Home » Course » Main Course

BBQ Chicken Tacos

My heart belongs to these BBQ Chicken Tacos. Chicken marinated in BBQ sauce, juicy on the inside, and slightly crusty on the outside. Wrapped in a soft flour tortilla, and topped with roasted corn, cilantro and pickled onions.

Every single bite makes me giddy happy.

Top down view of a plate of BBQ Chicken Tacos

Is it a temporary thing? Is it a forever love? Could the warmer weather have affected the affections of my heart?

All I know is this. We have been feeding on these deliciousness that is BBQ Chicken Tacos a whole lot.

For dinner. For lunches (yay leftovers). As snacks when we are hungry. No joke. Tacos are totally snack-friendly.

It HITS THE SPOT. Every. Single. Time.

There’s something unique about the combination of flavors – the savory sweet bbq sauce, the crunchy corn, the pickled onions soaked in vinegar with a hint of sweetness, that warm and soft tortilla…

Put them together and BAM! MAGIC happens.

P/S on the bbq sauce: pick your fave. There are many to choose from, but you know what you love. Some like it sweeter, some like it saltier.

You and your favorite is how this is going to work best.

A plate of BBQ Chicken Tacos

Ingredient Notes

  • chicken tenderloin – you can use chicken breast or chicken thighs as well
  • bbq sauce – use your favorite!
  • smoked paprika
  • flour tortillas – I get store bought but here’s a Flour Tortilla Recipe if you want to make it at home!
  • red onions
  • apple cider vinegar – white vinegar is fine if that’s what you have
  • granulated sugar
  • frozen roasted corn or frozen corn – fresh or canned works too
  • cilantro 

How to make BBQ Chicken Tacos

Making these yummies is a simple task. I like to think it is divided into three components:

  • Marinate and sauté the chicken
  • Pickle the onions
  • Chop/prep/assemble

The marinating and pickling takes a little bit of time, but it is all passive time.

Just start the marinating and pickling business an hour or so before you get crazy hungry, and you should be all set.

You can also marinate and pickle hours before actually making your meal.

The longer you marinate and pickle, the more flavorful the chicken and red onions will be.

Pickled red onions
Pickled red onions

BBQ Chicken Tacos Pro-tip

I like to think of this as all the things that will make your BBQ Chicken Tacos taste amazing! I take notes when I recipe test and give you all the oops’s that I made so that you don’t have to make the same oops. And yes – you are welcome!

Oops #1: Not marinating the chicken. Do not do what I did and please marinate that chicken. For just 30-45 minutes, or longer if you have time. Marinating gives the chicken more flavor on the inside!

Oops #2: Throwing chicken with lots of marinate onto the hot skillet. To avoid splattering, try to get chicken somewhat dry before adding them into the hot skillet. Or use a splatter guard.

Pan-fried BBQ Chicken
Pan-fried BBQ Chicken

Can the BBQ chicken be made on the grill?

OH YES!!! And it will taste amazing!

There is something magical about smoky grilled meats.

So why did I say pan-fry in this recipe?

Because 1) it still tastes amazing pan-fried, and 2) I want to make this more accessible because let’s be real here, it’s a lot more work to fire up a grill during a busy weeknight than cooking chicken on the stove.

Closeup of bbq chicken wrapped in tortillas, topped with red onions, corn and cilantro

This BBQ Chicken Tacos recipe is warm weather meal 101. It’s the perfect dinner for any day. Simple, without compromising yumminess.

DID YOU ENJOY THIS RECIPE? Please comment below and give us a 5-star rating! This will help others find this recipe on Google and Pinterest. We very much appreciate your help! 🤍

Let’s taco about these other yummy taco recipes

More Chicken Recipes

Top down view of a plate of BBQ Chicken Tacos

BBQ Chicken Tacos

A yummy and light taco dinner recipe! Pan-fried BBQ chicken topped with cilantro, roasted corn and pickled red onions, wrapped in a soft flour tortilla. 
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Marinate time: 1 hour
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 3 servings
Calories: 630kcal
Author: MinShien


  • 1 lbs chicken tenderloin
  • 1/2 cup bbq sauce your favorite!
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • ~1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • vegetable oil
  • 5-6 small flour tortillas

Pickled Onions

  • 1/2 red onions
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water


  • 1 cup frozen roasted corn or frozen corn
  • cilantro chopped


Pickled Red Onions

  • Combine apple cider vinegar, sugar and water in a bowl. Microwave for 15-20 seconds, or until sugar is dissolved. Slice red onions. Add red onions to vinegar mixture. Cover with a lid and refrigerate for an hour. (See Note 1)
    Pickled red onions

BBQ Chicken

  • Combine spices – smoked paprika, salt (see Note 2) and black pepper in a small bowl. Coated chicken tenderloin with vegetable oil on both sides, then evenly spread spices on both sides of the chicken. Use fingers to press the spices onto chicken.
  • Pour bbq sauce onto chicken. Make sure to get it on both sides. Let chicken marinate for 30-60 minutes.
  • Heat up skillet with some vegetable oil, then place chicken tenderloins onto skillet. Try to get chicken onto the skillet as dry as possible. This is to prevent splattering, and to get a nice char on chicken.
  • Once one side of the chicken is cooked, flip to the other side, and brush some of the leftover marinate onto the side of chicken that is faced up.
  • Once the thickest part of the chicken tenderloins reaches 165 degrees, remove chicken from heat. 
  • Let it cool for a few minutes, then slice chicken into smaller pieces

Prep other ingredients and assemble

  • Chop cilantro. Warm roasted corn and flour tortillas briefly in the microwave.
  • Fill tortillas with chicken, roasted corn, cilantro and pickled red onions (without the liquid).
  • Serve and enjoy!


Note 1: You can keep pickled onions in refrigerator for up to a week.
Note 2: Salt needed may vary depending on the salt content in bbq sauce and your preference. Use less or more if necessary.


Calories: 630kcal | Carbohydrates: 94g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 2118mg | Potassium: 955mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 706IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 3mg
Did you make this recipe?Take a pic and tag me at @joyous.apron, or hashtag #joyousapron on Instagram!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I am swooning over these tacos!!!!!!! I love everything about them. Thank you so much for including my salad 🙂

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thanks Cheryl! Love that taco salad of yours! 🙂

  2. Allie Chatham says:

    5 stars
    I tired this recipe last night. Delicious! I loved the cilantro with the pickled onions and BBQ. Great flavors together.

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      I am so glad you enjoyed it, Allie! Thanks for writing a review! 🙂