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5 from 2 votes

posted: 07/05/23

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

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!

a tostada on a baking sheet

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

These baking sheets are my absolutely favorite. They hold up for years, and they bake everything perfectly. They are always my top pick.
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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.

overhead of a tostada with beans, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese on a cooling rack

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

These Quick Pickled Red Onions only take five minutes to make! They are delicious, simple, and the perfect compliment to so many different recipes!
overhead of a toasted with beans, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and pickled red onions on a baking sheet

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.

Crock Pot Pinto Beans

This slow cooker pinto beans recipe couldn’t be easier or more delicious.
overhead of crock pot pinto beans in a bowl, garnished with jalapeños and cilantro

Storing Leftovers

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.

four bean tostadas on a cooling rack

What to Serve with Tostadas

Make one (or all) of these delicious sides to go with your tostadas!

If you try this vegetarian tostada recipe or any of my other recipes, please leave a comment and let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!

a tostada on a baking sheet
5 from 2 votes


Serves: 8 tostadas
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
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!


  • 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.
Serving: 1tostada Calories: 289kcal (14%) Carbohydrates: 28g (9%) Protein: 15g (30%) Fat: 12g (18%) Saturated Fat: 7g (44%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 52mg (17%) Sodium: 834mg (36%) Potassium: 67mg (2%) Fiber: 5g (21%) Sugar: 5g (6%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
a tostada on a baking sheet

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


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  1. Teddie Hanophy says

    Lisa – I’ve been a subscriber of your wonderful recipe e-mails for a couple of years. My e-mails from you stopped in early July. I have since tried to sign up again……..filled out a form on your web page and got a message saying to look for an e-mail subscription confirmation. Nothing. Please sign me up again or tell me how to do it.
    Teddie Hanophy

    • Lisa Longley says

      Hi Teddie! If I sign you up, you will still need to do the confirmation email. It’s a regulation so that folks like me on the internet can’t pop into your in box without your permission. Do you think the confirmation email could have gone to your junk? But when I search your email, it shows that you are subscribed. Could all my emails be going to your junk?

  2. Jen says

    5 stars
    Family loved the fresh taste of these, gave us a little twist from the usual Mexican dinners we make like tacos, burritos or enchiladas.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad everyone liked these!

  3. Grammasue says

    I am just wondering where the meat is? I didn’t see beef nor chicken in the ingredients. If there’s no meat, then they might be very bland and not very filling. Thank you for sharing, but I will keep looking.

    • Lisa Longley says

      These do not have meat, but with the beans they are quite delicious and filling. If you would like tostadas with meat, I would recommend my Chicken Tostadas.

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners