The Best Homemade Tostada Recipes

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Learn how to make the most delicious homemade Tostadas! This quick and easy Mexican meal with crispy corn tortillas piled high with beans, protein, and all the toppings will quickly become a favorite.

480 CAL 44g CARBS 18g FAT 37g PROTEIN
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Move over Taco Tuesday, it's time to start a new trend  Tostada Tuesday! If you love tacos, it's time to give Tostadas a try.

When it comes to quick and easy dinners, tostadas are truly one of the easiest options out there. Crispy corn tortillas piled high with beans, meat, cheese, and all your favorite toppings. This classic Mexican recipe is basically like a giant tortilla chip with all your favorite Mexican toppings. What's not to like?

What are tostadas?

In Spanish, "tostada" means toasted. Tostadas are basically toasted tortillas. They can be baked or fried and served with almost any filling and topping you would add to a taco. Think of it as an open-faced" taco with a thin layer of beans to hold everything together.

Why We Love Tostadas

  • 15-Minute Meal: Tostadas are a true 15-minute meal. Bake or fry your corn tortillas. Spread on some canned refried beans. Add your protein and toppings. That's it! 
  • Reinvent Leftovers: If you have leftover chicken, pork, steak, fish, shrimp, or vegetables - you can reinvent them as a tostada. It is one of the best ways to use up leftovers in a new and unexpected way. Although tostadas are normally made with Mexican-inspired proteins, they also work with other flavor combinations.
  • Healthy and filling: Tostadas are actually really healthy with baked corn tortillas, beans, lean proteins, and lots of veggies for toppings. they are filling, have lots of protein, and plenty of fiber and nutrients.
  • Budget-Friendly: Tostadas rely on affordable ingredients like tortillas and beans. Since you control the protein and toppings, these can be super budget friendly and are a great way to stretch ingredients and proteins. 

The Best Homemade Tostada Recipes to Try!

In just twenty minutes, make these protein-packed ground turkey tostadas. They start with a layer of refried beans topped with seasoned ground turkey, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and all your favorite toppings.

We like to add a dollop of sour cream, sliced jalapenos, and pico de gallo. Dinner has never been easier.

Salmon Tostadas

415 CAL 30 MIN
Salmon tostadas with creamy avocado, spice coated salmon, and pineapple salsa on crispy corn tortillas.

Looking for a light and healthy meal? These Salmon Tostadas take less than twenty minutes to make. Flaky spicy salmon piled high on a crispy corn tortilla with avocado and quick homemade pineapple salsa.

For an even quicker meal, swap in store-bought green salsa instead.

If you love traditional American ground beef tacos, then you have to try these easy beef Tostadas. Made with taco-seasoned ground beef, crispy lettuce, and all your favorite toppings.

Switch things up your next Taco Tuesday and create a build-you-own-tostada bar. This easy dinner is always a hit.

Bean Tostadas

325 CAL 20 MIN
Black bean tostadas served on crispy baked tostada shells with peppers, onions, avocado, cheese, and tomatoes.

Tostadas are a great option for a vegetarian Mexican meal. All you need is your favorite canned beans, baked crispy tostada shells, salsa, and toppings.

For these Bean Tostadas, we liked to add pickled onions, queso fresco, shredded cabbage, and salsa.

If you want something a little spicier, switch things up with these Turkey and Poblano Pepper Tostadas. With sauteed poblano peppers, onions, garlic, and ground turkey, every bite is full of flavor.

The other great thing about these tostadas is that you can easily prep the turkey mixture ahead of time.

Shrimp Tostadas

495 CAL 25 MIN
Shrimp tostadas with black beans, cabbage, spiced shrimp, avocado, and corn on baked tortillas.

Imagine you are on vacation with these tasty Shrimp Tostadas packed with spicy shrimp, black beans, corn, avocado, and cabbage.

Ready in just 15 minutes, these tacos are a dish you will want to make all the time.

Ceviche Tostadas

332 CAL 30 MIN
Ceviche tostadas with fish ceviche on a baked tostada shell topped with avocado and cilantro.

For Mexican seafood fans, these Ceviche Tostadas are the ultimate warm-weather meal. The fish is full of bright lime flavor with just enough spice from the jalapenos.

These classic tostadas don't need too many extras. Let the Ceviche be the real star.

Even though tostadas normally have a layer of beans, these Grilled Vegetable Tostadas leave out the beans and pack in tons of spicy grilled vegetables.

Make these vegetarian tostadas with any veggies you like and make sure to pile on the queso fresco, avocado, and salsa.

Take a vacation to the tropics with these Mango Shrimp Tostadas. Spicy shrimp with black beans, avocado, and a quick and easy mango salsa.

These tasty seafood tostadas are easy enough to make any weeknight but special enough for a party.

Chicken tostadas are the most popular tostadas for a reason. If you have rotisserie chicken or any type of leftover chicken (try them with this chicken tinga), you can make this meal in under 10 minutes!

While the tortillas bake in the oven, prepare all your tostada toppings. Then let everyone build their own chicken tostadas with refried beans, shredded chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, cilantro, and cheese. Yum.

It's easy to make fish and seafood tostadas with leftover cooked salmon. This tostada recipe uses blackened salmon paired with black beans, sauteed zucchini, and a quick and easy salsa.

Pretty much any time I make salmon and have leftovers, this is the dish I am making for lunch or dinner.

Although tostadas are typically made with Mexican ingredients, get creative and try out these Greek Tostadas! Made with crispy baked pita bread, seasoned ground turkey, cucumbers, tomatoes, and feta cheese.

This is such a great summer meal and also packs really well for meal prep all year long.

Make these vegetarian tostadas for your next meatless meal. Taking inspiration from a Greek Salad, these tostadas are made with chickpeas, roasted eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, and feta cheese.

