Tropical Chicken Tacos

These Tropical Chicken Tacos will take you straight to the Caribbean! They are the perfect balance of sweet and spicy with a pineapple, coconut and jalapeno salsa.

Bring on summer! No, rain. No, summer! No, rain. Wait! Oh hi… Welcome to our weekend.

Saturday was such classic Seattle. Gorgeous, deep, blue skies with innocent, welcoming white fluffy clouds. You run outside. It rains on you. You run inside. The deep, blue skies return with their tempting white clouds mocking you, beaconing you to come outside. So, of course you go…and, in comes the rain within seconds. She’s such a fickle girl, this Seattle weather.

Tropical Chicken Tacos | Inspiration KitchenHonestly, I love the un-predictability of it. I should qualify that…I love it as long as I have a short sprint to scatter inside. 🙂 Haha! Ok, so I’m a fickle strange weather lover. Don’t judge.

Let’s get to these it’s-definitely-summertime tacos, shall we…? Before the weather changes?

Think these were good?…I’ve got proof. My recipe notes were photo-bombed by The Husband. 🙂  He put a huge ** 10+ ** on the recipe in Caribbean Blue Sharpie marker.

Tropical Chicken Tacos | Inspiration KitchenThe Husband deemed these “Jamaicos” – you know for Jamaica + Tacos. Yet, when I rolled my eyes and challenged him about that, he said “You asked for words. I gave you words. You didn’t say they had to be quality words.” He thinks he so darn funny. Does anyone need a husband? 🙂

But, I had to admit… Good point. Check and match.

These tacos are definitely not your typical Mexican-type taco. These are Caribbean all.the.way.

Tropical Chicken Tacos | Inspiration KitchenSo fresh, light and perfect for summer time dining!

Think palm trees, sand and gentle, lapping water while you relax on the beaches of Jamaica. These tacos fit perfectly there. They have a nice, light citrus flavor with the juiciness of the pineapple, the sweet of coconut and the spicy bite of jalapeno.

They are a pure Caribbean vacation in a taco right here. KaBam!

Tropical Chicken Tacos | Inspiration KitchenYou can thank April’s Mystery Dish for these little numbers. 🙂 April was MY month to host, and below is the list I put together. The Mystery Dish Gals had to choose 3 ingredients to create a unique recipe:

  1. Apricots
  2. Asparagus
  3. Vidalia Onions
  4. Fennel/Tarragon
  5. Chicken
  6. Puff Pastry
  7. Coconut
  8. Cashews
  9. Chocolate
  10. Pineapple

Tell me readers – what recipe would YOU have made from this list?

Tropical Chicken Tacos | Inspiration KitchenImportant Tip: Grill your corn taco shells until they’re chewy like street tacos – not soft and flexible – you want the chewy to be able to uphold the juicy, coconut-marinated chicken breast!

Check out what the other Mystery Dish gals made!

Pineapple Cake (I Dig Pinterest):

Honey Pineapple Chicken Teriyaki Skillet (Flavor the Moments):

Chicken Alfredo Bacon Pastry Pockets (Simply Gloria):

Ricotta Asparagus Tart (Yummy Healthy Easy):

Pineapple Scones (The Pajama Chef):


