Comida Latina, Condiments and Salsas, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes

Heather Christo’s Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Pesto

May 24, 2016
This recipe for chicken tacos with cilantro pesto is so good you wouldn't believe how easy it is. The whole thing comes together in under 30 minutes!

It’s Taco Tuesday!!!!

My record for chicken tacos is what some might call tragic. When it comes to tacos we generally go the beef route. It is high time on this blog that chicken gets the attention it deserves, and (thank you very much) to my dear friend Heather, I’m making up for lost recipes with these babies.

Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Pesto Recipe

These gorgeous green-sauced beauties come from Heather Christo’s new cookbook, Pure Delicious. It is a book full of recipes free of gluten, dairy, soy, cane sugar, tree nuts, shellfish, peanuts, and eggs. Now that might seem a bit intimidating to those of us fortunate enough to not suffer from any food allergies but no matter your diet this book is full of recipes you are going to want to make (ahem….Roasted Tomato and Corn Risotto with Arugula Basil Pesto?!)

Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Pesto Recipe

For those of you who do suffer from a food intolerance whether that be mere discomfort or full on anaphylactic shock this book is a godsend. We deal with lactose intolerance in our house and probably gluten as well (undiagnosed). To open up a book and be able to eat every single recipe is such a relief, especially when you have hungry bellies to feed and haven’t thought about dinner yet. So far I’ve made the Potato Leek Soup, the Rosemary Chicken Salad with Avocado and Bacon, and of course these tacos; all fantastic.

Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Pesto Recipe

If you or someone you love have recently been diagnosed, Heather’s calming voice walks you through the steps you need to take to get your life and health back on track. She speaks from first hand knowledge of figuring out her own health issues as well as that of her young daughters. Her impeccable taste leads to recipes full of flavor, not weird ingredients. The recipes are totally doable and straightforward and help you make the things you probably thought you’d never eat again like chocolate cupcakes with fluffy milk chocolate frosting and “buttermilk” biscuits.

Now, about these tacos.

Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Pesto Recipe

What can I say? The recipe was super easy to put together. The cilantro pesto is bursting with flavor. I had a little leftover pesto-drenched chicken which I tossed with pasta and some fresh peas the next day for lunch, which was, ahhhmazing.

The slaw is excellent with the tacos and good on it’s own. It’s so incredibly simple you will be making it all summer long to go with burgers, fajitas, steaks, whatever. Memorial Day is coming up, so it’s basically slaw season.

Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Pesto Recipe

Check out Heather’s book trailer for more info!


Heather Christo's Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Pesto Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe from Pure Delicious Cookbook by Heather Christo A note from Heather: Pork, steak, and fish tacos may seem more exciting than your average chicken taco, but the cilantro pesto on these makes them a strong contender for best bacon on the block. The addition of the peptic-thickened garlicky cilantro pesto is what makes it so interesting to me. I like to serve them with charred corn tortillas and fresh slaw.
Serves: 4 servings
For the Slaw:
  • 3 cups thinly sliced purple cabbage
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt
For the Chicken:
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
For the Cilantro Pesto:
  • 1 large bunch cilantro
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ to 1 jalapeño coarsely chopped (seeded or not, depending on how spicy you like it)
  • ⅓ cup pepitas
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt
To Serve:
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
  1. To make the slaw: In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, cilantro, green onions, lime juice, and vegetable oil. Toss the season with salt. Set aside.
  2. In a heavy pan or skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Season chicken breasts with salt, if desired, then add breasts and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side (depending on thickness), until they are just cooked through in the center. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  3. To make the cilantro pesto: In a food processor combine the cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, pepitas, vegetable oil, and lime juice. Pulse until well combined and season with salt.
  4. Using two forks, shred the chicken. Combine the chicken with the cilantro pesto in a mixing bowl and toss to coat. Add salt if needed.
  5. Rub the tortillas with the vegetable oil and set them directly over a gas burner until they are slightly charred and hot, about 10 seconds, turning them with tongs. You can also heat them directly in the bottom of a very hot dry skillet or heavy pan, using tongs to turn them. Stuff each tortillas with some of the chicken mixture and a scoop of the slaw, and garnish with a few slices of avocado and jalapeño. Serve immediately.

One More Thing

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  • Heather Christo May 25, 2016 at 12:07 am

    Thank you so much Kate! I love these tacos and I am so happy that you shared them! XOXO

    • Kate Ramos
      Kate Ramos May 25, 2016 at 10:51 am

      Congrats again on such an amazing book! I will be cooking out of it forever. 🙂

  • MB @ Bourbon and Brown Sugar May 25, 2016 at 1:20 am

    I’m so intrigued by Heather’s book… it sounds fascinating, and delicious. Love the tacos!!

    • Kate Ramos
      Kate Ramos May 25, 2016 at 10:50 am

      Hi MB! You should check out her book, I think you would really love it!

  • Adina May 28, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Gorgeous looking tacos, make me want see more of the book. 🙂

    • Kate Ramos
      Kate Ramos May 28, 2016 at 2:22 pm

      Yes, Adina. You MUST get her book. You would love it.

  • grace June 1, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    this is my kind of taco, from first ingredient to last!

    • Kate Ramos
      Kate Ramos June 3, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      Oh my Grace, me too!! These tacos are simply amazing!