Cheesy Chicken Taco Bowls Recipe

Many thanks to the American Dairy Association for hosting the tour referenced in the post. As always, all opinions are my own. This post contains Affiliate Links. Please see the disclaimer here

Cheesy Chicken Taco Bowls are the best way to stretch chicken (or turkey) leftovers! They’re as quick and easy as they are delicious! 

Cheesy Chicken Taco Bowls surrounded by limes and cilantro.

A few weeks back, I was invited by the American Dairy Association to go on a tour and learn a little bit more about where our food comes from, specifically in relation to dairy products.

Dairy products are included in the vast majority of the food I make for myself and my family. To be honest, I never really thought much about it before, because it’s so engrained in our lifestyle.

So for the week or two period I had to give it up in the very early days of nursing T, I felt like I had nothing I could eat because I include dairy in all my food. Luckily for all of us, T did not have any allergies or sensitivities to dairy and I was able to resume my cheese and ice cream binges!

This trip was a very large reminders that it can be so easy for us suburbanites to lose track of where our food comes from and how that fits into the big picture. It is so important to support the amazing people who provide us with freah and delicious food.

A close up shot of Cheesy Chicken Taco Bowls with a fork in them.

Our first day was jam packed with activity. We spent the beginning of the day touring Yancey’s Fancy Cheese Plant and Processing Center which was seriously awesome. Fun fact: did you know Yancey’s Fancy is New York’s only Artisan Cheese Maker?

These people know their stuff when it comes to cheese making and the quality was exceptionally high while still doing so much to make it sustainable. Between the tremendous care and precision that went into these finely-crafted cheeses and my strong desire to jump into every vat of hot cheese I came across and relax as though I was in a hot tub, I’d say it was a pretty amazing and educational experience.

Next up was Noblehurst Farms. This is a family-owned and run farm that spans over seven generations. I was especially impressed with the fact that every conversation began and ended with the cows. There’s clearly a tremendous amount of respect for these animals.

But the thing that really blew my mind was the fact how sustainable their entire operation is. Not a thing goes to waste. They actually have a system where they take food waste and animal waste (like manure) and turn it into electricity to power the entire farm with extra going into the power grid as well.

A close up of Cheesy Chicken Taco Bowls on a cutting board.

Additionally, Wegman’s one of my favorite places ever our biggest major grocery chain in these parts, brings all of their food waste (like all the scraps and “unusuables” from prepared foods they make) to put it to better use this way. How incredible is that?!

We also had the pleasure of enjoying a dinner party with some of the local farmers which also presented the opportunity to get to know the staff at the American Dairy Association. This dinner was catered by FLX Table which is currently considered one of the top restaurants in the country. They seriously lived up to their reputation; the dinner was exceptional.

The next day, was spent at the New York Wine and Culinary Center. We got to learn a little more about the American Dairy Association. Then we had the pleasure of cooking in their amazing kitchens – there were actually some cooking competitions including a mac and cheese throw down and a competition using a “secret ingredient”. I made my Bacon Ranch Mac and Cheese as well as my Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes (my secret ingredient was Greek Yogurt).

It was all in good fun, but I got to taste everything and the competition was stiff. Every single thing I tried tasted amazing, I don’t know how the judges decided!

Overall, I had the most amazing time getting to learn about where our food comes from. I think what made it such a valuable experience was that it really bridged the gap that has (to an extent) always existed between me, a suburban gal, and the great people who get the food from their farm to our table.

An overhead shot of Cheesy Chicken Taco Bowls on a cutting board.

So in honor and celebration of my love for dairy, I threw together a quick recipe that’s as easy as it is delicious and features a couple of my favorite dairy components: cheese and sour cream.

Now we’re at the time of year where we’re all starting to think about what to do with leftover turkey meat. Now I made this with check but whether it’s leftover chicken or turkey meat, it’s always nice to have some quick and tasty dinner options to throw together and prevent waste by stretching out your leftovers.

This was also inspired by our first day of the dairy tour and getting see all these great businesses doing everything the can to avoid waste and make their operations sustainable.

Cheesy Chicken Taco Bowls have three main items for you to make which are all super simple (well four, really. But one is heating up some yellow rice as per the package directions). The first is the the tortilla bowls. While you technically don’t have to make them, I think they make this dish even more delicious and they look pretty awesome too. You’re going to get extra scrappy and hack your muffin tins for this, as I’ll describe below in the recipe.

A hand with a fork taking some Cheesy Chicken Taco Bowls

Next is the chicken (or turkey if you’re going that route). It’s as simple throwing the leftover chicken along with a few tasty components into a skillet and heating them together.

Finally there’s the Avocado Crema. Once again, a matter of combining some fresh and flavorful ingredients. I like to use my mini prep processor, but you could totally do it by hand if you don’t mind some added time and work). This will provide a cool and light creamy sauce to drizzle over the top of your taco bowls.

This comes together in around 30-40 minutes max and you cannot beat all the great flavor! It’s such a great weeknight meal and is also an excellent way to enjoy leftovers that you may have hanging around in your fridge!

Cheesy Chicken Taco Bowls drizzled with avocado crema.




