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4.5 from 4 votes

Chicken Tinga

Chicken tinga is a versatile dish of shredded chicken in a tomato and chipotle sauce. Tinga is great for a taco bar or tostada buffet, where guests can create their own mountain of goodness.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time44 mins
Total Time49 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 10 to 12 servings
Calories: 548kcal


  • 6 cups water
  • 2 pounds skinless/boneless chicken breast
  • 4 teaspoons salt divided
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 medium yellow onion quartered
  • 1 large vine ripened tomato quartered
  • 1 7-ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped
  • 3 large vine ripened tomatoes chopped
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 12 Flat tostada shells packaged or corn tortillas

Toppings (optional):

  • 1 iceberg lettuce finely shredded
  • 3 avocados pitted, peeled, and sliced
  • 2 cups crema Mexicana or sour cream
  • 2 cups queso fresco or Cotija crumbled
  • 2 cups salsa of your choice
  • 6 radishes sliced


  • In a large stockpot, over medium to high heat, add water, chicken, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 clove garlic, and quartered onion. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Reserve.
  • Remove the chicken and allow it to cool. After the chicken cools off shred it. Reserve.
  • In a blender add the boiled onion and garlic clove, quartered tomato, chipotle peppers including adobo sauce, 2 teaspoons salt, and enough chicken broth to fill the blender half way. Puree until smooth.
  • Heat the oil in a large and deep pan over medium heat.
  • Once it is hot but not smoking, stir in the chopped onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and chopped garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Add the cooked shredded chicken, the chipotle sauce from the blender and more chicken broth if it is too dry. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add salt to taste.


  • In a heavy skillet heat one-quarter inch of oil. Drop tortillas carefully into hot oil, one at a time, for 20 to 40 seconds on each side or until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towels. Store bought tostadas can also be used.


  • To assemble, place a tostada (fried tortilla) on a serving plate; spoon on Chicken Tinga, lettuce (optional), 1 or 2 slices of ripe avocado, crumbled queso fresco, and top with crema Mexicana or sour cream.
  • Garnish tostada with toppings of your choice.



Tinga is a tasty party dish that can be made a day ahead. It stores well in the refrigerator and tastes better the next day after the ingredients have marinated for a few hours.


Calories: 548kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 1793mg | Potassium: 1150mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1604IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 255mg | Iron: 2mg