Mexican Pulled Chicken + A winner! - Handle the Heat
Filed Under: Easy | Fast | Healthy | Mexican

Mexican Pulled Chicken + A winner!

By Tessa Arias
April 23rd, 2010

I made this pulled chicken one day and served it on a whole wheat homemade tortilla 

Yield: 2 -4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: I was concerned by the lack of ingredients in this recipe but the chicken ended up being full-flavored. I was pleasantly surprised. Texture: Surprisingly tender for boneless skinless chicken breast. Ease: Simple simple simple (Thoreau would have liked this recipe). Appearance: The chicken might not look amazing on its own but when placed upon a tortilla with fresh veggies it looks very appetizing. Expense: Inexpensive. Pros: Simple, cheap, healthy, and the leftovers are versatile. Cons: Honestly can't think of one! Would I make this again? This one is going into my weekly routine.

Sometimes I see a photo for a recipe on Tastespotting or Food Gakwer that looks so delicious I just have to re-create it. I love that with cooking and baking you can take a photo of something gorgeous and recreate it so that you’re eating that same gorgeous thing in less than a few hours. Now if only I could recreate and live out the gorgeous photos in travel and fashion magazines and websites. Katerina’s recipe for Mexican Pulled Chicken over at Daily Unadventures in Cooking. is fabulously delicious but healthy and super easy. My favorite. I made this pulled chicken one day and served it on a whole wheat homemade tortilla from Trader Joe’s with some sour cream, fresh greens, and sliced avocado. Then the next day I used the leftovers for a cheese quesadilla. The chicken keeps well in the fridge in an airtight container.


Now for the part of this post I’ve been waiting for! Announcing the winner of Handle the Heat’s one year blog birthday! The winner of the Escali Digital Scale is…. Stephanie of Ice Cream Before Dinner!!!! Stephanie, who has great taste in music, commented:

its amazing how fast a year goes by, isn’t it? congrats on blogging for a whole year! i’d have to say my fave dessert is BLONDIES. they’re so versatile – you can add so many DIFFERENT things to them, so many different toppings, that they can be completely different each time you make them. 🙂

your berry cobbler looks great, i’m preparing to make one of those in a few days!

Congratulations! I love blondies too, I’ll have to post a blondie recipe soon! A lot of you answered that your favorite dessert is something chocolaty which I have to agree, chocolate really is the best. I enjoyed hosting this giveaway and I think I’ll do one again.

Happy Friday!!

How to make
Mexican Pulled Chicken Recipe

Yield: 2 -4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
I made this pulled chicken one day and served it on a whole wheat homemade tortilla 


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion roughly chopped
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup salsa (homemade is better but jarred is fine for a quick dinner!)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 lime juiced


  1. In a heavy pot with a lid heat olive oil to medium and add onion, cumin, chili powder and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Cook onion, stirring regularly until it starts to soften. Add chicken, salsa and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  2. Remove chicken from pot and set aside. While chicken cools bring the sauce to a simmer, uncovered and reduce by half. When the chicken is cool enough shred it with two forks. Stir chicken back into sauce and reduce heat to low. Add lime juice. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

Recipe Notes

Course : Main Course
Cuisine : Mexican
Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

Leave a Comment & Rating

Add a Review or Question

*Please select a rating to complete your comment.

Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Traci — August 1, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    I made this today. Easy and delicious! I used a red pepper salsa and added extra spice. The only downside is that my avocado wasn’t perfectly ripe…so I’ll save the avocado slices for the leftovers. :]

    • #
      Tessa — August 3, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      Wonderful! Ugh doesn’t it seem like the avocados from the store are either rock hard and need days to ripen or they’re perfectly ripe and need to be eaten that day?!

  2. #
    KillerNoms — December 26, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Really excellent. Only change I might consider is to brown the chicken on both sides first, and possibly trying thighs instead of breasts.

  3. #
    Christina — January 28, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    also, I used greek yogurt as a substitute for the sour cream, and it was delicious.

  4. #
    Sara — January 18, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    I just made this tonight for dinner and it was delicious. My husband and 18 month old daughter loved it. I served it over rice with avocado on top and a side salad. I will definitely be making it again!

  5. #
    Augustine — August 23, 2012 at 3:40 am

    OMG!!!! This is fantastic. My OH absolutely loved it. Will definitely be on the menu regularly. Thanks so much for such a delish dish.

  6. #
    Lily — August 9, 2012 at 5:32 am

    Holy crap! I made this recipe last night and both me and my husband were moaning with eat bite! It was that good!! (And my husband isn’t even a fan of Mexican food!)

    We ate it with crunchy taco shells and added some refried beans, guacamole, and some shredded cheese. This is entering our weekly menu! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!

    (I googled “pulled chicken tacos” and I’m so glad you were on the first page of results!!)

