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Mini Chicken Tacos (Air Fryer or Oven)

These customizable mini chicken tacos are simple to prepare in an air fryer or an oven in just 30-minutes. Serve them as an appetizer or for dinner with your favorite dipping sauce. Naturally gluten-free.

Mini chicken tacos with a bowl of salsa, guac, and sour cream and scattered lime wedges.

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What you’ll love about this recipe


  • You can cook these mini tacos in an air fryer or in the oven! Who doesn’t like having options?!? You can bake these tacos all at once or air fry them in batches. They are equally delicious either way.
  • It’s customizable! Make them your own by choosing your favorite salsa and meltable cheese. I guarantee that you’re going to want to make this recipe more than once, so you can explore all of the unique combinations of flavors. The possibilities are endless!
  • You can freeze the tacos for later! Rather than purchasing frozen mini tacos from the grocery store, you can prepare this recipe and freeze it. Then when the craving hits, you can simply pop them in the oven or air fryer. They make for a super convenient lunch, dinner, or snack.
  • It can be served as an appetizer or for dinner! These mini tacos are a fun, crowd-pleasing appetizer but can also be served for lunch, dinner, or even a midnight snack.
Mini tacos with scattered lime wedges and cliantro leaves with a bowl of salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.

Ingredients (+ notes & substitutions)


Ingredients for mini chicken tacos (see recipe card).
  • Olive oil: For sautéing the onion and garlic.
  • Onion: White or yellow.
  • Garlic
  • Shredded chicken: These tacos are a great way to make use of leftover chicken whether it be grilled, roasted, etc. – just make sure it’s not overly seasoned or slathered in sauce. If you don’t have any leftover chicken, you can cook some up or for convenience use rotisserie chicken.
  • Salsa: Red or green, hot or mild, raw or roasted, blended or chunky; the choice is yours!
  • Black pepper
  • Cumin: For earthiness.
  • Kosher salt
  • Mini soft corn tortillas: Mini tortillas are 4.5 inches in diameter. You may choose white or yellow.
  • Shredded cheese: Like the salsa, you have some options when it comes to the cheese. Cheddar, Monterey Jack, pepper Jack, Chihuahua, Oaxaca; as long as it’s meltable it will work!

How to make mini chicken tacos (+ tips)


1. If baking, preheat your oven to 425 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or spray it with nonstick cooking spray and set it aside.

2. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onions and sauté for 2-minutes, then add the garlic and sauté for another minute until fragrant.

Sautéed onions and garlic in a saucepan.

3. Reduce heat to medium then add the shredded chicken, salsa, black pepper, cumin, and salt and stir to combine. *If the mixture begins to boil or scorch, reduce the heat to medium-low.

Chicken filling in a saucepan.

4. Assembly: Heat a skillet over medium to medium-high heat. In batches of two, warm the tortillas in the hot skillet for 15-30 seconds on each side. The tortillas should be malleable but not crispy so that they will fold without splitting. Top each tortilla with approximately one tablespoon of the chicken filling, then sprinkle the chicken with approximately one tablespoon of shredded cheese. Fold the tortilla to create a taco, gently pressing down on the side with the cheese so that it sticks shut. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. ****If freezing, stop here and refer to the FAQ section below for further instruction.

Precooked mini tacos on a baking sheet, two of which are unfolded.

5. To bake: Arrange the tacos in a single layer on two large baking sheets. Spray with non-stick cooking spray (optional) and bake for 10-12 minutes, flipping the tacos halfway through so that they are crispy on both sides. Remove from the oven and serve warm with your choice of dipping sauce(s).

Baked tacos on a baking sheet.

To air-fry: Preheat your air fryer at 400 degrees for five minutes. If desired, line your air fryer basket with parchment paper. Then, in batches, cook the mini tacos in a single layer at 400 degrees for six minutes, flipping them halfway. *Be careful not to overcrowd the basket. Serve warm with your choice of dipping sauce(s).


Storage


Leftovers will keep in an airtight container for up to four days in the refrigerator.

***You may also freeze the pre-cooked tacos. See the FAQ section below for directions.


FAQ


Are mini tacos gluten-free?

Yes! Since they are prepared with corn tortillas rather than flour tortillas, they are gluten-free.

How do you freeze mini chicken tacos?

Prior to baking or air frying the assembled tacos, place them on a baking sheet in the freezer for three hours or until frozen. You may then transfer the tacos to an airtight container or freezer bag and store them in the freezer. They will keep for up to six months.

How do you cook frozen mini tacos?

You may bake or air fry them.
To bake: Arrange the tacos in a single layer on two large baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, flipping the tacos halfway through so that they are crispy on both sides.
To air-fry: Preheat your air fryer at 400 degrees for five minutes. If desired, line your air fryer basket with parchment paper. Then, in batches, cook the mini tacos in a single layer at 400 degrees for six minutes, flipping them halfway. *Be careful not to overcrowd the basket.



