Chicken Tinga Tostada Recipe

This authentic chicken tinga tostada recipe is made easy with our make-ahead slow cooker chicken tinga, canned refried beans, mashed avocado, and queso fresco. Make these tostadas for a fun twist on taco night!

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Since we introduced you to our big batch slow cooker chicken tinga recipe earlier this week, you know what comes next: Chicken Tinga Tostadas! Today, we’re walking you through how to make one of our favorite recipes using slow cooker chicken tinga. From frying your own tortillas to creating the perfect layers of flavor and texture in every bite, this chicken tinga tostada recipe will have you crafting tasty, authentic tostadas in no time!

Chicken tinga tostada recipe on a plate with cilantro and shredded chicken tinga

What Are Authentic Chicken Tinga Tostadas?

Traditionally, authentic Mexican chicken tinga tostadas are fried corn tortillas topped with refried beans, chicken tinga, avocado, and cheese. Since tostadas are just like tacos (but served open face), you can choose from tons of different toppings like salsa, crema, lettuce, hot sauce, and more. You can always customize this chicken tinga tostada recipe to your liking, but here’s what ingredients our recipe uses for the most authentic flavor:

  • Crispy corn tortillas – These will be the crunchy base of your tostadas
  • Refried beans – A creamy layer of beans contrasts the crunchy tortilla and adds savory flavor
  • Shredded chicken tingaOur Mexican chicken tinga recipe uses tomatoes, chipotles in adobo, and onion for authentic flavor and is easy to make ahead of time in a slow cooker or crock pot
  • Mashed avocado with lime juice and salt – Affectionately dubbed “fake guac” in our household, creamy avocado with lime adds a bright pop of citrus to these tostadas
  • Queso fresco – If you like cheese on your tostadas, use a sprinkle of queso fresco for the finishing touch
  • Chopped cilantro – Fresh herbs take these tostadas up a notch and add great color to this dish
A chicken tinga tostada recipe

How To Make Chicken Tinga Tostadas

These Mexican tostadas with refried beans, chicken tinga, and avocado are super easy to make for lunch or dinner. Especially if you’ve prepared a batch of our slow cooker chicken tinga ahead of time or have leftovers in the fridge! Here’s how to make our shredded chicken tinga tostadas:

  1. Make the chicken tinga. For easy chicken tinga tostadas, you need a delicious chicken tinga recipe. Try our slow cooker chicken tinga here and let it cook all day before using it for tostadas at dinnertime. Or, prep a big batch at the beginning of the week, store in the refrigerator, and simply reheat for tostadas!
  2. Prepare your workstation. You’re going to need a place to drain the fried tortillas, so set this up ahead of time. We like to line a large baking sheet with a single layer of paper towels, then place our wire cooling rack on top of it and put this next to the stove. The cooling rack provides the proper airflow for the fried tortillas to drain while also crisping properly, while the paper towels catch the drips. If you don’t have a cooling rack, you can simply place the tortillas directly onto the paper towels. But note that they may retain more oil this way and not crisp as well.
  3. Fry the tortillas. Heat up about a quarter-inch of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Give it a few minutes to make sure it’s nice and hot before adding the tortillas. Then, use tongs to carefully place as many tortillas in the skillet as you can comfortably fit in a single layer (you’ll probably only be able to do 2 or 3 at once). Fry for about 30 seconds to 1 minute before flipping and frying for another 30 seconds to 1 minute. You want them to get slightly crispy and golden on both sides. Then, transfer to the wire rack to drain. Repeat until all the tortillas are crisped.
  4. Prepare the toppings. Next, get all your tostada toppings ready to go! We like to use canned refried beans for convenience – just follow the microwave instructions on the can to have them ready in about 2 minutes. Then, mash an avocado in a small bowl with some lime juice and sea salt. Crumble a bit of queso fresco into a bowl, then chop some fresh cilantro, and you’ll be ready to go.
  5. Assemble the tostadas. This is the fun part! You can either assemble all the tostadas before serving, or set up a build-your-own tostada station right at the dinner table. It’s really up to you!
Authentic Mexican chicken tinga tostadas on a plate
To make the best shredded chicken tinga tostada following our recipe below, here’s what you’ll do:
  1. Spread a thin layer of refried beans on top of a crispy tortilla.
  2. Top with a small scoop of shredded chicken tinga.
  3. Top the chicken with a dollop of mashed avocado.
  4. Sprinkle queso fresco and chopped cilantro over the tostada and serve!

