These healthy baked Crispy Chicken Tacos are packed with flavour and simple to whip up in under 45 minutes, no need for deep frying! They're served with a vibrant slaw, perfect for spring.
We're BIG fans of tacos in our house, whether filled with chicken carnitas, pulled pork, taco-seasoned ground beef or crispy fish, we love them. These crispy chicken tacos with slaw are great for a light meal and perfect for a midweek dinner as they are easy and quick to whip up, just like our Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta.
We opt for the baked breaded chicken chunks in these amazing tacos rather than fried as it's just a lot more approachable than getting out the deep fat frier. If you're taco lovers and are looking for a vegan version, try our Vegan Tacos with Refried Beans and Asparagus.
We know you'll love these crispy chicken tacos with slaw so be sure to leave us a comment and rating in the recipe below. Don't forget to use the links in the menu below to jump to where you want.
Why this recipe works
You need to make this chicken taco recipe for the following reasons:
Crispiness guaranteed - We don't often guarantee anything but can assure you with panko breadcrumbs and the baking tips we have you are definitely guaranteed some crispy chicken in your tacos!
Light & healthy - as these crispy chicken tacos are made with soft tacos and baked chicken not fried chicken they are surprisingly light and very healthy coming in at under 600 calories for a portion of two tacos.
Easy - these crispy chicken nuggets are nice and chunky and not fiddly to coat in breadcrumbs - you can even get the kids involved as there is no hot oil for fried chicken.
Spices - although these are not traditional tacos with shredded chicken, or carnitas or ground beef, you really get a great flavour from the spices used in the breadcrumb coating.
You only need simple ingredients to make this incredibly flavoursome crispy chicken taco recipe:
Crispy chicken - for the crispy chicken you'll need panko breadcrumbs, these are super crunchy Japanese breadcrumbs. We like using these for the extra crunchy texture they give on baking.
Spices - the crispy breadcrumb coating for the chicken tacos is flavoured with a blend of smoked paprika, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder and some heat from cayenne pepper. This blend is perfect for these tacos.
Crunchy slaw - for the best crunchy slaw you'll need shredded cabbage, beetroot and red onion. It's lovely and light as it is made with greek yoghurt. We love the beetroot in this slaw for its crunch but the bright pink colour it creates too.
Chicken thighs - instead of using chicken breast, use chicken thighs, the method is the same, just be sure they are cooked to an internal temperature of 75C/165F.
Breadcrumbs - if you can't get hold of panko breadcrumbs you can use any dried breadcrumbs you like. If you make your own, just be sure they are made with stale bread.
Gluten free - if you want to enjoy this as gluten free, be sure to substitute the all purpose flour for a gluten free flour, the breadcrumbs for gluten free panko breadcrumbs and soft tortillas for 100% corn tortillas.
Change up the toppings - here we suggest using salad, avocado and slaw for toppings, but feel free to use black beans, salsa, cheese, hot sauce, guacamole or even fajita spiced veggies. Mix it up!
Dairy free - if you wish to make these crispy chicken tacos dairy free, just substitute the greek yoghurt for a dairy free version.
Our favourite taco toppings
We all have preferences when it comes to toppings for tacos. Here are some of our favourites:
- Cheese - although not featured in this recipe you can totally use cheese to make a fully loaded taco.
- Salsa - we would highly recommend a pico de gallo or a smoky or spicy salsa like Thomasina Miers' version in her Mexican Food Made Simple Book. Shop bought salsa is perfect too for a lot more ease.
- Hot sauce - hot sauce works well on anything, especially in our house. It also works well with the slaw - stir some into the mix if you like too!
- Crunch - a nice bit of salad or some extra crunch from crispy onions or pepitas works perfectly.
- Fajita veggies - sauté some bell peppers and onions with some fajita spice mix - these go very well with the crispy chicken and slaw.
How to make crispy chicken tacos
Follow this simple step by step guide to create these delicious crispy chicken tacos with slaw:
- In individual bowls mix together the spices into the panko breadcrumbs, season the flour with salt and pepper and beat the egg into a uniform mixture. Slice each chicken breast into 4 chunks on the diagonal to give you 8 large nuggets.
- Dip and fully coat each chicken piece one by one into the flour, then egg mixture and finally the spiced breadcrumbs until evenly coated.
- Lay the breadcrumb coated chicken pieces on a wire rack on a parchment lined baking sheet and spray lightly with cooking spray.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180C/350F for 20 minutes until golden and crispy, the internal temperature should be 75C/165F.
How to make the beetroot & apple slaw
- Add the shredded cabbage, beetroot, apple and red onion into a large bowl, making sure to shred them as finely as you can.