1227 cal


57 g


91 g


88 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

Serves 2 bowls


Cheesy Chicken Taco Bowls Recipe

Cheesy Chicken Taco Bowls are the best way to stretch chicken (or turkey) leftovers! They're as quick and easy as they are delicious! This one is a keep and also the perfect way to use Thanksgiving leftovers!

20 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

40 minTotal Time

Yields 6-8 bowls


Recipe Image
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    Tortilla Bowls:
  • 6-8 taco-size flour tortillas
  • Cooking spray
  • Chicken Filling:
  • 2 cups leftover cooked chicken or turkey, shredded or roughly chopped
  • 1 10 oz. can rotel
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 14.5 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Avocado Crema:
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and pit removed.
  • 1 Tbsp. sour cream
  • The juice from 1/2 of a lemon (around a couple Tbsp.)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Small handful of cilantro (to taste)
  • You'll also need:
  • 1 package of yellow rice, prepared as per package directions (I use Goya yellow rice)
  • 1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


    Start by:
  1. Preparing the yellow rice as per the package directions so it can simmer while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. When it's done, set it aside for later.
  2. Tortilla Bowls:
  3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and flip the muffin tins over so that the bottom is face up.
  4. Lightly spray both sides of each tortilla and wedge it between 4 muffin cups so that the middle is pressed down between them and 4 sides of the tortilla curve into the spaces between the muffin cups.
  5. Bake for 8 minutes and then remove from the oven to cool.
  6. Once cooled, place onto a lined pan and set aside for later.
  7. Chicken filling:
  8. In a skillet over medium heat, combine chicken, rotel, corn, black beans, taco seasoning and water.
  9. Stir periodically until heated through and steaming.
  10. Avocado Crema:
  11. Place avocado, sour cream, lemon juice salt and cilantro into the mini prep processor.
  12. Run the processor until the crema is fully combined and smooth.
  13. To Assemble:
  14. Place a layer of rice at the bottom of each tortilla bowl so that they're 1/2 full.
  15. Top with a big scoop of the chicken filling.
  16. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
  17. Bake for 5-10 minutes until the cheese is fully melted.
  18. Drizzle with avocado crema and sprinkle with some leftover cilantro.
  19. Enjoy!


These reheat best if the components are stored and reheated separately.

Here’s one of my favorite Taco-themed recipes:

20 Minute Taco Pasta

20 Minute Taco Pasta is such an easy one pot recipe. This tasty dinner is made in one skillet with ground beef and Barilla Pronto Penne Pasta. It's creamy, cheesy and full of great flavor that the whole family will love!

Here are a few other Taco-themed recipes I love:

Pulled Pork Tacos

This BBQ Pulled Pork Tacos recipe is a fun twist on traditional mexican tacos. The pulled pork is super easy to make in the crockpot or a great way to use pulled pork leftovers. I make this with slaw and a bunch of other tasty ingredients. Click on the photo to get the recipe!

7 Layer Taco Salad

This 7 Layer Taco Salad is an easy recipe to make for parties. Full of delicious Mexican-inspired flavors it's got seven (or more) layers of things like beans, cheese, corn, tomatoes and is served with a creamy taco ranch dressing. Top it with chicken for a healthy main dish or serve it on it's own as great side dish to pass. This is perfect to bring to a Cinco de Mayo get together!

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Cheesy Chicken Taco Bowls are the best way to stretch chicken (or turkey) leftovers! They're as quick and easy as they are delicious! This one is a keep and also the perfect way to use Thanksgiving leftovers!


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  • Reply
    October 30, 2017 at 1:03 pm These sound perfect for our in-home tailgate party tonight.
    • Reply
      October 30, 2017 at 2:13 pm Thank you! I hope you love it as much as we do (and have fun at your party!).
  • Reply
    Lisa | Garlic & Zest
    October 30, 2017 at 2:00 pm One of the best things ever is getting a tour of a farm, restaurant, manufacturing facility or the like to see how they really make/do the things that we take for granted. I did a pineapple plantation and banana plantation tours on my last two vacations -- and they were the best part of each trip! Lucky you!
    • Reply
      October 30, 2017 at 2:11 pm It was such a fantastic experience and one that I'm so grateful for! The tours you went on sound amazing!
  • Reply
    October 30, 2017 at 3:22 pm So cute ! I love the idea. I will definitely try them at my next dinner party !
    • Reply
      October 31, 2017 at 12:11 am Thank you! They would be so much fun for a crown and most of the components can definitely be made ahead!
  • Reply
    October 30, 2017 at 4:32 pm Tacos are my favorite food to eat so I will have to make this the next time I have them. Yummy.
    • Reply
      October 31, 2017 at 12:11 am Me too, Luci- there's nothing better than Taco Tuesday!
  • Reply
    October 30, 2017 at 4:41 pm You were in my back yard in Canandaigua! I live in Ontario! What a fun day you had! That would be so interesting! These taco bowls are right up my alley! Anything Mexican and I'm in! Great post!
    • Reply
      October 31, 2017 at 12:10 am Hi Beth! I'm still in your backyard- I'm local to Rochester! Hooray for locals! And thank you- I'm with you, Mexican food forever!
      • Reply
        October 31, 2017 at 11:53 am We should do lunch sometime!
        • Reply
          October 31, 2017 at 2:09 pm Definitely!

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