Chicken Tinga Tostadas

Serves 4-6

| Prep Time: 10 mins

| Cook Time: 30 mins

| Total Time: 45 mins

You may need: Dried Garlic Powder

Discover The Recipe

Chicken Tinga is a shredded chicken dish cooked in a lightly spiced tomato sauce originating from Puebla, a state in East-Central Mexico. This recipe is a quick and easy take that you’ll want to add to your weeknight or meal prep rotation. The smoky black beans spread in our recipe adds an umami and smokiness that transforms this dish into something special. The chicken simmers in the sauce and is ready to shred in under 30 mins. Save time by picking up a rotisserie chicken from your local market, then shredding (the sauce alone can be made with this recipe in 10 mins on the stove).

You can also make the shredded Chicken Tinga to fill burritos, enchiladas, tacos, or a tortilla-less burrito bowl. We season the Chicken Tinga sauce with our all-purpose Taco Elixir spice blend. Made with mild Mexican chilis, aromatics like garlic and onion, with hints of smoke, our Taco Elixir spice can be used on everything from ground meats (for tacos) to fajita marinade and even soups. See below for more ideas to use the Taco Elixir blend, including vegetarian recipes.


  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 white onion, diced and divided

  • 1 (15 oz) can of fire roasted tomatoes

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste

  • 2 Tbsp Piquant Post Taco Elixir spice

  • 8 tostadas (packaged) or 8 corn tortillas, fried*

  • Tops of 10 cilantro sprigs, chopped, for garnish

  • 2 oz Mexican Cotija cheese (or cheddar, jack, etc)

  • Lime wedges for garnish

  • 4 slices of smoked bacon

  • 1/3 white onion, diced

  • 2 (15 oz) cans of black beans


To make your own tostadas, use slightly stale tortillas to produce the best results when frying in oil. Leave them out overnight, uncovered to dry out. Fresh tortillas also work fine.

If you don’t want to fry tortillas, you can dry “fry” them in a pan to get them crunchy. You can also toast in a toaster oven or bake on a sheet pan for ~10-12 mins at 350 deg. Keep an eye on them to not burn.

Optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don’t sweat it if you don’t have them.


First, season chicken with salt & pepper to taste. Heat a skillet or large pan on Med-High. Add oil and chicken. Sear chicken for 4 mins per side then flip. Prep remaining fresh ingredients and set aside.

Add garlic, 1/3 diced onions, tomatoes, water, tomato paste and spice blend to pan. Stir to mix. Gently turn the chicken to coat, then nestle in the sauce. Lower heat to Med-Low and simmer for 20 mins. Cover pan.

While chicken is cooking, make the beans. Heat a large skillet or sauté pan on Med-High. Add bacon and 1/3 diced onions then cook for 8-10 mins until the fat renders and onions are crispy. Carefully pour out 3/4 of the bacon fat into a safe trash container, without spilling bacon or onions. Add entire can of black beans/liquid and bring to a simmer, stirring. Reduce heat to Med-Low & cook for ~10 mins. Use a potato masher or large spoon to mash beans.

When chicken is done, remove from pan leaving tomato sauce on Low to thicken. When chicken cools, use 2 forks to shred chicken on a cutting board. Toss with tomato mixture. Assemble tostadas: spread black beans first, then chicken then garnishes. Serve with lime wedges.

Alternatives & Substitutions

  • Our Taco Elixir blend works great as a seasoning to add Mexican zest to this Chicken Tinga Tostadas recipe, Chicken Tinga Enchiladas, Tacos, Fajitas and countless other recipes.

  • If you can't get packaged crispy tostadas, make your own with tortillas. See the chef's notes section above to make.

  • Need a classic for Taco Tuesday? Try Taco Elixir in our Perfect Beef Tacos recipe.

  • Feeling like Tex-Mex? Try our delicious Easy Steak Fajitas recipe. Works great with veggies, too!

  • Need a dish for the big game? Try using our taco elixir spice blend to make gameday chicken nachos!

  • Vegetarians: try Taco Elixir to make our Pumpkin Tacos al Pastor recipe!

  • Be sure to leave comments and feedback on your meals and experiments in the comments for others to read.

  • Post pictures of your masterpiece meal on social media and tag us. We repost!

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