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Grilled Chicken Tostadas

Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
Yield 6 servings
This dish gives a Southwestern accent to the American summertime classic, grilled chicken. For more intensity, pickle the onions overnight.


  • Pickled Onions:
  • 4 cups thinly sliced red onion (about 1 large)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 medium orange)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Chicken:
  • 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 medium orange)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons achiote paste, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Remaining ingredients:
  • Cooking spray
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded leaf lettuce
  • 3/4 cup chopped peeled avocado
  • 3/4 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese
  • Pickled jalapeño pepper slices (optional)
  • Reduced-fat sour cream (optional)
  • Cilantro leaves (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 314
  • caloriesfromfat 24 %
  • fat 8.3 g
  • satfat 2.5 g
  • monofat 3.2 g
  • polyfat 1.3 g
  • protein 33 g
  • carbohydrate 27 g
  • fiber 3.7 g
  • cholesterol 76 mg
  • iron 1.6 mg
  • sodium 213 mg
  • calcium 141 mg

How to Make It

  1. To prepare pickled onions, combine onion and 2 cups boiling water in a large bowl. Cover and let stand 15 minutes; drain. Add 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup vinegar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt to onions. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.

  2. To prepare chicken, heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 7 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove garlic from pan; peel and mash. Combine garlic, 1/2 cup orange juice, and the next 7 ingredients (through pepper) in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal bag, and shake vigorously to dissolve achiote paste. Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, and pound to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Add chicken to bag, and seal and marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes, turning bag occasionally.

  3. Prepare grill.

  4. Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade. Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes on each side or until done. Let stand 15 minutes. Shred with 2 forks.

  5. Lightly coat tortillas on each side with cooking spray. Place tortillas on grill rack; grill 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.

  6. Arrange 2 tortillas, overlapping halfway, on each of 6 plates. Top each serving with about 1/2 cup chicken mixture and about 1/2 cup pickled onions. Drizzle evenly with vinegar mixture. Top each serving with 1/3 cup lettuce, 2 tablespoons avocado, and 2 tablespoons cheese. Garnish with jalapeños, sour cream, and cilantro, if desired.

Cook's Notes

Achiote paste is made in part from ground annatto seed. It is a deep red, mildly spicy seasoning; you can find it at large supermarkets or Latin grocery stores.

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