Salt & Wind Travel

Slow Cooker Chicken Tinga

Things you can rely on around here: we’re always game to talk travel, we love an interesting wine, and when we’re hosting a crowd, this Chicken Tinga recipe will make an appearance. 

Why? Because it’s the Goldilocks of recipes — not too spicy, not too complicated, not too heavy, but just right. It’s as perfect for a DIY taco night as it is a nacho topping or, our personal current favorite, on tostadas with a cool, crunchy radish pico de gallo salsa. 

Chicken Tinga Tostada Recipe

What Is Chicken Tinga?

Chicken Tinga (aka Tinga De Pollo) is a recipe made up of shredded chicken served in a tomato and chipotle sauce. Chicken tinga hails from Puebla — a Mexican state that lays claim to some of our favorite classic Mexican foods like Mole Poblano and Chiles En Nogada. When you travel to Puebla, you’ll come across these dishes a lot, and variations abound. We tend to turn to tinga the most because it’s simple to make and can be made on your stovetop or your slow cooker. 

Burrito bowl with black beans avocado and chicken tinga

How To Serve Chicken Tinga

This is a recipe that has kinda endless uses. We’ve put some on a salad with beans, avocado, and crumbled cheese. We’ve added it to breakfast, from topping chilaquiles to a makeshift morning hash.

We’ve stuffed it in tacos or even added it to deconstructed burrito bowls (above) and served them on tostadas! As the name says here, this is the Chicken Tinga Tostadas With Radish Pico De Gallo Salsa recipe.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tinga

Yes, you very much can make this recipe in the slow cooker. You could dump all the tinga ingredients (the onions, chipotle, tomatoes, broth, bay leaf, oregano, and chicken) in the cooker and then set it and forget it. But we recommend you sauté the onions first because it’ll help add lots more flavor.

Once the ingredients are in the slow cooker, let it cook for about 3 to 4 hours on LOW or 1.5 to 2 hours on HIGH. Then remove the chicken and shred it, blend the sauce (if you want — you can also leave it unblended), stir the chicken and sauce together, and serve!

Make Mini Tostada Bites

Note that this recipe makes 10 tostadas, which is enough for 4 to 6 servings for this dish as a main course. To make them for a cocktail party appetizer, use round tortilla chips or cut 2-inch rounds out of tortillas and toast them. You should be able to get 24 to 30 small bites out of the recipe if you do it that way!

Plate of chicken tinga tostada bites

Recipes To Serve With Chicken Tinga

Depending on how you’re serving the Chicken Tinga, you might want to serve them with a side or two, be it beans, rice, or veg. Here are some recipes we serve with it on the regular: 

About Radish Pico De Gallo Salsa

Finally, a note about the salsa. Ask yourself if this is classic Pico De Gallo salsa with radishes instead of tomatoes? Well, yes, you’re correct! We love using freshly made Pico De Gallo on dishes that need some acid and freshness but the result is underwhelming if you can’t get uber-fresh tomatoes. Our solution is to make Pico De Gallo with radishes instead!

The only difference from the classic salsa is that you want to add in a lot of lime juice — to help bring out the floral and less harsh flavors in the radishes — and you’ll want to stir in a spoonful of oil to help meld all the flavors.

Oh, and as with classic Pico De Gallo, be sure to serve this salsa within about an hour of when it’s made because that’s when the flavor and texture are top!

Now, go stock up on all your cooking essentials, then head into the kitchen, make this, and share it with us by tagging @saltandwind and #swsociety on social!

See The Recipe Made Step By Step

Heads up that Aida made this recipe on her IGTV so head there to check it out! And, as always, share your baking creations with us by tagging @saltandwind and #swsociety on social! 

Person holding chicken tinga tostada
Chicken Tinga Tostadas With Radish Pico De Gallo Salsa Recipe

Chicken Tinga Tostadas With Radish Pico De Gallo Salsa Recipe

This is a healthy easy recipe for chicken tinga that gets put on tostadas and topped with a crunchy, fresh radish salsa.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 10 Tostadas
Calories 59 kcal


For The Chicken Tinga:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil, divided
  • 2 medium red onions divided
  • Kosher salt and Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) can crushed or pureed tomatoes
  • 3 to 4 canned chipotles en adobo plus 1 tablespoon sauce from can
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 medium bay leaf
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth or water
  • 2 to 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken trimmed of any excess fat

For The Radish Pico De Gallo:

  • 8 medium radishes small dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium serrano or Thai chile minced
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves thinly sliced

For Serving:

  • 12 (5 inch) tostadas
  • Crema or sour cream for serving


  • Start The Chicken Tinga: Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat. Take 1 1/2 halved red onions (i.e., 3 red onion halves) and thinly slice them into half-moon shapes. Add the onion and salt, add black pepper to the pot, and cook until golden brown and soft, about 10 minutes.
    Add the canned tomatoes, the chipotles and adobo sauce, oregano, and bay leaf, and, using a spatula or wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the broth and the chicken, stir to coat, and cook, turning every 10 minutes or so until the chicken is easily shredded with a fork, at least 45 minutes.
  • Shred The Chicken: Remove the chicken from the sauce, place it on a board, and shred it into bite-sized pieces with the help of two forks. Meanwhile, discard the bay leaf and place the remaining sauce ingredients --  tomatoes, broth, chipotles, adobo sauce, and herbs -- in a blender. Puree until smooth, then taste and add more salt or pepper as desired.
    Return the sauce to the pot along with the shredded chicken, season with salt and pepper, and simmer over low heat until slightly thickened, about 5 to 10 minutes. 
    TIP: Tinga can be made entirely up to three days ahead of time. Store refrigertated in an airtight container and rewarm when ready to use.
  • Make The Radish Pico De Gallo Salsa: Take the remaining 1/2 red onion and mince it. Combine the minced onions with all the minced radish, serrano chile, and lime juice. Stir in the last 1 tablespoon of oil and season well with salt and pepper. Snip or thinly slice the cilantro, stir it in, and serve immediately. 
  • Assemble And Serve The Tostadas: Top each tostada with a few spoonfuls of the chicken tinga, top with a spoonful of the salsa, add a drizzle of crema (or sour cream thinned with water until it's pourable), and serve immediately.



Serving: 1gCalories: 59kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 1gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.002gCholesterol: 0.2mgSodium: 18mgPotassium: 78mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 50IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 0.3mg
Keyword Classic Mexican recipe, dairy free, nut free, Taco filling, tostadas
Tried this recipe?Mention @saltandwind or tag #swsociety!

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