These Tostadas make for a quick and easy dinner that your family will love! These are even quick enough that you could make them as a snack!
Mexican inspired food is some of my very favorite. We put my chicken tacos recipe on the menu almost every single week. But these amazing Tostadas are even easier. They come together in just 20 minutes and absolutely delicious.
What is a Tostada?
Tostadas are basically flat tacos that are made on a fried corn tortilla. Tostada is Spanish for “toasted” and refers to the actual shell which is the base of the recipe.
Tostadas can be topped with chicken, beef, shrimp, or beans, along with cheese, lettuce, and other toppings. In this recipe, we are using beans as a vegetarian option. We are also making our tostada shells by baking them in the oven instead of deep frying them.
How to Make Tostada Shells
The thing that will make these bean tostadas feel like eating out is a great tostada shell, which is the base of the recipe. You can certainly buy them, but they are very easy to make. We make our own tostada shells by using corn tortillas and baking them. The result is a crispy shell perfect for holding the rest of your tostada ingredients. I do not recommend using flour tortillas.
- Lay your corn tortillas out on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Brush the tortillas with canola oil on each side. Use enough oil that the tortilla is shiny but not too much that it pools.
- Bake the tray of corn tortillas for five minutes.
- Take them out, flip them over, and then put them back in the oven with the pan rotated from its original position. Bake for an additional five minutes or until the edges turn golden brown.
Nordic Ware Baking Sheets
Air Frying Tostada Shells
Alternatively, you can air fry the shells! Follow the same steps of brushing them with oil and then pop them in a preheated air fryer and “fry” them for about 8 minutes at 400 degrees. You will likely only be able to fit two shells in your air fryer. I love making these in the air fryer when its just me making myself lunch.
How to Make Tostadas
Here is a brief overview of how to make tostadas once you have your tostada shells made. For the full bean tostada recipe, including all measurements, please scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Make the tostada shells. See the steps above to make your own shells or use store-bought.
- Add beans. Spread beans on top of the tostada shell.
- Top the shells with other ingredients. Top with Cotija cheese, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, pickled red onions, and cilantro.
Quick Pickled Red Onions
Using Pinto Beans
This vegetarian tostada recipe uses refried beans. You can buy a can of refried beans or make your own. For a healthier option, make my crockpot pinto beans and blend them in a food processor or blender until smooth.
I recommend only putting your toppings on the tostada shells you are eating for that snack or meal. You can store any leftover tostada shells in an airtight container or bag and reheat them in the oven. Put your toppings on the shells just prior to serving.
- 8 corn tortillas (6 inch)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 cups refried beans (or for a healthier option, use my crockpot pinto beans, and blend them to be smooth)
- 1 cup Cotija cheese crumbled
- 2 cups shredded lettuce
- 2 Roma tomatoes diced
- pickled red onions
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Lay the tortillas on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the tortillas with the canola oil, thick enough so that the whole side is shiny, but not so thick that you can see pools of oil. Flip them and brush the other sides. Bake for 10 minutes, flipping the tortillas halfway through and rotating the pan. (Because ovens and baking pans vary, check on the tortillas every 2 to 3 minutes to ensure they do not burn. Keep in mind that while I would not use flour tortillas here, but if you do, they will need less time.)
- When the tortillas are done cooking, add a 1/4 cup of beans to each one. Top with Cotija cheese, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, pickled red onions, and cilantro.