next we'll melt the cheese, please note this process can be a bit difficult, but it matches the process at my favorite taco stand. You can use as much or as little cheese as you like, measure with your heart.
  • Set a non-stick pan over medium-low heat and grease it with spray oil. Once hot, take about 2-3 tbsp of the shredded cheese and form it into a disk about the size of the tortilla in the pan (you can probably fit two at once). Let the cheese cook undisturbed until the bottom begins to brown, about 1 minute.
    Cheesy Chicken Street Tacos
  • Once the cheese is ready, grab a pair of your prepared corn tortillas (or 1 flour tortilla) and use it to scoop up the disk of cheese onto the tortilla. The cheesy tortillas are now ready for assembly, so tent them under foil to keep them warm.
    Cheesy Chicken Street Tacos
  • Work through the rest of the tortillas in batches (remember to keep the corn tortillas together in pairs and treat them as if they are a single tortilla).


  • Divide the chicken evenly between the prepared cheesy tortillas, then top with onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime to taste.
    Cheesy Chicken Street Tacos


Begin with 12 oz of cooked, prepared chicken from the Marinated Chicken for Tacos recipe. I make this chicken in bulk, freeze the cooked chicken in 12 oz portions, and defrost to use in this recipe for a quick meal.
Sometimes it’s nice to make a few cheesy tacos and a few regular tacos, so you can easily mix and match.
Oaxaca cheese is somewhat similar to mozzarella, so subbing pre-shredded mozzarella cheese reduces the prep time for this recipe. Note, Oaxaca cheese has a bit more flavor than mozzarella, so you may notice some difference. 


Serving: 1 tacoCalories: 220kcal
Keyword Freezer Friendly, Street Tacos, Tacos, week night
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Send me pictures of your creations — it’ll make my day! Message @CraftyCookbook on Instagram or tag me in a post! Please note, tagged posts are only visible to me if your account is public. Did you make any interesting changes or substitutions for this recipe? Tell me about them in the comment section below!
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