Regardless of your stance on Torchy’s Tacos as a whole, their Brushfire taco is undeniably an amazing taco. If you’ve never had it, this copycat recipe makes a slightly healthier version of Brushfire tacos filled with air fried Jamaican jerk chicken and jalapeño peppers. It’s a super easy recipe that comes together in less than 30 minutes, and it’s highly customizable to please even the pickiest of Taco Tuesday crowds!
How to Make Copycat Brushfire Tacos
I’ll walk you through the recipe below and cover modifications and ingredient notes as we go. Like I mentioned, it’s an easy recipe so if you don’t wanna taco bout it and would rather get down to business, there’s a printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Step 1: Cut 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breast into strips and toss in olive oil + Jamaican Jerk or Caribbean Jerk seasoning.
The original Torchy’s Brushfire taco uses Jamaican Jerk chicken, but I had some trouble finding a Jamaican Jerk seasoning blend in stores. I tested a batch with a more readily available Caribbean Jerk seasoning from McCormick, and the differences were minimal. Since the recipe calls for two tablespoons of seasoning, be sure to double check you’re not using an overly salty seasoning blend.
If you wanted to make your own, here’s a recipe for homemade Jamaican Jerk seasoning.
Step 2: Cut 2 jalapeño peppers into strips and add to the seasoned chicken.
If you have the time, you could do this in advance and let all the flavors get to one another in the refrigerator for a few hours. But that’s totally optional!
And if you wanted a spicy kick. You could leave some seeds from the jalapeños in.
Optional: Toss strips of jalapeño pepper in a mixture of soy sauce, garlic powder, and onion powder.
Word on the street is that the grilled jalapeños in Torchy’s Brushfire taco are marinated in a blend of soy sauce, garlic, and onion. If you wanted to give that a go but still speed things up, mix garlic and onion powder with soy sauce and toss the peppers in before you prep the chicken.
Ideally you’d do this in advance and give the peppers a bit more time in this mixture, but it will add some umami and punch to the final tacos even with a quick soak.
Step 3: Air fry the jerk chicken and jalapeños at 400ºF for 14-16 minutes, shaking halfway through.
I used a 6.5 quart Ninja Foodi to make the air fryer jerk chicken and jalapeños. Cooking chicken in the Ninja Foodi is a breeze. Check out my air fried spicy chicken nuggets or mustard balsamic chicken thighs for additional ideas.
Different air fryers may require slight cook time modifications. My chipotle bbq chicken tacos, for example, cook much faster in the Instant Vortex Pro air fryer.
And if you don’t have an air fryer, you could cook the chicken in a large skillet over medium-high heat for about 8-10 minutes. You could also go sheet tray style and bake at 400ºF for maybe 12-15 minutes.
I’ve not tested these other cook methods so a food thermometer would come in handy to make sure your chicken is cooked through. I use a relatively cheap Kizen Instant Read Food Thermometer that you can get on Amazon.
And that’s it. Easy enough, right?
While the jerk chicken is in the air fryer, you can prep the remaining ingredients for Brushfire taco assembly.
Assembling the Brushfire Tacos
The recipe calls for 6 flour tortillas that will each hold a little over 2 ounces of the air fried jerk chicken and jalapeños. Be sure you don’t skip the step on warming the tortillas!
I used the same Mission Carb Balance tortillas I used in my black bean quesadillas and bacon ranch ground chicken quesadillas. You may need to adjust your nutrition facts if you use another type of tortilla. I’ve included the nutrition facts for the air fryer jerk chicken and jalapeño mixture on its own in the recipe card below.
If you need some help handling a mango, check out my chipotle bbq ground chicken tacos or air fryer chicken tacos recipes that are served with a mango salsa. I included some tips and a video for working with mango.
And while the original Brushfire taco calls for mango only, I would recommend checking out my jerk pork tenderloin tacos with pineapple salsa. That salsa would be great with these tacos!
Greek Yogurt and Cilantro
And if you want a Greek yogurt drizzle without a squirt bottle, cut the corner from a plastic bag and use it as a faux piping tool. It’s also worth mentioning that Torchy’s original Brushfire tacos call for sour cream, but I honestly don’t know why any kinda healthy eater would use sour cream over Greek yogurt.
As for the cilantro, Torchy’s really loads their Brushfire taco up with cilantro. I’m somewhere in the middle on the cilantro can taste soapy dilemma, so I wen’t a little bit lighter. You can load up or omit altogether, though!
Torchy’s serves their Brushfire tacos with a Diablo sauce. I didn’t attempt to copy their secret sauce but according to their Diablo sauce product page, it’s a tomato and vinegar based sauce with habanero and bell peppers, garlic, and salt. Yellowbird foods makes a comparable habanero hot sauce right here in Texas that you can buy on Amazon.
And I think that covers it. You’ll find the printable recipe card below. Be sure to let me know what you think about these copycat Brushfire tacos once you give ’em a go!
- 1 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, cut into strips
- 2 Jalapeño Peppers, seeded and cut into strips*
- 1 Tbsp (16g) Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp Jamaican or Caribbean Jerk Seasoning
For the Tacos
- 6 Flour Tortillas (I used 6" Mission Carb Balance tortillas)
- 1 Mango, diced
- 1/3 C Fat Free Greek Yogurt
- Chopped Cilantro (optional)
- Mix the chicken breast strips with the olive oil and jerk seasoning in a large bowl before adding the jalapeño strips. Stir to coat.
- Transfer the chicken and jalapeño strips to the Ninja Foodi basket and air fry at 400ºF for 8 minutes. Shake the basket or use a spatula to stir the chicken and peppers. Air fry for an additional 6 minutes at 400ºF or until the chicken reaches 165ºF. (For stovetop, cook over medium-high in a large skillet for ~8-10 minutes.)
- Warm the tortillas directly over a stovetop burner or in a large skillet before adding chicken and peppers (about 65g per taco), diced mango, Greek yogurt, and cilantro. Enjoy!
* (Optional) - Toss the jalapeño in 1-2 tablespoons of soy sauce and 1/2 tsp of garlic powder and onion powder before adding to the chicken.
The recipe makes roughly 14 oz of chicken after air frying. Macros for the jerk chicken and jalapeños on their own: 650 calories, 100g protein, 10g carbs, 18g fat, and 1 SmartPoint.
Each taco has 3 WW SmartPoints (blue).
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Tacos Serving Size: 1 Taco
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 175Total Fat: 5gCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 21g