Chicken Tinga Tostadas

chicken tinga tostadas with a bite taken out of one

These Chicken Tinga Tostadas are packed full of bright flavors! Juicy, chipotle chicken all loaded onto a crispy tostada and topped with avocado, fresh lime and cilantro! The perfect easy, weeknight meal!

Alright. Let me tell you how these Chicken Tinga Tostadas were born. As you know, Ben and I love Mexican food. It is 10000% evident on my blog, considering that I bet like, 75 percent of my recipes are Mexican-inspired dishes! Ha.

chicken tinga tostada close up with jalapeños

So, last weekend, Benjamin and I were planning our trip to Mexico City. We are SO stoked to go. Especially considering the fact that we will be there for The Day of the Dead! Oh my lanta. It’s going to be an amazing cultural experience and we cannot wait! Anyway, so we were at Barnes and Noble last weekend planning out our trip. Benjamin was in charge of the monuments and museums we would see. I, of course, put myself in charge of the food.

While we are there, we will most definitely take advantage of the street food on a daily basis. However, there are a few restaurants that we have been recommended that we definitely KNOW we want to go. As I was pondering each of their menus, almost everyone had a chicken tinga dish. I’m serious. Whether it was a taco, tostada, quesadilla…there were so many varieties! This dish seemed to be a staple in Mexican culture.

I knew I had to try and make the recipe on my own before we went. And of course, Ben was not opposed to this idea.

So here’s the low down on these babes. They’re smoky – full of chipotle peppers and other spices, the chicken is a new level of juicy and they also have my Easy Homemade Salsa in them! Yup. Of course, feel free to use any salsa you may have on hand, but once I began making this particular recipe, I can never go back to jarred!

chicken tinga tostadas close up with avocado and cilantro

Then, once you have all of those smoky chipotle good good ingredients all melded together in one pan – you mix the chicken in with it! Oh yeaaaaah.

Load it up on the crunchiest tostada (which I had NEVER HAD BEFORE THIS RECIPE AND MY MIND WAS BLOWN) and top with your favorite things like avocado, sour cream or refried beans. Oh, and cilantro. Always cilantro. Unless you’re the type of person like my friend Molly who thinks it tastes like soap. In that case, I’m so sorry for you!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • one big ol juicy chicken breast (about 1 lb)
  • 3-4 tostadas
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 yellow onion
  • my easy homemade salsa
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • adobo sauce
  • one large pinch of salt and pepper at the end for extra yum flavor
  • your favorite tostada toppings like refried beans, sour cream, jalapeno, fresh lime, cilantro etc. etc.

Very minimal ingredients. Very minimal cooking process. So here’s how you do it!

How It’s Made:

Start by cooking your chicken. If you wanted to do SUPER DUPER easy, pick up one of those always delicious smelling rotisserie chickens at the grocery store. However, if ya got the time – just bake up a chicken breast! Baking it makes sure that it stays super juicy and it’s always super easy to shred!

Dice up all of your garlic and onion. Add a dab of olive oil into a large nonstick pan and begin cooking down those onions. Cook ‘em for about 3-5 minutes or until they begin to get caramelized and fragrant. Next, you wanna add in your garlic and cook for an additional minute or so. Next, pluck a couple of those chipotle peppers out of the can of adobo sauce. Roughly chop them and add both the peppers and about a teaspoon of the adobo. Lastly, you’re going to add in some of that homemade swoon worthy salsa.

veggies sautéing

Stir it around and let it simmer up and let those delicious smoky tomato-ey flavors meld together for a couple of minutes.

Then! Throw it in a blender! Now, make sure that your blender is heat-safe. I use a Vitamix. If you’re blender isn’t heat-proof, you can always let the sauce cool down and then throw it in there! You’re going to be putting it back in the pan anyway.

So. Blend it up. It’s gonna like something like this. 

chicken tinga sauce in the blinder

Heart eye worthy sauce goodness!

So y’all know that by now your chicken should be good and done and you should have shredded it. So, once your sauce is blended up, add both the sauce AND the shredded chicken back in the pan. Place it on low and let it simmer for a good 10 minutes to really let the chicken sink into that good flavor.

Once it’s done simmering, you’re all set! It should look something like this: 

chicken tinga in the pan

What should I top these with?

Oh man. There are a million different options!

tostadas with refried beans and sour cream

I would recommend first topping the tostada with some creamy element. For this recipe, I used refried beans and sour cream! The creaminess lends to a wonderful texture combined with the crunch of the tostada.

chicken tinga tostadas topped

Next, the world is your oyster! As you can see in the photo above, I loaded each one with different toppings. I used avocado, sliced radishes, cilantro, and jalapeno! I also made sure to douse each one with a spritz of lime at the end. It gives it that bright zippy citrus flavor it needs. Some other topping ideas would be: red onion, regular black beans, cheese, lettuce, guacamole…the list could go on! 

Why did you use tostadas? Can I use something else?

Of course, you could use any vehicle for the  chicken tinga! Flour tortillas, corn tortillas, tacos, burritos, burrito bowls….but I really loved the texture of the tostada! It was like a giant tortilla chip. Salty, crunchy paired with the juicy slightly spicy chicken. It all just really worked for me!

close up of bite taken out of chicken tinga tostada

Hope you try these this week. I promise they’re as addicting as they sound.

5 from 1 vote

Chicken Tinga Tostadas

These Chicken Tinga Tostadas are packed full of bright flavors! Juicy, chipotle chicken all loaded onto a crispy tostada and topped with avocado, fresh lime and cilantro! The perfect easy, weeknight meal!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword chicken tinga tostadas
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 439 kcal


  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • 4 tostadas
  • splash or two of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1-2 tsp adobo sauce
  • refried beans, sour cream, avocado, cilantro, limes for topping.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Add your chicken to a baking dish. Add a splash of olive oil and salt and pepper to coat the chicken and bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through. 

  2. Meanwhile, roughly dice your onion and 2 chipotle peppers from the can of peppers in adobo sauce. Reserve 2 tsp of the adobo sauce. Finely mince 3 cloves of garlic. Set aside. 

  3. In a large pan, add a tsp of olive oil on medium high heat. Add in your onions. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Add in garlic, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce and your salsa. Stir to combine. Let simmer for a couple of minutes. 

  4. Next, add the tinga sauce to a heat-safe blender. Add a large pinch of salt and pepper and blend until combined. 

  5. Once your chicken is done, shred it. Add the shredded chicken and the tinga sauce back into the pan. Let it simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. 

  6. Once done, add your toppings to your tostadas. I recommend spreading a thin layer of refried beans and/or sour cream. Add your chicken tinga. Last, top with cilantro, radish, onion, or jalapeno. Don't forget the spritz of lime! Enjoy. 

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