Tostadas de Tinga (Chicken Tostadas)

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Chicken Tostadas de Tinga – Here is an easy recipe for spicy stovetop chicken Tinga that’s delicious to layer onto crisp tortillas with refried beans and your favorite tostada toppings!

Close view chicken tinga tostada loaded with pickled veggies.

Why We Love this Recipe

We have a simple Instant Pot Chicken Tinga recipe (Tinga de Pollo) already on the blog for tacos, Mexican chicken salads, and burritos. The instant pot recipe could also be used for tostadas. However, today we are sharing an all-inclusive stovetop Chicken Tinga recipe specifically for tostadas. The flavor is slightly more robust, and the chicken filling is chunkier, making it great to stand up against strong, perky toppings like pickled red onions and jalapeños.

This recipe also includes a simple Avocado Crema to offer a cool creamy balance to the spicy tostadas de pollo. (We also have a separate Avocado Crema that’s a little bit more robust in flavor if you want to include that as well!)

Not only is this Tostada de Tinga dish easy to prepare, it is also fun to assemble and enjoy with all kinds of goodies! Crispy tostada shells are spread with a thin layer of refried beans then topped with shredded chicken Tinga and crema… All other toppings are optional, but we really love this blend of cool and spicy Pickled red onions, cilantro, and jalapeños!

Top down chicken tinga tostadas on a black and white speckled plate.

Ingredients You Need

For the Chicken Tinga:

  • Chicken breast
  • Tomato
  • Garlic (ajos)
  • Oil (aceite)
  • Ground cumin
  • Dried oregano
  • Fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • Salt and pepper

For the Avocado Crema:

  • Sour cream
  • Avocado
  • Lime juice

For the Tostadas de Tinga:

  • Tostada shells – buy these ready to use, or quickly fry up your own tostadas with corn tortillas in hot oil
  • Refried beans – store-bought or homemade
  • Pickled red onions (cebolla) – store-bought or homemade
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Pickled jalapeños – jarred or homemade
Side view tinga tostada on a plate, loaded with chopped veggies and pickled onions and jalapenos.

How to Make Chicken Tinga

Set a sauté pot on the stovetop heat. Add the oil, and then sauté the onions and garlic for 3 to 5 minutes to soften and sweeten the flavor. Stir in the cumin and oregano, followed by the fire-roasted tomatoes, minced chipotle peppers, ¼  teaspoon of salt, and a ¼ cup of water.

Hand adding diced tomatoes from a can into a pot with sauteed onion and aromatics.

Stir well, and simmer for another minute. 

Add in the whole raw chicken breasts and coat them in tomato sauce.

Get the Complete (Printable) Tostadas de Tinga Recipe Below. Enjoy!

Two chicken breasts in tomato sauce in a large saucepan.

Cover the sauté pan and simmer for approximately 18 to 20 minutes, flipping the chicken once in the middle.

Make sure to stir occasionally so the tomatoes don’t burn on the bottom of the pan. Then re-cover the pan and continue cooking. Once the chicken is fully cooked through, remove it from the heat.

Two cooked chicken breasts in a tomato sauce in a saucepan.

Remove the chicken from the tomato sauce with tongs. Use two forks to shred the chicken, then stir the shredded chicken back into the tomato mixture.

Taste, then salt and pepper as needed. Cover and keep warm as you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Top view shredded pollo de tinga in a large cooking pan.

How to Make Avocado Crema

  1. Scoop the avocado flesh out of the peel, and remove the pit.
  2. Place the sour cream, avocado flesh, and lime juice in the blender. Add a pinch of salt.
  3. Cover and purée on high until very smooth.

If needed, add another teaspoon of lime juice to loosen the crema, and purée again.

Pro Tip: Scoop the avocado crema into a squirt bottle for easy drizzling, or place it in a bowl to dollop on top of the tostadas de Tinga with a spoon.

Bowl of whipped avocado crema.

How to Assemble Chicken Tostadas

Warm the refried beans (in the microwave or on the stovetop) for just a few minutes.

 Spread a thin layer of warm refried beans over each tostada shell.

Tostada shell on a white and black speckled plate, covered in a layer of refried beans.

