Chipotle Turkey Tostadas

Chipotle Turkey Tostadas

I first made these chipotle turkey tostadas one fall, with turkey leftover from a Thanksgiving feast.  The combination of tomato, onion, garlic and chipotle  is the basic flavor profile that is used in the classic dish known as “Tinga,” and is served in Puebla and central Mexico. It is usually made with shredded chicken or pork, sometimes beef.

This is the dish a young hospital patient and I will cook and serve during the “Celebrity Chef Event,” at MD Anderson Cancer Center Hospital, Houston, to raise awareness about childhood cancer. I have the privilege of being invited to cook together with the young patient, who will be my sous-chef. It’ll be fun!

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Guajolote, turkey, is of course native to Mexico and so it takes well to chiles and tomatoes and that’s why I like to treat it as a “tinga” dish, served on tostadas. I  think you’ll like how the chipotle accentuates the roasted flavor of game .  I add a laurel leaf and just a bit of romero (rosemary) for aroma. Served on the crispy tostadas the textures are interesting and delicious.  The crispiness of the tortilla begins to soften in the areas that meet the soupy chipotle turkey, so you’ll taste partly crunchy, partly melting.

This is actually a very healthy dish, and “delicioso.”

Recipe for Chipotle Turkey Tostadas

Adapted from the cookbook, “Don’t Count The Tortillas: The Art Of Texas Mexican Cooking” published by Texas Tech University Press.

Ingredients (makes 8 tostadas)

Chipotle Chiles
Dried chipotle with chipotle in adobo (sauce)

8 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
Canola oil to brush the tortillas
4 cups turkey meat, shredded or thinly sliced
1 Tbs Canola oil
2 1/2 cups yellow or white onion, sliced
1 clove garlic
3 canned roma tomatoes with 1/2 cup of the juice (of course you can use fresh ripe tomatoes)
3 chipotle chiles in adobo (usually purchased, canned)
1/4 tsp fresh Rosemary, minced
1 large laurel leaf
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water


Preheat oven to 350°F

Bake Tostadas in the oven for low-fat crispness

1.  Place tortillas on cookie sheets and brush both sides of each tortilla lightly with Canola oil.
2.  Bake for 15 or 20 minutes until they are golden brown and crispy.  Set them aside.
3. In a blender, add the tomatoes, tomato juice, chipotles, garlic, salt and water and blend into a smooth purée. Set aside.
4.In a large skillet heat 1 Tbs Canola oil on medium heat and cook the onions until they are translucent.

Turkey Tinga
Turkey Tinga

5. Add the tomato mixture, laurel leaf and rosemary, and bring to a boil.
6.  Add the turkey, and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, allowing some of the liquid to evaporate and the sauce to thicken slightly.

To assemble the tostadas, just spoon a generous amount of the steaming turkey a including the tomato liquid, onto the tostada. Top with the shredded lettuce.  Each of your guests can assemble their own.  Sometimes you can place a side dish of queso fresco or shredded queso panela to top the tinga before you add the lettuce.


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1 thought on “Chipotle Turkey Tostadas”

  • I made these with chicken breast meat as that is what I had. I had not brushed tortillas with oil and baked them before. They turned out perfect! Also, I have not combined rosemary with chiles. .. it was tasty. I did not have laurel eaves unfortunately. No ice berg in te house but I had sourgrass leaves (?) which was just fine. Thanks for this recipe! A wobderful way for me to celebrate diez y seis. .

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