Cooking Light's Ancho Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Slaw and Avocado Cream

chicken tacos
Oxmoor House

These Ancho Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Slaw and Avocado Cream from Bruce Weinstein's and Mark Scarbrough's Cooking Light The Complete Quick Cook aren't quite as quick as opening up that yellow taco dinner box complete with hard shells and seasoning packet, but they're certainly worth the ten minutes of extra prep time in tastiness alone.

Why you should make this: Because you deserve better than tacos from a box and these chicken tacos are nearly as simple to assemble.

This recipe adopts two of Scarbrough's and Weinstein's great time savers: There's no shame in buying pre-sliced veggies when you're in a time crunch, and cooking over high heat is not only quicker but imparts great flavor.

The pre-sliced veggies here come in the form of shredded cabbage that's transformed into a tart, refreshing slaw in just a few minutes with scallions, cilantro, and lime juice. The ancho chicken is seasoned then seared in a blazing hot skillet until brown and a little crunchy around the edges. Spice fiends might want to amp up the ancho for a bit more chile heat. A cool avocado crema is whizzed in the food processor or blender to top the tacos, and voilà—a quick taco dinner that's miles away from that boxed stuff, fresher, and tastier, but takes barely any more time or effort.

Adapted from Cooking Light The Complete Quick Cook by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough. Copyright © 2011. Published by Oxmoor House. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved

Recipe Facts

Active: 40 mins
Total: 40 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4-inch strips

  • 3/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

  • Cooking spray

  • 1/8 teaspoon grated lime rind

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided

  • 1/4 cup light sour cream

  • 2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk

  • 1/2 ripe peeled avocado, diced

  • 2 cups packaged angel hair slaw

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 8 (6-inchcorn tortillas


  1. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Sprinkle chicken evenly with chile powder, garlic salt, and cumin. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove chicken from pan.

  2. Combine rind, 1 tablespoon juice, and next 3 ingredients (through avocado) in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.

  3. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon juice, slaw, onions, cilantro, oil, and salt, tossing to coat.

  4. Heat tortillas according to directions. Divide chicken mixture evenly among tortillas. Top each tortilla with about 1 tablespoon avocado mixture and 1/4 cup slaw mixture.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
558 Calories
19g Fat
61g Carbs
36g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 558
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 25%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 80mg 27%
Sodium 518mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 61g 22%
Dietary Fiber 9g 30%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 36g
Vitamin C 21mg 105%
Calcium 129mg 10%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 758mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)