Chicken Avocado Tortilla Torta

chicken avocado tortilla torta

Photography by Karista Bennett

Oh for the love of all things Avocado.  I’m on an intense avocado kick these days.  I feel like adding avocado to everything.

Actually, Suzie Q, my youngest, made that very comment the other day.  “Mom, you add avocado to everything.  Next it’ll be in our dessert”.   Hmmm… I just came across ice cream prepared with avocado.  Trying that one next. 🙂

Avocado lends a creamy and sometimes buttery texture to dishes.  It’s not terribly aromatic but it can taste of olive oil and fresh grass when eaten ripe.

I love it sliced on a bed of wilted spinach and topped with poached or pan-fried farm fresh eggs. I also add diced avocado to my Mexican stuffed peppers which eliminates the need for extra cheese.  When the avocado is heated the texture becomes a bit creamy,  just like warm or melted cheese.

Avocado is perfectly delicious added to my ceviche, tacos and sandwiches.  I keep a squishy, ripe one on the counter for spreading like mayonnaise.  During the summer months I love an heirloom tomato and avocado sandwich with just a sprinkling of my favorite gourmet salt.

So of course when I was whipping up this chicken torta, I had to add avocado.  Combined with fresh cilantro, white onion, salsa Verde and Cotija cheese… fresh, clean flavors that deliciously marry well together.  Made dinner feel just a little bit special.

Tank thought so too.  My oldest gal captured this picture of Tank.  Waiting patiently, staring down the deliciousness, while I was working to snap a food photo.  What can I say,  he cracks me up!

cairn terrier, food photography

Tank Waiting Patiently

Delicious wishes and loads of love!


Chicken Avocado Tortilla Torta

Serves 6


2 cups small cubed or shredded cooked chicken

½ white onion, small diced (about 1 cup)

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

2-3 cups diced avocado, tossed gently with a little lime juice (approx 2 avocados)

12-18 corn tortillas, sliced in half

2-3 cups salsa Verde (green enchilada sauce, Hatch is a quality brand I recommend) (recipe below for when tomatillos are in season.  I do recommend canning tomatillos during the summer for delicious salsa Verde year round.)

2 cups cotija cheese

1 cup mozzarella or creamy farmer’s cheese, Mexican Queso


Heat the oven to 375F.

You will need an 8×8 or 9×13 baking dish.  I like a deep dish torta so I use the 8×8.  But the 9×13 also works well.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cooked chicken, white onion, fresh cilantro, 1 cup crumbled cotija cheese, chili powder and cumin.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Very gently fold in the diced avocado.

Pour the salsa Verde in a bowl large enough to dip the halved tortillas.  Dip 4-6 tortilla halves and place them in the bottom of the baking dish.  You will feel like you’re making a lasagna.

Sprinkle with the chicken avocado mixture and then dip a few more tortilla halves into the salsa Verde and arrange on top of the chicken avocado mixture.  Repeat with the layering process until you have used all your chicken avocado mixture.  I can usually get three layers in an 8×8 pan.

Be sure to end the layers with salsa Verde dipped tortillas.  Sprinkle with Mozzarella and remaining Cotija cheese.

Bake uncovered for about 20-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and sides are bubbly.  Let the torta stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

I love this dish with Cabbage and Cucumber slaw.  I’ve listed the recipe below.  Enjoy!

Fresh Salsa Verde


2 cans tomatillos (I prefer Hatch brand)

½ cup diced onions

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 jalapeno, roasted and seeded

½ cup water or chicken broth if needed

Salt to taste


Place the tomatillos in a blender or food processor and puree.

Add a little oil to a medium sauce pan over medium heat and sauté the onions and garlic until wilted.

Stir in the pureed tomatillos, cilantro and jalapeno and let it simmer on low for about five minutes, adding water or chicken broth if necessary.   Take it off the heat and set aside until needed.  Or refrigerate for up to 3 days.


Cabbage and Cucumber Slaw

Serves 4-6


1 small to medium head Napa cabbage, halved and then sliced so you get ribbons of cabbage.

1 large cucumber, sliced (peeled if you like)

4-5 green onions, sliced

½ cup fresh chopped cilantro (optional)

½ cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice

1-2 teaspoons sugar or agave

Dash of Sriracha or hot sauce to taste

Salt and pepper to taste


Whisk together the mayonnaise, citrus juice, sugar and Sriracha.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toss the dressing with the cabbage and then layer the cucumber, green onion and cilantro on top.  Serve and enjoy!

