It’s tostada time!! I love tostadas (and all Mexican food actually). They’re so easy to make and super quick, especially when you pre-make most of the ingredients. Tostadas are perfect for a weekday when you don’t want to cook and the kids are being irritating, because you can throw them together at lightning speed (the tostadas not the kids) and everyone can sit down and eat.

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The secret is having the tostada shells in your pantry. Brittle and dry, these shells last a very long time, and they’re also very versatile. For all those people who are going to criticize me, a dietitian, for having tostadas aka glorified taco chips in my house, take it easy. It’s what you put on the shells that really counts and anyways, don’t be a hater.

Don’t be surprised to see my favorite tostada shells on my upcoming 16 foods to eat in 2016 list, because I use them so frequently. I even break them up for nachos like the ones I made for my husband the other day. Take a look:

tostada nachos

I wanted to do an absolutely delicious chicken marinated in buttermilk for this recipe, because I have been hearing a lot about buttermilk as a chicken marinade lately. It’s usually for fried chicken, which I hate, but I thought that the acidity of the buttermilk would tenderize chicken breasts for the grill, too. I was right – the chicken turned out incredible!

Here’s a story about how nuts I am: I made this recipe without the spices in the buttermilk, and it was okay, but not great. I then literally lay awake for 2 hours in the middle of the night obsessing over making the recipe with coriander and cumin. Only I would lose sleep over spices. I guess it’s a recipe developer thing.

The second rendition of this recipe was right on, and here it is. Luckily I lay awake obsessing – because coriander and cumin where the best things ever to add to the marinade!

This entire recipe except for the melting of the cheese on the shells can be done a day in advance.

Also, I am really sorry about the pictures. They suck. I was outside taking advantage of the natural light (which in Toronto we soon won’t have as much of) and I was literally being swarmed by bees while I was shooting the photos. I guess the bees love my tostadas too, but I seriously had to shoot and run, and that never turns out well.

tostadas whole

Serves 4

8 tostada shells – I use Charros

1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast


1L buttermilk

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 cup chopped cilantro

Juice of 1 lime

½ t ground coriander

½ t ground cumin

½ t salt

1/4t cayenne pepper

Salsa Fresca

3 field tomatoes, chopped

½ large white onion, chopped

1T olive oil

1 cup chopped cilantro

¼ t salt


4 oz sharp cheddar, grated

1 avocado, sliced

Cilantro for garnish

My black bean recipe if you want

Hot sauce, of course


Combine marinade ingredients together and mix well.

Add chicken and marinate for at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours.

Make the salsa by combining the salsa ingredients. Set aside.

If you are using the black beans, warm and set aside.

Preheat BBQ to medium heat. Grill chicken breasts until done, around 10 minutes each side. Let chicken rest off the grill for about 10 minutes, then slice into thin crosswise slices and set aside.

While the chicken is resting, lay 8 tostada shells on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the grated cheddar. Set in warm oven OR on the still-warm BBQ until the cheese melts. Remove and lay the shells on a platter to fill.

Fill shells with chicken, black beans, salsa, avocado, and anything else you want to add.

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