by Olena

Chicken Tostadas

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Olena Osipov
5 from 54 votes

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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!

Other quick recipes that are in our dinner rotation are chicken quesadillas, vegetarian 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 lemon chicken, stir a pot of white chicken chili or bake honey garlic chicken 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. Leftovers 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 pan fried or air fryer 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 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!

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 {in 20 Minutes}

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
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 26 minutes
Servings: 8 tostadas
Calories: 390kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

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.
    Chicken Tostadas
  • Bake for 6 minutes per each side, means you have to flip one time.
    Chicken Tostadas
  • 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.
    Chicken Tostadas
  • Assembly: To assemble tostadas, top each shell with guacamole salsa, beans, chicken and cheese.
    Chicken Tostadas

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 guacamole and store for up to 24 hours. To prevent from browning, here are 2 foolproof methods of storing: a) Level guac in a bowl and tightly press piece of plastic on top. b) Pour cold water on top, then drain and stir before serving.

      Video

      Notes

      • 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!
      • Vegetarian: Use pan fried or air fryer tofu.
      • Vegan tostada: Use above plant based tofu and either omit cheese, or use favorite non dairy brand (such as Violife or Miyokos)
      • Fresh vegetables: Chopped jalapeno (or pickled), pickled onions, green bell pepper or sweet bell pepper.
      • 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.
      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 | Potassium: 788mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 726IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 2mg
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      124 comments on “Chicken Tostadas

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      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! 🙂

      2. 5 stars
        Loved this recipe! I have never cooked my own tostada shells, but I will never buy them pre-made again! This recipe is easy, can be personalized to fit individual preferences, and will be on our frequent meal rotation! I actually prefer these tostadas to the tradition version! Thank you so much for sharing!

      3. 5 stars
        This was sooooo good! This is the first recipe of yours I’ve made but it was, just as promised: easy, healthy, delicious, and my kids liked it too (even though I set some avocado aside cuz I knew one of them wouldn’t try the guacamole salsa). I just did my meal plan for the month, and it’s almost all your recipes! I was totally in a rut and now I’m so excited. Thank you!

      4. Hi Olena! Planning on making this tonight! Are the calories (390) listed per tostada or for two?

        Thanks! Looks fantastic!

      5. 5 stars
        Nameste Olena,

        I am so glad your page crossed my path. It is now my favorite bookmark. I love love love to cook. With this pandemic going on for so long, I now have a HATE love relationship with my refrigerator & kitchen.

        My daughter & husband have been in lock-down like many many families all around the world, no work & home school. Everyday question – What are we having for Lunch? What are we having for Dinner?

        So today I prepared the Chicken Tostadas – we all loved it. Tomorrow’s menu is set – Skillet Enchiladas in One Pot. I am going to make it vegetarian.

        Thank you for sharing your easy recipes. I have been cooking with Indian spices for as loon as I can remember. Love that you incorporate garlic, turmeric, cumin, chili powder in your recipes.

        Thank you for sharing. Love to your family. Be safe.

        XOXO, -Tina

        1. Oh Tina! It warms my heart to know that my recipes are being enjoyed, especially in times like these! Thanks for sharing 🙂

      6. I am not a cook, but trying to learn new recipes. I don’t quite get this. This is a cold dinner? You can make everything ahead of time, but doesn’t it all need to be stored in the fridge except for the shells? You don’t heat the chicken or beans before placing on the shells? Any more info on this would be greatly helpful for me!! Thank you!

        1. Hi Mary! You can eat cold or warm up the chicken and beans if you prefer. I would quickly warm them up on a skillet.
          If you are making ahead, you should store the ingredients in the fridge. Hope that helps.

      7. 4 stars
        Hi Olena,

        From all the way over in the UK!

        Wow! Just wow! Im so glad I came across your website – this is EXACTLY what Ive been searching for, for the past few months.

        We have just had the Tostadas, using Turkey instead of chicken, with your “Mexican Marinaide” and boy gosh it tasted sublime! Definately one to do again.

        Thanks!

        1. Hi Alejandra! Each of my recipes has nutritional info listed just below the recipe/instructions. For the tostadas, each one has 390 calories. Hope that helps.

      8. Absolutely. We will try some of your other Mexican ingredient inspired recipes, too. Tonight it’s going to be the Healthy Tuscan Chicken Pasta.

      9. 5 stars
        We made these last night for dinner. We followed the recipe exactly as posted. It was a huge hit.

