Chipotle Chicken Tostadas with Cilantro Black Bean Spread

Chipotle Chicken Tostadas with Cilantro Black Bean Spread

Originally posted June 2021:

Anyone who thinks summer recipes that are short on prep time only utilize the grill are missing out on one of the best ways to maximize your outdoor eating: the slow cooker. I have even fallen prey to the thinking my slow cooker should only be pulled from the recesses of my under cabinets for Winter’s hearty stews and chilis. Not true. In fact, this chicken recipe is what summer eating demands since it doesn’t need to be babysat while it cooks, giving you plenty of time out of the kitchen.

The deliciousness and brilliance of this dish lives in the sauce. It whizzes up chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, fire roasted tomatoes as well as the warm spices that make slow cooked meat irresistible. While your chicken cooks, you can easily chip away at all the easy, little elements that pile onto your tostada including the bean spread. Creamy, fragrant and delicious, my black bean spread creates a cozy cushion to easily stack the chicken as well as your other favourite tostada components. It’s what I love about tostadas–the pile. Unlike a taco or a burrito, I like to stare down a tower of all my fillings that get me craving Mexican food at least once a week. For me, tostadas have a visual effect similar to that of a burger: tall, savoury, salty and sweet. And this tostada definitely delivers on all those notes. And, best of all, it basically makes itself.

Chipotle Chicken Tostadas with Cilantro Black Bean Spread

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 7 oz can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo sauce
  • 1 14.5 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/4 chopped fresh cilantro

For the black bean spread:

  • 1 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • juice of lime
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For tortilla:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil or another high smoke point oil
  • salt

For serving:

  • 1 cup shredded napa cabbage or lettuce
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/2 cup sour cream mixed with lime juice and salt to taste
  • cilantro


For the chicken:

  • In a food processor, add half the can of chipotle peppers, tomatoes, garlic, lime juice, cumin, dried oregano, cinnamon and salt. Process until smooth.
  • Add the sauce to your slow cooker with the chicken. Stir the chicken to coat it in the sauce. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours. 
  • Allow to cool a bit. Scoop the chicken out with a big slotted spoon and place it in a large bowl. Use two forks, pull the meat apart. The chicken will shred easily. Stir in some of the cooking juices from the pot as well as the cilantro. Strain and reserve the rest of the juices from the pot to use as a sauce. 

For the black bean spread:

  • In a food processor, place the beans, oil, lime juice, cilantro, garlic and salt. Blend until mixture has a smooth consistency, similar to hummus. Remove from the food processor and spoon into small bowl. Set aside.  

For tortilla:

  • Heat about 1/4 inch of vegetable oil in a medium, deep skillet. Once the oil is hot, place one corn tortilla at a time in the oil and cook, flipping half way once it’s lightly golden brown.
  • Place the fried tostada on a paper towels to soak up the extra oil. Lightly sprinkle with salt and allow to cool before serving.

For serving:

  • Layer black bean spread, chicken, shredded lettuce, sliced avocado, crumbled feta and crema and enjoy.

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