Tostada Chicken Recipe

These flavorful tostadas make for a quick and tasty Tex-Mex meal. With shredded chicken, beans, crisp vegetables, and melted cheese piled high on crisp corn tortillas, they offer an explosion of textures and flavors.

This recipe builds hearty tostadas layered with protein-packed refried beans and shredded chicken or cauliflower, fresh crunchy lettuce, juicy tomatoes, creamy avocado, melty cheese, and a tangy sour cream finish. Feel free to customize it with your favorite toppings. With an excellent balance of ingredients, these tostadas can be enjoyed any night of the week.

Ingredients for Tostada Chicken Recipe

  • Chicken breasts or thighs
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Corn tortillas
  • Refried beans
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Avocado
  • Cheese
  • Sour cream

The chicken is a key component of tostadas. You can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs, depending on your preference. Chicken breasts cook more quickly, while chicken thighs have more flavor.

Onions and garlic create an aromatic base for the tostadas. They provide a depth of flavor. Spices like chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt give the chicken a delicious southwestern taste. Olive oil coats the chicken and also enhances the flavor during cooking.

No tostada would be complete without the classic toppings. Corn tortillas make for an authentic southwestern tostada versus using flour tortillas. Refried beans, crisp lettuce, juicy tomato chunks, creamy avocado, melted cheese, and cool sour cream transform simple tostadas into an amazing Tex-Mex treat.

Instructions for Cooking the Chicken

  1. To start, heat a skillet over medium heat and add a bit of olive oil. Once hot, add the chopped onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft and fragrant.
  2. Next, add the chicken breasts to the skillet and season them with desired spices like cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Cook the chicken for 5-7 minutes per side until browned on the outside and cooked through.
  3. Once the chicken is fully cooked, use two forks to shred and chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces. This will make it easy to top the tostada shells.

Assembling the Tostadas

  1. Spread refried beans on each corn tortilla to create a flavorful base. The beans add protein and fiber. Top the beans with shredded lettuce for a fresh crunch. Diced tomatoes lend a juicy burst of flavor and nutrition. Fan out slices of creamy, rich avocado for even more substance.
  2. Next, add shredded chicken for a hefty dose of protein. Chicken breast or thigh meat both work well here. Shred or chop the cooked chicken into small pieces for even coverage across the tostada.
  3. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the chicken. Monterey jack, cheddar, or Mexican-style blends all melt beautifully. The cheese adds a lovely melty binding element.
  4. Finish these tasty tostadas with a bit of tangy, creamy sour cream. The cool sour cream contrasts nicely with the warm ingredients underneath. Feel free to add other favorite toppings like salsa, cilantro, lime wedges, or hot sauce.
  5. With an excellent balance of flavors and textures, these tostadas make a satisfying meal for any time of day. Adjust the ingredients to suit your tastes. Enjoy!

Variations and Substitutions

For vegetarians, use roasted cauliflower instead of chicken. Cauliflower is a great meat substitute that takes on flavors well. Simply toss cauliflower florets in olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast at 400F until tender and browned. The roasted cauliflower will have a similar texture to shredded chicken.

For vegan, skip the cheese and sour cream. Many dairy-free alternatives can be used instead. Vegan shredded cheese made from nuts or coconut oil can replace traditional cheese. Vegan sour cream is made from cashews or soy milk and works.

Add sliced jalapenos for a spicy kick. Jalapeno peppers add a nice heat and crunch. Thinly slice fresh jalapenos and sprinkle them on top of the tostadas. Canned or pickled jalapenos can also be used. Adjust the amount to your desired spice level.

Use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Greek yogurt is a tasty, healthier substitute for sour cream that provides a nice tang. Make sure to get plain Greek yogurt, not the flavored kinds. The thicker consistency of Greek yogurt closely mimics sour cream.

Top with salsa, guacamole, or pico de gallo. The acidity and brightness balance well with the rich flavors.

Bake the tortillas first for crispy tostada shells. Baking corn or flour tortillas makes them nice and crispy for a satisfying crunch. Brush both sides lightly with oil and bake at 350F for 5-10 minutes until browned and crisp. Let cool before topping.

Grill the chicken and vegetables for extra flavor. Grilling the chicken and veggies adds delicious charred flavor. Toss sliced bell peppers, onions, zucchini, or corn in oil and grill until charred. Grill boneless chicken breasts or thighs over direct heat for 3-5 minutes per side.

Tips for Best Results

Use fresh, quality ingredients for maximum flavor when making tostadas. Start with fresh, high-quality ingredients. This will ensure you end up with a flavorful and delicious meal. Shop for vibrant ingredients and opt for the freshest chicken or meat.

Make sure to salt and season the chicken well. One of the keys to tasty chicken for tostadas is properly seasoning it. Generously salt the chicken on both sides before cooking. To add flavor, You can also use cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, or paprika. Rubbing the seasonings into the chicken helps them permeate the meat.

Let tortillas warm at room temperature to avoid cracking. Before building your tostadas, let the tortillas come up to room temperature. Cold tortillas straight from the fridge or pantry can crack when you try to pile on toppings. Leaving them out for 10-15 minutes makes them more pliable. Warmed tortillas will also have more flavor.

Add chickpeas or black beans for extra protein. Add cooked chickpeas or black beans for a vegetarian protein source or to make the tostadas more filling. They pack protein, fiber, and nutrients. Drain and rinse canned beans before using. Sprinkle them on top of the chicken or mix them in.

Garnish with cilantro and lime wedges. Add some freshness and flavor by garnishing your tostadas with chopped cilantro. Squeezing lime juice over the tostadas also helps enhance the flavors. Serve lime wedges for squeezing on more juice at the table.


Tostadas are a fun and customizable Tex-Mex meal. Build them with different proteins, vegetables, and toppings to suit your tastes. The key is starting with fresh ingredients to maximize flavor. Properly season the main protein and warm the tortillas before piling them high. These flavor-packed tostadas make an easy dinner the whole family will love. Switch up the toppings to keep things interesting. Enjoy!


What proteins can I use besides chicken? You can use ground beef or turkey, shredded pork, grilled shrimp, or cubed firm tofu. Try black beans, chickpeas, lentils, roasted cauliflower, or jackfruit for vegetarian options.

What if I can’t find corn tortillas? You can use flour tortillas instead. Warm them up before assembling them to prevent cracking. For extra crunch, try frying or baking flour tortillas until crisp.

How can I make the tostadas gluten-free? Use 100% corn tortillas, which are naturally gluten-free. You can bake or fry them for a crispy shell. Try shrimp, beans, lentils, or roasted veggies instead of chicken for a gluten-free protein.

Can I meal prep these tostadas? Yes, you can prep the components in advance. Cook the protein, chop veggies, make beans, etc. Store them separately, then assemble them on the tortillas just before eating. The tortillas will stay crisper stored separately.

What are some substitutions for common allergies? For nut allergies, use seeds like pepitas instead of nuts on top. Substitute coconut or seed-based cheese for nut-based. For dairy, use vegan cheese and yogurt. For corn, use soft flour tortillas. For nightshades, omit tomato, peppers, and chili powder.

Sophie Delatorre
Sophie Delatorre

I'm Sophie Delatorre, an experienced and trusted product review expert known for my in-depth and unbiased analyses. With over 10 years under my belt reviewing all types of consumer products, from tech gadgets to home appliances, I provide comprehensive feedback to help consumers make informed purchase decisions.

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