Easy Loaded Chicken Tostadas

Loaded Chicken Tostadas — Ready in 20 minutes and LOADED to the max!! Chicken, refried beans, peppers, salsa, cheese, and more!! Great party appetizer or EASY weeknight dinner!!

What is a Tostada? 

Marrying loaded nachos and chicken quesadillas is what I think these tostadas taste like. AKA totally perfect. And my whole family agreed. We love Mexican food.

The tostadas are easy, ready in 20 minutes, and packed with so much flavor and texture galore.

They’re perfect for parties, snacks, or to break out of your dinner rut. Make them for Cinco de Mayo or Memorial Day.

Crispy fried tortilla shells are topped with a refried bean and salsa mixture before adding ground chicken that’s cooked with bell peppers, onions, garlic, and seasoned with cumin and more salsa.

Then add cheese. Yum. I used queso fresco which is a traditional Mexican cheese that I can find at my regular grocery store or use your favorite shredded Mexican cheese blend.

And since toppings are my jam, I finished the tostadas with avocado, green onions, cilantro, and a little more salsa. Restraint? What’s that.

They live up to their loaded name.

What’s in Loaded Chicken Tostadas?

To make this chicken tostada recipe, you’ll need:

  • Canola oil
  • Flour tortillas (or store-bought pre-made tostados) 
  • Ground chicken
  • Sweet Vidalia onion
  • Red bell pepper
  • Garlic
  • Red salsa
  • Cumin
  • Refried beans
  • Queso fresco
  • Avocado
  • Green onions and / or fresh cilantro, for topping

How to Make Chicken Tostadas 

To make these loaded chicken tostadas, you first need to fry the flour tortillas until golden on both sides (you can skip this step if you purchased store-bought tostadas). 

Then, brown the ground chicken in a skillet. Add in the veggies and saute until softened. Stir in the salsa and cumin and cook until heated through. Warm the refried beans in the microwave and stir in a little extra salsa for flavor. 

To assemble the loaded chicken tostadas, spread some of the refried bean mixture over each crispy fried tortilla and top with the ground chicken and veggies, cheese, diced avocado, and green onions or cilantro. 

Can I Use Ground Turkey Instead? 

Yes, ground turkey may be used instead of ground chicken. 

Can I Prep Chicken Tostadas in Advance? 

The ground chicken mixture can be cooked in advance and rewarmed later. I recommend waiting to fry the tortillas until the day you’ll be serving the tostadas, however. 

Tips for Making Loaded Chicken Tostadas

If at any point while you’re cooking the ground chicken and veggies the mixture looks dry, add another drizzle of oil to the pan. You don’t want the chicken to dry out, otherwise these tostadas will have a chewy texture. 

If you can’t find queso fresco at your local grocery store, feel free to buy a shredded Mexican cheese blend instead. Both will work! 

Lastly, you’re welcome to pile different toppings onto these loaded chicken tostadas. Use whatever your favorite taco toppings are! 

Yield: 6

Easy Loaded Chicken Tostadas

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ready in 20 minutes and LOADED to the max!! Chicken, refried beans, peppers, salsa, cheese, and more!! Great party appetizer or EASY weeknight dinner!!


  • 4 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil, divided; plus more if necessary
  • 6 flour tortillas OR one package storebought tostados (located next to tortilla shells)
  • 1 pound ground chicken (ground turkey may be substituted)
  • 1 small sweet vidalia onion, diced small
  • one medium/large red bell pepper, seeded and diced small (another color may be substituted)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • about 1 1/2 cups red salsa, divided; plus more for serving if desired
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • one 16-ounce can refried black beans or refried beans
  • 1 cup diced or crumbled queso fresco or Mexican shredded cheese blend
  • 1 medium avocado, peeled and diced into small chunks, optional for garnishing
  • 1/4 cup finely minced fresh cilantro and/or thinly sliced green onions, optional for garnishing


    1. To a large skillet, add 2 tablespoons oil and heat over medium-high heat until hot. OR use storebought tostados and skip to step 3.
    2. Add one tortilla to the hot oil and cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain; repeat with remaining 5 tortillas.
    3. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to skillet, add the ground chicken, and cook until done, about 4 to 5 minutes; crumble chicken and stir intermittently to ensure even cooking.
    4. Add the onions, bell peppers, and cook for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender; stir occasionally. While cooking, if the mixture looks dry, add another tablespoon or two of oil if necessary.
    5. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant.
    6. Add about 3/4 cups salsa and evenly sprinkle with cumin, salt, pepper, and cook for about 2 minutes; stir occasionally.
    7. Meanwhile, to a medium microwave-safe bowl, add the beans and remaining 3/4 cup salsa or as necessary for consistency (all salsas and refried beans vary in thickness and texture so add salsa to taste so bean mixture is spreadable). Heat on high power until warmed through, about 2 minutes.
    8. Evenly spread and distribute the bean mixture over the tortillas, about 1/3 cup per tortilla or to taste.
    9. Evenly top with chicken, cheese, optional avocado, cilantro/green onions, additional salsa if desired, and serve immediately once assembled.


  • Extra chicken will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days; as will extra beans/salsa mixture stored separately in an airtight container in the fridge.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 790Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 114mgSodium: 1421mgCarbohydrates: 71gFiber: 16gSugar: 8gProtein: 44g

More Mexican Appetizers: 


Easy Six-Layer Baked Taco Cups — Fast, easy, and accidentally healthy! Your favorite taco fixings in individually-portioned cups! 

Baked Triple Cheese and Salsa Tortilla Chip Dip (GF) — Loaded with 3 kinds of cheese and baked to browned, bubbly, golden perfection! Always a hit at parties!

Loaded Guacamole Nachos – Fresh, easy homemade guac on top of cheesy chips is totally irresistible!

Layered Beef Taco Dip – A FAST and EASY layered dip with taco-seasoned cream cheese, sour cream, ground beef, black beans, cheese, tomatoes, and more!! Perfect for your next FIESTA and a guaranteed WINNER with everyone!!

Do-It-Yourself Guacamole Bar – Make your own guacamole bar and have fun taste-testing the options! Great party idea that everyone loves!

Loaded Nachos with Beef — EASY, ready in 15 minutes, and LOADED with taco-seasoned ground beef, black beans, corn, cilantro, and lots of CHEESE!! Great for parties, game days, after school snacks, or a cheat night dinner!!

Spicy Chorizo Queso – No processed cheese in this EASY cheese dip that’s ready in 20 minutes!! Wonderfully spicy thanks to the chorizo! Great appetizer for holiday entertaining, parties, and game days!!