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Easy Chili-Spiced Chicken Tostada Recipe

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There is a lot to love about these chicken tostadas! It’s a quick and easy meal; made with simple ingredients; and served up DIY-style which is helpful if you’re serving this meal to kids. I came up with this chicken tostadas recipe after my kids became obsessed with these black bean tostadas. Seriously, it’s one of their favorite meals, so I’ve been on a mission to come up with more ways to serve up a similar meal. We put out all of the toppings and let everyone build their own perfect tostada. Oh, and it’s ready in 15 minutes. Dinner. Is. Served.

If you like quickie 15-minute dinners (we use them for activity night meals in the WDC), be sure to try pesto tortellini, turkey teriyaki lettuce wraps, lemon pepper shrimp, or sheet pan grilled cheese next time.

Chicken tostadas with fresh toppings

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

What You’ll Love About Chicken Tostadas

  • Full of delicious and bright flavors
  • Quick and easy meal
  • Uses smart shortcuts
  • Easy to prep ahead
  • Made with simple ingredients
  • Just 15 minutes total time

Chicken Tostadas VIDEO


  • Chicken – I use rotisserie chicken to keep things really simple, but you could also use grilled chicken, slow cooker salsa chicken, or even ground chicken.
  • Oil – Use a vegetable oil like avocado or canola.
  • Spices – chili powder, cumin, garlic powder
  • Tomato paste – This gives the chicken a rich flavor, if you don’t have tomato paste, you could also use tomato sauce, or even salsa.
  • Tostada shells – Look for crispy store-bought tostada shells. Some versions require you to bake them for a few minutes, so check your package for instructions.
  • Beans – We love these refried black beans, but you can also use canned refried beans to keep it easy. (Which we also do!)
  • Basic toppings – Shredded iceberg lettuce for max crunch, tomato, cotija cheese (or use shredded Monterey jack, pepper jack, or sharp cheddar)
  • Garnishes – Pickled red onion, cilantro
  • Extra toppings – Guacamole, sour cream, olives, diced onion, nacho cheese sauce, quesadilla sauce
Ingredients to make chicken tostada recipe

How to Make Chicken Tostadas

This is an overview on how to make chicken tostadas, the detailed instructions can be found below in the recipe card.

Prep. Prep your toppings, heat refried beans, and measure out spices into small pinch bowl so they are ready to go. Shred chicken if necessary.
Heat spices. Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet. Add tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder to the pan and cook until fragrant.
Heating spices for chicken tostadas in a skillet.
Cook chicken. Add chicken to skillet and cook until chicken is heated through. TIP: Be careful to not overcook and dry out chicken.
Shredded chicken in a skillet with seasonings.
Assemble tostadas. Top tostada shell with a layer of refried beans, chicken, and then fresh toppings. Finish with a squeeze of lime juice and hot sauce if you like some heat.
GIF adding toppings to chicken tostada recipe.


Are chicken tostadas healthy?

This meal provides so many things! It is filling and satisfying. It is a good source of protein and fiber. It provides fresh veggies. It provides energy in the form of carbohydrates. And it is full of flavor!

So I’ll let you decide if chicken tostadas are healthy… 🙂

What kind of chicken should I use for tostadas?

You have so many options for chicken! I’ve used rotisserie chicken for these tostadas to cut down on prep time, but you can use sous vide shredded chicken, slow cooker salsa chicken, grilled chicken, or even ground chicken like these ground chicken tacos.

Hand squeezing lime juice over chicken tostada.

Storage Instructions

Store healthy chicken tostada components in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

How to reheat

Reheat tostada chicken in a hot skillet or microwave, just until warm.

What to Serve with Easy Chicken Tostadas

These rotisserie chicken tostadas need a simple side dish

Chicken tostada with fresh toppings.

How to Feed Chicken Tostada Recipe to the Whole Family

I get it, feeding kids can be tough! But following the Division of Responsibility and knowing your job and your child’s job makes it SO much more enjoyable. You’ll be able to feed your kids any meal, which will help ensure that they are eating a variety of nutritious foods – with plenty of play food sprinkled in.

I would recommend serving the tostadas as a DIY situation so that everyone can build their own tostadas. Serve the meal with a few items you know your kids will eat, like fruit, milk, and/or bread and butter if they don’t do tostada shells.

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Chicken tostada with toppings.

More Easy Mexican-Inspired Recipes

If you like this recipe for chicken tostadas, you might also like these other Mexican-inspired recipes:

Let me Meal Plan for you!

In a dinner time rut? Overwhelmed with the task of meal planning? It’s time to hand over meal planning to a pro!

This done-for-you plan can easily be customized and your grocery list is made with the click of a button – all while you sit in the school pick up line.

You’ll save time, save money, waste less food, and go into meals calm instead of stressed. Your dinner is planned and your grocery list is made and everything is conveniently delivered to an app so you can print it out, access from your phone, or computer.

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Chicken tostadas with fresh toppings

Easy Chicken Tostada Recipe

  • Author: Emily Dingmann of myeverydaytable.com
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 tostadas 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Skillet
  • Cuisine: Mexican
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These chicken tostadas are a quick and easy meal; made with simple ingredients; and served up DIY-style which is always fun! 


Units Scale
  • ~ 3 cups shredded cooked chicken (about 2 cooked breasts or 18 oz. cooked)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 12 tostada shells
  • 15 oz. can refried black beans (or try homemade refried beans)
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • cotija cheese
  • 1 lime (cut into wedges)
  • optional garnish: pickled red onion and/or cilantro


  1. Heat refried beans and prep toppings.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add chicken to skillet and cook until chicken is heated through, being careful to not overcook and dry out chicken.
  4. Assemble tostadas. Top tostada shell with refried beans, chicken, lettuce, tomato, and cotijia cheese. Squeeze lime over the top. 


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 180
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Sodium: 289.2 mg
  • Fat: 7.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 16.4 g
  • Fiber: 2.9 g
  • Protein: 13 g
  • Cholesterol: 32.8 mg

Keywords: chicken tostadas, chicken tostada recipe, chicken tostadas recipe

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