Chicken Tinga

This Chicken Tinga is ready in 30 minutes! Tender chicken simmered in a flavorful sweet and spicy tomato sauce and served on a crunchy tostada with all your favorite toppings!

tostadas with chicken tinga on baking sheet

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    <li class="nav-heading">General</li><li><a class="" href="#what_is_chicken_tinga">What is chicken tinga?</a></li><li><a class="" href="#ingredients">Ingredients</a></li><li><a class="" href="#how_to_make">How to make</a></li><li><a class="" href="#recipe">Get the recipe</a></li><li><a class=" watch-video" href="#recipe_video">Step-by-step video</a></li><li class="nav-heading">Frequently Asked Questions</li><li><a class="" href="#what_chicken_to_use">What chicken to use</a></li><li><a class="" href="#what_is_adobo">What is adobo?</a></li><li><a class="" href="#is_chicken_tinga_spicy">Is chicken tinga spicy?</a></li><li><a class="" href="#how_to_serve">How to serve</a></li><li><a class="" href="#pairing_suggestions">Pairing suggestions</a></li><li><a class="" href="#how_to_store">How to store</a></li><li><a class="" href="#nutrition_info">Nutrition information</a></li></ul></div>

Tender chicken smothered in a slightly spicy tomato sauce all piled onto a crunchy tostada with every taco topping imaginable . . . YUM.

This recipe packs a SERIOUS flavor punch, but is so quick and easy to make thanks to my favorite shortcut: the store-bought rotisserie chicken. 🙂

What is chicken tinga?

Chicken Tinga is a Mexican dish made with shredded chicken and onions simmered in a tomato/chipotle pepper sauce.

It’s most often served on a tostada with refried beans and other toppings…which is exactly how we’re serving it today!


Pro tip
You’ll find tostada shells next to the taco shells in your grocery store. If you can’t find them, stuff the meat mixture into crunchy taco shells or serve it on tortilla chips for a fun twist on nachos!

How to make

This quick and easy recipe is so versatile. Serve it the traditional way on tostadas or make it healthier, by serving it over a bed of lettuce with a drizzle of my chili lime salad dressing!

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet then add onion and taco seasoning and cook until the onions are tender. Mix in garlic and chipotles then continue to cook.onion and seasoning in skillet
  2. Stir in tomato sauce, broth, and chiles then simmer for 5 minutes.broth and tomato sauce added to onion
  3. Add in chicken and cook for another 5 minutes then serve as desired and enjoy!chicken added to sauce mixture

What chicken to use

Use an already cooked rotisserie chicken for easy prep. All you have to do is peel and discard the skin, remove the meat from the bones, and shred!

Pro tip
If you want to prep your own chicken, check out my instant pot shredded chicken recipe!

What is adobo?

Adobo is a seasoning made up of garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt, and pepper.

Adobo sauce is a tomato based sauce using adobo seasoning. It’s sweet, spicy, salty, and super yummy!

Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce are smoked, dried, then rehydrated jalapeño peppers canned in a tomato puree.

Is chicken tinga spicy?

It isn’t super spicy but it does have a little bit of heat! If you are really heat-sensitive, try omitting one of the peppers and/or adding a touch of sour cream to the mixture. The dairy helps soften the kick from the spice. Keep in mind, toppings like guacamole, cheese, and sour cream will also help to balance out the heat!

If you really enjoy spicy food, feel free to add more chipotles and/or canned diced jalapenos instead of the green chiles!

tostada with chicken tinga held

How to serve chicken tinga

The most common way to serve chicken tinga is on tostadas with refried beans and various toppings like lettuce, avocado or guacamole, pickled red onions (recipe coming soon!), cilantro, cojita (or feta), and a sprinkle of lime juice.

I love the tender chicken contrasted with the crispy texture of the tostada and all of the sweet, tangy, fresh, spicy flavors that come into play with the toppings!

You can also serve this along with rice, in a burrito, in tacos, or just eat it by the forkful!

What to serve with chicken tinga

Chicken tinga is delicious served with tostadas and toppings but if you want to bulk up your meal even more, here are a couple of side dishes!

How to store

Store any leftover chicken tinga in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months.

To reheat, thaw in the fridge then warm in the microwave or on the stove.

– Jennifer

tostadas with chicken tinga on baking sheet above


Chicken Tinga

This Chicken Tinga is ready in just 30 minutes! Tender chicken simmered in a flavorful sweet and spicy tomato sauce and served on a tostada with all your favorite toppings!
Course Dinner, Main
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword healthy, rotisserie chicken, tostada
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 305kcal
Author Jennifer



Chicken Tinga

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon homemade taco seasoning
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce chopped
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 (4 oz) can mild diced green chiles
  • 4 cups cooked and shredded chicken I used 1 rotisserie chicken with the skin removed
  • Salt to taste

Serving Suggestions

  • Tostadas
  • Refried Beans warmed
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Sliced avocado
  • Pickled red onions
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Crumbled cotija or feta
  • Lime


  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Once hot, add onion and taco seasoning and sauté for 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in garlic and chipotles, and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the tomato sauce, broth, and chiles.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the chicken, then reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Taste and add more salt if necessary.
  • Serving suggestion: place a tostada shell onto a plate, then top generously with a layer of refried beans. Top with cooked chicken mixture, then garnish with shredded lettuce, avocado, pickled red onions, cilantro, cheese, and a squeeze of lime.
  • Serve and enjoy!



Nutrition information does not include tostadas and toppings.


Serving: 1person | Calories: 305kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 1069mg | Potassium: 634mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 704IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg

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