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Smoked Chicken Tortilla Bites

5 from 1 vote

Ever wonder what to do with leftover smoked chicken? Turn it into tasty Smoked Chicken Tortilla Bites! These tasty bite-sized wonders are packed with flavor, and they’re a quick and easy appetizer for events of all kinds. Hungry for something delicious? Read on and I’ll show you how to make this amazing smoked chicken recipe everyone will love!

smoked chicken tortilla bites

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I have a confession: I may have eaten more than my fair share of these tasty Smoked Chicken Tortilla Bites when creating the recipe. That’s the hazard of being a recipe developer, I guess! In any case, these are an easy appetizer with a lovely smoky flavor, and with a few common ingredients plus your amazing leftover smoked chicken, you can turn them into a crave-worthy snack or appetizer that’s perfect on game day or any day!

What You Need To Make Smoked Chicken Tortilla Bites

  • Smoked chicken – here’s a good basic recipe for Smoked Chicken
  • Shredded cheese
  • Red onion
  • Cilantro
  • Tortilla chip scoops – see notes below
  • Toppings such as: sour cream, salsa, guacamole, chipotle powder, lime, avocado, enchilada sauce, or Creamy Jalapeno Dip which also works as a great drizzle

What Are Tortilla Chip Scoops?

Without naming any specific brands (hey, they’re not paying me for free advertising!), look for a national brand of tortilla chips but they’re shaped into a little cup. They are crisp, cute, and tasty, and the perfect vessel for filling up with tasty fillings like this.

How To Make This Smoked Chicken Appetizer

For a full list of ingredients and instructions, please scroll down to the recipe at the bottom.

  1. Figure out what toppings you want and get them all sorted out into little bowls.
  2. Chop the cooked leftover smoked chicken finely. Everything has to go into those little tortilla chip scoops so chop everything small, but don’t pulverize it in the food processor.
  3. Mix the chicken, cheese, red onion, and cilantro in a medium-sized bowl. It should have enough salt from the cheese, and don’t forget the tortilla chips are salty to don’t add more.
  4. Fill the tortilla chip boats with a heaping tablespoon of the filling. You need to pile it in there because the cheese will melt and the filling will shrink down.
  5. Bake them in a 350-F preheated oven for about 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
  6. Top them with your favorite toppings and go!

What Do You Mean Leftover Smoked Chicken?

I know leftover smoked chicken can be as rare as pink unicorns, but do what I do: when I’m firing up the Traeger to smoke chicken, I make EXTRA! I make extra and pop the tender cooked meat off the bone and freeze it to use in recipes like this later. I BURY it in the freezer so that the kids and hubby don’t find it – ’cause they will look!

How to freeze smoked chicken? I smoke it, chill it, and then pull it off the bone. I freeze it in a zipper-top plastic bag in the deep freeze. It keeps fine for a few months. If I need to freeze it longer, I use a vacuum sealer to seal it up tight and it’ll keep fine that way for a year or more – if it doesn’t get eaten way before that!

What’s the Drizzle in the Picture?

One of my favorite ways to add flavors is with a sour cream-chipotle sauce. It’s easy to make! Just mix 1/4 cup (or so) of sour cream with 1/4 teaspoon of chipotle powder and a squeeze of lime juice. You can put it into a squeeze bottle or just spoon it on top. Extra yummy!

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • You can make this tasty appetizer recipe ahead of time. Mix the filling and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake them.
  • If you fill the cups ahead of time, you risk them getting soggy. I was able to re-crisp leftovers by toasting them in the air fryer for about 3 minutes on 400-F. But watch they don’t burn!
  • Don’t like cilantro? Skip it!
  • Want it spicier? Add a bit more chipotle powder or even some finely diced jalapenos to the mix.
  • This recipe makes 24 scoops – but it’s easy to double or triple it to make as many as you need!
  • No smoked chicken? You can use leftover rotisserie chicken instead.

When To Serve Smoked Chicken Tortilla Bites?

I love serving these on game day (tailgating anyone?), on Taco Tuesdays, or anytime I need to serve a bite-size appetizer. They also travel really well (keep the tortilla chip scoops separate from the meat and assemble and back on-site) making them great for pot-lucks and family events.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I freeze these Smoked Chicken Tortilla Bites?

You can certainly freeze the filling, but I haven’t tested freezing the finished cooked product. I’d be worried about them thawing and becoming too soggy.

How to store this smoked chicken appetizer?

I’ve stored leftovers in the fridge – tightly wrapped – for several days. They reheated fine in the air fryer at 400-F for a few minutes, or in the oven at 350-F for about 5 minutes. They are, however, best the first time around!

What kind of chicken do I use in this recipe?

I’ve used both smoked chicken thighs and smoked chicken breast. They both work equally well and are equally tasty – even if I do have a preference for dark meat.

Like This? Also Try:

Step By Step Process

chicken tortilla cups on a white platter
Print Pin
5 from 1 vote

Chicken Tortilla Cups

Packed with flavor, these tasty bites are perfect at parties or just for snacking! Top them how you like them and dig in!
Course Appetizers
Cuisine American
Keyword appetizers, chicken, chicken recipes, chicken tortilla cups, easy chicken recipes, finger food, grilled chicken, party food, tortilla scoops
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 176kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 24 tortilla chip scoops
  • 2 cups cooked chicken chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup shredded cheese Tex-Mex blend or cheddar works well

Instructions

  • Finely chop the chicken and mix it with the diced red onion, chopped cilantro, and shredded cheese.
  • Fill each tortilla chip scoop with a heaping tablespoon of filling. It will shrink so really mound it high.
  • Bake the tortilla chip cups in a preheated 350-F oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
  • Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Notes

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • You can make this tasty appetizer recipe ahead of time. Mix the filling and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake them.
  • If you fill the cups ahead of time, you risk them getting soggy. I was able to re-crisp leftovers by toasting them in the air fryer for about 3 minutes on 400-F. But watch they don’t burn!
  • Don’t like cilantro? Skip it!
  • Want it spicier? Add a bit more chipotle powder or even some finely diced jalapenos to the mix.
  • This recipe makes 24 scoops – but it’s easy to double or triple it to make as many as you need!

Nutrition

Serving: 4cups | Calories: 176kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 186mg | Potassium: 149mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 155IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 1mg

A Note on Nutritional Information

Nutritional information for this recipe is provided as a courtesy and is calculated based on available online ingredient information. It is only an approximate value. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.

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By Chef Jenn

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