        I have 12 y.o. twins and the boy does not care for Mexican food, so when he saw we were making something with tortillas he immediately thought he was not going to like dinner. That changed once he took his first bite. In fact, he ended up cleaning up the odds and ends that were left after making ten tostadas. He even asked when we were going to make them again.

        Thank you for a wonderful family meal.

        1. Hi Matthew! Sounds like you have a new recipe for your dinner rotation. That’s so great that your son loved it!

      10. 5 stars
        Absolutely delicious! It came together so easily and I made it even easier by using a rotisserie chicken!

      11. 5 stars
        YUM!!!! This was such a good weeknight meal. Lots of flavor and loved learning how to make homemade tostadas – so so good!

      12. 5 stars
        Another awesome recipe! I’ve been trying to go gluten free and you’ve made my life so much easier with your great recipes! Thank you so much! ?
        Have you considered writing a cookbook?

        1. Awe, you are so welcome! So happy to hear you are enjoying my recipes, Tammy.
          Maybe one day. It is a very hard process. If I do, news will be everywhere on the website. 🙂

      13. 5 stars
        Another great easy and tasty recipe!

        Did it with Chili lime chicken breast, so yummy. Hubby doesn’t like cumin, I tried to sprinkle a tiny little bit in the chicken marinade. He said, I like the chicken but there is a spice I don’t like, what did you put in? !!! Can’t win the cumin battle. Now I know, cumin is out…

        1. 5 stars
          I should clarify.. I did not put cumin in the tostadas guacamole, just Chili powder and it was still delicious.

          Love that it’s easy to dress the tostadas with the ready guacamole!

      14. 5 stars
        We made this meal tonight and loved it! The only substitute I made was using ground chicken with taco seasoning which I thought would appeal more to my three younger kids. I ended up making 10 tostadas, and the recipe was still more than enough for that . I ate two, my three girls each had one and my husband ate 5! That’s when you know it’s a good recipe! Thanks so much for sending this one along!

      15. 5 stars
        I just made these exactly as written. They were so good! Thank you for your very good and healthy recipes!

      16. 5 stars
        Another amazing recipe! My kids said these were better than any tostada from a Mexican restaurant and I really have to agree. I put my corn tortillas in the air fryer and they came out super crisp. Living in AZ, I don’t like putting the oven on in the summer. 🙂

      17. 5 stars
        This was a HUGE hit with my entire family. They asked me to make it again in less than a week. I buy fresh salsa and add avocado to it. EASY and so fresh tasting! We love the crunch of the baked tostadas! Thanks.

        1. 5 stars
          I made this for dinner tonight and my husband loved it! You were right, the homemade tostadas were much better than the store bought.

      18. 5 stars
        I absolutely loved this! I took the easy way out and used frozen rotisserie chicken, store bought pico de gallo mixed with avocado, and Old El Paso flour tortilla bowls. Add a little sour cream and voila! So delicious. (Sorry I was one of those people who alters the recipe and then comments ?)

      19. I love your recipes, but hate trying to read them through all the ads and pop-ups. Think I’m going to leave ifoodreal.

        1. I am so happy to hear you are enjoying my recipes:) I understand! This much advertising makes free recipes possible. You might be not aware but even web hosting for this size of website is $600US per month not to mention 4 people working to deliver content. 

          There is only 2 pop ups and one of them doesn’t show anymore if you click Close button. Video player has a Close button top right corner as well.

        1. Every recipe has a nutritional info card located at the bottom of the recipe. Sometimes it takes a minute to load on the webpage. Hope that helps!

      20. I see that you warm/crisp the corn tortillas in the oven on step 1 of recipe but not seeing the actual recipe for homemade corn tortillas.
        Can you please provide? I would love to try to make them. Thank you:)

          1. You say in your notes that “I prefer to make my own”. They are not that hard and taste better than store bought. Especially, if make them with fat free chicken/vegetable stock.

            1. To make my own tostada shells not corn tortillas. Tostada shells are crunchy deep fried tortillas so I bake my own to make them healthy. You can buy tostadas and tortillas – 2 different things. I will clarify that. The stock part is not from there. 🙂

        1. Hi Geri. No I do not supply WW Smartpoints. I do provide nutritional information at the bottom of every recipe! Hope that helps!

