BBQ Chicken Baked Tacos are the best spin on chicken tacos. Made with simple ingredients, these are your favorite BBQ Chicken Nachos reimagined.
Baked Tacos are such a delicious and fun spin on taco night. In this rendition of baked tacos we are taking inspiration from my BBQ Chicken Nachos. Made with just a few simple ingredients, these are bound to be a hit with your whole family.
How to Make Baked Tacos with BBQ Chicken
These BBQ chicken tacos come together in just a few simple steps, so here is a brief overview of how to make them. For the full recipe including all ingredients and measurements, please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Make chicken mixture. Combine the shredded chicken, BBQ sauce, cooked bacon, and onion.
- Put the tacos together. Line up your taco shells on a baking sheet and evenly divide the mixture into the shells. Top with shredded cheese.
- Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Cooking Bacon for Tacos
Usually when I cook bacon for a recipe like this where I want it in small pieces, I like to dice it first because it just cuts a lot better when it is raw. Cut the slices into small pieces with a knife or kitchen shears, and then cook them in a cast iron pan until they just begin to crisp up. Remove them from the heat and transfer them to a paper towel lined plate. If you wait to take them out until they are fully crisp, they will be overdone by the time they are on the paper towel.
Alternatively, this recipe goes really quick when you use your air fryer to make the bacon. That is what I did this time around, and it worked fabulously. Just cook the bacon in the air fryer – there is so much less mess – and then run a knife over the cooked bacon before adding it the chicken mixture.
Using Homemade BBQ Sauce
For this baked taco recipe, I’m recommending that you use my homemade barbecue sauce. It is made with simple ingredients that you already have in your pantry. This sauce takes about 20 minutes to make because it needs to simmer and thicken, but I suggest making it the night (or a few days) before you make this recipe. It is also delicious in my BBQ Pulled Pork and Crock Pot Ribs.
When making a recipe that calls for shredded chicken, you have a few options:
- Use frozen shredded chicken. It is great (and easy!) to keep shredded chicken on hand in your freezer. It thaws very quickly and makes so many recipes faster.
- Buy a rotisserie chicken. Just pick up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store on the way home from work for the quickest hack ever.
- Boil chicken breasts. Add chicken breasts to a saucepan, cover with water, and simmer for 4 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness of the breast. Use an instant-read thermometer to make sure that it reaches 165 degrees. Remove from the pan and shred with two forks or an electric mixer.
These tacos are best when they are hot and fresh out of the oven. That being said, you can store the leftovers in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
When you would like to eat them, bake them covered or wrapped in foil for about 15 to 20 minutes. As with all recipes, use your best discretion when it comes to leftovers.
BBQ Chicken Baked Tacos
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9 by 13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the chicken, BBQ sauce, cooked bacon, and onion.2 cups shredded chicken, 1 cup BBQ Sauce, 6-8 slices bacon, 1/4 small red onion
- Place the hard shell tacos into the baking dish. (This works best by lining up 8 in a row and then placing the last two on the side of the 8 lined up.)10 hard taco shells
- Divide the chicken mixture between the taco shells. Combine the shredded cheeses and then divide them among the tacos, topping them.1 cup cheddar cheese, 1 cups Monterey Jack cheese
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with cilantro and pickled jalapenos.