Get ready for a flavor and texture party with these BBQ chicken tostadas. The smoky & sweet BBQ chicken is piled on a crispy tostada, topped with Mexican slaw, and drizzled with a mayo-chipotle sauce.
About The Recipe
These bbq chicken tostadas are loaded with vibrant and tasty veggie toppings. They come together quickly and easily and are perfect for feeding a crowd.
The recipe is made with shredded poultry simmered in a tasty BBQ-style sauce, then piled on crispy corn tortillas and topped with a fresh and crunchy cabbage salad.
This is a Mexican-American fusion recipe, as in Mexico you won’t find tostadas de pollo al barbecue because is not a traditional meal.
Having said this, I want to assure you that this recipe is still ridiculously good! And of course, also an easy meal for any day of the week if you don’t have time to cook complicated recipes.
Why You Should Make This Recipe
- It’s packed with flavors. The flavorful barbecue chicken, the tangy salad, and the spicy chipotle sauce make this a feast for the palate!
- It is quick and easy. Minimal cooking, some chopping, and there you go, an easy meal that doesn’t require high skills in the kitchen.
- Can be made ahead. The chicken freezes wonderfully, and the toppings last for several days in the fridge too. This recipe is perfect for serving at parties and potlucks.
- Eat whenever you want. It is a delicious treat to eat for lunch or dinner at home, or for a quick meal on the go.
- Highly customizable. You can customize those bbq tostadas with your favorite toppings like cheese, tomatoes, cream, sliced avocado, pickled onion, or your favorite coleslaw.
What Are Tostadas?
Tostadas are corn tortillas with a crispy texture. Some sort of a taco shell but in a flat format. To get the crunchy texture for tostadas, corn tortillas should be fried or baked.
If you live in Mexico or some parts of the US, you probably have seen tostadas at many Latino American supermarkets sold in packs and ready to pile your favorite ingredients.
The Ingredients Needed
- Tostada shells or corn tortillas: Use store-bought tostadas or make your own by frying or baking regular corn tortillas.
- Chicken: Cooked and shredded, you can use also leftovers.
- Barbecue sauce: We share an easy recipe to make your own or you can substitute with your favorite brand of barbecue sauce.
- Chipotle sauce: Our easy recipe includes chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, mayonnaise, Mexican crema, vinegar, and brown sugar. Feel free to sub with your favorite taco sauce.
- Toppings: We topped this crispy Mexican snack only with Mexican coleslaw and pickled jalapeno peppers. But read below for optional toppings.
How To Make BBQ Chicken Tostadas
Start by making this Mexican cabbage salad and leave it to rest for 20-30 minutes while you continue with the recipe.
Next, place ketchup sauce, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chipotle powder (or paprika), brown sugar, and garlic powder in a cup and mix to combine. Set aside.
Pour the BBQ sauce into a pan, add the water (or chicken stock), and bring to a simmer.
Add shredded chicken to the pan, and simmer for a couple of minutes until the sauce thickens coating perfectly the chicken. Set aside.
Make the mayo-chipotle salsa
In a food processor or blender, place the mayonnaise, cream, and chipotle chiles in adobo with a bit of the adobo sauce from the can. Add lime juice, sugar, salt, and vinegar.
Add ¼ cup water and blend until you’ll have a smooth sauce. Adjust salt to taste and transfer the sauce to a squeeze bottle or a jar.
Assemble the BBQ tostadas:
- Place 2 or 3 spoonfuls of shredded BBQ chicken on each tostada.
- Top with the fresh cabbage salad and pickled jalapeños (optional).
- Drizzle with the chipotle sauce and enjoy!
Useful Tips And Notes
- To achieve that deep orange in the chipotle sauce you see in the photos, I used 4 chipotle chilies because I like my sauce very spicy.
- Depending on your spicy tolerance, you can use fewer or more chiles for the sauce.
- You can use chicken breasts or thighs boiled and shredded, or you can use rotisserie chicken or even turkey leftovers.
- If you don’t have access to store-bought tostadas, you can make them at home using regular corn tortillas and still enjoy this homemade meal with hardly any effort.
Other toppings you might enjoy
- Queso fresco. Crumbled queso fresco or Cotija is a nice addition for BBQ chicken tostadas, as is cheddar cheese or mozzarella cheese.
- Fake guacamole. You don’t even need avocados to make this delicious salsa!
- Chorizo refried beans. Spread refried beans on your tostada before adding the other toppings.
- Chopped fresh cilantro and lime juice add an herbal and fresh touch to this recipe.
- Classic guacamole. This authentic Mexican recipe never gets boring.
Make Ahead And Store
Bbq chicken tostadas recipe makes for great leftovers as long as you keep everything in separate containers. Follow our storage tips so you can make it ahead to enjoy during the week or bring to a potluck.
- Barbecue chicken. Can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or up to 3 months in the freezer.
- Mexican slaw. Last 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
- Chipotle salsa. Last up to 10 days in the refrigerator, we don’t recommend freezing it.
- Tostadas. Wrap them well with cling film and then place them in an airtight container, last up to 15 days if they’re store-bought. Homemade tostadas last up to 5 days.
If you love Mexican-style snacks with a crunchy kick, check out some of our other favorites recipes:
- Chorizo tostadas – A flavorful recipe made with homemade chorizo. Served with a quick and delicious guacamole sauce.
- Tacos dorados – A traditional recipe for crispy tacos with beef and potatoes.
- Chicken tostadas – A basic recipe with shredded chicken.
- Tostadas de cueritos – Authentic Mexican tostada recipe made with pickled pork skins.
BBQ Chicken Tostadas
For the BBQ sauce
- 1 cup Ketchup sauce
- 1 ½ tsp chipotle powder (or smoked paprika)
- ⅓ cup vinegar
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp mustard
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 cup water
- salt (to taste)
For the chipotle-mayo sauce
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup Mexican cream (or sour cream)
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo (read notes)
- ½ lime (juice)
- 3 Tbsp vinegar
- 1 ½ tsp brown sugar
- ¼ cup water
- salt (to taste)
Make BBQ chicken:
- Place ketchup sauce, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chipotle powder (or paprika), brown sugar, and garlic powder in a cup and mix to combine. Set aside.
- Pour the BBQ sauce into a pan, add the water and bring to a simmer.
- Add shredded chicken to the pan, and simmer for a couple of minutes until the sauce thickens and coats perfectly the chicken. Set aside.
Make mayo-chipotle sauce
- Place chipotle peppers, mayonnaise, cream, lime juice, sugar, salt, and vinegar in a food processor.
- Add water and blend until you’ll have a smooth sauce.
- Adjust salt to taste and transfer to a squeeze bottle or a jar.
- Place 2 or 3 spoonfuls of BBQ chicken on each tostada.
- Top with the Mexican cabbage salad and pickled jalapeños.
- Drizzle with the chipotle sauce and serve.
- You can use breast or chicken thighs boiled and shredded, or you can use rotisserie chicken or even turkey leftovers.
- I used 4 chipotle peppers because I like my sauce very spicy. Adjust the quantities of chilies to achieve a sauce to your taste.
- Nutrition info only refers to tostada shells and bbq chicken mixture.