A delicious chicken tostada salad bowl with super crispy tortilla strips tossed throughout a spicy seasoned chicken, black bean and corn salad. Quick to prepare, this Mexican-inspired salad is packed full of mouthwatering seasonal ingredients.
We love a flavourful salad and this chicken tostada salad bowl does not disappoint! The dressing and seasoning of this Mexican-inspired salad is to die for, we use it to marinade the chicken as well as for serving. If you love a full-flavoured salad, you also need to try our Fall Grain Salad, Beetroot Feta Walnut Salad with Dukkah or White Bean Salad with Salsa Verde Dressing.
The best part of this chicken tostada salad is that is simple to make and easy to eat. Although you can make this salad and eat it out of a crispy tortilla bowl for a more traditional version if you wish. Our version is slightly different, with crispy tortilla strips throughout the salad; it's not better, just different.
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Why you'll love this recipe
Here are some reasons why you need this chicken tostada salad recipe in your life:
Crispy tortilla - the crispy corn tortilla strips in this salad are amazing, they give a great texture and crunch in every mouthful.
Healthy - high in protein, fibre and nutrients this salad is definitely on the healthy side and will keep you full throughout the day.
Easy - whilst the tortilla strips are crisping up, everything else can be prepared. It really is a simple recipe with the dressing doubling up as a marinade for the chicken.
Flavour - the dressing is the perfect balance of zingy, smokiness and heat, you'll be salivating for the next mouthful and you won't be able to get enough of it. If you love these flavours try our Three Bean Chili.
Gluten free - as long as you use pure corn tortilla, this salad is gluten free. Make sure to check as most brands will often include wheat.
You only need simple ingredients for this chicken tostada salad recipe, this is what you'll need:
Corn tortilla - the central flavour and texture to this salad is crispy corn tortillas. We recommend using corn only tortillas as they are the best for flavour, but you can use half corn half wheat if you need to.
Jalapeño - jalapeño is a great addition of flavour, a fresh zing and a kick of heat. You can adjust the level of heat by removing the seeds and membranes if desired.
Sweetcorn - a great use of seasonal produce, we love to use sweetcorn on the cob, it gives a great texture and flavour especially when we char it.
Black beans - a great store-cupboard staple addition to this chicken tostada salad, black beans are great for protein and fibre and carry the flavours of the dressing so well.
We know you love to mix things up with customisations and substitutions so here are some of our recommendations for chicken tostada salad recipe:
Protein - we use chicken for this tostada salad but feel free to use beef strips, pork strips or even venison to mix things up.
Vegan - if you'd like to make this suitable for a vegan diet, you can switch out the chicken with seitan, tempeh or tofu.
Frozen corn - if you are out of the season of plump juicy corn on the cob you can always use frozen.
Chipotle flakes - we love the smokiness of using chipotle flakes in the marinade for the chicken, but if you can't find them, just use red pepper flakes.
How to make a chicken tostada salad
Follow these simple step by step guides to success for this chicken tostada salad recipe:
- Start by whisking together the ingredients for the dressing, which doubles up as a marinade for the chicken.
- Divide half of the dressing between a bowl and a jug and reserve half for later. Add the additional chipotle chilli flakes and chicken to the bowl and mix together, set aside.
- Cut the corn tortillas into ¼ inch strips about 2 inches long and toss with olive oil and kosher salt, spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake the tortilla strips for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Set aside and allow to cool.
- In a cast iron skillet heated over a high heat char the corn for a few minutes and set aside.
- Add the chicken to the same cast iron pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until cooked through. Set aside.
- Add the corn, black beans, green onion, tomatoes, cilantro and tortillas to a large bowl.
- Dress with the remaining half of the marinade and serve immediately. If you are making this ahead of time, omit the addition of the tortillas and dressing and add them in just before serving.
Make sure to read and follow these expert tips to ensure complete success with this chicken tostada salad recipe:
Marinade - as the marinade has a lot of lime juice in it we don't recommend leaving the chicken in it for longer than 20-30 minutes. It will start to cook and break down the protein.
Corn - you can easily grill your corn on the cob on your BBQ or griddle pan, or simply slice the kernels off and char them in a cast iron skillet. Whichever you find easiest. We find the skillet method to be quicker. You could also leave the corn raw.