Stack of tacos with bowl of salsa and guacamole in background.
Mini air fryer taco being dipped in bowl of guacamole.

What to serve with these chicken tacos:



More Mexican (inspired) appetizer recipes suitable for dinner:


  • Birria Fries: My favorite way to use up leftover birria, these loaded birria fries are what dreams are made of. These crispy fries crowned with melted cheese, juicy beef birria, and your choice of toppings are simple to prepare and so damn delicious. Naturally gluten-free.
  • Carne Asada Nachos: A great choice for a party or a weeknight dinner, these easy carne asada nachos can be prepped ahead, customized with your favorite toppings, and are so so delicious. Naturally gluten-free.
  • Chicken Fajita Nachos: Perfect for game day these sheet pan chicken fajita nachos are simple to prepare and loaded with all the best toppings. Naturally gluten-free.

If you make these mini chicken tacos in air fryer or oven I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light, and happy cooking ya’ll ♥

Mini tacos with scattered lime wedges and cliantro leaves with a bowl of salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.

Mini Chicken Tacos (w/ Air Fryer Instructions)

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

These customizable mini chicken tacos are simple to prepare in an air fryer or an oven in just 30-minutes. Serve them as an appetizer or for dinner with your favorite dipping sauce. Naturally gluten-free.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced white or yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 24 mini soft corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese - Monterey Jack, pepper Jack, cheddar, colby, Oaxaca, Chiahuahua
  • Non-stick cooking spray (optional)

Instructions

  1. If baking, preheat your oven to 425 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or spray it with nonstick cooking spray and set it aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onions and sauté for 2-minutes, then add the garlic and sauté for another minute until fragrant.
  3. Reduce heat to medium then add the shredded chicken, salsa, black pepper, cumin, and salt and stir to combine. *If the mixture begins to boil or scorch, reduce the heat to medium-low.
  4. Assembly: Heat a skillet over medium to medium-high heat. In batches of two, warm the tortillas in the hot skillet for 15-30 seconds on each side. The tortillas should be malleable but not crispy. Top each tortilla with approximately one tablespoon of the chicken filling then sprinkle the chicken with approximately one tablespoon of shredded cheese. Fold the tortilla to create a taco, gently pressing down on the side with the cheese so that it sticks shut. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. ****If freezing, stop here and refer to the notes section below.
  5. To bake: Arrange the tacos in a single layer on two large baking sheets. Spray with non-stick cooking spray (optional) and bake for 10-12 minutes, flipping the tacos halfway through so that they are crispy on both sides. Remove from the oven and serve warm with your choice of dipping sauce(s). To air-fry: Preheat your air fryer at 400 degrees for five minutes. If desired, line your air fryer basket with parchment paper. Then, in batches, cook the mini tacos in a single layer at 400 degrees for six minutes, flipping them halfway. *Be careful not to overcrowd the basket. Serve warm with your choice of dipping sauce(s).

Storage: Leftovers will keep in an airtight container for up to four days in the refrigerator.

Notes

  • Prior to baking or air frying the assembled tacos, place them on a baking sheet in the freezer for three hours or until frozen. You may then transfer the tacos to an airtight container or freezer bag and store them in the freezer. They will keep for up to six months in the freezer.
  • To bake frozen tacos: Arrange the tacos in a single layer on two large baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, flipping the tacos halfway through so that they are crispy on both sides. To air-fry frozen tacos: Preheat your air fryer at 400 degrees for five minutes. If desired, line your air fryer basket with parchment paper. Then, in batches, cook the mini tacos in a single layer at 400 degrees for six minutes, flipping them halfway. *Be careful not to overcrowd the basket.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 2
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 222Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 261mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 12g

The nutritional information provided is computer generated. It is only an estimate and intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition details may vary depending on various factors such as origin, freshness of ingredients, etc

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

Elizabeth Elizabeth

Wednesday 18th of May 2022

I’ve never actually baked tacos in the oven. This was a clever idea so thank you for the inspiration!

Nancy

Wednesday 18th of May 2022

Made these for a family gathering this past weekend and they were such a hit! I loved using the air fryer and not having had to heat up oil. Amazing, thanks!

Jere'

Wednesday 18th of May 2022

What a great recipe and super easy to prepare. I love that you can freeze these which is perfect to have on hand so the family can grab some and just heat them up.

Kayla DiMaggio

Wednesday 18th of May 2022

These mini chicken tacos were amazing! So easy and delicious!

Jeri

Wednesday 18th of May 2022

I absolutely loved these mini chicken tacos! They were so simple to prepare! The chicken was cooked perfectly and it had fantastic flavor!

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