Bold, spicy, and full of flavor, try this tostadas de tinga recipe made plant-based! Tender jackfruit is cooked down in spicy tomato salsa and served atop a crispy corn tortilla. And don't forget fresh toppings like lettuce, crema, queso, and avocado!
If you haven't tried jackfruit before, you'll be head-over-heels after this recipe. Acting as the perfect meat replacement, it is smothered in a rich, spicy, and smoky tomato sauce before being served on a crunchy homemade tostada.
What are tostadas de tinga?
Tostadas de tinga features a popular meat-based recipe in Mexico called chicken tinga (or tinga de pollo).
Originating in the state of Puebla, tinga is the name given to chicken prepared in this specific way:
Slowly cooked, shredded, and covered in a salsa made from a base of tomatoes, chipotles, onions, and seasonings. What you get is a smoky, zesty, and juicy recipe full of Mexican flavors.
Tinga de pollo can be found in various recipes like tostadas (as in this one), burritos, tacos, tortas, and more! We think the crunch of tostadas is what makes this recipe our favorite way to serve it.
So, what the heck are tostadas?
Tostadas begin with the same preparation as corn tortillas. The only difference is they're fried until golden and crispy instead of being left soft (like tortillas).
You end up with fresh corn flavors combined with a crunchy texture. What's not to love?!
History of tinga
Tinga poblana comes from none other than the state of Puebla, which is well known for its cuisine (most famously mole poblano and chiles en nogada).
The first mention of tinga comes from the book La Cocinera Poblana in 1881. There are references to several recipes, all including some version of pork, tomatoes, onion, vinegar, and chipotle peppers.
Nowadays, tinga poblana is made with beef, pork, or chicken (or a mix of them all), tomatoes, chipotle, and onions. But, there are variations depending on the region you're in.
Due to the rising popularity of tinga poblana, it can now be found all around Mexico and even into the United States.
Are tostadas de tinga vegan?
Because tinga poblana is typically made with chicken, pork, or beef, these tostadas are not vegan-friendly. But by utilizing young jackfruit, you'll be able to emulate the same taste and texture found in the original recipes.
Serve your jackfruit tostadas de tinga while they're warm and crispy. If you're a toppings lover like us, here are a few great additions to level up your antojito:
Whatever way you decide to top your tostadas, this recipe (and all the toppings) is both vegan and gluten-free!
🍲 Key ingredients
For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.
Taste: creating the "meaty" fibers that emulate chicken, our recipe includes young jackfruit. With slightly sweet, tender, and chewy elements, this alien fruit is absolutely perfect for a tinga de pollo recipe!
Note: if you can't find dehydrated jackfruit, opt for canned young green jackfruit. The weight measurements will vary, which we've noted in the recipe card.
Health: in comparison to meat, jackfruit comes out ahead in the health department. This fruit is not only high in fiber and potassium, but also contains zero saturated fat content. All of these factors are needed to keep your heart healthy.
Taste: creating the base of the marinade are plump, juicy, and zesty Roma tomatoes. For an even tangier element in this vegan tinga de pollo, we threw in a tomatillo as well. But, feel free to just use tomatoes or a combination that suits your preferences.
Health: tomatoes provide our bodies with a very important antioxidant called lycopene. This compound is responsible for the red color in tomatoes, and it has been linked to decreasing cancer and cardiovascular disease risk.
Taste: smoky, slightly sweet, and tangy, chipotle peppers give a characteristic flavor that tinga poblana is known for. We love to add a lot of peppers, but you can use more or less depending on your heat tolerance.
Health: chipotle peppers contain a high amount of vitamins and minerals like vitamin A & C, potassium, and magnesium. But the big reason chipotle peppers are so healthy is due to the compound capsaicin. Surprisingly, capsaicin has shown promising effects in reducing the spread of cancer.
Taste: adding a little punch with sweet undertones, onions are a classic addition to tinga de pollo. We add ours both to the salsa and sautéed with the jackfruit to create extra textures and flavors.
Health: they may not seem like it but onions are packed with tons of nutrients. Filled with vitamin C, B vitamins, and antioxidants, onions should be an addition to any recipe you can think of!
If you have questions about this tostadas de tinga recipe, don't forget to check out our FAQ section at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: rehydrate the jackfruit in a pot of water, vegetable stock powder, and a pinch of salt. Let it sit for around 2 hours, or overnight, then drain the liquid.
Step 2: remove the husk from the tomatillo if there is one. Cut the tomatoes and tomatillo in half and place them face down on a foil-lined baking sheet with the onions and garlic as well.
Step 3: drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast them until they are tender and golden.
Step 4: blend the roasted vegetables with a few chipotles (depending on your heat tolerance) plus extra adobo, Mexican oregano, and vegetable stock powder.
Step 5: heat some refined coconut oil, shortening, or vegan butter in a large pot over medium. Add the onion slices in and sauté until translucent, then add the jackfruit and tinga sauce.
Step 6: simmer everything together for an additional 20 minutes, or until the sauce soaks into the jackfruit and thickens up.
Step 7: either fry or bake (if you're trying to go healthier) your corn tortillas to make tostadas. Cook them until golden brown and crispy, then lightly season each one with salt.