Make ahead - If you wish to make this salad and store it, you'll need to leave the tortilla strips out and then add them in and dress the salad when ready to eat. If not you'll have very soggy tortilla strips.
Tortilla - If you use corn only tortillas like we recommend, they will take a little longer to crisp up in the oven. If using a half corn/wheat tortilla, keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly as they take less time to crisp up.
Tortilla bowl - if you want to go all out and make this salad and serve it in a tortilla bowl you can easily make one in the oven rested over a foil bowl. Allow to cool and firm up before serving the salad inside.
A tostada salad is usually served on top of a crispy tortilla. Ours is different, with the tortilla cut into strips and tossed throughout the whole salad, making it slightly easier to consume. However, our version is not traditional. A traditional tostada salad would be picked up by the tortilla and eaten a bite at a time. You'd likely have to take breaks to eat the toppings that have fallen off.
Love this chicken tostada salad recipe? Then you may want more of our salad recipes - here are some suggestions to get you started:
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Chicken Tostada Salad Bowl
- ¾ pound boneless chicken breast, sliced
- 2 ears of fresh corn, about 2 cups
- 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 green onions, finely sliced
- 4 large tomatoes, chopped, 1 ½ cups
- ½ cup cilantro, roughly chopped, coriander leaves
- 1 romaine lettuce head, sliced, 4 cups
- 1 avocado, diced
For the crispy tortilla strips
- 6 6 inch corn tortillas, cut into small ¼" x 2" strips
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
For the marinade/dressing
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup lime juice, about 2 large limes
- 1 tablespoon lime zest, from one lime
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon chipotle chilli flakes, or red pepper flakes
Making the crispy tortilla strips
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F
- Spread the tortilla strips out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Add the oil and salt and toss to coat. Bake for 15-20 minutes until crisp, tossing occasionally. Set aside.6 6 inch corn tortillas, 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Making the dressing/marinade.
- Whisk together the olive oil, lime juice and zest, garlic, jalapeño, maple syrup, cumin, smoked paprika and salt in a small bowl. Set aside half of the dressing in a medium bowl.¼ cup olive oil, ¼ cup lime juice, 2 cloves garlic, 1 jalapeno, 2 teaspoons maple syrup, 1 ½ teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon lime zest
- Slice the chicken breast into ¼-½ inch strips.¾ pound boneless chicken breast
- Add the sliced chicken to the remaining dressing in the small bowl along with the chipotle flakes. Mix until the chicken is well coated and set aside to marinate whilst you prepare the rest of the salad.1 teaspoon smoked paprika, ¼ teaspoon chipotle chilli flakes
Preparing the salad
- To prepare the corn: cut the kernels from the cob and char them in a cast iron skillet heated over a high heat for 2-3 minutes. Set aside.2 ears of fresh corn
- Dice the tomatoes, green onions and roughly chop the cilantro. Drain and rinse the black beans. Add all the ingredients to a large bowl along with the crispy corn tortilla strips.1 15 ounce can black beans, 4 green onions, 4 large tomatoes, ½ cup cilantro
- Using the same cast iron skillet, add and fry the chicken over medium high heat for a few minutes until it's cooked through. Set aside.
- Add the chicken to the salad and mix with the remaining dressing. Serve on top of shredded lettuce with some diced avocado.1 romaine lettuce head, 1 avocado
- Substitute the chicken breast for leftover shredded chicken.
- You can char the corn on the cob, slice off the kernels and char in a skillet, or just add it raw.
- If you use tortilla that are made with corn/wheat, they may take less time to bake in the oven. Keep an eye on them or they may burn.
- Serve the salad immediately. If storing, mix the salad together, but without the dressing or corn tortilla. Add those in as you serve.
Think I might like chillis on the tame side, plus something Mexican to boot. Might be the recipe to get the rest fo the family to enjoy Mexican food.
Michelle @ The Last Food Blog says
I love Mexican food too, I love all spicy food, but I'm on my own in my house 🙁 This sounds delicious Sasha, I may have to squeeze this in before we go all out comfort food 😉 Yum!
Ah that's sad that you're the only spicy food lover in your house! More for you though, huh? 😉 glad you like the recipe Michelle and I hope you get to make it. I have to say, I'm so excited for comfort food!! x