These Adobo Chicken Tacos can be dinner-ready in just 30 minutes or less and features a super simple Ranch Coleslaw.
Adobo seasoning has quickly become one of my go-to seasonings because it's 1) easy to make and 2) endlessly customizable. Well-seasoned chicken can be whipped up quickly without hours of marinading, which is perfect for weekday meals. And what else is perfect for weekday meals? TACOS!
Boneless skinless chicken thighs are my cut of choice for this Adobo Chicken Taco recipe (thick thighs save lives!), but you could also use chicken breasts. You can use any cooking preparation you'd like for your chicken - baked, pan-fried, grilled, air fried, etc.
Click here for Air Fryer Adobo Chicken instructions; they take 18-20 minutes and come out cooked to perfection without having to use any type of cooking oil or butter.
- How do you make Homemade Adobo Seasoning?
- How do you make Adobo Chicken Tacos?
- Instructions - How to Make Adobo Chicken Tacos
- How do you make Hidden Valley Ranch Coleslaw?
- What is Adobo Seasoning?
- Other Suggested Adobo Seasoning Additions
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What else can I make in my air fryer?
- Adobo Chicken Tacos
How do you make Homemade Adobo Seasoning?
Adobo seasoning is one of those all-purpose seasonings that you can easily make from seasoning staples like garlic powder, salt, pepper, and oregano. Mine strays from traditional adobo seasonings because I wanted to bring the heat with cayenne pepper and chili powder. One of the best things about homemade adobo seasoning is that it can be used in many applications, even if your meal doesn't slant Latin American.
Try making my homemade dry adobo seasoning! (recipe below)
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano (or regular oregano)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Pinch of granulated sugar
Add all ingredients to a spice grinder and grind for 10-15 seconds.
*Makes enough to coat 8-9 boneless chicken thighs, aggressively seasoned.
How do you make Adobo Chicken Tacos?
Here's how you bring all the components together. The following instructions are more like guidelines - I would recommend preparing 2 chicken thighs per person, which makes approximately 3-4 tacos.
Any leftover chicken makes awesome quesadillas.
To make Adobo Chicken Tacos you will need the following ingredients:
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs (plan on making 2 per person)
- Homemade Dry Adobo Seasoning (makes approximately 6 tablespoons, enough to coat 8-9 chicken thighs)
- Hidden Valley Ranch Coleslaw (see recipe above, makes enough for around 8 tacos)
- Street style tortillas (corn or flour)
- Crumbly cheese (optional)
- Hot sauce (optional)
Instructions - How to Make Adobo Chicken Tacos
Aggressively season each nook and cranny of your chicken thighs with homemade spicy adobo seasoning. You can of course go lighter on the seasoning if you aren't a salt-lover like I am; you will likely have some leftover seasoning if you opt for a lighter application.
Cook your chicken using your cooking method of choice. Check out these instructions for the perfect Air Fryer Adobo Chicken.
Let chicken rest for 5 minutes before cutting or serving.
Cut chicken into slices.
Put a tortilla on a plate. Add a few slices of chicken, then top with Ranch Coleslaw (optional, recipe below). Sprinkle on some crumbly cheese and add a few dashes of hot sauce (optional).
How do you make Hidden Valley Ranch Coleslaw?
This easy Ranch coleslaw pairs well with this Adobo Chicken Taco recipe. Here's how to make it.
Ranch Coleslaw Ingredients
- 1 tablespoon Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- ½ tablespoon sour cream
- 2 cups cabbage, thinly sliced (I used a mandolin to achieve super thin cabbage strips)
Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk until combined.
Pour dressing over sliced cabbage and mix until well combined.
Refrigerate until ready to use. For best results, make 2-4 hours ahead of time.
*This is enough for around 8 tacos, give or take. Double recipe if necessary.
What is Adobo Seasoning?
Adobo seasoning is an all-purpose seasoning like seasoned salt. It typically contains salt, garlic powder, oregano, turmeric, black pepper, and other Latin spices. It’s great for quickly flavoring everything from meat proteins to seafood to vegetables. You’ve likely seen premade versions from brands like GOYA in the spice aisle at the grocery store, but you can easily make your own at home. And tweak it in fun and interesting ways, as I did in this recipe to make it spicy by adding chili powder, cayenne pepper, and a pinch of sugar.
Other Suggested Adobo Seasoning Additions
You could also try mixing up homemade Adobo Seasoning with the following suggested herbs and spices. Add some dried citrus zest to the mix for seafood applications, or accentuate smoky flavors with paprika when grilling.
- Bay leaf (ground)
- Chipotle chili powder
- Red pepper flakes
- Paprika (including smoked or hot Hungarian)
- Dried citrus zest (lemon or lime)
Frequently Asked Questions
Adobo seasoned chicken tastes like an earthy blend of classic savory flavors; it's salty with hints of heat and umami. If you're using the recipe I provided for homemade Adobo Seasoning, you'll detect more heat than more traditional adobo seasoning recipes. You'll probably also pick up on garlic and onion flavors, as well as earthy cumin. Chicken is the perfect vehicle for adobo seasoning because the mild-flavored protein lets the flavors really shine.
Pork, beef, shrimp, fish, potatoes, corn, well you get the idea. Adobo seasoning is fantastic on pretty much everything protein or vegetable. It’s a good all-purpose seasoning that you can simply sprinkle on, use as a rub, or as a base for a marinade. When using keep in mind that it is salt-forward.
There's a lot of overlap in ingredients in adobo vs. taco seasoning so it should come as no surprise that they also share similar flavor profiles. So what's the defining difference between the two? I would say that adobo seasoning leans earthy and smokey with strong salty undertones - since it is used as an all-purpose seasoning. Taco seasoning is more savory and less salty - it's also earthy, but less so than adobo because it doesn't contain as much oregano. If you want to know more about the differences between adobo seasoning vs. taco seasoning, this will tell you everything you need to know.
What else can I make in my air fryer?
Try these other tasty air-fried recipes:
Adobo Chicken Tacos
- Aggressively season each nook and cranny of your chicken thighs with homemade spicy adobo seasoning. You can of course go lighter on the seasoning if you aren't a salt-lover like I am; you will likely have some leftover seasoning if you opt for a lighter application.
- Cook your chicken using your cooking method of choice. Check out these instructions for the perfect Air Fryer Adobo Chicken.
- Let chicken rest for 5 minutes before cutting or serving. Cut chicken into slices.
- Put a tortilla on a plate. Add a few slices of chicken, then top with Ranch Coleslaw.
- Sprinkle on some crumbly cheese and add a few dashes of hot sauce (optional). Dig in!
- Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk until combined. Pour dressing over sliced cabbage and mix until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use. For best results, make 2-4 hours ahead of time.