Recipe Mic Post

Easy Tostada Recipe

Homemade Tostadas are so satisfying and easy to make. They’re loaded with refried beans and beef and topped with classic Mexican Tostada toppings—don’t forget the squeeze of lime! Every bite is so fresh, crisp, and satisfying—I can almost hear the crunch…
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What is a Tostada?A Tostada (pronounced tuh-staa-duh) is a flat and crunchy tortilla, loaded up with the best taco toppings. The word Tostada means “toasted”. It refers to the crispy tortilla that has been either toasted or deep-fried. The crispy tortilla is then piled with your favorite toppings.
Tostadas are a popular dish in Mexico and other parts of Latin America. The name is used for any dish that uses the toasted tortilla as the base. In Mexico, they are often served with any protein, or eaten as snacks or sides such as Mexican Street Corn. They are also great paired with dishes such as pozole or soup (they are so yummy with Chicken Tortilla Soup).
My husband and I love these so much, I even have a fun twist in my debut Cookbook for Shrimp Avocado Tostadas (see pg 80). It’s a delicious blend of classic Tostadas with Ceviche – so delicious!).
How to Make Tostada ShellsYou can buy crunchy “tostadas” but making your own tostadas is quick and easy. The shells can be made by either baking or frying. We prefer to bake the tortillas as a healthier option that still gets crispy and you can make more at once. It’s a super simple process:
  • Oil the Tortillas – Spray Tortillas with cooking spray or brush lightly with oil.
  • Bake the Tortillas – Lay the tortillas flat on a baking sheet and bake at 425˚F for 4 minutes per side. Bake until they turn crispy and golden. How to Make Fried Tostadas:If you prefer to fry your tostadas, add 1/4″ of vegetable oil to a skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot (about 350˚F), add 1 corn tortilla at a time and fry for about 30-45 seconds per side or until golden. Drain on paper towels and cool on a rack. They harden as they cool.

  • How to Make TostadasFollow these easy steps to make and assemble your tostadas:
  • Bake Tostada Shells – See the easy instructions above to make the shells.
  • Make the Taco Meat – Cook the ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up with a spatula. Season the beef with garlic powder, taco seasoning and salt, to taste. Add the diced onion and continue cooking until the onion is soft and translucent, and beef is fully cooked.
  • Heat Refried Beans – Add your refried beans to a skillet and stir over medium heat just until warmed through, or you can warm it up in the microwave.
  • Prepare the Toppings – Prep and chop the rest of your desired tostada toppings.
  • Serve – Spread the top with warmed refried beans, add ground beef and remaining toppings before serving. Pro Tip:Applying a layer of refried beans first will allow the other toppings to stick to the tostada. If you want to replace the refried beans, you can try Hummus, Sour Cream, or our Spicy Guacamole instead!

  • Traditional Tostada ToppingsThere are so many tostada topping options! You can use both hot and cold ingredients. Our recipe includes some of our favorites, but you can use whatever you’d like or what you already have on hand. You can’t go wrong with:
    • Iceberg Lettuce
    • Avocados or Guacamole
    • Tomatoes
    • Cilantro
    • Cheese – cotija or queso fresco
    • Pico de Gallo, Fresh Homemade Salsa, or Roasted Salsa
    • Lime wedges to squeeze over the top
    • Sour Cream
    Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat is the difference between a tostada and a tortilla? A tostada is made out of a corn tortilla that has been baked or fried to get golden, crispy, and crunchy. It’s similar to a tortilla chip, except that a tostada is the whole tortilla vs cut into triangles for chips.
    What’s the difference between a taco and a tostada? A tostada is flat and served on a crispy tortilla shell, while tacos are folded using soft corn or flour tortillas like our Hard Taco Shells. The toppings used are similar for both tacos and tostadas. A tostada is like an open-faced crispy taco.
    How do you eat a tostada? You simply bite into a tostada the way you would with a pizza. They can get a little messy so serve these over plates. Keep a fork nearby to scoop up any of the toppings that fall off.
    Can I substitute the beef? To make these vegetarian tostadas, you can skip the ground beef. You can also use Carne Asada. If you prefer seafood, try making the juicy shrimp from these Shrimp Fajitas or the tilapia from these Fish Tacos. They’re also great with strips of Cilantro Lime Chicken.
    Make-AheadOnce the tostadas are assembled, they are best enjoyed fresh, but you can prep the components ahead:
    • Pre-make the tostada shells, cool completely to room temperature, and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to a week. Check on the shells after a few days to make sure they haven’t softened.
    • Pre-cook the ground beef – allow to cool completely then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
    • Prep the toppings: You can pre-chop the veggies a day ahead or earlier in the day, set them into individual serving containers, cover them, and refrigerate them until ready to serve.
    Homemade Tostadas are so easy to make. You can also prep the ingredients ahead if you are serving them for a party and let guests build their own.
    More Mexican RecipesIf you love Mexican foods, these are some of our all-time favorites and top-rated recipes. P.S. Don’t forget the Tres Leches Cake or Flan for dessert.
    • Pork Carnitas
    • Cilantro Lime Shrimp
    • Taco Salad
    • Chicken Fajitas
    • Taco Soup
    • Mexican Tacos
    • Mexican Stuffed Peppers