These Tostadas with Chicken are an absolute must for busy weeknights. This Mexican classic is a great alternative to tacos and works well with almost any protein including rotisserie chicken, Slow Cooker Chicken Tinga, and Slow Cooker Chicken Carnitas.
Chicken tostadas have been at the top of my list of easy meals for years. In fact, the first memory I have of making tostadas didn’t actually involve any cooking at all. I was tasked with bringing a main dish to a pool party and completely forgot until the morning of the party. With no time to cook, I headed over to a local Mexican grocery store that had amazing prepared foods with the intention of grabbing some taco meat, tortillas, and salsa and calling it a day. Then when I saw the tostada shells, inspiration struck.
I grabbed all the essentials for making the perfect tostada – crunchy tortillas, creamy refried beans, shredded chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, avocados, and a few salsa choices. I got home from the store, packed everything into my own containers, and set up a little tostada bar at the party. It was a huge success. People were raving about these essentially store-bought tostadas. Ever since then, tostadas are a staple for quick weeknight dinners and easy party food.
Now when it comes to making your own tostadas, you get to decide how homemade you want to make them. You can go all out and make everything from scratch including the beans, salsa, and chicken. You can also go all store bought and simply assemble things at home. Usually, I end up somewhere in between. I almost always use a rotisserie chicken and jazz that up with some lime juice, cilantro, and spices. Then I make these quick shortcut refried beans and grab everything else at the store.
The only exception to this is that I always, always, always make my own baked tostada shells in the oven. They are so much healthier than buying fried shells at the store and are so easy. While they cook, I prep everything else, and dinner is ready by the time they are out of the oven.
How to Bake Tostadas
To make your own tostadas at home, start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Then you can place the corn tortillas on a baking sheet or directly on the oven rack. Bake for 4-5 minutes per side until they are nice and crispy. If you want to add some seasoning to your tostadas, you can spray the tortillas with cooking spray or brush them with olive oil before baking. Then sprinkle with cumin and garlic powder and then add a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
If you want the traditionally fried tostada shell, heat about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a heavy skillet. Add the tortilla and cook for 1-2 minutes per side until it is bubbly and crispy. You will know the tortilla is ready to flip once it doesn’t bend at all when you pick it up with tongs. Flip and cook on the other side. Remove and set on paper towels to drain the excess grease. However, remember that the dish won’t be as healthy if you fry the tostada shells.