We love this recipe because it’s flexible and SPICY — try it with pork, chicken, or beef!  You can also use a variety of cooking methods, making it easier for busy schedules.  The meat can cook in a slow cooker during the day.  Or, you can use a pressure cooker which is our preferred method when making single or double batches.

Tinga can be made a couple days in advance and used throughout the week for dinner or lunches.  Did you forget to pull something out of the freezer?  No problem!  Just toss the frozen meat into the pressure cooker.

If you don’t want to bake the tortillas, they can instead be fried in a skillet.

Tinga can even be made low carb by simply opting out of the tortilla.  This is some exciting stuff, folks!


To cook the meat:

2 pounds chicken breast
1 large onion, quartered
3  cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 bay leaves

To make the tinga:

1 can (7 ounces) chili peppers in adobo (or 1 tablespoon chipotle powder)
1/2 tablespoon cumin
2 T olive oil
1 medium onion, minced fine
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 14.5-ounce can tomato sauce

To assemble:

12 6-inch corn tortillas
1/4 cup canola oil


Queso fresco, crumbled
2 limes, cut into wedges
Cilantro, rough chopped
Guacamole or diced avocado
Sour cream
Black beans


  1. Add chicken breast, quartered onion, smashed garlic, salt and bay leaves to pot.  Cover with water.  Simmer over medium heat, covered, for about an hour.

    Slow cooker method:  set on low and cook for 8 hours.
    Pressure cooker method
    : set on high pressure and cook for 12 minutes, using quick release.

  2. Toss out the bay leaves and remove the chicken, allowing it to cool until it can be handled safely.  Meanwhile, toss the cooked onion, garlic, chipotles with adobo sauce (or 1T chipotle powder), cumin, and 1 cup of the cooking liquid into a blender.  Blend until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  4. Shred chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Heat olive oil in 12-inch skillet over medium high heat.  Add chicken and cook until browned and crispy in spots, about 10 minutes
  6. Add garlic to the chicken and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in tomato sauce, pureed chipotle mixture.  Simmer until sauce has reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes.
  7. While the sauce is reducing, brush both sides of each tortilla with oil.  Place tortillas on baking tray.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until slightly brown and crisp.
  8. Top each tortilla with tinga.  Add garnishes as desired.
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