*my family likes a well dressed slaw so I often double the dressing recipe.  But I think it tastes great lightly dressed.



  1. peasepudding says:

    That does sound amazing with the avocado. I love the pic of Tank, our poor pets and family putting up with our food photography :o)

  2. Oh, now I’m really hungry! I completely understand your avocado kick and could eat them everyday. I’ve seen chocolate mousse made with avocado…might be a good option for dessert. 🙂 Love your slaw, too – I’m a big cabbage fan. Terrific recipes, Karista!

  3. This sounds like a dish I would just love, Karista! I seem to be on an avocado kick lately, too. My new favorite quick bite sandwich is harissa on pita with avocado mashed on it. Lazy, but tasty! Hope all is well in your world! 🙂

    • Oh, love, love, love that idea Betsy! I happen to have some harissa in the frig. Guess I know what I’m having for lunch tomorrow. Thanks!

  4. Lovely – I’m always intrigued by these tortilla bakes!

    • Aren’t they so fun! I also make one with roasted butternut squash and black beans in the winter. So many different ways to prepare a tortilla bake. 🙂

  5. That looks awesome. We are also completely infatuated with avocado – my husband so much that he eats at least half an avocado every morning at breakfast!

  6. Great weeknight meal!

    • Thanks Maria! I just have to tell you, I so look forward to browsing instagram, just to see adorable pictures of your little man. He is so darn cute!

  7. Heidi Rodgers says:

    I can’t wait to make this!!! So many of my favorite things in one recipe!!! It’s on the list for next week…

    Date: Tue, 14 May 2013 20:26:18 +0000 To:

  8. It’s 7 am here, and I’m DROOLING! I’m on the lookout for things like this, that can be assembled at naptime and baked for dinner…now that there are TWO grandchildren to be fed at night.
    If my house gets any crazier, I’m running away to your place for a week…
    By the way, I thought that was one of your girls IN the photo 🙂

  9. Looks gorgeous and I’ll bet it tastes great too. I love the idea of warm avocado and chicken layered up with tortilla like a lasagne. This sounds like a really Summery version that I will definitely try on a nice Sunny day (I hope one comes soon!) Thanks!

  10. What a fun dish, this is Karista, and I’m right there with you on the avocados. I absolutely cannot get enough of them – they seem to go with everything. Love that snapshot of you photographing a dish! I can never get enough of those sorts of behind-the-scenes, and it’s such a sweet pic of you at home in your element!

    • Thank you Jess. It was such a funny moment. Tank does that all the time, sits and waits for me to finish my pictures. My daughter was lucky enough to catch the shot. And Tank was lucky enough to get a sample 🙂

  11. This sounds positively delicious. I can’t believe this is the first time I think I’ve been by your blog. I’ve been going through my followers on Google Friend Connect letting them know that I’m moving to a new site and came across you and your site. I’m sorry I missed seeing that you’ve been following me. Nice blog!

  12. Karista — this is genius! I love this recipe and have to try it! I never thought of using tortillas in this manner!!!!!! As for avocado, I’m with you – it goes great with so many things…and yes, I’ve even had it in desserts from frostings to mousses 🙂 It’s all good! Finally, I love that you were captured taking that photo on the floor with Tank patiently waiting — the things we do to get that shot! 🙂

    • Thanks so much Danny! Yes, the things we do to get the perfect shot. Sometimes it works and sometimes I just have to hang it up and try another day. LOL!

  13. Tank is so adorable and patient! I love your little photo studio, it looks very similar to mine.. LOL I don’t think I would have been as patient as Tank as this chicken advocate torta sounds amazing. I agree that avocados can be apart of desserts too. I actually have a chocolate mousse made with avocados instead of milk that is just fabulous. I am bookmarking this recipe as always looking for some great make ahead dishes. Have a super weekend. BAM

    • LOL! Yes he is. He wouldn’t dream of touching the food. But for his good behavior he gets a sample. As you can tell by the picture, lots of samples. Have a lovely week Bam!

  14. You’ve outdone yourself on this one! I am also on an avocado kick right now. This looks amazing- can I come for dinner? 🙂

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