Serving Suggestions

The layers of flavor in these chicken tinga tostadas are so delicious, eating this meal is a whole experience. In one bite of these tostadas, you’ll get crispy tortilla, salty refried beans, juicy chipotle chicken tinga, creamy avocado, milky queso fresco, and fresh cilantro, all with a hint of zesty lime. There’s truly nothing like it! 

To replicate this amazing experience at home, we have a few recommendations:

  • Handmade corn tortillas have so much more flavor than typical grocery store brands. If you can buy local tortillas, we definitely recommend you do. We love these stone ground tortillas from Whole Foods that are made in California.
  • Use freshly squeezed lime juice in the mashed avocado. It’ll make all the difference! Plus, you can serve these tostadas with fresh lime wedges for anyone who loves squeezing extra citrus on their Mexican food.
  • Plan to serve about 3 tostadas per person, along with a side of tortilla chips and salsa. It’s the perfect amount of food and looks great presented on a plate.
  • It’s tempting to overload a tostada with every delicious topping imaginable, but simple flavor can be the best flavor. (Plus, if you overload your tostada, it might crumble under the weight!). That’s why we top our tostadas with only refried beans, chicken, avocado, cheese, and cilantro. A small amount of each of these ingredients comes together for big flavor in every bite – without causing a mess. 
Three Mexican chicken tinga tostadas on a serving tray

We hope you love these chicken tinga tostadas as much as we do! They’re such a fun twist on taco night, perfect for weeknight dinners with the family. Tostadas are also one of our favorite date night recipes to make together, since we both love Mexican food. Whatever the occasion, these easy shredded chicken tinga tostadas will be a hit!

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Chicken Tinga Tostada Recipe

This authentic chicken tinga tostada recipe is made easy with our make-ahead slow cooker chicken tinga, canned refried beans, mashed avocado, and queso fresco. Make these tostadas for a fun twist on taco night!
Servings 6 tostadas
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes



  • 6 4-inch corn tortillas
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil approximately
  • cups shredded slow cooker chicken tinga
  • ½ cup canned refried beans
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 2 to 3 tbsp queso fresco crumbled
  • Fresh cilantro chopped


  • First, prepare your workstation for frying the tortillas. Line a large baking sheet with paper towels and place a wire cooling rack on top. Then, preheat about a quarter-inch of vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium to medium-high heat.
  • Once the oil is nice and hot, carefully place the tortillas in the pan with tongs (you will likely need to work in batches of only 2 or 3 tortillas at a time). Fry for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the bottoms are lightly golden brown, then flip and fry for another 30 seconds or so. Transfer tortillas to the wire rack to drain over the paper towels. Continue until all the tortillas have been fried.
  • Next, prepare your tostada toppings. If you have prepared shredded chicken tinga in the fridge, measure out about 1-1/2 cups in a microwave-safe dish. Reheat in the microwave for about 1 minute, stirring halfway through, or until warm. Similarly, transfer canned refried beans to a microwave-safe dish and heat for about 1 minute, stirring halfway through.
  • Next, scoop the avocado flesh into a small bowl and add the lime juice and sea salt. Mash with a fork until smooth, and set aside.
  • Finally, assemble the tostadas. First, spread a thin layer of refried beans over the top of each fried tortilla. Then, top with a spoonful of shredded chicken tinga and a scoop of mashed avocado. Finally, sprinkle with crumbled queso fresco and chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.


Slow cooker chicken tinga: We recommend preparing a big batch of chicken tinga ahead of time using our easy slow cooker recipe (here). Then you can easily reheat a small bowl for easy tostadas!
Frying the tortillas: Fried corn tortillas are much more flavorful than store-bought tostada shells, and surprisingly easy to make. Just make sure you drain them on a wire cooling rack if you have one – this will provide the proper airflow for them to drain while crisping evenly. If you don’t have a cooling rack, you can drain them directly on the paper towels, but note that they will likely retain more oil and not be as crispy.
Serving suggestions: Depending on preference, you can plate all the tostadas at once and serve them already assembled – or you can bring all the toppings to the table for a build-your-own tostada night! Pair with a side of chips and salsa and a margarita for a delicious Mexican dinner.
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Author: Nicole
Calories: 203kcal
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Avocado, chicken tinga, cilantro, corn tortillas, date night, mexican, queso fresco, refried beans, tostadas


Calories: 203kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 313mg | Potassium: 340mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 391IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 1mg

If you have any questions regarding the information presented in this post, please refer to our Nutrition Disclaimer here.

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