Chicken Tinga Tostadas


This classic Mexican recipe is inexpensive, uncomplicated and most importantly, delicious.


2 large chicken breasts (about 2 lbs boneless, skinless), boiled and shredded

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 an onion, sliced

2-3 jalapeño peppers, sliced (optional)

4-5 ripe Roma tomatoes, diced plus 1 whole Roma tomato

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons Mexican oregano

1/2 teaspoon cumin seed (or 1 teaspoon ground cumin)

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 clove garlic

2-4 chipotle chiles in adobo (adjust depending on your heat preference)

1/2 cup chicken broth

salt or chicken bouillon to taste

12 tostada shells

3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce or shredded cabbage

Mexican crema (sour cream may be substituted)

1 cup (or more if you’re cheesy like me) crumbled queso fresco, Cotija cheese or grated parmesan

1 cup chopped cilantro leaves, optional

Juice of 1 lime, optonal



  • Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat, add the onions and optional jalapeños and cook until the onions are translucent.
  • Reduce heat to medium low and add the tomatoes, oregano and bay leaves, cover and cook until the tomatoes start to soften, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the whole tomato, chipotle chiles, cumin, pepper, garlic and chicken broth to a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Add the blended mixture and the chicken to the pan, stir to combine, cover and simmer 10 minutes.
  • Add salt or chicken bouillon to taste, simmer 10 minutes more, remove from heat.
  • Using a slotted spoon, place a little tinga on a tostada shell, top with shredded lettuce or cabbage, squeeze of optional lime, crema, cheese and if you like, a pinch of cilantro.

Serve. Eat. Buen provecho!

This is the basic recipe, and it’s delicious as is, but you can dress up your tostadas with avocado slices or some diced pickled chiles. You can also spice it up with salsa machared or green salsa. If you don’t have tostada shells, you can turn this recipe into some awesome nachos by building the dish on tortilla chips instead. Tinga may also be served in salads, tacos, burritos, flautas and quesadillas.