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Chicken Tinga Tostadas

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Chicken Tinga is a spicy flavorful shredded chicken that goes great on tostadas, with shredded lettuce, pickled onions, cotija cheese, and avocado.

Two tostadas on a board with parchment paper.

How to Cook the Chicken for Tinga

My favorite way to cook the chicken is in the Instant Pot. The chicken turns out so juicy.

Simply add 2 lbs of chicken and 1 cup of water or broth to the instant pot. Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes.

Another way that’s quick and easy is to use a rotisserie chicken. Just shred the chicken until you get about 4 cups. 

Cooked shredded chicken, onions, and red sauce in a skillet.

Otherwise, you can simmer the chicken on a stove in water or broth until it’s fully cooked and then shred it.

How to Make the Tinga Sauce

The key component in Tinga is the spicy sauce, which is actually pretty easy to make. 

It’s just 4 ingredients- Roma tomatoes, garlic, chipotles in adobo sauce, and chicken broth or bouillon.

Halved tomatoes, garlic, onions, broth, and a can of chipotles.

Place all the ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. 

If you don’t plan on making the tinga right away, you can store the sauce in the fridge overnight.

Tomatoes and broth in a blender

To make the Chicken Tinga, sauté a whole sliced yellow onion in a pan with oil over medium heat, until slightly caramelized. Then add the cooked shredded chicken and all of the sauce.

Combine and simmer for about 10 minutes over low heat for the flavors to absorb into the chicken. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

Chicken Tinga tastes even better the next day!

Homemade Tostadas

Tostadas are a flat crispy tortilla that you can buy at the store or make your own tostadas.

My preferred method is baking a corn tortilla in the oven until it gets crispy, no oil or baking sheet needed. 

Just place tortillas directly on the oven rack or toaster oven at 375 degrees for about 7-10 minutes, or until crispy. 

Ingredients in separate bowls with tostadas on a board.

The other method to make tostadas is to fry the tortillas in oil until they get crispy on both sides. Then place on a rack to drain the oil.

How to Serve and Store the Chicken Tinga

Layer your tostada with canned or homemade refried beans. Then add the chicken tinga, shredded lettuce, cotija cheese, pickled onions, and sliced avocado. 

Up close view of completed Chicken Tinga Tostadas

Or serve the chicken tinga in soft corn tortillas with the same toppings for a tinga taco. 

Leftover tinga can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. 

Tinga also freezes well, place the meat with some of the juices, either in an airtight bag or container and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove or microwave.

Overhead view of assembled tostadas on parchment paper

For a short cut and less spicy version, try my Easy Instant Pot Salsa Chicken.

Tinga is also a great filling for Baked Flautas.

Square feature image of Tinga Tostada.

Chicken Tinga Tostadas

Shredded Chicken mixed in a spicy tomato chipotle sauce and piled on a crispy tostada.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8


  • 8 Tostadas Store bought or Homemade (see notes)
  • 4 Cups Shredded Chicken Rotisserie or cooked chicken breast.
  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 Yellow Onion sliced thin
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  • 4 Roma Tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 Can Chipotles in Adobo Sauce I used half the can, but adjust to your spice preference.
  • 1/2 Cup Chicken Stock
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • Salt to taste


  • 1 Cup Refried Beans See Notes for Homemade Recipe
  • 1 Cup Shredded Iceberg Lettuce
  • 1/4 Cup Cotija cheese or Feta cheese crumbles
  • 1 Avocado sliced
  • 1 Pickled Red Onions


  • For the sauce, add the sliced roma tomatoes, chipotles in adobo, garlic, chicken stock, and salt. Blend in a blender until smooth.
  • In a large pan with a lid, add oil over medium heat. Add sliced yellow onions and cook until translucent and some caramelization. This takes about 10 minutes.
  • Add cooked shredded chicken to pan, then pour tomato chipotle sauce. Mix well and bring to a low boil, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and see if additional salt or pepper is needed.
  • To assemble tostadas- spread refried beans on the bottom, top with chicken tinga, shredded lettuce, pickled red onions, crumbled cheese, and sliced avocado.



Recipe for Homemade Re-fried Beans, click Here.
Homemade Tostadas: place tortillas directly on the oven rack or toaster oven at 375 degrees for about 7-10 minutes or until crispy.
Easy Salsa Chicken


Serving: 1gCalories: 324kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 22gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 726mgPotassium: 469mgFiber: 7gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1652IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 70mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional information is provided as an estimate only and depends on ingredients and amounts used. Thai Caliente makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Keyword Chicken Tinga, Chicken Tostadas, Tinga
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