Healthy Mexican inspired 20 minute Chicken Tostadas with crispy homemade baked tortilla shells topped with shredded chicken, black beans, avocado and crumbled cheese. One of our favorite healthy dinner ideas!

Other quick recipes that are in our dinner rotation are chicken quesadillas, veggie quesadillas and sheet pan steak fajitas.

Tostada served on a platter

Chicken tostadas and crispy homemade tostada shells in 20 minutes. SO EASY and GOOD! I love Mexican food, however I don’t love a bazillion messy bowls with different fixins its serving requires.

This quick and easy dinner is my go-to to use up shredded chicken leftovers or when I don’t have energy to pan fry healthy lemon chicken, make chicken and tomatoes, or bake honey garlic chicken breast and come up with its sides.

Whenever everyone’s hungry, it’s a Mexican tostada feast to the rescue!

Why Make Easy Tostada Recipe?

  • Fast: This tostada recipe can be on your weeknight dinner table in 20 minutes.
  • Less mess: Baking your tostada shells means no oil splatter all over the stovetop!
  • Customizable: Use whatever meat and beans you have on hand, add additional veggies, top with your favorite salsa, cheese and even just dice avocado vs. making guac!
  • Healthy: Make your own easy super easy baked tostada means less ‘junk’ food from processed store bought ones. 
  • Satisfying: Wholesome ingredients with protein, veggies and fiber! 
  • A family favorite: Easy, versatile and filling, no one will complain about this dinner in your weekly menu!

Need more help with dinner? Check out iFOODreal meal plans.

Chicken tostadas with avocado, black beans, tomato, red onion and garnished with cilantro

Ingredients for Chicken Tostadas

All ingredients are highly customizable in this chicken tostada recipe. And I recommend to use what you have on hand.

  • Corn tortillas: 100% corn tortillas will be used to make your tostada shells. You can use store-bought tostada shells but be aware they contain artificial colours and hydrogenated oils. I highly recommend to make your own – all you need is corn tortillas! Super easy recipe included below.
  • Shredded chicken: I used Instant Pot chicken breast. Grilled chicken breast works too. Store-bought rotisserie chicken is less healthy but an option when in a rush. Any boiled or baked chicken breast basically. Even leftovers or air fryer chicken tenders are great.
  • 14 oz of low sodium black beans: You can also use a can of healthy refried beans that is low in sodium, with minimum ingredients and possibly organic. Or make Instant Pot refried beans.
  • Easy guacamole/salsa: Made with avocado, tomato, red onion, fresh cilantro, lime and simple seasonings. By all means, use what you have – even if it’s only avocado. Or replace with pico de gallo all together.
  • Feta or Cotija cheese. Creamy cheese instead of sour cream really adds to these baked tostadas!
ingredients chicken tostada

What Is a Tostada?

Tostada is a Mexican dish traditionally made with deep fried tortilla, seasoned beans, meat and vegetables. It differs from a taco which is soft and folded around ingredients vs. a crispy tostada which lays flat and is ‘open faced’. It’s a great way to use up leftover corn tortillas that are on the brink of going stale. 

Today we will make healthy tostada by using super easy homemade baked tostada shells. And the toppings are healthy because you have control over all ingredients and can add as many veggies and as little cheese as you like.

How to Make Tostada Shells in the Oven

  • Prep: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat and arrange tortillas in a single layer.
  • Season: Spray each tortilla with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt, on both sides.
  • Bake: For 6 minutes per each side, flipping once. They come out so crunchy! If you have convection oven, tostada shells will cook faster and even more golden.

How to Make Chicken Tostadas

  • Tostada shells: Bake tostada shells using recipe above or use store-bought.
  • Make easy guacamole: While tostada shells are baking, combine tomato, diced avocado, red onion, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, salt and lime juice.

Alternately, use even more simple salsa guacamole or my easy guacamole. Both recipes use what you have on hand.

  • Assembly: Top each shell with guacamole, beans, pre-cooked chicken and cheese.

Optional Add-In’s and Variations

  • Meat: Instead of plain shredded chicken use Instant Pot pulled chicken, shredded beef or Instant Pot pulled pork.
  • Cheese: Substitute for cheddar, cheddar Jack or your favorite. Just remember freshly grated for best taste!
  • Vegetarian: Use crispy pan fried tofu.
  • Vegan tostada: Use above plant based tofu and either omit cheese, or use favorite non dairy brand (such as Violife or Miyokos)
  • Beans: Use pinto or refried beans.
  • Additional leftover vegetables: Add any leftover vegetables chopped small including roasted cauliflower or asparagus.
  • Fresh vegetables: Chopped jalapeno (or pickled), pickled onions, green bell pepper or sweet bell pepper.
  • Chicken tinga tostada: Quickly saute onion in a hot skillet, add pre-cooked chicken with Mexican sauce of choice (picante or make quick tinga sauce in blender with diced tomatoes, chipotle in adobe sauce and taco seasoning), cook sauce and chicken for 20 minutes until thickened, proceed with layering tostada.
  • Chicken tostada salad: Instead of laying your tortillas flat on a baking sheet, turn a cupcake pan upside down and lay a warm tortilla that has been rubbed with small amount of oil over the ‘cup’. You should be able to fit three or four on a pan! Your tostada is now a small tortilla bowl and perfect with avocado cilantro dressing.
  • BBQ chicken tostada: Use leftover bbq chicken or add bbq sauce to your shredded chicken.
  • Grilled chicken tostada: Use leftover grilled chicken or leftover grilled chicken thighs.
  • Shrimp tostadas: All out of chicken but have shrimp, use those to make tostadas!