      21. 5 stars
        This was such a refreshing alternative to normal taco night!! My oldest loved this while I had simply the ingredients for my youngest. I shared this recipe with some friends!

        1. That is the best when kids (& the rest of the family) love what we moms make. That’s so great! Thanks so much for sharing my recipes. Appreciate it a lot!

      22. 5 stars
        My family of 8 loved this! We even used small “street taco” tortillas, which seemed novel to everyone. My youngest two helped prepare the meal – a big plus! Everything was eaten, thanks 🙂

      23. 5 stars
        I love this recipe! Not only is it super flavorful and quick to make, but it was the first dish my boyfriend and I made together. He was discouraged from cooking a while ago, but the ease of this recipe, and the result amazed him, and now he wants to cook more 🙂 Thank you Olena!

          1. 5 stars
            This was such a refreshing alternative to normal taco night!! My oldest loved this while I had simply the ingredients for my youngest. I shared this recipe with some friends!

      24. 5 stars
        I really liked the chicken tostada’s. I used ground chicken breast and they were good. I have breast cancer and am treating it naturally. I eat a clean diet and thought these were clean and healthy. I wish I could save the recipe to Pinterest. Thanks!

      25. 5 stars
        This is great! I like to use refried beans because they act as a glue for the other toppings. One other topping I added was a low-fat sour cream for a nice tang – or add a slash of fresh lime juice for a bright, fresh flavor.

        If people wish to use a sous vide, cook for an hour at 150º, let sit for 10 minutes, drain any liquid and shred. You can add some flavor to the chicken first if you’d like by adding 1/4 c salsa to your sous vide bag, or rub a spice blend over the chicken first. I used boneless, skinless breasts.

        Thanks for the inspiration!

      26. 5 stars
        Mine didn’t turn out as pretty BUT they were amazing and our family loved them!! Definitely adding to our weekly meals!!

          1. 5 stars
            MAHALO!! MY MOST HEARTFELT THANKS FOR SHARING THESE HEALTHY EASY RECIPES FOR FREE! I HAVE A REALLY BAD BACK. DOC SAYS I AM OBESE AND NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT. THESE YUMMY AND EASY TO MAKE RECIPE ‘S ARE JUST RIGHT FOR ME!

            1. Awe, you are so welcome! So happy to hear you are enjoying my recipes! Please don’t be shy to leave me a comment with a star review once you make any recipe. Have a great week!

      27. 5 stars
        I LOVE this recipe! I am going to make this again and again! Delicious and satisfying!

        Added note 1: I used a salt-grinder when salting the corn tortillas, which made the salt really “pop.” The only additional side I served at dinner was a rather bland plate of watermelon slices. The salt from the tortilla shells really saved the watermelon!

        I recently started using the “fooducate” app, and I published this recipe. I hope it’s okay that I made it public. I cited “ifoodreal” in the recipe title and noted “Taken from ifoodreal.com” in the notes. If you want me to make this recipe private (so that only I can see it on the app), just let me know. Thank you!

      28. 5 stars
        Loved this! added a twist and added mango to the salsa! It was so good will definitely be making this again.

      29. It Look so delicious. Super amazing recipe.
        Loved the presentation .
        Thanks for sharing !!
        Keep Posting !!
        Also you can check out my site ML Caterers
        I hope you will like it and find it helpful.

      30. 5 stars
        I make these tostadas once a week and my family loves them and so do I! I’m Mexican and I no longer buy tostadas, I bake them! I will sometimes add quinoa, if I have leftovers of it. Adding a salsa also makes them great. Your recipes are simple and delicious. Thank u!

      31. 5 stars
        Simple and sounds delicious. I can’t wait to make this for my family tonight, including two little ones. I’m going to try my hand at making my own tostadas too!

        Thanks from momofwarhearmyroar.com

      32. 5 stars
        absolutely delicious! We have this once a week ever since discovering it. Every recipe on your website has been very delicious, thank you!

      33. 5 stars
        you inspired me to make a version of this! thank you. I had sprouted tortillas – 2 min in the microwave made them crispy just like tostada shells, soooo goood! i did not have chicken, but tofu – just pan fried crispy and then had everyone assemble to their liking. My 5 yo just had the shells with beans and we had everything else, it was so good.
        thank you for your delicious inspirations!
        btw I love your new layout of the site….

        1. Aw, thank you! Anything works with tostadas! My 7 yo had tostada with beans too haha. Sometimes you just need a little inspiration and a kick…

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