Chicken Tinga Tostaditas

Photo: Alex Farnum

Popular in Mexico City and the state of Puebla, the spicy, smoky-sweet chipotle chile sauce called tinga transforms plain chicken into something downright addictive. Silvana Salcido Esparza, chef of the popular Barrio Café in Phoenix and Barrio Queen in Scottsdale, Arizona, likes to tuck the saucy chicken into tacos or pile it onto crisp mini tortillas for these tostaditas.

Yield: Makes 16
Recipe from Sunset

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Recipe Time

Total: 1 Hour, 15 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 130
  • Calories from fat: 45%
  • Protein: 6.3g
  • Fat: 6.6g
  • Saturated fat: 1.4g
  • Carbohydrate: 12g
  • Fiber: 1.6g
  • Sodium: 240mg
  • Cholesterol: 14mg


  • Vegetable oil
  • 16 small (4 in.) corn tortillas
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons puréed canned chipotles in adobo*
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (preferably grilled)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced cabbage
  • 3/4 cup pico de gallo
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco*
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 firm-ripe avocado, cut into small, thin slices
  • 1/4 cup crema*, thinned with a little milk, if needed, so it's pourable


  1. 1. Make tostaditas: Heat 1/4 in. oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook 4 tortillas at a time, turning once or twice, until deep golden and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels; set aside.
  2. 2. Spoon 1 tbsp. hot oil into a second large frying pan over medium-high heat. Sauté onion a few minutes until golden, then add garlic, salt, and pepper and cook until garlic starts to brown, 30 to 60 seconds. Stir in 3/4 cup water, the tomato paste, chipotle purée, and sugar; add chicken. Cook, stirring, until bubbling, about 2 minutes. Stir in more water if needed to make it saucy.
  3. 3. Set tortillas on plates. Top with chicken. Garnish with cabbage, salsa, queso fresco, cilantro, and avocado. Drizzle with crema.
  4. *Find canned chipotle chiles, queso fresco, and crema at Latino markets. Purée contents of chipotle can in a blender; keeps, chilled, up to 1 month.
  5. Note: Nutritional data is per tostadita.
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