Basil / Chicken / Chipotle / Tacos

Beer Braised Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Basil Ranch

These Beer Braised Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Basil Ranch have been on rotation ever since I’ve made them. They are incredibly delicious and very addicting. Hands down one of my favorites.

I rarely end up with leftover basil but when I do, I usually make a pesto pasta, but this time I figured a basil ranch dressing would be better. And it ended up on some tacos and it was the best decision ever. Basil and chipotle’s sounded a little odd to me at first but it was the best combo in these tacos!

Chicken thighs (preferably boneless) are best for this recipe. You could use chicken breast, but I prefer the tenderness. The chicken gets braised in a tomato based sauce with chipotle’s, beer and a ton spices. The beer makes the chicken even more tender and the chipotles add the perfect amount of heat and smoke which the basil ranch balances out.   

For the chicken

  • Can of crushed tomatoes
  • Chipotle’s in adobo 
  • Beer (dark or light. I used Modelo)
  • Water or broth
  • Onion
  • Garlic 
  • Apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • Honey 


  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Oregano
  • Bay leaf

This basil ranch is very easy to make. It’s so delicious. I even used it as a salad dressing then next day and absolutely loved it! It would also be great as a dip.

Ingredients for basil ranch

  • Sour cream 
  • Mayonnaise 
  • Grated garlic
  • Buttermilk 
  • Dried dill
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Fresh assorted herbs. like parsley, cilantro, chives, etc, 
  • Fresh basil 
  • Garlic 
  • Honey 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

How to 

  • With a knife, roughly chop the fresh herbs and add everything to a blender or food processor. Pulse the mixture until smooth and creamy and store in an airtight container. It will be good in the fridge for 7-10 days. 

I prefer the flavor of corn tortillas for tacos but you could definitely use flour tortillas as well. And as far as toppings, use your favorites. Chopped cilantro & onion, radishes, cotija, avocado, picked onions, etc.


Beer Braised Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Basil Ranch

These Beer Braised Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Basil Ranch are perfect for any day of the week. Super juicy chipotle chicken topped with a cool & creamy basil ranch. A MUST TRY!
Course Tacos
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Basil, Chicken, Chipotle, Ranch
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Author Leona G.


  • Blender or food Processor
  • Heavy bottomed pan or dutch oven


For the chicken

  • 1.5-2 lbs chicken thighs boneless & skinless
  • 3 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 beer dark or light
  • 14 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 4 chipotles in adobo
  • 1 large onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or any other vinegar
  • ½ cup chicken broth or water
  • cilantro & onion for topping
  • cotija cheese for topping
  • sliced radish for topping

for the basil ranch

  • 3 cups packed basil
  • ½ cup assorted fresh herbs parsley, cilantro, chives, etc.
  • 3 cloves garlic grated
  • 2 tsp dill
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 tbsp mayonaise
  • 3 tbsp buttermilk
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp honey
  • salt & pepper to taste


Chipotle Chicken

  • Add the canned tomatoes, chipotle's, onions & garlic to a food processor and blend until smooth.
  • On high heat add the oil to a heavy bottomed pot or a dutch oven. Generously sprinkle with salt & pepper and sear chicken thighs 5-7 minutes on each side. Add in the beer, chipotle-tomato mixture, spices, bay leaf, honey, vinegar and water. Give it a good stir and cover. Cook for 1-1.5 hours on low, until tender.
  • Turn the heat off and remove and shred the chicken thighs. Add them back to the pot of sauce.
  •  To serve, add shredded chicken to warm corn or flour tortillas. Top with cilantro, onion and radish (optional). Finish with the basil ranch and a sprinkle of cotija cheese. Enjoy.

Basil Ranch

  • Roughly chop the fresh herbs and add everything to a blender or food processor. Pulse until creamy. Store in an airtight container. This will last up to 7-10 days. 


  • You can use bone in thighs and cook the same way, just discard the bones when shredding and add them back to the pot. Also chicken breast.
  • I used modelo for this recipe but any light or dark beer works.
  • Use your favorite taco toppings. I always go with cilantro, onion and cotija cheese.

More recipes to try…

Pea & Arugula Pesto Pasta with Whipped Ricotta

Vegetarian Charcuterie Board

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