Chili Lime Chicken Quinoa Tostada

Look, I know what you're thinking.

What the heck is a "Chili Lime Chicken Quinoa Tostada"?!

Well I'm glad you asked! Because I was going to tell you anyway.

It's honestly just the best thing ever. It's bursting with so many flavors. If you feel like you're in a flavor rut, make this for dinner and I swear it will breathe new life into you.

The best part? I came up with this recipe in my sleep. If I've ever cornered you to tell you about one of my dreams, then you know my sleeping brain is kind of insane. I've been known to shout things like, "the elephants are trying to steal my blanket!" I'll sleep walk in the middle of the night and start getting ready for the day like it's completely normal. It's not. It's ridiculous.

Thankfully my dreams like to help me out sometimes. When I was studying fashion design in college, I was trying to figure out how to create the bodice for a wedding dress. It was a particularly tricky design, and involved piecing together strips of fabric with strips of metallic trim. And -- you guessed it -- my brain worked it out for me in my sleep. I dreamed up the perfect way to sew the dress.

So after I found this quinoa pizza crust recipe and made it a few times I knew there was a way I could change it up to make it exactly what I wanted. I LOVED the idea of blending up quinoa with a few simple ingredients and using it as a gluten free pizza crust (major props to Alyssa!), but I didn't love that I could taste the quinoa so strongly.

Then it came to me. Blend in cilantro, lime and spices (like the Mexican quinoa I typically make) to create the perfect flavorful crust.

And then top with blackened chicken and cilantro lime dressing.

And basically put all of my favorite things in one pan!

So I did. And the outcome was incredible.

There are a lot of moving parts to this dish, and while I did everything (from chicken to tostada) in about 45 minutes to an hour, prepping the chicken the weekend before will free up some time on a week night.

The only thing you really have to plan the day of is soaking the quinoa. The quinoa needs to soak in water for about 6-8 hours (or overnight) to become soft enough to blend. The original recipe recommends you do this in the morning while you make your coffee. Since I work from home, I'll set an alarm to tell me when to start soaking. It only takes about two minutes, so working it into your morning routine won't be difficult.

Making the crust will probably reveal your inner skeptic, but trust me. It'll be good in the end. You can blend the ingredients in any blender (I used my NutriBullet). The consistency should be similar to pancake batter.

The crust has to bake for 10 minutes on either side before toppings can be added. This ensures a nice crispy crust!

You can use any chicken recipe for your grilled chicken, but lately my favorite grilled chicken marinade comes from Jessica Gavin. Side bar, the tacos in that recipe are to die for. Brandon and I are always making them. The marinade makes enough for about 4 pieces of chicken. I marinated two pieces and saved the extra piece for a quick dinner option. The chicken will need to marinate for about 20 minutes to an hour.

One of the best parts of this recipe is the amazing cilantro lime drizzle featured on Spoonful of Flavor. I added avocado to the drizzle once and I did not regret it. For this recipe, I made the drizzle as is since I knew I was adding chopped avocado to the top of my tostada.

Any additional toppings are completely up to you. I baked my crust with chicken, black beans and shredded cheese.

Once it was out of the oven I added fresh avocado, the cilantro lime drizzle and a little bit of fresh cilantro. I accidentally went with a very green theme here. Next time I want to add pico de gallo or fresh tomatoes.

print recipe

Chili Lime Chicken Quinoa Tostada
A gluten free spicy tostada with yummy blackened chicken and cool cilantro lime drizzle that's bursting with flavor!

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, soaked for 6-8 hours
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Blackened Chicken
  • 2-4 thinly sliced chicken breasts
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (plus zest of 1 lime)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Cilantro Lime Drizzle
  • 1/4 cup plain non fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon honey or agave
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Pinch of salt, garlic powder, and chili powder
Optional Toppings
  • Drained black beans
  • Shredded cheese
  • 1/2 of an avocado
1. Soak the quinoa in water, covering it by at least 1″, for 6 – 8 hours.
2. Mix chicken marinade ingredients together and coat chicken. Let marinate for 20 minutes to 1 hour. Once marinated, grill until done.
3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick oil spray, making sure to get the sides.
4. Drain quinoa and add to blender. Add remaining crust ingredients and blend until smooth. Should resemble pancake batter.
5. Pour into pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove, flip crust and bake for another 10 minutes.
6. Top with grilled chicken, cheese and black beans. Bake for another 7 minutes until cheese is melted and edges are crispy. Let cool in pan for a few minutes.
7. Blend cilantro lime drizzle ingredients in blender or food processor until smooth and creamy.
8. Remove tostada from pan. Garnish with avocado, cilantro lime dressing, tomatoes, pico de gallo, or whatever you wish.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 Tostada

What toppings will you add? The combinations are endless!

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