Grilled Chicken Tacos with Pumpkin Seed Sauce Recipe

Carrie Vasios

Tacos are filled with slices of grilled chicken and topped with a nutty pumpkin seed sauce

Note: if you can't find tomatillos, substitute yellow or green tomatoes and increase lime juice by 1 teaspoon.

Sauce adapted from Mexico One Plate At A Time by Rick Bayless.

Recipe Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 70 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 24 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 3 ounces hulled untoasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 white onion, peeled and sliced
  • 3 tomatillos
  • 1 leaf romaine lettuce, torn into pieces
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 8 corn tortillas, warmed


  1. Heat a heavy sauté pan over medium high heat. Add pumpkin seeds. When you hear first pumpkin seed pop, begin to stir the seeds, toasting just until all seeds have popped from flat to round. Let seeds cool. Set aside 2 tablespoons for garnish.

  2. Place garlic and onion in a food processor. Blend until roughly chopped. Add pumpkin seeds and blend until roughly chopped.

  3. Add tomatillos, romaine, jalapeño, and cilantro to food processor and pulse until mixture is a lightly chunky purée.

  4. Heat oil in a medium sauce pot over medium high heat. Add pumpkin seed sauce and stir to combine. Simmer for 10 minutes.

  5. Add one cup water. Simmer sauce for another 20 minutes, until reduced and darkened in color. Stir in lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  6. Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Rub chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until just cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes then slice on the diagonal.

  7. Top each tortilla with slices of grilled chicken. Top with pumpkin seed sauce. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and slices of avocado.