Tropical Chicken Tacos
  • 1 and ½ pounds of chicken breast, cut into strips
  • 1 (13.66 ounce) can of lite coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, reserved
  • 1 teaspoon salt, reserved
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, reserved
  • ½ teaspoon cumin, reserved
  • ¾ cup chopped Roma tomato
  • ½ cup red onion, chopped
  • ½ cup pineapple chunks, chopped into small pieces*
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons jalapeno, finely chopped**
  • ¼ cup flaked coconut
  • scant amount of cilantro
  • 6 corn tortilla shells
Chicken + Marinade
  1. Slice chicken breast into strips in place in a bowl. Add coconut milk, salt and ground black pepper. Stir until thoroughly coated. Cover tightly with press-and-seal and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  1. Combine chopped tomato, red onion, pineapple, jalapeno and coconut in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Taco Shells
  1. Put corn tortillas directly on top of grill plates with heat on high. Char on both sides, ensuring the center of the taco shell firms up a bit. Remove from heat, shape into a taco shape and set aside.
Chicken Filling
  1. Discard most of the coconut oil, reserving ½ to 1 cup.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat until skillet is hot. Turn down to medium-high to medium. Carefully add chicken and reserved coconut milk. Season with a mixture of chili powder, cumin and salt. Cook over medium to medium-high heat until chicken is done throughout.
  3. Assemble tacos by layering cooked chicken, then salsa and top with cilantro.
  4. Serve!
*I used canned Pineapple Chunks, drained, then diced.
**I used 4 tablespoons of diced jalapeno and it was moderately spicy.

Tropical Chicken Tacos


    • says

      I can hook you up my sistah! 🙂 I got them at my local restaurant supply house. xoxo

      Love seeing you here Shanna! p.s. seriously, if you want these – I’ll send them to you!

  1. says

    LOL I <3 Seattle, unpredictable weather and all. We've had some really gloomy, rainy, days here in Colorado… Reminds me of Fall/Winter in Northern VA. These tacos are so bright and colorful that I could definitely eat them in sad & gloomy weather to cheer me up! They look awesome!
    Anna | ANNAdventure recently posted…Radish, Beet and Watercress JuiceMy Profile

    • says

      GAH! Ashley, if you do come, definitely call me – we have to meet, and I’ll tell you all the fun things to do. It is absolutely beautiful here (it truly is the Emerald City for a reason), but it’s better to come in the summer time. 🙂

    • says

      I will do it Kristy! I just registered. But, I noticed no watermarks (which is fine, but I’ll need to remove them), and what size is the photo requirement? I am a spice loving queen, so jalapenos are part of my language. 🙂 I’d love to participate – just give me details!

  2. says

    divine!!! what a refreshing and super flavorful combo!! <3
    oh kristi you are in seattle?? we were just there 2 weeks ago, such gorgeous blooms in washington park, and those tulips up mt. vernon!! lovely place! xoxo

    • says

      Oh Ananda! I wish I would’ve known you were here – I would’ve loved to have meet. I an’t tell you how much I love your DIY site. Seriously inspiring and incredibly talented stuff. Girl, I am totally in awe of your site. Wowza. That’s all I can say. And, I’m so glad you loved Seattle. We love it here too!

    • says

      Hahahaha! Lindsey love, I LOL’d. You make me laugh crazy girl. But hey – a chicken taco giveaway, that’s truly a brilliant idea! Where do I enter? xoxo

    • says

      Haha! They are crazy good Sarah – especially with the chicken marinated in coconut. These were one of our most favorite chicken tacos ever. I hope you try them!

  3. says

    Caribbean-style tacos sound sooo good! : ) I have been craving tacos a lot lately and this just makes me want to reach in and take a huge bite. Really like how the chicken is marinaded in coconut milk and then that fresh salsa on top makes for one delicious taco.
    Monica recently posted…Toasted almond French toastMy Profile

  4. says

    Gorgeous tacos! I love the ingredients you chose this month! The coconut marinade and pineapple salsa sound incredible! These Jamaicos are perfect for Cinco de Mayo 🙂

    • says

      Thank you Kelly! The coconut marinade made that chicken ssssoooo tender – they were so flavorful and the perfect summer taco! Have a beautiful weekend my friend! xoxoxo

    • says

      Thanks Jess! I love doing the taco shells over the grates and open fire – they get so chewy and crispy, which I adore. And you’re right – the tropical fruit salsas are all that in the summer time! Have a great week!

    • says

      Thank you Marye! These were a total experiment that turned out absolutely phenomenal. It’s definitely staying on our rotation! I hope you love it too.


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