Tostadas de Tinga are such a rewarding meal for the fam! Be sure to add some tomatillos to your Tinga as it makes a huge difference!
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4.75 from 16 votes

Tinga Tostadas

Tostadas de Tinga are such a rewarding meal for the family -- be sure to add some tomatillos to your Tinga as it makes a huge difference! 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Servings: 4
Calories: 406kcal
Author: Mexican Please


  • 8-10 tostadas
  • refried beans (optional)
  • Queso Fresco, or Cotija cheese (optional)
  • Mexican Crema (optional)
  • freshly chopped cilantro (optional)
  • lime wedges
  • 1/4 cup salt (for the brining step)

For the Chicken Tinga:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 4-5 tomatillos
  • 1/2 onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 chipotles in adobo
  • 1-2 tablespoons adobo sauce (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • dash of cumin (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • olive oil


  • Keep in mind that you can cook the chicken any way you want or even use rotisserie chicken.   For this batch I brined and baked two boneless chicken breasts.  To brine the chicken, add 1/4 cup salt to a quart of water in a mixing bowl.  Dissolve the salt and add the chicken breasts, letting them brine in the fridge for 30 minutes or so.  If the chicken breasts aren't fully submerged then add a bit more water.  Once brined, pat dry the chicken breasts and add them to a baking sheet.
  • Rinse and de-stem the tomatoes and tomatillos.  Add them to the same baking sheet and bake everything at 400F for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink inside (160F). 
  • Once the chicken has cooled a bit you can shred it with two forks and set aside until you need it. 
  • Meanwhile, roughly chop a half onion and saute in some oil over medium heat.  Add four whole peeled garlic cloves and saute until the onion is starting to brown.  
  • Add the onion-garlic mixture to a blender along with 3 chipotles in adobo and the roasted tomatoes and tomatillos.  I usually scrape out the seeds of the chipotles.   Combine well and take a taste, adding more chipotles if you want more heat. 
  • Add the Tinga mixture back to the same pan you used to cook the onion.  Add 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano, a pinch of cumin (optional), 1/2 teaspoon of salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and 1-2 tablespoons of adobo sauce (optional).   Bring to a simmer and take a final taste for seasoning. 
  • Add the shredded chicken to the Tinga sauce and let simmer until everything is at a uniform temp. 
  • Warm up the tostadas -- I usually put them in the oven for 2-3 minutes.  
  • Add a thin layer of refried beans to each tostada along with a layer of Chicken Tinga.  Optional garnishes include Queso Fresco cheese (or Cotija), Mexican Crema, freshly chopped cilantro, and a final squeeze of lime.  Serve immediately. 
  • Store leftover Tinga in an airtight container in the fridge where it will keep for a few days. 


The Tinga sauce is the key to this recipe so feel free to cook the chicken however you see fit.  Likewise, feel free to serve with your choice of garnishes.
I typically scrape out the seeds of the chipotles.   More info on working with chipotles in adobo. 
You can use store-bought tostadas or crisp up your own.   Here's an easy way to bake tostadas at home. 
Kosher or sea salt are typically recommended for brining as they don’t have any additives.   It's also usually recommended to brine meats in the fridge. 
What is Queso Fresco?
You can also use the Tinga sauce to make some Chicken Tinga Enchiladas.


Calories: 406kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 1129mg | Potassium: 693mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 945IU | Vitamin C: 11.6mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 2.3mg