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 :).

Tostada shells topped with refried beans, seasoned ground beef, lettuce, avocado, pico de gallo and sour cream.

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.

Tostada ingredients including shells, ground beef, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, sour cream, a can or refried beans and an avocado.

How to Bake or Fry your own tostada shells:

Baked Tostada Shells:

  1. Spray corn tortillas on both sides with oil based cooking spray.
  2. Lay the tortillas in a single layer on top of a greased sheet pan.  Lightly sprinkle salt on the tortillas.
  3. 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:

  1. Heat about ¼ inch of vegetable oil in a medium, deep skillet.
  2. 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.
  3. Place the fried tostada on a paper towels to soak up the extra oil.
  4. 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.

Refried beans being smoothed on a tostada shell and then ground beef taco meat added on top.

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.

Overhead view of tostadas with ground beef, lettuce, avocado and other toppings on a marble board.

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:

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Recipe

Tostada shells topped with refried beans, seasoned ground beef, lettuce, avocado, pico de gallo and sour cream.
Prep 15 mins
Cook 10 mins
Total 25 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Video

Ingredients
 
 

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

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.

 

Nutrition

Calories: 198kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 13gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 300mgPotassium: 357mgFiber: 4gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 423IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 38mgIron: 2mg

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Another perfect recipe from tastesbetterfromscratch.com!! We baked some store-bought tostadas per the instructions and it was all delicious. I can’t thank you enough for all your awesome recipes!!

  2. 5 stars
    My family loved these! Since we were having homemade sour cream chicken enchiladas, I thought this would be a perfect side, along with some guacamole and chips. I made these vegetarian, with a smear of jazzed up retried beans, shredded cheese, finely diced lettuce, a few diced tomatoes and a drizzle of verde sour cream sauce. It was a nice fresh crunch that made everything else taste even better. We made 10 for our family of five, and they were gone in no time! I was so busy that I forgot to take a picture of them. I remembered as my son, was stuffing the last one in his mouth—lol. Thanks for a great recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    This was simply the best. It’s very rare that I make something that the whole family loves. But this was a fun and easy way to change up taco night.

  4. This looks great. We feed the missionaries once a month.
    We have young lady missionaries and young men missionaries. This would be great to add to the rotation.

  5. 5 stars
    I was looking for a tostada recipe, and came across your site. This was terrific! I used rotisserie chicken, and then, once assembled, baked in the oven to melt the cheese. Will definitely make again!

  6. 5 stars
    Thank you! Your site is the best! Variety, easy, shopping list – yes, recipes, pics, easy instructions, and tasty! Thank you so much – so helpful!