Chicken Tinga Tostadas

Flavourful chipotle shredded chicken piled onto crisp tostada shells and topped with shredded lettuce, avocado, cotija cheese and any of your other favourite toppings! Use pre-shredded chicken to make these chicken tinga tostadas a quick and easy healthy meal!

a chicken tinga tostada

Anything in taco form is always a meal my whole family can get behind.  Everyone seems to love handheld food and Mexican flavours, and when my daughter became obsessed with anything chipotle flavoured I knew these chicken tinga tostadas would end up a hit.  We all love taco night, and lentil tacos, are a staple around here – but sometimes you just need a change!

The spicy, smokey, and garlicky flavour of the tinga sauce is to die for! I used a lot of chipotles in here because we all like the heat, but I would cut them in half if not everyone in your family tolerates spice that well.

What is chicken tinga?

Chicken tinga is a Mexican chicken dish of shredded chicken in a sauce of tomatoes, chipotles, garlic and onion.  It’s often served on tostadas, and you will also find it as a taco.

You’re going to love these tostadas because:

  • They are a healthy, flavourful meal that the whole family will love
  • They come together in about 20 minutes if you have shredded chicken on hand
  • They are a great switch up for taco night!

How to make chicken tinga tostadas

Start with your shredded chicken.  I used chicken breasts that I had previously cooked in my Instant Pot.  Cooking chicken breasts in the Instant Pot is so quick and easy, it’s become my go-to for keeping cooked chicken on hand. This can be done the night before, or if you want to cook them in there the day of, add about 10 mins to the recipe cook time. You can make and cook the tinga sauce while the chicken cooks.

Combine the fire roasted tomatoes, 1/4 cup of chicken stock, chipotles and adobo sauce, and the garlic and spices in a high speed blender, then blend until smooth.

freshly blended tinga sauce in a blender

Then heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil and diced onions.  Saute for a minute or two until they begin to soften then add the tinga sauce to the skillet.  Cook the sauce for 5-10 minutes before tossing in the shredded chicken.

shredded chicken being added to a skillet of tinga sauce

Toss the shredded chicken to coat with the tinga sauce and add more chicken stock if necessary.

Serve the chicken tinga on tostadas shells along with the shredded lettuce, cotija cheese, and sliced avocado as toppings, along with any other garnishes you like!

chicken tinga tostadas along with a bowl of shredded lettuce

Tips and Tricks for Chicken Tinga Tostadas

  • This recipe calls for shredded chicken breasts, but any shredded chicken will do – you will need about 4 cups
  • This recipe makes 12 tostadas, which is more than my little family can eat for dinner.  We love using the leftover chicken for wraps or salads for lunch the next day
  • You will have leftover chipotles from this recipe.  They will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for a week (or even 2!) but these can also be frozen for later use.


Dietary Considerations and Accommodations

  • for gluten free, use gluten free tostadas, or crisp gluten free tortillas in your oven
  • if you are low carb, keto or paleo swap out the tostada for lettuce and make these as chicken tinga lettuce wraps


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Chicken Tinga Tostadas

shredded chicken simmered in a chipotle tomato sauce on tostadas with lettuce, cheese and avocado
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Chicken tinga tostadas
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 tostadas
Calories 225kcal
Author Courtney


  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1⁄2 tsp cumin
  • 1⁄2 tsp oregano
  • 1⁄8 tsp cinnamon
  • 3⁄4 tsp salt
  • 1 14 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 3 cooked chicken breasts shredded
  • 1⁄4-1⁄2 cup chicken stock
  • 4 chipotles + 1 tbsp adobo sauce
  • 1⁄2 lime juice of
  • 12 tostadas
  • Toppings
  • 2 avocados sliced
  • shredded lettuce
  • cojita cheese crumbled
  • sour cream, cilantro, salsa and whatever else you like!


  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the cooking oil.
  • When the oil has heated, add the diced onion and saute until they begin to soften.
  • Add the cumin, oregano and cinnamon to the skillet then stir and cook them with the onion for a couple of minutes.
  • In a high speed blender, combine the fire roasted tomatoes, garlic, chipotles, adobo sauce and the salt. Blend until smooth to make the tinga sauce.
  • Add the tinga sauce to the skillet and stir in the onions.
  • Add the shredded chicken to the skillet and combine with the sauce.
  • Begin adding the chicken stock, starting with 1/4 cup. If the chicken tinga looks too dry, add a little more stock until you like the consistency.
  • Cook the chicken in the sauce for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice.
  • Serve the tostadas along with the shredded lettuce, crumbled cotija cheese, sliced avocado, and any other garnishes of your choice!

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