If you have leftover chicken (or turkey!) then you have to try these Leftover Chicken Tostadas. They're seriously easy and totally customizable!
Chicken Tostada Recipe
I'm always looking for new ways to repurpose leftover chicken and especially leftover turkey when the holidays roll around. And I've been sitting on this tostada recipe for a while. It may not be authentic Mexican cuisine, but it's definitely tasty!
I love that you can really take it in whatever direction you want based on your taste and what you have on hand. These are quick, easy and perfect for a weeknight dinner!
Tips for how to make tostadas
- Make sure you don't over-shred your chicken. It'll naturally shed up more as you stir in the salsa and you don't want it to get mushy.
- I like to spray my tortillas with cooking spray to help them crisp and brown up.
- Honestly, the measurements I gave for this are suggestions- for this recipe it's perfectly fine to measure with your heart.
Helpful ingredient information
- Chicken: You can use any cut of chicken- just shred or chop it up. This also works great with leftover turkey. If you don't have leftovers, I've found the most budget friendly option is to pick up a rotisserie chicken from the store. You can also make your own shredded chicken- check out my blog post on how to shred chicken in the crock pot or instant pot.
- Salsa: Choose your favorite salsa for this!
- Tortillas: I think corn tortillas work best for tostada shells, but if you prefer flour then go for it!
- Beans: My beans of choice are either canned refried beans or black beans.
- Cheese: Typically I use shredded sharp cheddar because I always have it on hand but a taco mix or other shredded cheese of choice works well too.
- Toppings: I like to top these with sour cream, green onion and avocado but any topping will be great!
What is a chicken tostada?
Traditionally, chicken tostadas are flat, crispy tortillas topped with refried beans, chicken, lettuce, onions, crema cheese and salsa. Tostada means toasted so that crispy base is key!
How do you eat chicken tostadas?
This is totally up to you. I use a fork and knife, but no judgement if you pick them up with your hands and get after them!
What's the difference between a taco and a tostada?
Tostadas are typically flat and crispy shells. Tacos are folded and often softer shells (but not always).
Can you fry the tortilla?
You totally can, but I choose to bake because it's easier and healthier.
Can I freeze them?
While you can totally mix and freeze the chicken, I'd encourage you to hold off on freezing the tortilla shells as they may not thaw to the right texture.
Leftovers for this are great, but I encourage you to pack things up separately instead of assembled for the best results. These will last up to 3 days covered in the fridge.
Ingredients that can be prepped ahead:
- Cook and shred chicken
- Make salsa (if using homemade)
- Shred cheese
- Chop or shred any toppings
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Leftover Chicken Tostadas
- Cooking spray
- 6-8 corn tortillas
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 1 ½ cups salsa, divided
- 1 can refried beans (or well drained black beans if you prefer)
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
- The toppings of your choice
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
- Place tortillas on sheet pan in a single layer and spray with cooking spray. Bake for 5-7 minutes until crispy.
- While the tortillas bake, mix chicken with ½ cup salsa until well combined.
- When tostadas are out of the oven top with 2 Tablespoons of beans per tostada.
- Then top with 2 Tablespoons of salsa per tostada.
- Divide chicken mixture between the tostadas.
- Divide shredded cheddar between the tostadas
- Return to the oven and bake for 7-10 more minutes until heated through and cheese is melted. Serve immediately with the toppings of your choice.