Homemade Tostada Shells

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Learn how to make your own tostada shells in the oven in less than 15 minutes! These crunchy baked tostadas work with all your favorite toppings including chicken, steak, shrimp, ceviche, beans, and even dips.

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These Homemade Tostada Shells are incredibly easy to make, super crispy, and make the perfect vessels for your favorite Mexican dishes. Once you learn how easy it is to make your own tostada shells at home, you’ll never feel the need to grab them at the store again! We love serving them with Ceviche or Chicken.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt a craving for tostadas, prepared some kind of delicious topping, and then realized I needed to run to the store to grab the shells. So annoying! One day, it finally clicked that, hellooo, I could just make my own. This epiphany was a complete game changer in my kitchen.

Because corn tortillas can last in the fridge for up to two months, I can simply grab them whenever I’m in the mood for tostadas and make a batch of shells myself. No more unnecessary grocery store runs and they bake in under 15 minutes. Now, I can whip up delicious tostadas to accompany my dishes all summer long.

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it’s insanely versatile. I’ve enjoyed these shells alongside everything from ceviche and salsa to carne asada and sauteed beans. Whether you’re cooking dinner for the family or hosting a backyard barbecue, this easy and delicious recipe is an absolute must to keep in your repertoire.

Baked tostada shells with crispy corn tortillas in a pile with limes an cilantro on the side.

What is a Tostada?

Tostadas are a traditional part of Mexican cuisine. They consist of corn tortillas that have been cooked, most often by frying or baking, until they become crispy. Once they get nice and crispy, tostadas are topped with foods like refried beans, salsa, ceviche, guacamole, meat, and cheese. It’s basically like an open-faced taco with as many or as little fixings as you prefer, so the options for toppings are endless.

What You’ll Need

This recipe is so incredibly simple, it might just blow your mind. The only 3 ingredients you will need include:

  • Corn tortillas: A classic component of Mexican cuisine, these babies are going to get beautifully golden and crisped up to perfection.
  • Cooking spray: Feel free to use any kind of cooking spray that you have! I typically prefer to use olive oil spray or avocado spray.
  • Salt: This adds just the right amount of flavor to make these shells the perfect base for any toppings you like.

Three Ways to Make Tostadas

In this recipe, we use the oven to bake our Homemade Tostada Shells. While this is my personal favorite way to make the shells, there are actually three different ways you can make tostadas: in the oven, in the microwave, and fried in a pan or deep fryer. I’ve found that baking the shells yields more appetizing results than the microwave and much healthier results than frying them, so it’s the perfect balance.

So, how do each of these cooking methods differ? Let’s break it down-

  • Baked: This method yields results that are crispy, easy, and less unhealthy than the fried version. It involves simply spraying both sides of the corn tortillas with cooking spray, then baking them in the oven in a single layer, flipping halfway through to ensure even cooking on both sides.
  • Microwaved: This is the quickest cooking method, so it can be beneficial if you’re pressed for time and only cooking for one. Cooking tostadas in the microwave involves placing a corn tortilla between two paper towels, then cooking for a minute, flipping it over, and cooking for another 30 seconds. You’re essentially using the paper towels to soak up the moisture in the tortilla, so you continue to cook and flip it every 30 seconds until it becomes a crispy tostada.
  • Fried: I’m not going to lie, fried tostada shells are darn tasty. That being said, they’re definitely not heart-healthy and should only be enjoyed every now and again. This method involves either frying the corn tortillas in a pan filled with oil for 3 minutes on each side or in a deep fryer for about 2 minutes, then placing them on a paper towel to drain the excess oil.

What to Serve With Tostada Shells

The options for foods to serve with this simple dish are endless! I like to get creative and try out new dishes to serve alongside my shells all the time. For a little inspiration as you get started, here are some of my favorite dishes to serve with these shells:

How to Store This Dish

Storing this dish in the fridge would eliminate that crunch we love so much, so I recommend storing your baked shells in an airtight bag or container in the pantry instead. They should keep like this for up to 3 days. Best of all, they will stay nice and crispy.

Crispy baked tostadas made with corn tortillas cooked until crisp and being broken between two hands,

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this vibrant dish:

What is the best way to cook tostadas?

Let me preface this by saying that this is completely subjective. In my personal opinion, baking the shells in the oven is the way to go. This cooking method strikes a fantastic balance between ease, crispiness, and health. It’s also great for making larger batches of shells!

How do you eat tostadas?

However, you want! I like to serve these alongside some type of dish that can be enjoyed on top of the tostada shells, like ceviche, salsa, meat, or cooked beans. It makes the perfect vessel for your favorite Mexican dishes.

Can I freeze tostada shells?

I really don’t recommend freezing them, however I totally understand not wanting to waste leftovers. If you have any plain leftover shells that haven’t had any toppings added to them, you can freeze them in a plastic bag for up to 3 months and defrost them in the oven when you’re ready to eat them. If you do this, be prepared for the texture not to be the same.

Homemade tostadas made with corn tortillas, salt, pepper, and oil stacked on a plate with limes on the side.

More Healthy Tostada Recipes

Love this tasty recipe? Try these next:

The Recipe
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Homemade Tostada Shells

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  • Cooking spray
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • Salt and pepper

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray the corn tortillas on both sides with cooking spray.

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

Place on a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Corn tortillas being sprinkled with salt and pepper.

Bake for 6 minutes. Flip over and bake another 4-8 minutes until crispy.

Tostada shells baking in the oven with small bubbles forming.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 2 tostada shells
Amount Per Serving
Calories 105
Calories from Fat 12
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
Saturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 22mg
Total Carbohydrate 22g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 1g
Protein 3g

* 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
1 Comment
On Homemade Tostada Shells
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January 30, 2024 - 20:53
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Thank you for your recipe! I made these tonight for my black bean & corn tostadas. I topped them with pico avocado, red and yellow pepper slices purple cabbage,, and queso fresco. Turned out very well and my tostadas did not break!!
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