These Baked Hawaiian Chicken Tacos are perfect for game day or any gathering because you can serve a whole bunch at once! Stuffed with slow cooker coconut chicken, baked, then topped with an easy homemade pineapple salsa!
So….. I know you’re not going to believe this but Mexican food is actually not my favorite.
To clarify, I fell in love with Real Mexican Food down in Real Mexico at the same time I fell out of love with what we call Mexican food here. I’m sure Mexican food varies by region, but once I tried Mexican food while I was on a house-building mission in Mexico, my life was never the same.
So while I know that most people go nuts for tacos, tostadas, burritos, etc., I normally don’t. It’s not that I dislike Mexican food, it’s just that nothing I have ever found has come close.
NOW. I do like tropical flavors in pretty much anything, so Hawaiian Mexican fusion is totally my thing. I LOVE pineapple.
And now that Spring is here, I am craving all things bright, fruity and tropical! I was debating baking these tacos or not, and there really is no reason that you can’t just make them the normal way without baking. I was racking my brain trying to decide which would be more desirable to the masses, baked, or not baked? Since everything is cooked beforehand, there is no reason you can’t just shove the filling in and eat, except maybe that your cheese won’t be melted.
There are a couple reasons why I love baked tacos:
- You can make a bunch at once and it’s super easy for a crowd to grab and go at a party, gathering, or just a family dinner.
- When the cheese melts it really sinks into the meat and secures it and keeps it from falling all over you while you eat it! This is a big selling feature for me, because especially with hard taco shells, which are crumbly to begin with.
A few tips:
- I stuffed these with my Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken, and I highly recommend doing that. If you’re making the chicken just for the tacos, you can skip the Sweet and Spicy Sauce altogether. If you want to make extra chicken for the tacos, perfect! Two meals in one! Just set aside a couple chicken breasts for your tacos on the first night.
- You can also use this Crockpot Shredded Chicken or Instant Pot Shredded Chicken to fill them — they’re perfect for meal prep!
- If you’re making these in the summer, you could easily stack them in a foil pan and heat them on the barbecue to keep your kitchen cool!
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Baked Hawaiian Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa
- 6 hard corn taco shells
- 1 chicken breast chopped (Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken) — see notes above
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
- 1/3 cup finely diced red pepper
- 1/3 cup finely diced tomato drained of juices
- 1 green onion sliced
- zest of 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- drizzle of honey if desired
- pinch of salt
- Taco toppings as desired: tomato salsa sour cream, cilantro, etc.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line up taco shells in an 8×8″ pan so that they are snug and standing upright.
- Divide chicken between the taco shells. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and chicken is heated through.
- While the tacos are baking, prepare your salsa: combine pineapple, red pepper, tomato, green onion, lime zest and juice in a medium bowl. Add a drizzle of honey if desired and salt to taste.
- Serve tacos with pineapple salsa and desired taco toppings!
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