This Spicy Mexican Chicken is a great recipe to add to your weekly meal prep. It makes a delicious base for tacos, quesadillas, burritos and much more!
I love Mexican food! Well, I really just love food, however, Mexican is definitely one of my favorites. Chips and guacamole with a nice pomegranate margarita taste so good.....not really good for my waistline though! And have I mentioned that in addition to my "eat more veggies" mission, I'm also on a mission to lose weight and get more fit? Not always the easiest thing when food is a big focus in your life. So, when I make Mexican at home, I try to be at least a little bit healthy, and this spicy Mexican chicken is a great base for many things.
This recipe only uses a couple of ingredients, making it easy to throw together at any time. Here's what you'll need:
Boneless, skinless chicken breast: I generally make a pound of this at a time, however, if you are feeding a large crowd you can double the recipe. You'll just need a rather large dutch oven to accommodate two pounds of chicken.
Beer: You'll need 12 ounces of beer. Ideally an amber ale but you can use your favorite type. Just like when you are cooking with wine, use a beer that you would drink.
Lime juice: I prefer to use fresh lime juice, but if necessary you could substitute bottled lime juice. You'll need about a tablespoon.
Onion: I generally cook with yellow onions, regular not sweet onions. You could substitute a white onion if that's what you happen to have.
Spices: ground chipotle pepper, dried cilantro, ground cumin, ground black pepper, sea salt
Pantry staples: chicken broth, garlic clove
How to make this spicy chicken
Pulling this recipe together is a breeze. Really all it takes is cooking the chicken, shredding the chicken, and adding some seasonings.
Cook the chicken. Put the sliced onions in the dutch oven and then place the chicken breasts on top. Pour in the beer and chicken broth. You'll want to make sure the chicken is covered with liquid, so if necessary add a bit more chicken broth.
Shred and season the chicken. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and discard the liquid, onions and garlic. Shred the chicken using two forks and then return the shredded chicken to the pan. Add the rest of the seasonings and mix well.
Meal prep tip: I often make at the beginning of the week to have on hand for quick dinners or lunches. It will keep in the refrigerator for about 4 days. You can also freeze it.
I love this recipe because it's a one-pot deal! Once the chicken is cooked you just get rid of the liquid and put the shredded chicken back in the pot to mix. Limited cleanup...who doesn't like that?! This is definitely a great base for many easy weeknight meals!
This Spicy Mexican Chicken is super versatile! Here are a few ideas for using it:
- This Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl is one of my favorite weekday lunch ideas. Pretty much everything that goes into it, including this chicken, can be made ahead of time.
- These Baked Chicken Flautas are a sometwhat healthier version of one of my most favorite Mexican dishes.
- Grab some tortillas and your favorite toppings to make tacos or quesadillas with this chicken as a base.
- If you want to be super simple you could just serve it on top of this Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice.
things you may want for this recipe
Dutch oven (not sponsored) – A good dutch oven is a necessity in every kitchen. A 4 ½ to 5 ½ quart size is a good place to start for most. My personal preference is Le Creuset as I like the coated cast iron, however, there are many great brands that make dutch ovens.
Spicy Mexican Chicken
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
- 2 smashed garlic cloves
- ¾ cup yellow onion, vertically sliced
- 12 ounces beer
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon dried cilantro
- ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Cook the chicken. Place chicken through sea salt in a medium dutch oven; bring to a boil. Cover and lower heat to simmer. Cook 20 minutes, until chicken is tender. Remove from pan and let cool slightly. Discard remaining broth etc from boiling.
- Shred and season the chicken. Use two forks to shred the chicken and return to pan. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Cover and keep warm if using immediately or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for later use.
This post was originally published in March 2015 and updated in August 2021 with some new information. No changes have been made to the original recipe.