Make it a taco night any night of the week with these delicious chicken tacos that are easy to make in the air fryer.
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I came to a realization the other day. I have never made homemade crunchy tacos before. I know, what a shame! I am here now to right that wrong and show you how I made crunchy chicken tacos by using my air fryer.
🌮 Why Ground Chicken Tacos
Ground beef is commonly used for tacos, so why not use ground chicken instead. It's fun to change it up every once and a while. For me, I enjoy eating something a bit leaner especially on a hot day.
This is what you will need to make these delicious tacos:
- 1 lb ground chicken
- ½ tsp whole cumin
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp sun dried tomato powder (optional)
- 2 tsp cooking oil
- corn tortillas for serving
- Mexican creama for serving
- chopped cilantro for serving
- chopped lettuce for serving
To make these tacos spectacular I turn to the best ground chicken I have found. That is from Porter Road out of Nashville. They use a combo of white and dark meat to make their ground chicken so that is has plenty of flavor and fat.
🛒Order Ground Chicken
If ground chicken sounds boring and bland to you, then you need to give the ground chicken from Porter Road a try. The chicken is pastured raised. The ground chicken is a mix of both white and dark meat with enough fat to keep it from drying out. Give it a try today!
Why crema instead of sour cream? I like it because it's thinner, so you don't just get a big blob of it. The creama coats more of the meat for a more even bite. You can find at pretty much any decent sized grocery store.
The key seasoning component of these tacos is Wild Mountain Cumin from Burlap & Barrel. This is without a doubt the best cumin I have ever tasted. I just put the whole cumin in, you don't have to grind it.
I also use sun-dried tomato powder from Burlap & Barrel. It will add richness to your ground meat without overpowering it with tomato flavor. It's not easy to find in stores.
To start combine the ground chicken with all the seasonings in a large mixing bowl. The advantage of using a large & wide bowl is that it's easier to get your hands into it and mix all the ingredients evenly. Yes this is better to do with your hands, just make sure you wash them immediately afterward.
if your air fryer has a tray in it, remove it first, and then place the seasoned ground chicken in the bottom of the basket. Air fry at 360 degrees for 5 minutes.
Remove the basket from the air fryer. Grab a plastic or silicone spatula (not metal that could scratch the air fryer basket) break the chicken into small pieces.
Return the basket to the air fryer. Increase the temperature to 400 degrees and cook for 3-5 minutes until you have browned the chicken.
You can try to check the chicken with an instant read thermometer like the the ThermoPop from Thermoworks to see that it's cooked to 165 degrees. To do this, find the largest piece and just barely insert your thermometer to hit the center without going through. It can be hard to do as the ground chicken could break or you end up sticking the probe too far through. But if you can get a reading then you will know for sure that your chicken is done.
Add chicken meat to crunchy taco shells, topping it with creama, queso fresco, lettuce, and cilantro to taste.
🏠 Homemade Crunchy Taco Shells
To make these taco even better instead of buying taco shells, make them in the air fryer. I get corn tortillas, make a DIY foil taco mold and cook them in my air fryer until they are crispy.
I have a dual basket air fryer from Ninja that allows me to cook two different things at the same time at different temperatures if I want. So you could make the meat and the taco shells at the same time.
👀 Check out our full blog post to learn how to make Crunchy Taco Shells in the Air Fryer.
Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Tacos
- air fryer
- In a mixing bowl combine your ground chicken and all the seasonings. Mix a little bit to combine. Don't overwork the meat.
- Place the chicken into the bottom of your air fryer basket. If you have a tray that comes in yours, remove it first. Press the meat so that it's in an even layer.
- Drizzle the oil on top and air fry at 360 for 5 minutes.
- Remove the basket. With a plastic or silicone spatula (not metal that could scratch the air fryer basket) break the chicken into small pieces.
- Return to air fryer. Cook at 400 degrees for 3-5 minutes to brown the chicken. Check the internal temperature. You need to cook it to 165 degrees. If you can find the largest pieces and insert the point of an instant read therometer trying not to go all the way through.
- Add chicken meat to crunchy taco shells, topping it with creama, queso fresco, lettuce, and cilantro to taste.