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Chicken Tinga Tostadas

Chicken Tinga Tostadas are flavor packed and piled high with lettuce, red onion, tomato, sour cream and cotija cheese! A delicious dinner the whole family will love.

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Chicken Tinga Tostadas Recipe

You will love these easy and delicious tostadas. Chicken tinga is one of the most flavorful (and easy!) recipes to make for tacos, tostadas and burritos. If you are looking for a recipe to switch up your classic taco dinner… you are in for a treat with this recipe!

Tostadas are a fun twist on tacos and burritos because they are open faced and can be piled high with as many ingredients are you like! I love having a tostada night where I set up a serving station on the kitchen counter with bowls with all of the toppings and have my guests assemble their own tostadas.

What are Chicken Tinga Tostadas?

Tostadas are a flat, crispy fried corn tortilla that have layers of amazing ingredients. They are like an open faced taco! Instead of the taco shell being folded in half, it is fried or toasted flat. The flavor combination and variations are endless but they often include a layer of refried beans, a protein (ex. chicken, beef, shrimp, etc.) and then a mix of classic taco toppings.

The toppings range from shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cotija cheese, red onion, sour cream, cilantro, jalapenos, hot sauce, and more. You can get creative and use your favorite taco toppings. Chicken tinga is a Mexican shredded chicken in a savory tomato sauce.

What to Serve with Chicken Tinga Tostadas

What is in Chicken Tinga Tostadas?

  •  Chicken Tinga
    • Chicken Breast – boneless skinless chicken breast is simmered stove top in a savory broth and shredded.
    • Tomatoes – I like using fresh tomatoes but you can also use canned.
    • Onion – cooked in the sauce.
    • Garlic – cooked in the sauce.
    • Chipotle Peppers in Adobo – these flavor packed peppers add a rich smokey flavor to the sauce and also a bit of spice!
    • Spices (Cumin, Oregano, Chili Powder, Chili Flakes, Salt)
  • Tostadas
    • Tostada Shells – these can be found in the international aisle of grocery stores. They are corn tortillas that are fried or toasted until they are crispy (but not folded in half). You can also make your own at home by pan frying corn tortillas in oil until they are crispy and draining them on a paper towel lined plate.
    • Refried Beans – store bought or homemade work great for this recipe.
    • Cotija Cheese – this is a salty, crumbly Mexican cheese. If you cannot find this cheese you can use feta cheese instead.
    • Lettuce – I like to use iceberg lettuce but you can use any lettuce you prefer.
    • Tomato
    • Red Onion
    • Sour Cream
    • Cilantro
    • Any other toppings you like (ex. hot sauce, sliced jalapenos, black olives, hot peppers, etc.)

How to Make Chicken Tinga Tostadas

Full Printable Recipe at Bottom of Page

boiling chicken for chicken tinga

Prepare the Chicken Tinga

1 Cut the tomatoes into large wedges and place in a blender.

2 In a large pot add the chicken, onion, chipotle peppers in adobo, garlic, salt, oregano, cumin, chili powder and chili flakes. Add enough water to cover the chicken (about 2-3 cups). On medium heat bring the pot to a boil.

3 Use a spoon or skimmer to remove and fat that cooks out of the chicken. Simmer for about 13-15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165*F.

4 Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside on a cutting board or in a bowl.

making chicken tinga sauce

5 Transfer 2 cups of the broth from the pot to the blender.

6 Use a slotted spoon or strainer to remove all of the onions, garlic, and chipotle peppers in adobo from the broth and transfer to the blender.

making chicken tinga in a frying pan

7 Puree the sauce until smooth.

8 Use two forks to shred the chicken into bite sized pieces and transfer to a large skillet or frying pan. Pour the tomato sauce over the chicken and bring to a simmer on medium heat.

9 Simmer the chicken and sauce for about 8-10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and reduced. Season to taste with salt.

Assemble the Tostadas

1 To assemble the tostadas, in a microwave safe container microwave the refried beans for 30 seconds. Spread a thin layer of beans on each tostada.

2 Top each tostada with chicken, shredded lettuce, tomato, red onion, cotija cheese and a dollop of sour cream (tip: transfer the sour cream to a squeeze bottle or plastic bag with the corner cut off and drizzle the sour cream). Enjoy!