- Add in the greek yoghurt, lime juice and salt and stir together until completely combined. The yoghurt will turn pink as you mix. Serve immediately on top of your crispy chicken tacos.
- Char your tortillas - use a hot dry skillet to char your tortillas to give them extra flavour. You can use crispy taco shells like you'd get at Taco Bell if you wish.
- Seasoning - be sure to season each layer before you dredge the chicken (flour, egg AND breadcrumbs) to give the tastiest crispy chicken tacos!
- Breading - use one hand for the dry ingredients and the other hand for egg only, this means you won't end up with big clumps of eggy floury crumbs on your fingers.
- Flip your chicken - half way through baking you can flip the chicken to get it crispy all over.
- Prepare slaw - if you prepare the slaw whilst the chicken is baking you will be eating in around 30 minutes.
How to assemble your tacos
There are lots of preferences and opinions on how a taco should be assembled, for us it's all down to what is going inside them.
These crispy chicken tacos with slaw can be assembled in the following ways:
- Salad first, crispy chicken on top and topped with slaw and pepitas.
- If using guacamole, add this on first followed by chicken and slaw.
- If using chicken carnitas or a shredded chicken in a mole or sauce then add the chicken first and top with cheese and salsa.
However you choose to assemble your crispy chicken taco, there is no wrong way. Most importantly, serve hot, crispy and freshly made!
If preparing ahead of time, we recommend charring your tortillas to the level of char you like first. As they cool they will harden and when you make your tacos they are likely to break. The trick is to microwave for 30 seconds or place in a warm oven for a minute or two and they will become more malleable and ready to serve.
We recommend using the wire rack trick on the baking tray allowing the chicken to be raised up and the heat of the oven to circulate all around it. The other key tip is to spray with a light coating of cooking oil as this is a great aid in heat transfer and crisps them up nicely.
We recommend these are best made and eaten immediately. However the crispy chicken can be stored in an air tight container for up to 3 days. It will however lose its crispiness on storage. You can reheat in the oven to bring this back but the lean chicken is likely to be overcooked as a result. The slaw is best used immediately but will keep for 1-2 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
More chicken recipes
You may also be interested in more chicken recipes:
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Crispy Chicken Tacos with Slaw
- 1 pound chicken breast, 2 large fillets
- ½ cup all purpose flour, gluten free if needed
- 1 egg
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs, 60g, use gluten free if needed
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- cooking spray
- 8 soft taco tortillas
- pea shoots or greens of choice, avocado and pumpkin seeds, to serve
Beetroot & Apple Slaw
- ½ small green cabbage
- 1 small beetroot
- ½ apple
- ½ red onion
- ½ lime, juice only
- ½ cup Greek yoghurt
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Get out 3 shallow bowls suitable for dredging your chicken in. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof baking paper.
- Place the flour into one bowl and season it lightly with salt and pepper. Crack the egg into the second bowl and lightly beat it - season this too. In the third bowl, mix together the panko breadcrumbs with the herbs, spices and salt.½ cup all purpose flour, 1 egg, 1 cup panko breadcrumbs, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Cut each chicken breast fillet into 4 strips diagonally. Dredge each piece in the seasoned flour, before dunking in the beaten egg. Finally, coat each chicken piece in the seasoned breadcrumbs.1 pound chicken breast
- Lay out the chicken pieces on the prepared baking sheet with wire rack. Spray each piece with a little cooking oil. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and cooked through.cooking spray
- Serve each chicken piece inside a soft taco topped with beetroot & apple slaw, avocado, pea shoots or any greens of your choice and pumpkin seeds.8 soft taco tortillas, pea shoots or greens of choice, avocado and pumpkin seeds
Beetroot & Apple Slaw
- Finely slice the cabbage using a mandolin or sharp knife. Coarsely grate the beetroot and apple (we find a food processor with the grating attachment the easiest way to do this!). Finely slice the red onion. Place your veggies in a mixing bowl. Mix together with the remaining slaw ingredients, taste and adjust seasoning as desired.½ small green cabbage, 1 small beetroot, ½ apple, ½ red onion, ½ lime, ½ cup Greek yoghurt, ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- We recommend tossing together your slaw just before serving and eating it straight away as it's best eaten fresh.
- We also recommend keeping one hand for flour/breadcrumbs and the other for egg dunking, to avoid getting clumpy hands! This makes it much easier for dredging the chicken.
- Make sure to season all layers for the chicken to ensure you have flavoursome tacos.
- You can flip the chicken half way through, but the recipe still works well without flipping.