Barbecue Chicken Tostadas

4.7 from 87 votes
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Savor the deliciousness of BBQ Chicken Tostadas with shredded chicken, barbecue sauce, and cheese piled on crispy corn tortillas. It’s a quick and easy dinner recipe that’s perfect for busy nights. With only 4 basic ingredients and simple prep, in less than 20 minutes, you can treat your family to a mouthwatering meal that’s gluten-free.

Two BBQ Chicken Tostadas drizzled with barbecue sauce on a baking sheet.

The Best BBQ Chicken Tostadas Recipe

This BBQ chicken tostada recipe has become an absolute sensation! Sure, chicken tostadas are a tried-and-true Tex Mex favorite. But this version puts a sassy, saucy twist on that dish. Anything that combines barbecue sauce, chicken, and cheese is going to be a winner.

Much like BBQ Chicken Pizza and BBQ Chicken Nachos, these tostadas are no exception!

This recipe has been pinned hundreds of thousands of times. With reviews and photos everywhere on social media, you know it has to be a winner. It’s one of the fastest easy dinner recipes you’ll ever make, and the entire family will love it.

Four BBQ Chicken Tostadas drizzled with barbecue sauce on a baking sheet.


Grab just a few items for a meal that comes together in minutes. All of the details and amounts are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. But just to show you how easy it is, take a look at this short ingredient list and quick recipe overview.

  • Tostada shells or corn tortillas – If you can’t find crispy tostada shells, you can make them with corn tortillas. More on that below.
  • Chicken – cooked and shredded.
  • Barbecue sauce – use your favorite. I like Original Stubb’s BBQ Sauce.
  • Shredded cheese – the original recipe calls for mozzarella, but cheddar, Monterey jack, and pepper jack are great too.
  • Optional – sliced scallions, salsa, sour cream, or other toppings or garnishes.

What kind of chicken should I use?

Since all you need is cooked chicken, you really have so many options!

How to Make BBQ Chicken Tostadas

  1. Toss the shredded chicken in your favorite barbecue sauce.
  2. Pile the barbecue chicken on the tostada shells.
  3. Cover with cheese and bake.
  4. Before serving, drizzle on some more barbecue sauce and any toppings you like (keep reading for ideas).

It’s as simple as that. And let me tell you, they will be eaten just as quickly as they were made!

Tips for Success

Make healthier tostada shells. You can get store-bought tostada shells. But if you only have corn tortillas or prefer an option that’s not fried, you can brush them lightly with little oil and bake for three or four minutes on each side. All the details are here – How to Make Tostada Shells – and it works perfectly!

Try variations. You can truly customize this chicken tostada recipe however you like it. Here are some ideas.

  • You can make them with mozzarella, as per Mary’s original recipe. But they are equally delicious using sharp cheddar, Monterey jack, or pepper Jack cheese.
  • Swap the meat and use leftover pulled pork, barbecue beef, or even chopped up cube steaks to make steak tostadas.
  • Mix and match different barbecue sauces to vary the flavor from sweet to tangy to spicy. You can even try something creative like Balsamic BBQ Sauce or Bourbon BBQ Sauce.

Add toppings. Of course, these chicken tostadas are tasty as-is, but you can really make a fun meal with all kinds of toppings.

A chicken tostada with barbecue sauce and cheese on a blue plate.

Make it a meal

We often enjoy BBQ chicken tostadas with classic barbecue sides like coleslaw or potato salad. But sometimes you just need some greens like a Bacon Barbecue Ranch Salad.

A kid-friendly meal certainly pairs well with finger foods like Cauliflower Tots or Gluten Free Air Fryer Onion Rings.

And the adults can sip on a Skinny Grapefruit Margarita while the kids enjoy Mango Lava Flow Smoothies.

About The Weeknight Dinner Cookbook

I shared this recipe when I was doing a review of The Weeknight Dinner Cookbook written by my friend Mary of Barefeet in the Kitchen.

This cookbook is perfect for those crazy weeknights when you want to make a delicious and nutritious dinner for the family. But you have to work with the time you’ve got before heading out the door or tackling homework.

The chapters are broken down into how long it takes to prepare each recipe. There’s even a chapter for recipes that only require a few minutes of hands-on time, and then they are left alone to bake, simmer, or slow cook.

Plus it has sides, staples, and simple sweets. One extra bonus with all of the recipes in the book as well as on Mary’s site is that she gives gluten free options for everything, including flour substitutions in the baked goods!

I highly recommend picking up a copy!

Chicken tostadas covered with melted cheese and barbecue sauce on a sheet pan.
A closeup of one of the Barbecue Chicken Tostadas on a cookie sheet.
4.7 from 87 votes

Easy BBQ Chicken Tostadas

Savor the deliciousness of BBQ Chicken Tostadas with shredded chicken, barbecue sauce, and cheese piled on crispy corn tortillas. It's a quick and easy dinner recipe that's perfect for busy nights. With only 4 basic ingredients and simple prep, in less than 20 minutes, you can treat your family to a mouthwatering meal that's gluten-free.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Total: 18 minutes


  • 8 tostada shells or 8 corn tortillas, brushed lightly with olive oil and baked for 3-5 minutes per side, until crispy
  • 3 cups cooked and shredded chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce, divided
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (Mary uses mozzarella in the cookbook, but I have also used cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a blend)
  • 3 green onions, very thinly sliced (optional)


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lay out the tostada shells (or baked tortillas) on two rimmed baking sheets.
  • Combine the chicken and 1 cup of the barbecue sauce in a small bowl, and stir to coat.
  • Divide the chicken between the tostada shells and top with the cheese (about ¼ cup on each).
  • Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, just until the cheese is melted.
  • Remove from the oven and drizzle with the remaining ½ cup barbecue sauce. Sprinkle with green onions, if desired.
Nutrition Facts
Easy BBQ Chicken Tostadas
Amount Per Serving (2 tostadas)
Calories 693 Calories from Fat 297
% Daily Value*
Fat 33g51%
Saturated Fat 13g65%
Cholesterol 107mg36%
Sodium 1730mg72%
Potassium 554mg16%
Carbohydrates 66g22%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 36g40%
Protein 31g62%
Vitamin A 825IU17%
Vitamin C 3.7mg4%
Calcium 359mg36%
Iron 2.3mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.


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  1. Amanda

    5 stars
    I’ve made it per the directions several times before today. However, today I made a Mexican form. Used Mexican cheese, leftover fajita meat, Mexican street corn. Then cooked per directions. Put green chili queso sauce, taco sauce, jalapeños, and sour cream on top. Yum to both options.

  2. Mindy

    I added some diced up jalapeños to the top and it was so simple but so delicious. Will definitely make again for those lazy nights.

  3. Dawn

    5 stars
    This recipe was a HUGE hit with my family. I had diced jalapeño, cilantro and green onions for toppings for those who wanted to add them.

  4. Angela

    5 stars
    So simple and so delicious! I made cilantro lime coleslaw to put on top and we devoured it. It was a very quiet dinner as everyone was stuffing their faces, lol. Thank you for this delicious recipe!

  5. Caymaniancas

    This is my second recipe I have tried and I was super excited. I do think though there is a salt issue – mainly because of bbq sauce but because cheese is also added. So for further chefs of this item keep it in mind. This one was extremely salty.

    1. Since the recipe does not call for any added salt, the salt content is going to be 100% dependent on the salt you use in cooking your chicken, or in your choice of barbecue sauce and cheese. Feel free to cut back on the cheese or don’t add any seasoning when cooking the chicken so it balances out.

  6. Crissy

    5 stars
    These were so easy and delicious! I used cilantro instead of green onion, Monterey jack cheese and served with salad! I love short ingredient lists for recipes! Yummy!

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the tostadas, Crissy! Thank you for your comment and for rating the recipe.

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Thank you, Janesa! Your sides sound like perfect choices to make this a complete, healthy Mexican meal. 🙂

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Hi MacKenzie,
      Possible sides to serve with the BBQ chicken tostadas might be a healthy garden salad and some Spanish rice.

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Hi Sara,
      The sodium count varies depending on the ingredients you use. The nutritional database that I use to calculate the info just uses a generic BBQ sauce. Some of them can be very high in sodium. If you’re watching your sodium, you may want to look for a low-sodium brand, or make it yourself so you can control the salt. 🙂

  7. Crystal

    3 stars
    I need a gluten free diet for my autoimmune disease, and since I’m also very ill due to pregnancy, I need simple and quick meals. I usually only cook for my 7year old and husband. I made my own bbq sauce, used tostada shells, and “Mexican Blend” cheese. While the bbq sauce was cooking on the stove I was shredding chicken and prepping the baking sheet. Easy peasy!

  8. This recipe is perfect for my crockpot shredded chicken I try to keep on hand! I’ve seen this post on Pinterest so many times but skipped by it thinking it’d be too much work. I’m not a fan of having to make individual things like these (or enchiladas, or appetizers that you work so hard on and people swallow them in one bite) BUT I recently made chicken enchiladas so I figure this will be much easier! I can’t wait to try it! I have cheddar cheese on hand, but mozzarella sounds even better! Also I loved your part about food bloggers being hypocrites. I’m a new food bloggers, but I already know that’s accurate!

  9. Maple-Chipotle Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches -

    […] You may also like: 18 Ways To Rock Chicken Wings, Bacon Bourbon Barbecue Chicken Kabobs, Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken, Asian Barbecue Chicken Wings and BBQ Chicken Tostadas. […]

  10. […] mess and little cleanup sounds like the perfect way to do a meal! Using leftover chicken for these BBQ Chicken Tostadas is definitely going to happen too! Love that drizzle of sauce on […]

  11. 9 Family Dinners Perfect for Beginning Kid Cooks - Public Psychology

    […] from Cupcakes and Kale Chips is like a cross between BBQ Chicken Pizza and a Mexican tostada.  BBQ Chicken Tostadas would be a great recipe to use a rotisserie […]

  12. pamela

    5 stars
    This was REALLY good! My 7 year old son chose this as our dinner tonight and when he tried it, he said ‘yup, I made the right choice’. What’s great, is that we pretty much always have the ingredients on-hand (in the fridge, freezer, cabinet, etc). We made it with taco shells and put lettuce on top, and perfecto! Simple, easy, quick dinner that everyone loved.

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Isn’t it wonderful when we can not only get our kids to eat, but when they enjoy the meal, too?! Thanks for your comment, Pamela!

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Hi Karen! I’m sorry that I missed seeing this comment until now. I like to serve the BBQ chicken tostadas with a side of Mexican rice or black beans. I hope you enjoyed the recipe!

  13. Sheryl

    I loved this! I made this as written, but with different cheese I had in the fridge (green onion cheese, it was a great balance). Then I eyeballed the sauce that I mixed with leftover rotisserie chicken, placed the chicken on top of the cheese, added tomatoes, green and red onions (since I had both), cilantro, sour cream and then a little more barbecue sauce drizzled on top. Yummy and fast, thank you so much for posting it!

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the BBQ chicken tostadas recipe, Sheryl. Your substitutions sound delicious!

  14. Are there any Nutritional Facts I can look up for this, bc I am using My Fitness Pal to record all food intake? Thanks. Family loved & we will use a little less BBQ sauce next time. Used tostadas & they stayed crispy @ 6-8 minutes, as u recorded. Very yummy. I paired it w/home made mac salad. That was a good “neutralizer” for the tanginess. Will make again! ????

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Hi Tamara. Actually, My Fitness Pal has a place in the “recipes” section to import the URL from an existing post on the Internet. It will take all of the ingredients from my recipe and automatically convert them into the recipe creator for you. I suggest that you check each ingredient though, as My Fitness Pal doesn’t always recognize ingredients properly. I hope it helps you to get the nutritional information you’re looking for!

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Dana, “healthy” depends on whether you mean nutritious or something to help with weight loss. If you’re looking to make something nutritious, I would suggest using whole grain tortillas (unless you need something gluten free, in which case corn or rice would be the preferred tortilla choice). To keep sugar and fat content lower, look for a low-sugar barbecue sauce and consider using low fat cheeses.

  15. Tracee

    Those who lack the “cooking gene” follow recipes exactly. Those who CAN cook know how to adjust a recipe to suit their families. Please don’t take it personally. That being said…that is A LOT of sauce. I can’t imagine that it would keep the shell crispy. I use Stubbs BBQ sauce…it’s from Austin and is not sweet. Great idea though and I will try it on the tostado shells. I typically use flour tortillas.

    1. I LOVE Stubbs – it’s my favorite and definitely not too sweet. Since I was reviewing a cookbook, I shared the recipe as it was in the book. That being said, my kids like them this saucy, though I prefer a little less sauce myself. But by using the crispy tostada shells or making the corn tortillas crispy in the oven before topping them, they do stay crispy. I am not sure about flour tortillas. Since I have a gluten allergy, I rarely use them and have not tried them in this recipe.

  16. Lana F.

    These look so easy and amazing! I wonder if adding some red or black beans to the chicken wouldn’t be really good?! I think I have to find out!!

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      I think beans would be a wonderful addition to the chicken tostadas, Lana! I hope you enjoy them!

  17. Kymberly

    I just ran to the store to buy all these ingredients! I cannot wait to make them tonight! I’ve prepped the chicken and tortillas. It will be so easy to throw together!! Thanks!

  18. These tostadas are a huge favorite around here anytime we need dinner asap! I keep pre-cooked portions of ground beef, pulled pork, and shredded chicken in 3 cup portions stashed in the freezer just for this meal. I’m so glad you liked it and that you’re enjoying the cookbook. Thanks so much!

      1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

        Hi Stephanie,
        I know that your question is directed at Mary, but I thought I would let you know that the Weight Watchers points system was changed recently. I’m not on the program, so I can’t tell you how many points are in the tostadas, but I think the points are going to vary depending on what Weight Watchers program you’re on.

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