  7. #
    Scott — April 25, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Wonderful recipe. My wife and I like a little more heat so we added a diced chipotle with a tablespoon of adobo sauce, and it was perfect!

  8. #
    Erin — April 13, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    I make this for my boyfriend at least once a week and he still loves it!! this recipe is perfect.

  9. #
    Paul — February 23, 2012 at 2:57 am

    Excellent, the perfect gluten free go-to dinner. Thanks!

  10. #
    dannielle — February 17, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    OH MY GOODNESS! These were delicious! Easy too! I love that combo! Even my 4 yr old loved them… This recipe is a keeper! Thanks so much!

  11. #
    Lovey Dove — November 21, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Oh this is so good…especially with Annie's Taquitos recipe

  12. #
    finding-alicia — March 17, 2011 at 3:48 am

    I have to say, this recipe is great! My husband is a notoriously picky eater, which makes it hard to introduce new food, but he literally gobbled this up in no time. He's asked me to make it twice in the last week 😀
    Thank you so much!!!!

  13. #
    cathy — February 13, 2011 at 4:08 am

    Thank you so much for this incredibly easy recipe and abolutely delicious meal. My 5-year old walked into the kitchen saying “what smells so delicious” and my husband said “you knocked it out of the park”. I am going to share with all my friends…this is a great meal for the weekly rotation. I served with chopped romaine & avocado on fresh corn tortillas with black beans mixed with rice on the side. I cooked with Salsa Senorita, Roasted Garlic – the perfect amount of heat (medium). Thanks again.

  14. #
    Steve — January 8, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    we just made this last night, it was delicious and amazing. winner winner chicken dinner

  15. #
    Anonymous — September 27, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Thanks so much for this receipe.I made it today for dinner so easy to make the chicken was so tender and favorable. Will be making it again,it's a keeper.

  16. #
    Anonymous — September 2, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    A new staple in our family!!! So good!!!

  17. #
    MizzMarr — July 30, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    Hi! I have made this recipe several times, and it is fantastic! Thanks so much, I have transcribed it into my permanent recipe book.

    Oh, and instead of putting in salsa I still get good results just adding tomatoes and salsa “fixin's” to the pot.


  18. #
    Nichole — June 13, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Simple and wholesome. This is a keeper.

  19. #
    Marla Singer — May 29, 2010 at 6:58 am

    You should post your salsa recipe if you haven't yet.

  20. #
    Rob — May 28, 2010 at 8:38 am

    My girlfriend made this for me a couple of nights ago and it was amazing! Thanks for the great recipe!

  21. #
    Tessa — May 5, 2010 at 1:21 am

    Katerina- Oops sorry about the typo, I changed it! Great recipe 🙂

    Catherine- Wow thank you so much! 🙂

    Jenn- Woohoo I'm glad you liked it! I had all the ingredients on hand too which was pretty amazing.

  22. #
    Jenn — April 26, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Made this for dinner last night — FABULOUS!

    I had all the ingredients on hand (which is rare) and it was delicious with the right amount of spice.

    Thanks for sharing!

  23. #
    Julie — April 26, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful way to have chicken tacos!

  24. #
    Catherine — April 26, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    I came across your page on FoodBlogs, and I'm glad I did – this looks SO good! I like your recipe rundowns, very detailed! I'm putting you on my RSS list, thanks for sharing 🙂

  25. #
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — April 26, 2010 at 3:07 am

    Yum… That chicken looks amazing. I love the avocado on top!

  26. #
    katerina — April 25, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    So glad you enjoyed my recipe! (It is actually called “Unadventures” 🙂 )

  27. #
    Patty — April 24, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Love this recipe. Being in Mexico, I actually have all the ingredients handy for this one – including a constant supply of fresh corn tortillas. 🙂

    Congrats to Stephanie!

  28. #
    Jessica — April 24, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    This looks very appetizing. I love simple foods. Life is complicated enough, right?

    [email protected]

  29. #
    Ashley — April 24, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Your posts make my mouth water!

  30. #
    Lauren — April 24, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Great recipe for healthy pulled chicken! My husband and I absolutely love Mexican flavors, and this chicken recipe seems very versatile – as a filling for tacos or quesadillas, as a sandwich or salad topper. Yum!

  31. #
    Stephanie — April 23, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Yey!!!! I'm so excited! Thank you so much! (and ps this mexican pulled chicken looks delicious!) 🙂

Join the Handle the Heat Community

Cookie Customization Chart
Do you want a more delicious life?
Instead of digging through cookbooks and magazines and searching the internet for amazing recipes, subscribe to Handle the Heat to receive new recipe posts delivered straight to your email inbox. You’ll get all the latest recipes, videos, kitchen tips and tricks AND my *free* Cookie Customization Guide (because I am the Cookie Queen)!
As Seen On....
NPR People Time Glamour Readers Digest The Huffington Post BuzzFeed