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Crispy Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Lime Rice

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Do you love crispy chicken AND tacos? Then, these crispy honey chipotle chicken tacos are for you!

I find it totally interesting that my best “work” is done when Zach isn’t here to taste test. I’m not sure why this happens. This just happened to be the case with these crispy honey chipotle chicken tacos. Little known fact, I don’t normally post a recipe that I made that day or the day before. I usually have a little bit of a stock pile going on, and normally the recipe for these honey chipotle chicken tacos wouldn’t have been published until say Thursday or Friday, but I literally COULD NOT wait. I made these last night for early dinner, and they were sooooo amazing that I had to snap a few photos before it got dark. It being #tacotuesday and all, I thought it was more than appropriate to buckle down and write up this post to share with you today! You are so very welcome, guys!

So, I’ve got another little know fact for you guys. I worked at Chili’s as a server for about 5 years (a long, long while ago). Yup, yup I did. I loved it sometimes. I hated it most other times, and one thing is for certain, I could never work in food service ever again.

I did, however, have a creepy obsession with their honey chipotle chicken crispers. Do they even still make these? I don’t know. I haven’t been to a Chili’s in about 3 years, but one things is for certain, I still have dreams about honey chipotle chicken crispers, even if I don’t necessarily want to admit it.

I’ve seen a couple of copycat recipes floating around, but I thought I’d put my own little spin on it by making these crispy honey chipotle chicken tacos with cilantro lime rice. Poor Zach. He totally missed out. I will have to make them for him when he gets home. Luckily enough for me, I have enough leftover for tonight’s dinner! I’m literally counting down the seconds until dinner, which at this moment is approximately 18,000 seconds (if I eat at the same grandmotherly time of 4 pm, like I did yesterday). But, really, who’s counting ….

Crispy Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Lime Rice


10 tacos

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless and skinless chicken breasts sliced into strips
  • non-stick spray
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 eggs whisked
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cloves of garlic pressed through a garlic press
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 chipotles in a adobo sauce pureed in a food processor until smooth
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup uncooked rice cooked per manufacturer's instructions
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro plus extra for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • ranch dressing for drizzling (optional)
  • 10-12 corn or flour tortillas warm


  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F, and spray a large baking sheet with a non-stick spray. Set aside.
  • In one shallow bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, black pepper, and cayenne. In another shallow bowl, add the eggs. In a third shallow bowl, combine the panko and plain bread crumbs.
  • Taking each chicken strip, dredge in the flour and then shake to get rid of any excess. Place in the egg and douse to coat. Let any excess drip off. Then transfer the chicken strips to the bread crumb mixture, evenly coat and press down so that it adheres.
  • Place the chicken strips on the prepared baking sheet, and drizzle the melted butter on top. Bake at 450 degrees F for 8-10 minutes on each side or until the chicken has cooked through and is crispy. Remove from oven.
  • While the chicken is baking, prepare your sauce. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the honey, brown sugar, garlic, ketchup, pureed chipotles, hot sauce, apple cider vinegar, onion powder, and a dash of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, whisking throughout. In a small bowl, whisk together the corn starch and water until the corn starch has dissolved. Add it to the saucepan, continuing to whisk until the sauce has thickened, about 3-4 minutes. Reduce the heat to low.
  • Submerge each chicken strip in the sauce, and place on a plate to the side.
  • Prepare your rice by, combining cooked rice, cilantro, lime juice, lime zest and a dash of salt and pepper.
  • Assemble your tacos by layering on rice, chicken, a drizzle of ranch dressing (if you are using) and a sprinkling of cilantro onto a warmed corn or flour tortilla. Serve immediately, and enjoy!


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I’m the voice, author, creator, and photographer behind Cooking and Beer. We started things about 10 years ago and Cooking and Beer has morphed and grown into what it is today: providing hundreds of recipes to thousands of people.

37 Responses

  1. These look incredible! I also, at first glance, thought they were deep fried and though that always makes for a delicious meal, it’s so indulgent that the baked version seems like a much better everyday dinner. :-)

  2. You worked at Chili’s!! How has this not come up during one of our coffee dates!? So I was just sitting here writing a post wondering what in the world to make for dinner…problem solved! Thanks friend!

  3. You can never go wrong with the honey and chipotle combination… AND in taco form? I’ll take a dozen, please and thank you ; ) looks great!

  4. Made these last night to celebrate my beaus sour release. I was feeling lazy and used the pre breaded costco chicken breasts (really I had a mountain of dishes and it seemed like a fair trade). We freeze our chipotle peppers in ice cube form so I added three ice cubes and called it good, there were some chunks but we didn’t mind. Avoided the ranch and instead made a peach (no idea where the peach came from as there not in season but man oh man was it ripe!) salsa – which really made it pop. Paired it with Hangar 24 Pale Ale and the meal was a success. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Haha! I LOVE your style Becca! I think buying the pre-breaded Costco chicken is a FABULOUS idea, and besides Costco is the best ever … sooooo … I’m loving all of your adaptions! I have to try this peach salsa! Thank you so much for trying the recipe! ;)

  5. Made this TONIGHT! They were awesome! Great recipe. I do have one question: In the middle of my chicken strips the breading spoofed (air between chicken and breading) out from the chicken. Did I do something incorrect?

    1. Hi Flo! I’m so happy that you enjoyed the recipe! I have had “spoofing” before too, actually more often than not I do. I don’t think you did anything incorrectly. I just think because the oven is so hot and the breading is so “tight” that it tends to poof out a little bit. If you have a way to keep the chicken from doing this, I’m all ears! I’d like to know too! I do appreciate you trying the recipe and I am sooo happy you liked it. :) – Justine

    1. You don’t have to do this step, but drizzling butter helps the chicken to crisp up more. If you have a canola spray (non-stick spray) that will also work. Again, not completely necessary, but it will help in crisping up the chicken.

  6. I hate to be “that girl”, but if you had to guess, roughly how many calories do you think each of these bad-boy tacos has?

    1. Haha. It’s totally fine Crystal! I’m going to put this recipe into a calculator and figure it out. It might take a moment though. I’m going to go ahead and ASSUME that it is a lot of calories. HA! I will let you know asap. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Made these for supper yesterday: Delish! Thanks for the recipe! The chicken (prepared in ‘nugget’-sized pieces) & a bowl of honey-chipotle sauce for dipping would make a tasty appetizer…

  8. I made these last night and they were fabulous! I used Sriracha instead of hot sauce and it was perfect. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. Hey! We are high school students all the way in Australia who used this recipe for an assignment! It was great, thanks for the recipe!! Surprisingly easier than it looks! Our teacher was very impressed. We took out the cilantro and used a bit of extra spice. Definitely will be making it again, outside of the classroom. :)

    – Claudia & Megan

  10. Hi! I would love to make this for dinner but I want to make the chicken shredded. I still want it crispy though. Any way I could do that? If not could you let me know how to make it shredded and grilled?

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Hello! I'm Justine.

I’m a blogger and web developer from the beautiful state of Oklahoma, where my loving husband, two adorable kids, and two mischievous dogs keep me on my toes 24/7. My idea of heaven includes endless summer days, getting lost in a good book, and whipping up some delicious homemade bread.


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