Step 8: serve your vegan tinga on a fried or baked tostada and top with lettuce, vegan crema, avocado slices, radish slices, and/or cheese. Happy eating!
We always seem to go through this recipe sooner rather than later. But, in case you have leftovers, make sure to follow these storage guidelines.
Jackfruit tinga de pollo will keep in your fridge for up to 4-5 days in an airtight container. We like to use glass containers for the most optimal storage, but any container will do the trick.
If you have a lot of leftovers, this recipe is freezer-friendly. Just make sure to let the tinga cool completely before transferring to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. It's best to use your leftovers within 2-3 months.
The easiest way to reheat your tinga is in a skillet over medium for 3-5 minutes, or until warm. Serve it on a fresh tostada, taco, burrito, or sandwich.
💭 Pro tips
We'd like to share some tips and tricks we learned while experimenting with this vegan tinga recipe:
- Add more spice. If you want a spicier tinga, add more chipotle peppers or even fresh chiles like serranos, habaneros, or jalapeños.
- Make the tostadas. For a fresh corn flavor that makes this dish extra special, ensure you homemake the tostadas.
- Add some salsa. If you want more flavor, try topping your tostada with salsa verde or salsa roja.
- Cook on low. To avoid burning the tinga, make sure to cook it low and slow.
🍴 Tasting notes
For a different take on tostadas de tinga, try them with an incredible meat replacement made from fruit. This recipe is:
If you try this jackfruit tinga de pollo recipe, please rate it and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
Vegan Tinga Tostadas
- Large pot
- Baking sheet
- 1 ¾ ounces dehydrated jackfruit ($4.93)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable stock powder ($0.10)
- A large pinch of salt ($0.01)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening or refined coconut oil ($0.22)
- ½ small white onion, thinly sliced ($0.12)
- 3 Roma tomatoes, halved ($0.48)
- 1 tomatillo, halved ($0.06)
- ½ small white onion, roughly cut ($0.12)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled ($0.08)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil ($0.11)
- 2-4 chipotle peppers in adobo ($0.08)
- ¼ teaspoon Mexican oregano ($0.01)
- 1 teaspoon vegetable stock powder ($0.05)
- 1 bay leaf ($0.01)
- Salt and pepper to taste ($0.02)
- 10-12 corn tortillas ($0.20)
- ~½ cup neutral oil for frying ($0.32)
- Shredded lettuce
- Vegan Mexican crema
- Vegan cheese (cotija, queso fresco)
- Avocado slices
- Radish slices
- Add vegetable stock powder, a pinch of salt, and the dehydrated jackfruit to a pot of water. Bring it to a boil, then let it rehydrate for around 2 hours (but overnight is best).
- Once the jackfruit is rehydrated, preheat your oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Remove the husk from the tomatillo if there is one. Cut the tomatoes and tomatillo in half and place them face down on the foil. Cut the onion in large chunks and peel the garlic cloves. Add those to the baking sheet as well.
- Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast for 12-15 minutes, or until they are tender and golden brown.
- Add the roasted vegetables to a blender with 2-4 chipotles (depending on your heat tolerance) plus an extra spoonful of adobo, Mexican oregano, and vegetable stock powder. Blend on high until smooth, then set aside.
- Heat refined coconut oil or vegetable shortening in a large pot over medium. Add in the onion slices and sauté for 3-4 minutes until translucent, then add drained jackfruit and tinga sauce.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low or just over low and simmer for an additional 20 minutes, or until the sauce soaks into the jackfruit.
- Fried: heat about 1 inch of neutral oil in a pot or skillet over medium. Fry the corn tortillas on each side until golden brown, about 60-90 seconds. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil. Sprinkle with a little salt.
- Baked: lightly brush both a baking sheet and the corn tortillas with a little vegetable oil and a sprinkle of salt. Bake at 400°F for 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway (or until golden and crispy).
- Serve the jackfruit tinga on a fried or baked tostada and top with lettuce, vegan crema, avocado, radishes, and/or cheese. Happy eating!
- Use vegetable shortening, refined coconut oil, or vegan butter interchangeably in this recipe.
- The weight of the rehydrated jackfruit is 350 grams for reference if you use canned or fresh jackfruit.
- Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price or calories of our recipes.
- We calculate nutritional information for our recipes with Cronometer.
- Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe-to-recipe.
- All prices are in USD.
♻️ Similar recipes
For more tasty ways to replace meat in your cooking, check out our:
- Jackfruit carnitas for herbaceous, tangy, and savoury vegan "meats" that are perfect to serve in warm tortillas.
- Quesabirria tacos to see what these viral chile-dipped tortillas are all about. Just don't forget to serve them with napkins!
- Baja "fish" tacos so you can try Ensenada-style tacos with beer battered tofu, pico de gallo, and creamy chipotle mayo.
- Torta cubana for a beast of a sandwich featuring three kinds of "meat", melty cheese, refried beans, and tons of vegetables.
If you don't have jackfruit, pair the tinga marinade with oyster mushrooms, textured soy strips, beans, or tempeh strips.
Fresh or canned jackfruit work in this recipe as well. Use the same method of cooking, just omit the rehydrating process. The weight of the jackfruit you use will also be more than the dehydrated amount (see recipe notes).
Tinga poblana can be as spicy or as mild as you'd like. It all depends on how many chipotles and other chiles you add to the sauce.