Chicken Tinga Recipe

Recipe posted in: Flex Meals & Snacks, Lunches & Dinners, Main Courses
Chicken Tinga

Embarking on a culinary journey through the vibrant tapestry of Mexican cuisine, one encounters a dish that has captured hearts and appetites for centuries: Chicken Tinga. This flavorful feat, known as ‘Tinga de Pollo’ in its homeland, hails from the kitchens of Puebla, Mexico.

What is Chicken Tinga?

With its roots planted deeply in tradition, this recipe has earned a place among the most cherished dishes around the globe. Its widespread adoration owes much to the harmonious blend of smoky, spicy and subtly sweet flavors that make each mouthful an absolute delight.

Imagine slow-cooked, tender chicken bathed in a rich sauce made from ripe tomatoes, smoky chipotle peppers and sweet onions. These key ingredients meld together to create a symphony of flavors that will have your taste buds dancing with joy. The smoky heat of the chipotle peppers, the subtle sweetness of the tomatoes, and the savory notes from the onions combine to create a dish that is as comforting as it is delicious.

What sets Chicken Tinga apart is its versatility. It’s perfect as a filling for tacos, topping for tostadas, or even as a standalone stew served with a side of warm tortillas. It’s a dish that invites you to play with flavors and textures, making it a fun culinary adventure too!

So, why just read about it when you can experience this culinary masterpiece yourself? Grab your cooking utensils and get ready to immerse yourself in the art of creating this flavorful sensation. We promise you, once you’ve tried this recipe, your kitchen will never be without the intoxicating aroma of Chicken Tinga again. Let’s bring the authentic taste of Mexico to your table!

How to Make Chicken Tinga

Indulge in the heartwarming flavors of our Chicken Tinga recipe, a meal that serves four and contains just 274 calories per serving. This dinner, which can be logged as two PowerFuels and two Vegetables in the NuMi app, fits perfectly into your Nutrisystem weight loss plan.

The ingredients are simple, yet they come together to create a symphony of flavors. Start with olive oil, diced onion and minced garlic cloves. The heart of the recipe lies in the can of crushed tomatoes (salt-free) and the chipotle peppers bathed in adobo sauce.

The spice blend brings warmth and depth to the dish, featuring half a teaspoon each of cumin and black pepper, and a teaspoon each of oregano and paprika. A pound of chicken breast adds a hearty, protein-packed component. Finally, chopped cilantro garnish adds a fresh finishing touch.

The cooking process begins with the heating of olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Once hot, the diced onion and minced garlic are sautéed for a few minutes until they soften and release their aromatic oils. The crushed tomatoes, chipotle peppers and spices are then added and stirred well to combine.

This concoction is carefully transferred to a blender and blended until smooth, creating a rich, flavorful sauce. The sauce is returned to the pot, brought to a simmer, and becomes a bath for the chicken. The pot is covered slightly ajar, and the chicken is left to cook for 45 to 60 minutes, being turned halfway through the cooking time.

When the chicken is fully cooked, it’s removed from the pot to be shredded into bite-size pieces. The shredded chicken is returned to the pot and simmered in the sauce for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, allowing it to soak up all the delicious flavors. Just before serving, a sprinkle of chopped cilantro is added as a garnish, bringing a fresh contrast to the warm, smoky Chicken Tinga.

Versatile Serving Suggestions and Topping Ideas

Chicken Tinga tacos

The beauty of Chicken Tinga extends beyond its rich, smoky flavor. The dish’s versatility allows it to be served in numerous ways, each accompanied by a variety of toppings that heighten the taste experience.

Traditionally, Chicken Tinga is served as a filling for tacos or topping for tostadas. In these cases, complementing toppings can include shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and crumbled queso fresco. The freshness of the lettuce and tomatoes offers a crisp contrast to the tender, flavorful chicken, while the queso fresco adds a creamy, tangy element that rounds out the dish beautifully.

In addition to tacos and tostadas, Chicken Tinga can also be used as a filling for enchiladas or burritos. When used in this way, consider adding a generous dollop of sour cream or a sprinkle of shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese on top. These creamy additions melt into the warm Tinga, creating a delightful contrast in textures and an extra layer of flavor.

For a lighter option, serve the Chicken Tinga over a bed of brown rice or quinoa. Sprinkle with chopped avocados, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime for a healthy, well-rounded meal. The avocados add a creamy richness, the cilantro brings a burst of freshness, and the lime provides a tangy kick that brightens up the dish.

No matter how you choose to serve your Chicken Tinga, remember that the best part is enjoying the hearty flavors and sharing the delicious meal with loved ones. So go ahead, get creative with your toppings and serving methods, and most importantly, enjoy the culinary journey. Refer to the Nutrisystem Grocery Guide for more information on counting add-ins.

If you enjoyed this dish, you’ll love our Chicken Fajita Casserole recipe

Servings: 4

Calories per Serving: 274

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 2 PowerFuels and 2 Vegetables


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes, no salt added
  • 2-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 lb. chicken breast
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish


  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, chipotle peppers and spices. Stir to combine.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth to create a sauce.
  4. Return the sauce to the pot. Heat to a simmer and add the chicken. Cover pot slightly ajar and cook for 45-60 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through the cooking time.
  5. Once chicken is fully cooked, remove it from the pot to shred it.
  6. Return shredded chicken to the pot and simmer in the sauce for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Garnish with cilantro before serving.
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