Smoky chipotle chicken is perfectly balanced with smooth, creamy avocado and citrusy, sweet pineapple served atop a crunchy tostada shell for the perfect finger food meal that’s ready in under 30 minutes!
It was a whirlwind weekend of mostly fun. We had soccer on Saturday (x2), followed by a drop off birthday party for both girls (YES!) during which I worked out (yes!), followed by a much needed date night with Mr. Prevention (yes!). The skies cleared up and the temps warmed up and while everyone was enjoying the Derby, we were sitting out on the river with a beer and good conversation. Those are the best date nights! We were still home early enough to cuddle with the dog and start a movie, too. Double yes!
Sunday was BUSY – we went to Chicago and back to celebrate an early Mother’s Day. Chicago was markedly warmer than Michigan and fortunately, we had brought swim suits for the girls. They enjoyed their first fun with the garden hose wand water guns for the season with their cousin, Ava (who’s 4). Shea (8) said on the way home that she wishes she could always be with Ava – it was sweet. I guess it’s a good thing she has a sister! 😉 Mark and I got a chance to walk with Ava’s baby brother, our nephew Carter (4 months) in the stroller and check out all the changes in my childhood neighborhood before hitting up a park for the kids to run wild. New parks are always a hit, especially when you get to drive to the park in your dad’s very old Model A.
After the park, we piled in the car to weather the traffic back to Michigan, but with gratefulness for full hearts and air-conditioning on full-blast, too! We put away our delivered groceries and blasted off to 90 minutes of hockey. We were whipped and slept like babies before being back at it Monday morning. It was a full-full weekend going into the home stretch of soccer and the school year. It doesn’t seem real! I told Mark that I have to cook a bit this week – we’ve been piecemealing too much and I’m nearly out of recipes in the blog queue 😉
ROLL CALL FOR THIS RECIPE
- Busy Nights: Sometimes I forget that busy nights don’t mean boring meals. Thanks to chipotle chili powder and sweet pineapple, this tostada meal is ready in no time! Ground chicken cooks quickly in a single large skillet to create these incredibly flavorful healthy chicken tostadas — one of my most favorite things!
- Not-so-Boring Chicken: As you know, chicken recipes can be a total snooze fest in the flavor department. Ground chicken makes for a quick preparation for one flavorful weeknight dinner! As the warmer weather approaches, I don’t want to heat up the house or spend time slaving over a meal – I want to be out and about playing! Who says you can’t have it all?!
- Kid-Friendly: We call tostadas “big chips” in our house. It makes a meal like this very kid-friendly in its presentation. You can also serve each component separately for a bit of a “bar” or build-your-own version delicious chipotle chicken tostadas! To each their own, there’s no doing this wrong.
KEY INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Chipotle Chili Powder: Chipotle chili powder is made from smoked and dried jalapeno peppers making it a medium heat level. You can reduce by half and swap in traditional chili powder which is more mild, or use chili powder exclusively. There is a savory flavor given off by the chipotle, smoky flavor that is unique and beautifully balanced by the pineapple, but if the kick of heat isn’t for you, there’s options to calm it down!
- Pineapple: Fresh ingredients are best here, but canned pineapple can be used in a pinch. As noted below, mango would also be a fun substitute, if preferred. Add that pinch of salt to balance the sweetness from the fresh fruit – it pulls all the flavors together with the lime juice, red onion, and fresh cilantro!
- Ground Chicken: This recipe calls for ground chicken versus ground chicken breast. You can use either, but the ground chicken is both white and dark meat, as well as some skin which provides a bit of moisture to keep the poultry from drying out. If you prefer, you can do a combination of ground chicken and ground chicken breast to decrease the saturated fat (and calories) of the meat slightly. If you do opt to go with a ground chicken breast (or turkey breast), you can increase the avocado oil to 2-3 tablespoons to swap in healthy fat for the reduction in animal fat. All are healthy options — it really just depends on your heat preference!
- Jalapeno: By removing the seeds and ribs of the pepper, you keep things relatively low in heat. However, if you prefer a medium-high heat, you can double up the jalapeno peppers or use serrano peppers in place of jalapeno(s).
- Avocado: My all-time favorite guacamole is incredibly simple — mashed avocado and garlic salt (not garlic powder – the touch of salt is key!). If you’re feeling fancy or chop a bit of extra, fresh cilantro and finely diced onion is a nice addition, too. If you plan to have leftovers add in a squeeze of lime juice to reduce the browning of the avocado. Or, to keep things simple for a quick meal, use your favorite prepared guacamole.
