These Chicken Tostadas are easy to make and absolutely bursting with flavour!
These tostadas have truly got it all going on. There’s a million and one ways to make a chicken tostada, but here I’ll I show you what I deem to be the best way 😋 Follow me…
Chicken for Tostadas
The chicken is the star of the show here, so it’s important to let it shine. For this recipe we’re going for boneless skinless chicken thighs and a really simple store-cupboard spice mix.
Don’t fear the char!
Once you’ve coated the thighs in spices & oil, whack them in a pan and fry those babies up. When you’re frying don’t be scared to char the meat a little, this carameliztion will actually add a deep, smoky flavour. Some of the char also stays in the pan which makes a good base for the sauce. Don’t go overboard, we’re not looking for charcoal here, but a bit of light charring does offer a more authentic flavour.
Bring close to room temp
You’ll find that if you fry meat straight from the fridge, it tends to seep out a ton of moisture and the meat seizes up. Not only does this leave the meat chewy, but the excess moisture prevents the caramelization you need to add flavour. As such I recommend taking the chicken out the fridge around 15mins before needed.
Process shots: combine spice mix (photo 1), rest chicken on chopping board (photo 2), add spices and oil (photo 3), fully coat (photo 4), add to pan and fry (photo 5), flip then fry until cooked through (photo 6).
Shredded Chicken for Tostadas
Once you’ve fried the chicken, leave all that gorgeous flavour in the pan and place the chicken to one side. When needed, use two forks to shred. Now the chicken is delicious as it is, but I like incorporating in a super simple sauce, just to add a punch more flavour and keep it EXTRA juicy. For the sauce all you need is chicken stock, lime juice, tomato paste and honey.
Process shots: remove chicken (photo 1), add tomato paste (photo 2), fry then add stock, lime juice and honey (photo 3), stir and simmer (photo 4), add shredded chicken (photo 5), stir to coat (photo 6).
Now here’s where you can have some fun! To be honest you won’t see the same chicken tostada recipe twice, but here’s what I deem the best combo:
Chicken Tostada Toppings
- Tostada Shell – Store-bought or homemade.
- Refried Beans – Warmed on the stove.
- Guac – I use a ‘cheats’ guac here which is much easier than traditional guac.
- Chicken – As discussed.
- Cheese – Here I use a Mexican Cheese Blend, but in reality you can use any cheese you fancy! Cojita would work nicely.
- Pickled Onions – I like to whip up a quick pickled onion. The hit of acidity cuts through the rich, cheesy, spicy flavours of the other layers. Plus they add a nice pop of colour!
How do you eat chicken tostadas?
The analogy I usually go for is imagine you’re eating something delicious off a small plate, but you’re eating the plate as well 😂. They can be a bit messy, so definitely use a plate.
What to serve with chicken tostadas?
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for these chicken tostadas shall we?!
How to make Chicken Tostadas (Full Recipe & Video)
The BEST Chicken Tostadas you'll ever make!
- 2 Small Mixing Bowls (one for guac, one for onions)
- Small Pot (for spice mix)
- Large Pan, Tongs & Wooden Spoon (for chicken)
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
Ingredients (check list):
- 1lb / 500g boneless, skinless Chicken Thighs (approx 6 thighs)
- 1 cup / 250ml Chicken Stock
- 1 tbsp EACH: Honey, Lime Juice (approx 1/2 lime), Tomato Paste (Tomato Puree in UK)
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 heaped tsp EACH: Smoked Paprika, Cumin
- 1/2 tsp EACH: Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Oregano, Salt
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- pinch of Black Pepper
Quick 'Guac' (see notes for proper guac)
- 2 large Avocados, halved, destoned & roughly diced
- 1 tbsp Lime Juice (approx half Lime)
- 2 tbsp finely diced Coriander/Cilantro
- pinch of Chipotle Flakes/Chilli Flakes optional
- pinch of Salt, to taste
Quick Pickled Onions
- 1 small Red Onion, peeled & finely sliced
- 2 tbsp EACH: Apple Cider (or White Wine Vinegar), Lime Juice (approx 1 whole lime)
- pinch of Salt
Tostadas & other toppings
- 5x 6-7" Tostada Shells, warmed in the oven (see notes)
- 1x 14oz/400g can of Refried Beans, warmed in a saucepan
- 1 cup / 100g Mexican Cheese Blend, or as needed (see notes)
- Coriander/Cilantro, to garnish
- Pickled Onions: In a small mixing bowl combine finely sliced red onion with 2 tbsp vinegar & lime juice and a pinch of salt. Leave to pickle for as long as you have time for, tossing every so often. The longer you leave them the softer/more acidic they'll be.
- Quick Guac: In a small mixing bowl add avocado, 2 tbsp coriander/cilantro, 1 tbsp lime juice, a pinch of chilli flakes (optional) and a good pinch of salt. Smash with a fork or potato masher, then place to one side.
- Prep Chicken: In a small pot combine 1 heaped tsp smoked paprika & cumin, 1/2 tsp oregano, onion powder, garlic powder & salt, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper and a pinch of black pepper. Sprinkle over chicken thighs, then drizzle over 2 tbsp olive oil. Use your hands to fully coat the chicken thighs.
- Cook Chicken: In a large pan over medium-high heat add your chicken thighs. Leave to fry until they begin to char, then flip and continue frying until they're cooked right through the centre and lightly charred on the other side. If they look like they're charring too fast turn down the heat slightly once you flip. Remove from pan and place in a bowl to one side.
- Chicken Sauce: Turn heat to medium and add 1 tbsp tomato paste. Stir and fry for 1-2mins, then add 1 cup chicken stock and 1 tbsp lime juice & honey. Give it a good stir then simmer for 5mins, or until it begins to thicken. Shred chicken with two forks, then add to the sauce and simmer for another couple of mins, until the chicken soaks up the sauce.
- Tostadas: Stack your tostadas in this order: Tostada Shell -> Refried Beans -> Guac -> Chicken -> Cheese -> Pickled Onions -> Coriander/Cilantro. Be careful when stacking that you don't break the shells, especially when you spread the beans/guac.
Quick 1 min demo!
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