Leftover turkey is rare around here. It’s usually gone within 24 hours of making it because it’s so moist and delicious! But on the rare occasion that we do have leftovers (like we did this year), then creative leftover-making is in order!

The day after Thanksgiving I’m either craving something light like white fish or a veggie meal, OR I’m craving suer-spicy Latin-inspired food! Enter the turkey tostada. This simple recipe is also great year-round―just sub rotisserie chicken for turkey.

Turkey Tostadas

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 4 - 8


    Seasoned turkey
  • 2 cups cooked turkey, chopped into small pieces (substitute: rotisserie chicken)
  • 3 tablespoons olive or canola oil, divided
  • 1 red onion, chopped into small pieces and divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon (or just a pinch) cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • Sauteed peppers
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 pasilla pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, sedded and chopped
  • Other tostada ingredients
  • 8 tostada shells
  • 2 cups refried beans, heated through
  • 1 cup Mexican rice, heated through
  • 1 cup crispy lettuce, shredded
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar, cotija, or other Mexican-blend cheese
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • Hot sauce (Optional; our favorite is Cholula Chipotle)


  1. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat half the oil. Add 1/2 cup red onion and saute for 3 to 5 minutes, or until softened. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add chopped turkey and cook for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium and stir in chili powder, cumin, cayenne and half the salt, adjusting seasonings to taste. Add chicken stock, and reduce heat to low. Cover and stir seasoned turkey mix occasionally, checking liquid level and adding more if necessary.
  2. In a separate large skillet over high heat, heat the rest of the oil. Add the peppers and cook, stirring often for 1 minute. Add red onion and continue cooking until slightly charred for about 5 to 7 minutes. Add salt to taste and set aside.
  3. The Tostada Build
  4. Lay out all ingredients of the tostada in this order:
  5. Tostada shells
    Refried beans
    Seasoned turkey
    Mexican rice
    Sauteed peppers
    Avocado slices
    Sour cream
    Shredded cheese
    Cilantro and hot sauce (optional)
  6. Assemble the tostada beginning with spreading a few teaspoons of refried beans onto one tostada shell. (The beans act as the "glue" for the other elements of the tostada.) Then top with a few teaspoons of every other ingredient, using more of the earlier ingredients, and less of the latter ingredients. Top with cilantro, hot sauce and other preferred garnishments. Serve and enjoy!