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Instant Pot

These Chipotle Chicken Tostadas Are So Easy, They Might Be Better Than Tacos

Crispy baked tortillas serve as a crunchy raft for homemade refried beans, zesty chipotle marinated chicken, peppers, lettuce and avocado.

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Typically, if you want a whole lot of flavor, you’ve got to have a whole lot of time. Making chipotle-spiced chicken thighs, for example, means simmering your meat and seasonings on the stovetop; making homemade refried beans is similar. But if you have an Instant Pot – or any pressure cooker – you can save yourself time and effort. And if you prep the components of your weeknight dinners on the weekend, you’ll be able to pull together impressive meals in less than half an hour.

That’s what makes these Loaded Chipotle Chicken Tostadas so amazing. They develop all of their flavor in less time thanks to the high-pressure cooking environment of your Instant Pot. And with just a bit of effort on Sunday afternoon, you can turn their ingredients into one seriously addictive meal during the week. When this dinner comes together, it’s got everything: Crunchy tortillas, a creamy layer of refried beans, chipotle-spiced chicken and veggies that only add to the flavor and texture of every bit.

Plus, the pico de gallo used on these loaded tostadas contains a good-for-you secret. What do tomatoes, white onions, serrano peppers, lime juice and cilantro all have in common? Firstly, they form the nutritious Mexican medley that is pico de gallo. Secondly, they’re all sources of vitamin C. This essential nutrient plays a role in a long list of bodily processes — including optimizing immune function, wound healing and maintenance of healthy cartilage, bones and teeth. Pico de gallo is amazing all on its own, and every spoonful you add onto these protein-packed tostadas is great for your overall health.

You can also take different parts and pieces of this recipe, like the fresh pico or the homemade spiced bean mixture, and put them to use in other ways. Those homemade refried beans, for example, are delicious and worth making more of — you can double the recipe and stash them in the freezer for future nacho toppings.

Loaded Chipotle Chicken Tostadas

Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
55 min
75 min



  • 1 cup dried pinto beans, picked over for stones and rinsed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • 1 bay leaf


  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 each green and red bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp chopped canned chipotle in adobo
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1⁄2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1⁄2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 8 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1 1⁄2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • ¾ cup pico de gallo
  • 1 small avocado


Prep Sunday:

  1. To the Instant Pot, add all ingredients for beans along with 2 1⁄2 cups water. Lock on lid, select Pressure and adjust to More/High for 45 minutes. Quick-release pressure. Drain beans, reserving cooking liquid. Mash with a potato masher, adding just enough reserved liquid to make the beans smooth and spreadable. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. Prep the tostadas: Slice the onion, bell peppers and garlic; store in an airtight container.
  3. Chop chipotle peppers and place in a large nonreactive container. Add cumin, paprika, oregano and salt. Add 2 tbsp water and stir to make a thick paste. Add chicken to spice mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate.

When Ready to Eat:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Brush tortillas with oil. Bake until crisp and golden, flipping tortillas once, 12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook chicken: To Instant Pot, add onion, peppers and sliced garlic. Place marinated chicken and marinade on top. Add 1⁄4 cup cold water. Lock on lid, select Pressure cook function and adjust to More/High pressure for 12 minutes. Quick-release pressure.
  3. Meanwhile, reheat refried beans on the stove in a small saucepan over medium-low, or microwave until heated through, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken and vegetables to a bowl, shredding chicken. Discard cooking liquid.
  4. Spread refried beans on baked tortillas. Mound chicken mixture on top, dividing evenly. Top with lettuce and pico de gallo. Slice avocado and place over top.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1⁄4 of recipe
  • Calories 625
  • Carbohydrate Content 56 g
  • Cholesterol Content 113 mg
  • Fat Content 26 g
  • Fiber Content 18 g
  • Protein Content 44 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 5 g
  • Sodium Content 699 mg
  • Sugar Content 8 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 13 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 5 g