Buffalo Chicken Tacos Recipe: Perfect Sides and Drinks Pairings for Any Occasion

Buffalo chicken tacos trace their roots back to Buffalo wings, which originated in Buffalo, New York, in 1964. Teressa Bellissimo, co-owner of the Anchor Bar, created Buffalo wings by frying chicken wings and tossing them in a hot sauce made from cayenne pepper. These wings gained popularity quickly, savoring the appetites of many and becoming a staple in American cuisine.

Buffalo chicken tacos emerged as a creative twist on this classic dish. By combining the spicy flavors of Buffalo wings with the versatile taco format, chefs discovered a delicious way to merge American and Mexican culinary traditions. The transformation involves using boneless chicken, coating it with Buffalo sauce, and wrapping it in a tortilla, offering a new way to enjoy a familiar taste.

The Fusion of Flavors

Buffalo chicken tacos showcase a fusion of bold flavors and textures. The tangy and spicy Buffalo sauce complements the tender chicken, creating a hearty filling. When paired with cool, crisp toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, and blue cheese dressing, it creates a balanced flavor profile that appeals to diverse palates.

The warm tortilla provides a soft contrast to the crunchy toppings, enhancing the overall eating experience. This fusion of flavors and textures makes Buffalo chicken tacos a dynamic and appealing choice for those seeking a satisfying meal. Brands and restaurants have embraced this dish, providing various interpretations from mild to extra spicy, catering to different taste preferences.

Key Ingredients for the Perfect Buffalo Chicken Taco

The Essential Components

Buffalo chicken tacos require specific ingredients to achieve their bold flavor profile. You need buffalo sauce, which gives these tacos their signature tang. Use a high-quality sauce for the best results. Tortillas form the base; opt for soft corn or flour tortillas. Cool and crisp toppings balance the heat. Lettuce adds crunch, while blue cheese offers a creamy, tangy contrast. Include celery for an extra crunch and familiar buffalo pairing.

Here’s a list of essential components:

  • Buffalo Sauce: Provides the core spicy and tangy flavor; opt for premium brands.
  • Tortillas: Soft corn or flour tortillas suit these tacos best.
  • Lettuce: Adds refreshing crunch and cold contrast.
  • Blue Cheese: Supplies creamy tanginess, complementing the spice.
  • Celery: Introduces additional crispiness and pairs well with buffalo flavors.

Choosing the Right Chicken

Select tender, juicy chicken for buffalo chicken tacos. Chicken thighs are more flavorful and retain moisture better than breasts. If you prefer leaner meat, chicken breasts work well but need careful cooking to avoid dryness. Marinate chicken in buffalo sauce for at least 30 minutes to infuse flavor. Cook the chicken using grilling, baking, or pan-searing methods for optimal taste and texture. Shred or slice the chicken before assembling your tacos for easy consumption and even distribution of flavors.

  • Chicken Thighs: Offer more flavor and remain moist.
  • Chicken Breasts: Leaner option; avoid overcooking.
  • Marination: At least 30 minutes in buffalo sauce.
  • Cooking Methods: Grill, bake, or pan-sear for best results.
  • Preparation: Shred or slice for easy assembly and flavor dispersion.

Making Buffalo Chicken Tacos at Home

The Cooking Process

For buffalo chicken tacos, use two primary cooking methods: grilling or baking. Grill adds a smoky flavor, ideal for summer meals, while baking evenly cooks the chicken, ensuring tenderness. Start by marinating the chicken in buffalo sauce for at least 30 minutes. Use a preheated 400°F oven if baking, and cook the chicken for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. For grilling, preheat the grill to medium-high and cook the chicken for 6-7 minutes on each side.

Tips for the Best Flavor Experience

To elevate the taste of buffalo chicken tacos, use crisp lettuce and fresh tortillas. Opt for Romaine lettuce for crunch and flour tortillas for a soft texture. Incorporate crumbled blue cheese and thinly sliced celery for contrasting flavors and textures. Drizzle extra buffalo sauce after assembling the tacos to intensify the spicy profile. For a burst of zest, add a squeeze of lime juice before serving and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Serving and Pairing Ideas

Ideal Side Dishes

Buffalo chicken tacos pair exceptionally well with various side dishes, enhancing the overall meal experience. Consider these options:

  • Coleslaw: Crunchy coleslaw adds texture contrast and a refreshing taste. Ingredients like shredded cabbage, carrots, and a tangy dressing balance the spice.
  • Corn Salad: A salad made with grilled corn, tomatoes, and avocado offers a sweet, smoky, and creamy complement.
  • Sweet Potato Fries: Crisp sweet potato fries bring sweetness that balances the heat, providing a satisfying crunch.
  • Guacamole and Chips: Creamy guacamole with crispy tortilla chips serves as a perfect starter or side that mellows the spiciness.
  • Black Bean Salad: Black beans mixed with corn, bell peppers, and a lime-cilantro dressing offer protein and a burst of fresh flavors.

Beverage Pairings That Complement the Spiciness

Choosing the right beverages can significantly enhance your buffalo chicken taco experience. Try these options:

  • Beer: Light lagers or IPAs work well. Light lagers cool your palate, while IPAs highlight the spicy notes.
  • Margaritas: Classic or fruity margaritas, especially ones with a touch of lime, complement the tangy buffalo sauce.
  • Iced Tea: Sweetened iced tea provides a soothing counterbalance to the bold spiciness, making each bite enjoyable.
  • Sparkling Water: Lightly flavored sparkling water refreshes your palate without overpowering the flavors.
  • Milk: Dairy-based drinks, like milk or kefir, effectively neutralize the heat from the buffalo sauce.

Integrate these side dishes and beverages to create a well-rounded and enjoyable meal with your buffalo chicken tacos.


Buffalo chicken tacos offer a mouthwatering blend of flavors that can elevate any meal. With the right side dishes and beverages, you can create a complete dining experience that’s both satisfying and memorable. Whether you’re hosting a gathering or simply enjoying a family dinner, these tacos are sure to impress. So go ahead and treat yourself to the bold and delicious taste of buffalo chicken tacos, paired perfectly with your favorite sides and drinks.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *