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Chicken & Bean Tostadas Recipe

Woman shopping in the store for Recipe items

Planning your week’s meals in advance can help you save time, money, and energy at the grocery store. 

One way to make your grocery shopping efficient is to plan meals with ingredients that can be used in multiple preparations. Black beans and chicken breast are great examples of simple ingredients that can be turned into a variety of nutritious meals. Black beans are a flavourful, fibre-rich addition to these tostadas, and can be repurposed in chilis and soups throughout the week. Likewise, cooked chicken breast can be re-used in sandwiches and salads.

Another great tip for grocery shopping is to know where things are in your store, and have a substitution ready in case you can’t find a particular item. 

It can be frustrating to get excited about trying a delicious new recipe, only to discover that your local grocery store doesn’t carry a particular item, or that an ingredient is impossible to find in your region. That’s why this recipe is written with built-in substitutions – if you’re feeling adventurous you can make this as-is, or use one of the substitutions to save shopping and cooking.

Smart substitutions also make it easier to adapt recipes for those with dietary restrictions. This recipe uses cotija cheese, but you can substitute a non-dairy cheese of your preference if desired. 

Shopping list

Produce section:
2-3 large tomatoes
1 large red onion
1 bunch cilantro
1 lime

Canned goods aisle:
540ml / 19 fl oz can black beans (substitute: refried black beans)

Spice aisle:
Chili powder (substitute: taco seasoning)

Oil and sauce aisle:
Olive oil

International foods aisle:
Corn tortillas (substitute: premade tostadas)

Meats section:
2-3 large chicken breasts

Dairy section:
Cotija cheese (substitute: feta cheese or sour cream)


  • 8 small corn tortillas
  • Olive oil
  • 2-3 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, washed and finely chopped + a few sprigs for garnish
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 540 ml can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1/2 cup Cotija cheese


For the tostadas:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper. 
  2. Arrange tortillas evenly in a single layer on the tray. 
  3. Spray or lightly brush tortillas with olive oil, and sprinkle lightly with salt on both sides. 
  4. Bake tortillas for 10 to 15 minutes, flipping halfway through.

For the toppings:

  1. Make pico de gallo by combining the tomato, red onion, and cilantro in a bowl. 
  2. Add cumin, chili powder, and lime juice and stir to combine.

Note: if preferred, skip this step and substitute jarred salsa or pico de gallo for the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, lime, cumin, and chili powder.

3. Drain black beans and rinse with water. Place in a serving bowl.
4. Place pre-cooked shredded chicken in a bowl.
5. Crumble cheese and place in a serving bowl.
6. Place whole sprigs of cilantro in a bowl.
7. Assemble tostadas as you like!

Spring is in full swing, and it’s a great time to refresh your weekly meal schedule. This recipe is ideal for warming weather yet still hearty enough to satisfy. These tostadas are great for families as everyone can build their own tostadas using whichever ingredients and proportions they prefer. Keep any leftovers in the fridge for next-day lunches.

Looking for more meal-planning inspiration, or tips for making your grocery trips a breeze? Registered dietitians on the TELUS Health MyCare app can help you make healthy eating (and shopping) simpler. Book a virtual appointment in the app to see a registered dietitian conveniently from your home. 
Download the TELUS Health MyCare App