This is a classic recipe for Tostadas made with crispy corn tortilla shells, refried beans, guacamole, cheese, and lots of delicious toppings! It’s a versatile recipe so everyone can make a version they love! Enjoy for an easy weeknight meal or serve to a crowd!
Tostadas are one of our favorite easy dinners! If you haven’t had a tostada before, you have been missing out. Let me fill you in!
Tostada means “toasted” and usually refers to dishes made over crispy flat tortillas that are either oven toasted or fried. They are similar to tacos, but tostadas are flat and made on crispy tortilla shells. Tacos are made with soft tortillas, filled, and folded.
If you are a taco fan, I bet you will love tostadas too. You basically load up a BIG salty tortilla chip with all of your favorite Mexican toppings. They are easy to make, fun to eat (a little messy), and SO delicious!
This is one of those weeknight meals that the entire family loves.
How to Make Tostada Shells
You can easily buy pre-made tostada shells at the store, but I like to make them so they are super fresh! Don’t worry, they are easy.
You can bake or fry the tortillas to get them crispy, but I prefer baking them in the oven. It’s easy, healthier, and you don’t have to mess with hot oil and your kitchen won’t smell like fried food for days.
Spray or brush your tortillas with a bit of oil and cook them at 425 for 4 to 5 minutes, then flip and cook for 4 to 5 more minutes.
Make sure you watch them because every oven is different. Make sure the edges and center of the tortilla are nice and crispy. They will crisp up a little more as they cool.
Everyone can customize their own tostadas with their favorite toppings, which makes this a meal that my whole family enjoys.
We typically make tostadas with refried beans, guacamole, shredded rotisserie chicken (for the boys), and baked tortillas, and lots of fun toppings! But get creative and use your favorite ingredients. There’s no wrong way to tostada!
Here are some ideas:
- Refried Beans– I like to use refried beans as the base because they are kind of like the glue that all of the other toppings stick to. My homemade refried beans are the best, but canned beans will work too.
- Guacamole– a must if you ask me!
- Meat– Use your favorite meat! Rotisserie chicken, ground beef, shredded beef, carnitas, grilled salmon, shrimp, or ground turkey are all good options!
- Veggies– If you want to make vegetarian tacos, add a layer of grilled or roasted vegetables.
- Cheese– use shredded Mexican blend, cheddar, Monterey Jack, and Pepper jack.
- Pico de Gallo or Easy Blender Salsa– use one or both! If you are feeling fruity, you can add pineapple salsa or mango salsa!
- Fresh cilantro– so fresh!
- Sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)– my boys love adding a dollop!
- Queso Fresco– I love finishing with a little sprinkle.
- Shredded lettuce– you can also shred up some cabbage.
- Jalapeño slices or a dash or hot sauce- to kick things up a notch.
- Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing-a little drizzle adds great flavor!
How to Make Tostadas
I love making tostadas because you can prep them in advance. You can make the shells, meat, and prepare the toppings so when it is meal time, you are ready to go. All you have to do is build the tostadas and everyone can join in on the fun. My boys love building their own dinner.
For the ideal tostada eating experience, you’ve got to build them well from the tortilla up!
- I like to start with the creamy ingredients, refried beans as the base and then a layer of fresh guacamole.
- Always heat up the refried beans so they are creamy and easy to spread on the tostada shell.
- Next, add the heaviest and hot ingredients like rotisserie chicken, ground beef, or grilled veggies.
- Finish with cheese and any fresh, cold toppings like lettuce, pico de gallo, cilantro, or a dollop of sour cream.
- Don’t add too many toppings or the tostada will get too tall and heavy and break…or all of the toppings will fall off. Be a little strategic when you are building:)
- You can pick up the tostada and eat it like a mini pizza or use a fork. They might be a little messy, but SO good!
You don’t absolutely need sides when you serve tostadas, but I like to have a few options to make it a well-rounded meal.
More Mexican Recipes
- Skillet Vegetarian Enchiladas
- Chicken Fajitas
- Steak Tacos
- Vegetarian Fajitas
- Turkey Tacos
- Easy Chicken Tacos
For the Tostadas:
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Brush or spray both side of each tortilla generously with oil, season with salt, and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 4 minutes, then flip and bake for 4 to 8 more minutes, until the tortillas are crispy.
- When ready to assemble, heat up the refried beans. Spread a large spoonful of the refried beans over a tostada shell. Next, spread on a layer of guacamole. Sprinkle the cheese and add the shredded chicken.
- Top with desired toppings (lettuce, pico de gallo, cilantro, queso fresco, etc.). Don’t load the tostadas too high or they will be difficult to eat. Pick up and eat with your hands. If you need to get a fork, that is fine too.
Have you tried this recipe?
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Photos by Olive & Mango