Chicken Tostada Salad

This Chicken Tostada Salad recipe uses a technique for chicken that simply doesn’t cross my mind often enough – poaching!  Poaching is an easy and healthy way to cook chicken, without any added fat, in about 20 minutes.  In this recipe, the poached chicken is shredded and serves as a perfect blank slate for the salad, which combines simple but flavorful ingredients, such as red onions, chili powder, garlic, and lime juice.

The base of the salad is a crispy, toasted tortilla, with cheese baked right on it.  I have used both romaine lettuce and mixed greens.  It is good either way, but since I have mixed greens on hand at all times, that is what I tend to use.  Go with what you like best!  We enjoyed this tostada salad so much for dinner, I decided to make it for lunch again the next day.  It was that good!

Chicken Tostada Salad
Yields: 4 servings
  • 1 pound chicken breast, boneless, skinless (or rotisserie chicken breast)
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • Cooking spray
  • ¾ cup Monterey Jack cheese, plus additional for topping (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup water
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • ½ head of romaine lettuce, shredded OR 5 ounces of your favorite mixed greens
  • 1 tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Fresh cilantro, for serving (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken in medium pot, and add enough water to cover chicken. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer; cook for 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let chicken stand, covered until cooked through (about 12 to 14 minutes). Remove chicken from liquid and shred with 2 forks.
  2. Spray corn tortillas with cooking spray and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Baked until golden and crisp (about 8 to 10 minutes).
  3. While tortillas are in the oven, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add half of the onion and cook until softened (about 5 minutes). Add chili powder and garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add chicken and the water and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is warmed through and water has evaporated (about 2 to 3 minutes). Stir in 1 teaspoon lime juice and remove from heat.
  4. After tortillas are toasted, sprinkle each tortillas evenly with cheese and bake until cheese is bubbling (about 3 minutes). Remove from oven.
  5. In a large bowl, combine lettuce and remaining lime juice, season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss well to coat and divide evenly among tortillas; top each with chicken mixture, tomato, avocado, remaining onion, and cilantro or cheese (optional, for topping).

Slightly adapted from Everyday Food Light


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  1. Gorgeous photos! I don’t eat chicken, but I love salmon or tilapia toastadas! 🙂

  2. Oh yum – this looks like a wonderful salad with all the right textures. Well done!

  3. This looks absolutely delicious. I could honestly dive into one of these right now.
    Beautiful color/photo too!


  4. This looks like a much healthier alternative to tacos. I can’t wait to try them.

  5. I adore Mexican food and tostadas. Sadly, however, I’ve never made them at home. This needs to change quickly! Beautiful photos 🙂

  6. Poached chicken is SO under rated – I love it!

  7. Yum! I love chicken tostadas. Putting a salad on one sounds like a great dinner!

  8. Congrats on your DELICIOUS Top 9!

  9. We tostadas quite often, but never thought of putting salad on top of them, until now! Thanks for the great idea.

    Congrats on the Top 9 today!

  10. Found you on Top 9 today and subscribed through email. Also copied the recipe. Looked in my fridge and have all the ingredients except the Cilantro so I guess this will be dinner soon. Thanks.

  11. Delicious! I am imagining the toasted tortilla with cheese on top right now. I love the Chicken Toastada salad at our local Mexican restaurant and order it all of the time. I am inspired to make this for dinner this weekend.

  12. Ooh! This is just perfect A! Love chicken and this would make for a perfect meal.

  13. Looks like a great refreshing salad for summer! Yum!