Tender and juicy on the inside with a crunchy coating of taco-seasoned tortilla chips, Taco Baked Chicken is a simple and delicious dinner for any night of the week!
Oh, how I’ve missed you, taco seasoning!
Around the same time that this post went live, I arrived home from two-and-a-half weeks hanging out with family and friends in Germany and traveling the countryside. It was my kids’ first trip to meet their great-grandmother and assorted relatives, and to say that it was magical would be an understatement.
On top of that, boy did we eat well! Fresh bread and amazing butter and mountain cheeses and homemade jams and jellies (and — if you happened to be a certain 2-year-old — NUTELLA EVERY MORNING) for breakfast…sausage and sausage and more sausage for lunch…schnitzel and spätzle and assorted Schwäbisch specialties for dinner…and Italian eis (ice cream) once (if not twice) a day. Let’s just say that I’m still full.
But 10 gained pounds aside, upon landing in Austin and setting foot on Texas soil, there’s nothing I craved more than a big ol’ plate of Tex-Mex! Almost three weeks is a long time for that kind of deprivation, people, and to make up for it, I can assure you that I’ll spend the next month overdosing on all things taco.
So how convenient, then, that today’s recipe fits perfectly into my new diet plan! Taco Baked Chicken is as simple and scrumptious as it sounds. Chicken drumsticks and thighs (you could use breasts, as well) are coated in a mixture of crushed tortilla chips and taco seasoning and then baked until the crunchy exterior envelops the perfectly cooked chicken. The resulting dinner is not only quick to throw together, but sure to please every last member of your family!
With a package of soon-to-expire chicken legs in my refrigerator, I was inspired to come up with this Tex-Mex twist on my favorite Italian Baked Chicken recipe one afternoon. And since I used my tried-and-true Homemade Taco Seasoning, it was easy to tweak the amount to make the coating the perfect level of spiciness for my family. The kids and the hubby loved this one, y’all…you just can’t beat a classic-with-a-twist baked chicken dinner.
Yep, Taco Baked Chicken has fantastic flavor and texture, it’s easy to make, and it’s downright addictive. In other words, good thing I have such a yummy recipe to help get me through the sausage and schnitzel and ice cream withdrawals…
Baked Taco Chicken Recipe
Taco Baked Chicken
- 3 to 3 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs & drumsticks, approx. 8 to 9 pieces
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 cups finely crushed tortilla chips
- 3 to 4 tablespoons taco seasoning
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Prepare chicken by removing skin, if desired.
- In a medium bowl, combine olive oil, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. In another bowl or shallow dish (like a pie plate), combine crushed tortilla chips and taco seasoning.
- Dip a piece of chicken in the olive oil mixture, coating it on all sides. Place chicken in crushed tortilla chips and turn and press it into chips until evenly coated. Place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces, leaving a bit of space between each piece.
- Bake for 40 minutes. If chicken is getting too brown at this point, lay a sheet of foil on top. Bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (reaching an internal temperature of 165°F).
- Bone-in chicken breasts may be used as well, but since white meat cooks faster than dark, check for doneness sooner.
- Adjust the amount of taco seasoning depending on how spicy you want your chicken to turn out.
More Tex-Mex Favorites
- Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa
- Homemade Enchilada Sauce
- Ultimate Taco Salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing
- Creamy Chicken Taco Hand Pies
- Creamy Dreamy Chicken Enchiladas