- Avocado Oil: I love the neutral flavor of avocado oil along with its nutritional make-up, but olive oil is a great substitute here.
- Chicken Broth and Tomato Paste: You can use water or 1/4 to 1/3 cup finely diced tomatoes or tomato sauce or puree (in place of the broth and tomato paste).
- Ground chicken is an under-used, cost-effective protein that contains vitamins B6 and B12, niacin and phosphorus.
- Rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, avocados are also high in fiber and provide a smooth, creamy texture that balances out dishes so beautifully.
- Many store-bought tostadas are gluten-free and several baked (versus fried) varieties can be found on the market. Tostadas tend to be a bit lower in carbohydrate and you can look for versions that are lower in saturated fat that can guide you to healthier options available.
- This recipe is naturally dairy-free and gluten-free (with the right tostada!)
VARIATIONS, STORAGE, AND TIPS
- If you don’t have tostada shells, this meal can easily be made into nachos or the goodies piled into taco shells or corn tortillas. I could easily see these becoming a version of our favorite tacos! Get creative with it!
- Fresh pineapple goes beautifully in this salsa, but if fresh pineapple isn’t available or a fruit you love or have access to for the fresh pineapple salsa, you can absolutely substitute in mango to create a mango salsa. Use the same preparation, just swapping in equal amounts of fresh mango for the fresh pineapple.
- Wanting a side dish to go along with these tostadas? I highly recommend some type of a starchy vegetable or legume for both balance and nutrition. Mexican street corn, refried beans, black beans with a sprinkling of queso fresco or cojita cheese — the sky is the limit!
- To add to the smoky, spicy flavors, add chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. These canned, flavor-packed peppers are a great addition for those looking for additional heat. A small can (4-6 ounces) will contain 8-12 peppers — you can freeze them in individual baggies for any that go unused when the can is first opened. I love keeping them in the freezer to remove and chop to add to whatever dish they call for.
- This meal keeps well when each component is stored in individual containers to enjoy the next day and the next! Heat the meat in the microwave in portions as it will be consumed and assemble the tostadas as needed.
- 2 cups small diced fresh pineapple
- ¼ cup finely diced red onion
- 1 jalapeño, seeds and membrane removed, finely diced
- juice from 1 lime (2 Tbsp)
- 3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp avocado oil
- 2 lbs ground chicken
- 2 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1/2 tsp salt and black pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 avocados, mashed
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 10 tostadas
- In a medium bowl, combine the salsa ingredients. Mix well and set aside to allow flavors to meld.
- Meanwhile, heat avocado oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken and cook for 6-8 minutes, breaking up into a crumble as it cooks. When no longer pink, add the chili power, salt, pepper, broth, and tomato paste; mix until well-combined and cook until liquid is absorbed and meat is cooked through, an additional 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- While chicken cooks, mash the avocado in a bowl with garlic salt using the back side of a fork against the sides of the bowl, until few lumps remain.
- To assemble, spread guacamole on each tosatada and top with chicken and pineapple salsa. Serve immediately.
Recipe ever so slightly adapted from Ambitious Kitchen
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 prepared tostada
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 276Total Fat: 15.4gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 363mgCarbohydrates: 16.0gFiber: 3.1gSugar: 3.8gProtein: 18.9g
Love tostadas? They’re a family favorite!
- BBQ Margarita Chicken Tostadas with Sweet Jalapeno Salsa
- BLT Tostadas
- Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Tostadas
- Chicken Summer Vegetables Tostadas
- Superfast Bean Tostadas with Cabbage Slaw
- Avocado and Carnitas Tostadas
- Tangy Pork and Mango Tostadas
Weekly Menu: May 7th – 11th
- Sunday: leftover pizza with salad and cucumber sliced
- Monday: Pesto Tortellini Salad with Asparagus, Artichoke, and Sun-Dried Tomato
- Tuesday: BBQ Chicken-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Avocado, steamed broccoli (BBQ tempeh for my vegetarian)
- Wednesday: Grilled Italian Sausage with Pesto Aioli and Giardiniera Relish with Mom’s Perfect Pasta Salad
- Thursday: leftovers / carry-out after soccer