You can really add any leftover meat for healthy tostadas! Leftover carne asada steak from grilling in the summer, turkey roast from the holidays or even shrimp ceviche from your Cinco de Mayo celebration.

Tips for Best Results

  • Leftover seasoned chicken: Will add loads of flavor to the tostadas! Use leftover chicken taco meat,
    grilled lemon rosemary chicken or air fryer chicken, oven baked chicken breast.
  • The right tortillas: Use 100% corn tortillas and the thinner you can find the better! This ensures you end up with a crispy tostada.
  • Remember to flip your tortillas: While they are baking in the oven, this will get them crispy on both sides.
  • Don’t preassemble: If you are meal prepping, store each ingredient separately, otherwise you will end up with a soggy tortilla.
  • Fresh ingredients: Really makes these outstanding – fresh cilantro, lime and cheese that is not pre-grated. 

FAQs

Are tostada’s healthy for you?

This recipe for chicken tostadas is healthy 🙂 Baked vs. fried and fresh, wholesome ingredients make for a nutritious yet quick dinner! You may love these other 65 clean eating chicken recipes!

What is the difference between a taco and a tostada?

A taco is folded, a tostada is ‘open faced’.

How do you eat tostadas?

Load it with ‘just enough’ toppings, then pick it up like a slice of pizza and take a bite!

Can you use flour tortillas for Mexican tostadas?

This recipe has not been tested with flour tortillas, but I think you could use the same method, lightly spray and bake until crispy.

My oven baked tostada’s are not crunchy?

All ovens bake differently, you may need to bake your tortillas a little longer. But keep an eye on them so they don’t burn! Also, let them completely cool before storing.

two baked mexican tostadas with toppins

What To Serve with Mexican Tostadas?

This is a great dinner to serve ‘Chipotle’ style with:

How to Make Ahead and Store Tostada Recipe?

Storing tostada shells: You can bake homemade tostada shells for up to 48 hours in advance. Just store in resealable Ziploc bag to keep shells crunchy.

Making ahead: You can shred chicken, chop/dice veggies, crumble cheese for up to 48 hours in advance and store in airtight containers. You can even prep Greek yogurt guacamole and store for up to 24 hours as it doesn’t brown as much as regular guac.

To prevent regular guacamole from browning, here are 2 foolproof methods of storing. Either level guac in a bowl and tightly press piece of plastic on top. Or pour cold water on top, then drain and stir before serving.

More Mexican Recipes

three tostadas with topping and ready to eat
chicken tostadas

Chicken Tostadas

Healthy Mexican inspired 20 minute Chicken Tostadas with crispy homemade baked tortilla shells topped with shredded chicken, black beans, avocado and crumbled cheese. Quick and easy weeknight dinner!
4.95 from 54 votes
Servings 8 tostadas
Calories 390
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 26 minutes

Ingredients 
 

  • 8 corn tortillas or store-bought tostada shells
  • 3 medium tomatoes diced
  • 4 medium avocados diced
  • 3 tbsp red onion finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Lime juice of
  • 15 oz can low sodium black beans drained & rinsed
  • 3 cups cooked chicken shredded
  • 1/2 cup feta or Cotija cheese crumbled
  • Cooking spray I use Misto

Instructions 

  • To make homemade tostada shells: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat. Arrange tortillas in a single layer, spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt on both sides.
  • Bake for 6 minutes per each side, means you have to flip one time.
  • Prep toppings: While tostadas are baking, make easy guacamole salsa by combining tomato, avocado, red onion, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, salt and lime juice. Get other ingredients ready.
  • Assembly: To assemble tostadas, top each shell with guacamole salsa, beans, chicken and cheese.

Video

Notes

  • Store: You can bake homemade tostada shells for up to 48 hours in advance. Just store in resealable Ziploc bag to keep shells crunchy.
  • Make ahead: You can shred chicken, chop/ dice veggies, crumble cheese for up to 48 hours in advance and store in airtight containers. Prep guacamole up to 24 hours in advance.
  • Why make homemade tostada shells? Store-bought tostadas shells are full of artificial colours and preservatives. I prefer to make my own tostada shells (not corn tortillas) but you can use pre-made.
  • 100% corn tortillas: Also, use thinner ones vs. thicker ones for the crispiest baked tostadas.
  • Healthy brand of refried beans instead of black beans is welcome. Low in sodium, with less ingredients and possibly organic. Alternately, use low sodium pinto beans.
  • Adjust sodium based on ingredients: Adjust salt in guacamole to taste depending on whether you use store-bought tostada shells, salted canned beans and store-bought or homemade chicken.
  • Cheese: Substitute for cheddar, cheddar Jack or your favorite. Just remember freshly grated for best taste!
See recipe post for more tips and FAQs.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tostada | Calories: 390kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 451mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 3g
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hello Olena! This was a fantastic meal! I paired it with bbq grilled romaine lettuce and it was so delicious. I made the chicken breast with your fajita marinade in my instant pot and it turned out perfect! I was doubtful about using the instant pot for chicken, but you were right, it was so easy and quick!! I will definitely be trying your other marinades. I’ve told my friend about your site and she has absolutely loved everything she’s made so far. Thank you again for your incredible recipes, you make cooking so much fun! 🙂

    1. Awe, you are so welcome! So happy to hear you are enjoying my recipes, Lori! And thank you for sharing them!

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