Easy Ground Beef Tostadas

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Beef Tostadas are layered with creamy refried beans, taco-seasoned beef, and an assortment of flavorful toppings piled high on crispy tostada shells. This delicious tostada recipe takes Taco Tuesday to a whole new level.

478 CAL 49g CARBS 16g FAT 39g PROTEIN
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These delicious 20-minute Ground Beef Tostadas are the easy dinner you have been looking for! These homemade crispy baked tortillas topped with beans, taco meat, tons of veggies, and cheese are a meal everyone will love. Add all your favorite toppings and salsa.

In case you were ever curious, the name ‘tostada’ comes from the Spanish word for ‘toasted’. The tostada is a golden corn tortilla of crispy consistency and rough texture. Made with a tostada shell topped with refried beans, shredded cheese, lean ground beef, and salsa, these drool-worthy beef tostadas are basically the Mexican version of an open-faced sandwich. We also love them with turkey, beans, or shrimp.

Easy to make and ideal for feeding a crowd, beef tostadas are my go-to option for family dinners and get-togethers. All you need to do is bake your tortillas, prepare your taco meat and beans, then pile your tostadas high with toppings and dig in! You can cut the prep time even further by opting for readymade tostada shells from the grocery store.

The best thing about this recipe is that it’s highly customizable. The combinations are endless and it takes very little time to throw them together. I love setting out a bunch of different toppings in individual bowls so my family can decorate their tostadas with their favorites. 

You can also make these beef tostadas with different types of beef. Try it with this delicious Beef Birria recipe or slow-cooked Beef Machaca.

Ground beef tostadas with refried black beans, taco meat, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and avocado on a plate.

Key Ingredients

Here’s what you will need to whip up a batch of these delicious beef tostadas:

  • Corn tortillas. The base for our tostada, corn tortillas, can be either baked or pan-fried. I prefer to bake them because you can make more at once, but it’s totally up to you! Alternatively, you could use store-bought tostada shells.
  • Refried beans. Not only do refried beans add tons of protein and great flavor, but they serve as the perfect base layer for the tostada so that all your other toppings stay in place.
  • Lean ground beef. I like to use lean ground beef for my taco meat, but feel free to use ground turkey or chicken instead if you prefer. These are also delicious with shredded Mexican beef or grilled carne asada. For a vegetarian tostada, you could leave the beef out altogether and stick to refried beans as the main protein source. 
  • Taco seasoning. For a quick and easy fix, pick up a packet of taco seasoning from the international aisle at your local grocery store. However, if you have the time and energy, you can make your own from scratch using my easy homemade taco seasoning recipe.
  • Salsa. Choose your favorite salsa or make your own—mild, medium, or hot all work great. Try them with pico de gallo, chipotle sauce, or corn salsa.
  • Toppings. This is where you can really let your creativity shine. Some of my favorite tostada toppings include shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, shredded cheese, and fresh avocado. However, feel free to choose whatever you like.

What Toppings to Use For Tostadas?

With tostadas, the possibilities are endless! Anything that could go on a taco can also go on a tostada. Here are some suggestions to switch up your beef tostadas:

  • Shredded cabbage
  • Pickled red onions
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Quesco fresco
  • Jalapeno slices
  • Fresh avocado
  • Guacamole
  • Fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, chives)
  • Sour cream
  • Greek yogurt
  • Hot sauce

What to Serve with Beef Tostadas

Though tostadas are incredibly hearty and satisfying all on their own, they are often served with traditional Latin American dishes. Here are some popular choices:

  • Pozole. Pozole and tostadas make for the perfect meal for any occasion. I love making a huge pot of pozole, setting up the toppings for a tostada bar, and calling friends over for a get-together. The combination of the different textures is just so satisfying.
  • Ceviche. Okay, you can’t be shocked to see this one here. I’ve gone on and on about my love for homemade ceviche before and I’ve even got a tostada recipe that features the dish - Ceviche Tostadas. Who doesn’t love a little surf and turf?
  • Antojitos. Literally translating to “little cravings”, antojitos refer to Mexican appetizers. Some of my favorites to pair up with tostadas include Aguachile Shrimp, Puebla Style Rice, and quesadillas. They’re a fun way to keep people guessing and a great accompaniment to some refreshing cocktails.

Tostadas with ground beef served with avocado, salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, cillantro, and shredded cheese.

How to Store the Dish

This recipe calls for a meat-based filling that you can prepare in advance and store in the freezer. To thaw, just let the meat sit in the fridge overnight and then reheat over the stove.

Although I am fairly certain you will end up devouring every bite, you can certainly save the leftovers. Store the tostada shells in an airtight container with a sheet of parchment paper between them to absorb excess moisture. They will stay fresh on the counter like this for up to 2-3 days.

The toppings can be stored in individual airtight containers as follows:

  • In the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • In the freezer for up to 3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this beef tostadas recipe:

A tortilla is a flat round bread made out of cornmeal or flour. A tostada is a flat tortilla that has been fried or toasted, then topped with seasoned meat or vegetables and other toppings. Think of the tortilla as the “before” to the tostada’s “after.”

If you are using packaged shells, heat them at 350°F for 4 to 5 minutes (or until you can smell the aromas). Don't keep them in the oven for too long, just heat them enough to lightly toast them.

If you are making tostada shells at home, lay them directly on the oven rack and bake at 400°F for 8-10 minutes until golden and crispy.

‘Refried’ doesn't mean the beans have been fried twice. The word comes from the Spanish name for the dish—frijoles refritos. In Spanish, ‘refritos’ means ‘well-fried’.

Not in the mood for beef? Feel free to swap it out for ground turkey, chicken, or even shrimp. For vegan options, you can use crumbled tofu, ground mushrooms, lentils, black beans, or tempeh.

Homemade ground beef tostadas with corn tortillas topped with lettuce, tomato, cheese, and avocado.
The Recipe
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Easy Ground Beef Tostadas

478 CAL 49g CARBS 16g FAT 39g PROTEIN
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  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 lb. 95% lean ground beef
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning (or homemade, more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup salsa (homemade or store bought)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 14 oz canned refried beans
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the tortillas directly on the oven rack and cook for 8-10 minutes until crisp to create the tostada shells. You can also cook them on a baking sheet sprayed with a little cooking spray.

Corn tortillas on a baking sheet being sprayed with cooking spray.

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the pepper and onion. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the beef and taco seasoning. Cook for 6-8 minutes until almost fully cooked. If your taco seasoning calls for water, add that as well.

Ground beef cooking with peppers and onions in a skillet.

Stir in salsa and cook for 2-3 minutes until fully cooked. Taste and season as needed.

Red salsa being added to a skillet of ground taco beef.

Heat the refried beans in a pan or the microwave. Build the tostadas by spreading a thin layer of beans on the corn tortillas. Then add the beef. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, cheese, avocado, salsa, and any other toppings you choose.

Cheese being added to three ground beef tostadas.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 2 tostadas
Amount Per Serving
Calories 478
Calories from Fat 89
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g
Saturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 74mg
Sodium 1057mg
Total Carbohydrate 49g
Dietary Fiber 13g
Sugars 5g
Protein 39g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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