These grilled chicken tostadas are topped with rich mole sauce and sweet-and-sour summer vegetables and use store-bought tostada shells for convenience. If you want to make this a vegetarian dish, leave out the grilled chicken.

Bruce Aidells
Source: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2010


Recipe Summary

2 hrs


Adobo-Rubbed Chicken
Mole Sauce
Sweet-&-Sour Vegetables


Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare adobo rub and chicken: Combine chili powder, lime juice, oil, cumin, onion powder, garlic power, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub 2 tablespoons of adobo rub generously all over chicken breasts (the remaining rub can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days). Let marinate for 30 minutes or wrap in plastic and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

  • To prepare mole sauce: Tear chiles into pieces; discard stems and seeds. Place in a bowl, add boiling water and soak until the chiles are soft, about 30 minutes. Pour the chiles and soaking liquid into a blender. Add tomatoes, onion, garlic, vinegar, flour, sugar, cumin, pepper, cayenne to taste and cloves; blend until smooth. Strain the sauce through a sieve to filter out any remaining seeds and skins, pressing out as much liquid as possible from the solids. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sauce and cook, stirring frequently, until it thickens and reduces to about 2 cups, 10 to 20 minutes. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

  • To prepare sweet-&-sour vegetables: Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add carrots and cook for 7 minutes. Add squash, vinegar, oregano, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Continue cooking until the vegetables are just tender, 2 to 3 minutes more. Drain, transfer to a bowl and season with more pepper to taste. Set aside to cool.

  • About 20 minutes before you're ready to grill the chicken, preheat grill to medium.

  • Oil the grill rack (see Tips). Grill the chicken until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165 degrees F, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Transfer to a clean cutting board, let rest for 5 minutes and slice into 1/2-inch strips.

  • To assemble tostadas: Place 2 tostada shells on each plate. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of the mole sauce over each tostada, then top each with about 2 1/2 tablespoons of the vegetables. Divide the chicken among the tostadas and drizzle with more mole sauce. Serve with taco garnishes as desired.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the mole sauce (Step 2) for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months. Cover and refrigerate the vegetables (Step 3) for up to 1 day.

Mildly spicy dried chiles, such as ancho or New Mexico, add moderate heat and rich flavor to Mexican sauces like mole. Chili powder made from these chiles has more flavor than American-style blends. Look for whole dried chiles in the produce section of large supermarkets and New Mexico or ancho chili powder in the specialty-spice section of large supermarkets or online at

To make your own tostadas: Heat about 1/2 inch canola oil or peanut oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add a corn tortilla and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and cook until crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Repeat until all tortillas are cooked, reducing heat, if necessary, to prevent the oil from smoking or splattering.

To oil a grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.)

Nutrition Facts

354 calories; protein 27.1g 54% DV; carbohydrates 30.2g 10% DV; dietary fiber 6.4g 26% DV; sugars 7.5g; fat 15.2g 23% DV; saturated fat 2.9g 14% DV; cholesterol 62.7mg 21% DV; vitamin a iu 9764.5IU 195% DV; vitamin c 18.6mg 31% DV; folate 43.3mcg 11% DV; calcium 71.3mg 7% DV; iron 2.8mg 16% DV; magnesium 70.7mg 25% DV; potassium 873.3mg 25% DV; sodium 730mg 29% DV; thiamin 0.2mg 16% DV; added sugar 2g.

Reviews (3)

Read More Reviews
3 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
I love the mole sauce! I don't strain it. Nor truthfully did I bother with the peppers but just used a tablespoon or two of good chili powder. I love this because I can make it earlier in the day and it's all ready at dinner time. This mole sauce plus the adobo rub on chicken has definitely kicked our taco nights up a notch. I will say however that we didn't like the veggies. The sour flavor didn't seem to go with the rest of the taco and they were a lot of bother to make. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
These were absolutely scrumptious! This was my first time making a sauce from scratch and it turned out great! (I didn't strain mine either) I used chipotle pepper tostadas and didn't bother with the sweet and sour vegetables. I topped them with olives green onion Spanish onion lettuce banana peppers and a little sprinkle of cheddar cheese. They were so tasty that my finicky little sister snuck in the fridge and ate all the leftovers. I found it to be pretty spicy though but that was probably entirely my fault (I tend to go a little heavy on the spice). I also found that it was a bit time consuming to make. Next time (which will probably be this week) I'm going to make a huge batch of the sauce so I can freeze it. This is definitely a new favourite of mine. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
The adobo rub and veggies are great. The mole sauce however was less than ideal. It was very liquidy and not thick at all. I would recommend using a different mole sauce recipe or not sieving the sauce (or only sieving the pepper skins). Read More