These air fryer chicken tacos are juicy, flavorful, and quick and easy to make! I used the Ninja Foodi but you can use any air fryer. Delicious tender chicken with cheese, avocado, shredded lettuce tomatoes and sour cream wrapped in your favorite tortilla, these are an instant hit! After marinating, they can be made in under 30 minutes.
This was inspired by our roasted cauliflower and black bean tacos and pairs well with this delicious cilantro lime guacamole. For another fun taco variation try our jerk chicken tacos. Or try another easy air fryer meal of Air Fryer Quesadillas.
For quick dinner ideas look at our last minute dinner ideas.
Below is a list of ingredients needed for this recipe. Follow our tips on each ingredient for best results.
- raw chicken breasts, thighs or rotisserie chicken*(see substitution section on how to make with shredded rotisserie chicken)
- tortillas of choice - we usually use corn for these. If you go with flour we cannot recommend enough the use of fresh, raw tortillas.
- toppings of choice
- cheese - a good Mexican blend or cheddar, monterrey jack, oaxaca, etc.
- shredded lettuce - we used Romaine because it has a nice crunch and a mild flavor, but any lettuce will work.
- sour cream/ plain greek yogurt- our favorite is plain Greek yogurt. It's so smooth and creamy and I love the tang from the yogurt.
- guacamole - we highly recommend our recipe here on the blog. You can also use your own recipe or store bought.
- chopped tomatoes - my favorite are cherry tomatoes cut in half, my husband likes Roma tomatoes, cut into chunks.
- cilantro - washed and chopped. This is a must have for me and tacos!
- salsa of choice - I like a good fresh red salsa for these particular tacos, but green would also taste great, as well as canned.
- Use our frozen avocado, to top with convenient thawed avocado.
- ⅓ cup lime juice - fresh squeezed will always taste the best, but lime juice concentrate is a great alternative
- cooking oil - kind doesn't matter too much for this. It's just to brush your air fryer basket with so that the chicken doesn't stick.
For the taco seasoning:
We tested this recipe over and over again to get the right amounts of each ingredient to make it the best flavor
- chili powder, cumin, oregano and paprika - these are the core spices and essential for that classic taco taste.
- garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper- these are the accent spices that highlight and and complement the core spices. Again, we tested this recipe to get the exact amounts for the best flavor.
- corn starch- acts as a thickener and also helps the whole thing not turn into a giant clump
-OR- 1 ½ packages taco seasoning
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Air Fryer Tacos
First, marinate the chicken. Cut chicken into 1 inch or smaller pieces and place in a bowl. Add all taco seasonings in a bowl and stir with a whisk until well blended. Place lime juice in bowl of chicken and stir to coat. Sprinkle the taco seasoning into the bowl and stir until evenly coated. Refrigerate 2-24 hours. The tacos can be made immediately, but the flavor will not be as full.
Preheat air fryer to 375° F. I use the Ninja Foodi XL for our chicken tacos. Use a brush and coat the bottom of the basket with vegetable or avocado oil. The smoke point of olive oil is too low, don't use it! Spread the marinated chicken across the bottom of the basket. If your air fryer is small you may need to cook in 2 batches.
Cook for 6 minutes, then flip the pieces of chicken. Stirring them well and spreading them back out also works.
Cook and additional 6 minutes then check for doneness. The internal temperature of chicken should reach 165° F. Check your thickest pieces to ensure they are done! Cook and additional 2-3 minutes if needed.
2 Options for Serving:
1- Assemble Like a Normal Taco:
Spread the meat on the tortilla, top with veggies, sour cream and cheese, then fold into a taco.
2- Air Fry the Entire Taco (our favorite!)
Place the meat and cheese on half the taco. Air fry at 400* for 30 seconds.
Fold the taco so that the meat and cheese are inside the shell, but on the upper half. This will weigh down the tortilla and keep it folded. Air fry for 2 minutes, flip and air fry for 90 seconds.
Remove from air fryer and peel apart the taco and put toppings on. Serve immediately. This was our favorite way to eat them. They are crunchy and melty and flavorful and just absolutely delicious! Not as pretty as the normal assembly, but so tasty!
Variations and Substitutions
- Spicy - add jalapenos or serranos, or our favorite hot sauce.
- Deluxe - add guacamole, refried beans and/or pico de gallo for a deluxe and delicious version.
- Ground Beef - use ground beef cooked and seasoned with the taco seasoning and replace the chicken with it for a beefy taco.
- Hard Taco Shells- Learn how to make hard taco shells, with this quick and easy recipe.
- Rotisserie Chicken- Instead of raw chicken feel free to use a shredded rotisserie chicken. Marinade as directed above. Air fry at 375 for 3 minutes or until hot, turning the meat at minute 2. Do everything else as directed above.
- Taco or other seasoning- while we highly recommend the homemade taco seasoning for the optimal flavor, 1 ½ packets of taco seasoning or other flavored seasoning such as Fajita will work too.
Make to preference - for best results, make these how YOU enjoy tacos! These are easily personalized to meet the likes of everyone enjoying them.
Flip the chicken taco on top of itself- when flipping it, flip the meat and cheese so that it's on top of the side without meat and cheese. This will weigh it down, keeping it closed. With all of the air blowing around an air fryer, the taco will not remained closed unless you do this.
Make sure to coat the air fryer basket in cooking oil before air frying. The first time I made tacos in the air fryer I didn't and I ended up with a huge mess. It's a small thing that makes a huge difference.
Storing Air Fryer Tacos
Store ingredients unassembled and separately in air tight containers in the refirgerator for up to 5 days. Reheat meat and assemble as desired.
Meat can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
Marinading takes time. The longer the chicken can marinate the better. Start it marinating in the morning before work, or the evening before or even 2 hours earlier if possible.
Air Fryer Chicken Tacos
- 2 pounds raw chicken breasts or thighs **See Notes for Rotisserie option
- ⅓ cup lime juice
- tortillas of choice. I used white corn tortillas
For the taco seasoning:
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ¾ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- *1 ½ packets of taco seasoning may be used instead but in our opinion doesn't taste quite as good*
Topping of choice:
- shredded cheese
- shredded lettuce
- sour cream
- lime wedges
- avocado or vegetable oil for brushing air fryer basket
- Cut chicken into 1 inch chunks and place in a bowl. Pour lime juice on chicken and stir to combine. Combine taco seasoning ingredients in a small bowl then pour on chicken and stir to combine. Allow to marinate 2-24 hours.
- Preheat air fryer to 375* F.
- Lightly brush avocado or vegetable oil on the air fryer basket. Spread marinaded chicken across the bottom of the basket in a single layer.
- Cook for 6 minutes then flip and stir the chicken. Cook an additional 6 minutes then check for doneness. The internal temperature should reach 165*F. Check the thickest pieces for doneness. Cook until done, checking every 1 minute so it doesn't overcook and get tough.
2 options for serving:
- 1- Assemble like a normal taco! Place chicken, cheese and desired toppings then fold the tortilla around the filling and eat!
- 2- Air fry the entire taco-
- Turn air fryer up to 400*F. Place chicken and cheese on one side of the tortilla and air fry for 30 seconds.
- Fold the tortilla with the chicken and cheese inside on the top side. Their weight will hold down the taco and keep it where it should be. Cook for 2 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 90 seconds. See photos above for a great visual.
- Remove from air fryer and peel apart the taco and put toppings on. Serve immediately. This was our favorite way to eat them. They are crunchy and melty and and flavorful and just absolutely delicious!