All the tostada ingredients are tossed with a tasty red wine vinaigrette and piled on a crispy baked whole wheat pita.

Instead of buying deep-fried tostada shells at the grocery store, make your own in less than 10 minutes in the oven. These crunchy baked tostada shells are healthier and taste better than the shelf-stable options.

Bake a batch and pile on all your favorite tostada toppings.

How to Make Tostadas

  1. Bake or fry the corn tortillas: Traditionally tostada shells are made by frying corn tortillas in hot oil for 1-2 minutes until they are crispy on both sides. Tostada shells can also be made in the oven for a healthier option (see the recipe below). Lastly, you can find pre-made tostadas in the Mexican aisle at most supermarkets. 
  2. Warm the beans: Make sure the beans are slightly warm so that you can spread them easily on the tortillas. Cold beans will cause the tostadas to break.
  3. Add the protein and toppings: Then simply pile everything on the shells. Be careful not to add too many toppings or the tostada shells will break when they are picked up. 

Are tostadas eaten warm or cold? This is a common question and tostadas are normally served slightly warm or at room temperature.  Many times everything is prepped in advance and the tostadas are assembled with everything at room temperature. This makes tostadas a great option for meal prep or a picnic since everything doesn't need to be warm. 

Favorite Tostada Toppings

When you think about tostadas, think about creating three layers. They always start with the crispy tortilla. Then you need beans, protein, and toppings. Here are my favorites.

  • Beans: Refried beans are the standard on tostadas since they hold the toppings in place. Use homemade or store-bought refried beans made with pinto beans, black beans, or any other beans you like. Whole beans are sometimes used, but it is best to mash them slightly so they stick to the tostada shell.
  • Protein: You will find tostadas topped with almost any type of cooked meat. Use a classic taco filling like chicken tinga, carnitas, carne asada, pollo asado, machaca, chile verde, or Mexican shredded beef. Looking for something vegetarian? Use these tasty rajas con queso or sofritas. For something quick and easy, use ground meat with taco seasoning. Tostadas are also made with fish, shrimp, and ceviche
  • Toppings: Classic tostada toppings include shredded lettuce, shredded cabbage, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, diced onions, pickled onions, avocado, sliced jalapenos, queso fresco, shredded cheese, and sour cream.
  • Salsa: Any salsa can be used on tostadas including salsa verde, pico de gallo, pineapple salsa, or corn salsa.

Storage and Leftovers

If you are lucky enough to have leftover tostadas, make sure to store the tostada shells, beans, protein, and toppings separately. Baked or fried tostada shells can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days and they will stay crispy. Proteins, bans, and toppings should stay in the fridge.

Make sure to assemble the tostadas right before cooking for the best results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most common questions about making tostadas.

The main difference between tacos and tostadas is that tostadas are served "open-faced" on a crispy corn tortilla while tacos are served "wrapped" in either a corn or flour tortilla. Additionally, tostadas normally have a thin layer of beans that isn't standard on a taco and usually come with more toppings than a standard taco in Mexico. 

When it comes to similarities, there are many. Tostadas and tacos both have a main protein, usually cooked meat, seafood, or vegetables. Both are served with toppings like salsa, cilantro, onion, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, and cheese.

To eat a tostada, pick it up with both hands and take a bite! Since it is served open-faced, you don't tilt or turn it or the toppings will fall off.

Since tostadas sometimes break into pieces as they are eaten, it is best to eat it over a plate so you can scoop up any toppings or pieces that fall.

Corn tortillas are almost exclusively used for tostadas in Mexico since they get crispy when they are baked or fried. Although you could bake or fry a flour tortilla, the resulting texture won't be the same and it isn't something you would likely find at any Mexican restaurant.

The Recipe
Tostadas with beans, cooked meat, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, and salsa.

Homemade Tostada

480 CAL 44g CARBS 18g FAT 37g PROTEIN
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  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups canned refried beans
  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast (or any protein)
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

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Make the tostada shells: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray the corn tortillas on both sides with cooking spray or brush with olive oil. Place a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Bake for 6 minutes. Flip over and bake another 4-8 minutes until crispy. For more traditional fried tostadas, heat about 1 inch of vegetable oil in a skillet. Once hot, add the corn tortilla and cook for 30-60 seconds until it begins to bubble and lightly brown. Flip with tongs and repeat on the other side. Set to dry on a paper towel.

Corn tortillas being baked into tostada shells on a baking sheet.

Bean layer: Add a layer of refried beans, black beans, pinto beans, or any other beans you like. For whole beans, it is best to mash them lightly with a fork so that they don't slide off the tostada shell. If you don't love beans, add a layer of guacamole, melted cheese, or salsa to help your toppings stick to the shell.

Refried beans spread on a crispy corn tortiilla.

Protein layer: Next add your cooked protein. This could be shredded chicken, ground meat, carne asada, carnitas, grilled meats, cooked fish, shrimp, or skip this step for vegetarian tostadas.

Ground turkey being added to a tostada shell.

Toppings: Finish the tostadas with any toppings you like. The most popular toppings include shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, salsa, cilantro, sour cream, jalapenos, shredded cheese, queso fresco, avocado, guacamole, and pickled red onions.

Lettuce, avocado, tomato, cilantro, and salsa being added to a tostada.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 2 tostadas
Amount Per Serving
Calories 480
Calories from Fat 4170
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18g
Saturated Fat 7g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 85mg
Sodium 925mg
Total Carbohydrate 44g
Dietary Fiber 10g
Sugars 3g
Protein 37g

* 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.


This recipe works great with any protein you like. Consider using leftover rotisserie chicken, shredded chicken, ground meat cooked with taco seasoning, cooked shrimp, grilled beef, shredded pork, or any other protein you like.

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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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