Top with 2-3 tablespoons of shredded chicken Tinga.

Portion of chicken tinga on top of a tostada and refried beans.

Drizzle or dollop the avocado Crema on top. Add chopped fresh tomatoes.

Tostada with diced tomatoes and avocado crema.

Then sprinkle on pickled red onions, jalapeños, and cilantro.

Or load on whatever toppings you like! Here are a few ideas for other goodies to add to the tostadas de pollo to get you started:

  • Crumbled queso fresco or cotija cheese
  • Pico de gallo
  • Crispy bacon bits
  • Shredded radishes
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Avocado slices
  • Tomatillo salsa
Finished tostada from tinga de pollo recipe.

Serving Suggestions

Make Tostadas de Tinga a complete meal by pairing it with any number of Mexican cuisine-inspired sides!

A few of our favorites side dishes include:

And don’t forget the chips and BEST Homemade Salsa!

Top down servings on tinga chicken tostada fully loaded with garnishes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Chicken Tinga taste like?

It is savory, tomato-y, and bursting with vibrant spices. The cumin and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce have a lot of umami and smoky flavors, so the meat is incredibly complex and satisfying.

Is Chicken Tinga spicy?

Yes, this Tostadas de Tinga dish does have a good bit of heat! Chipotle peppers are quite spicy, and the flavor is amplified by the smoky adobo sauce. However, you can adjust this to taste.

Can this recipe be made ahead?

Absolutely! I love to make a large batch of Tinga de Pollo and use the shredded meat in meal preps or easy dinners throughout the week.

How long do leftovers last?

Store the chicken in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

To freeze, transfer to a plastic zipper bag and squeeze all of the air out. Keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Final view from chicken tinga recipe.

Looking for More Fun and Easy Recipes? Be Sure to Also Try:

Tostadas de Tinga (Chicken Tostadas)

Here is an easy recipe for spicy stovetop chicken Tinga that’s delicious to layer onto crisp tortillas with refried beans and your favorite tostada toppings!

Servings: 20 tostadas

For the Chicken Tinga –

For the Avocado Crema –

  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

For the Tostadas de Tinga –

  • Set a sauté pot on the stovetop heat. Add the oil, and then sauté the onions and garlic for 3 to 5 minutes to soften and sweeten the flavor. Stir in the cumin and oregano, followed by the fire roasted tomatoes, minced chipotle peppers, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and a ¼ cup of water. Stir well, and simmer for another minute.

  • Add in the whole raw chicken breasts and coat them in tomato sauce. Cover the sauté pan and simmer for approximately 18 to 20 minutes, flipping the chicken once in the middle. Make sure to stir occasionally so the tomatoes don’t burn on the bottom. Then re-cover the pan and continue cooking. Once the chicken is fully cooked through, remove from heat.

  • Remove the chicken from the tomato sauce with tongs. Use two forks to shred the chicken, then stir the shredded chicken back into the tomato mixture. Taste, then salt and pepper as needed. Cover and keep warm as you prepare the remaining ingredients.

  • Meanwhile, scoop the avocado flesh out of the peel, and remove the pit. Place the sour cream, avocado flesh, and lime juice in the blender. Add a pinch of salt. Cover and purée on high until very smooth. If needed, add another teaspoon of lime juice to loosen the crema, and purée again.

  • Scoop the avocado crema into a squirt bottle for easy drizzling, or place it in a bowl to dollop on top of the tostadas with a spoon.

  • Warm the refried beans (in the microwave or on the stovetop) for just a few minutes. And prepare all remaining toppings.

  • To assemble: Spread a thin layer of warm refried beans over each tostada shell. Top with 2-3 tablespoons of shredded Chicken Tinga. Drizzle or dollop the avocado crema on top. Then sprinkle on pickled red onions, jalapeños, and cilantro. Serve warm.

Also try it with crumbled queso fresco, pico de gallo, crispy bacon bits, or radishes. To make in advance or meal prep: Store the chicken in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. To freeze, transfer to a plastic zipper bag and squeeze all of the air out. Keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Serving: 1tostada, Calories: 157kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.03g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 304mg, Potassium: 191mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 257IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 44mg, Iron: 1mg

Making this recipe? Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!

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