Tips for the Best Chicken Tinga Tostadas

  • Tostada Shells – you can find them in the international aisle of your grocery store. They are corn tortillas that are fried. If you cannot find them in stores you can purchase corn tortillas and shallow fry them in a pan stove top until they are crispy. Drain them on a paper towel and then assemble the tostadas.
  • Chicken – for the quickest recipe to make the chicken tinga use boneless skinless chicken breast. It will cook quicker than bone in. If you would like to use bone in chicken breast adjust the cooking time accordingly and be sure to remove all skin and bones when shredding the chicken.
  • Toppings – this recipe includes the most common toppings but you can get creative and use any toppings you like. For example, avocado, sliced jalapenos, hot sauce, black olives, hot peppers, and more. Use your favorite toppings and setup a topping station and have your guests assemble their own tostada!

FAQs Chicken Tinga Tostadas

How to reheat Chicken Tinga Tostadas?

To reheat, microwave the chicken and refried beans for 1-2 minute and then assemble the tostadas.

How to store Chicken Tinga Tostadas?

I recommend only assembling the tostadas as you eat them. Assembled tostadas do not store well in the fridge as the chicken needs to be reheated but the toppings are not microwave friendly. The tostada shell will also become slightly soggy if they are assembled and stored in the fridge.

Can I make Chicken Tinga Tostadas ahead?

You can prepare the chicken tinga and all of the toppings ahead of time and store them in the fridge in separate containers. Just before serving reheat the chicken and refried beans then assemble the tostadas.

Are Chicken Tinga Tostadas healthy?

Yes! These are a high protein meal and the tostada shells are made from corn tortillas which are a healthier option compared to flour tortillas.

Gluten Free Chicken Tinga Tostadas

This recipe is gluten free. Tostada shells are made from corn tortillas (be sure to double check the package you are using).

Dairy Free Chicken Tinga Tostadas

For a dairy free recipe use a dairy free or vegan cheese and a dairy free sour cream substitute.

Looking for More Easy Mexican Recipes

Enjoy!

– Sab

chicken tinga tostadas garnished with cotija cheese and cilantro

Chicken Tinga Tostadas

Chicken Tinga Tostadas are flavor packed and piled high with lettuce, red onion, tomato, sour cream and cotija cheese! A delicious dinner the whole family will love.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 12 Tostadas
Calories 233 kcal

Ingredients
  

Chicken Tinga

  • 6 tomatoes, roma or variety of choice
  • 3-4 medium chicken breast, boneless skinless, approximately 2 pounds
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo, 6-7 ounce can
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Mexican oregano, or regular dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 2-3 cups water

Tostadas

  • 12 tostada shells
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tomato, seeds removed and diced
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, or store bought chipotle crema
  • Cilantro, or parsley, for garnish (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Cut the tomatoes into large wedges and place in a blender.
  • In a large pot add the chicken, onion, chipotle peppers in adobo, garlic, salt, oregano, cumin, chili powder and chili flakes. Add enough water to cover the chicken (about 2-3 cups). On medium heat bring the pot to a boil.
  • Use a spoon or skimmer to remove and fat that cooks out of the chicken. Simmer for about 13-15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165*F.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside on a cutting board or in a bowl.
  • Transfer 2 cups of the broth from the pot to the blender.
  • Use a slotted spoon or strainer to remove all of the onions, garlic, and chipotle peppers in adobo from the broth and transfer to the blender.
  • Puree the sauce until smooth.
  • Use two forks to shred the chicken into bite sized pieces and transfer to a large skillet or frying pan. Pour the tomato sauce over the chicken and bring to a simmer on medium heat.
  • Simmer the chicken and sauce for about 8-10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and reduced. Season to taste with salt.
  • To assemble the tostadas, in a microwave safe container microwave the refried beans for 30 seconds. Spread a thin layer of beans on each tostada.
  • Top each tostada with chicken, shredded lettuce, tomato, red onion, cotija cheese and a dollop of sour cream (tip: transfer the sour cream to a squeeze bottle or plastic bag with the corner cut off and drizzle the sour cream). Enjoy!
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NUTRITION

Calories: 233kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 17gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 577mgPotassium: 528mgFiber: 5gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 949IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 86mgIron: 2mg
This nutrition information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. See our full nutrition disclosure here.

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