One of my go-to dinners when I need something QUICK and easy is homemade Tostadas made with ground beef (or shredded chicken or pork), refried beans, and cheese. They’re so fresh and tasty and a meal that everyone gets excited for.
Is it just me, or does anyone else get major cravings for Mexican food? Mexican restaurants can be hit or miss, which is why I tend to make my own favorite Mexican recipes at home. When it comes to Mexican rice, Chile Verde, and Tres Leches Cake, there isn’t a restaurant around that’s better than my homemade version :).
Whether you need a new dinner idea, a fun appetizer for a crowd, or a simple side dish at a Mexican feast, this tostada recipe is so versatile and delicious! It’s a fun recipe to customize and let everyone layer theirs with their favorite toppings.
The word “Tostada” is Spanish for “toasted” and is the name of a Mexican dish that is served on a toasted or deep fried corn tortilla. The actual tostada (the toasted corn tortilla) is the base of the recipe and is topped with refried beans, cheese, meat, lettuce, and other toppings. They are a popular menu item at any Mexican restaurant and they are SO easy to make!
Ingredients for this recipe:
Tostada shells: make your own (see directions below), or grab store-bought tostadas.
Refried Beans: pinto or black refried beans, or make my semi-homemade refried beans using canned whole beans.
Meat: any type of meat you like, or leftover meat you have on hand, including ground beef taco meat, cooked shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken works great!), shredded beef, pork carnitas.
Lettuce: shredded very thinly.
Avocado: ripe, thinly sliced or chopped, or substitute guacamole.
Cheese: cotija Mexican cheese is traditionally used, but any type of finely shredded cheese is fine.
Sour cream or Mexican crema.
Pico de gallo, salsa or salsa verde.
Hot sauce: valentina or cholula, if desired.
How to Bake or Fry your own tostada shells:
Baked Tostada Shells:
- Spray corn tortillas on both sides with oil based cooking spray.
- Lay the tortillas in a single layer on top of a greased sheet pan. Lightly sprinkle salt on the tortillas.
- Bake them at 400°F for 5 minutes. Then flip them over and bake them for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the tortillas are crispy.
Fried Tostada Shells:
- Heat about ¼ inch of vegetable oil in a medium, deep skillet.
- Once the oil is hot, place one corn tortilla at a time in the oil and cook, flipping half way once it’s lightly golden brown.
- Place the fried tostada on a paper towels to soak up the extra oil.
- Lightly sprinkle with salt and allow to cool before serving.
Store-bought Tostada Shells:
- You can find pre-made tostada shells (usually fried) at most any grocery store near where you might buy hard taco shells.
How to Make a Tostada:
1. Bake or Fry the corn tortillas, if not using store bought tostada shells.
2. Cook ground beef and onion. Add ground beef to a skillet over medium heat. Cook, breaking into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned. Remove grease. Add onion and seasonings and cook an additional few minutes.
3. Warm refried beans. Add the refried beans to a microwave safe bowl, or a small skillet over medium heat. Stir in a small scoop of sour cream. Cook until warmed through.
4. Assemble the tostadas. Spread a thin layer of refried beans over the tostada shell. Top with a small spoonful of ground beef, then lettuce, cheese, avocado, salsa, sour cream and hot sauce.
5. Serve immediately.
To make ahead: Have everything prepped and stored separately in the fridge. When ready to eat, re-warm the meat and beans and assemble the tostadas.
For a real Mexican Feast consider making:
Easy Mexican Tostada
- 10 tostada shells (or regular corn tortillas, if making your own tostada shell)
- 1 can Refried Beans
- 1 lb ground beef ,( or substitute cooked shredded chicken, pork or beef)
- 1/4 onion , diced
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon EACH paprika and salt
- ¼ teaspoon EACH garlic powder, oregano, black pepper
- 1/2 head lettuce , finely chopped
- queso fresco (or other cheese)
- 1 large avocado
- Mexican crema (or sour cream)
- Salsa , pico de gallo or salsa verde
- Bake or Fry the corn tortillas, if not using store bought tostada shells.
- Add ground beef to a skillet over medium heat. Cook, breaking into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned. Remove grease.
- Add onion and seasonings and cook an additional few minutes.
- Add the refried beans to a microwave safe bowl, or a small skillet over medium heat. Stir in a small scoop of sour cream. Cook until warmed through.
- Assemble the tostadas: Spread a thin layer of refried beans over the tostada shell. Top with a small spoonful of ground beef, then lettuce, cheese, avocado, salsa, sour cream and hot sauce.
- Serve immediately.
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