Homemade Tostadas are so satisfying and easy to make. These are loaded with refried beans, beef, and all of the best tostada toppings

Tostadas served with toppings on a platter

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Serve Tostadas with Mexican Street Corn and Tacos Soup for an amazing Mexican-inspired meal.

What is a Tostada?

A Tostada (pronounced tuh-staa-duh) is a flat and crunchy tortilla, loaded up with the best taco toppings. The word Tostada means “toasted”. It refers to the crispy tortilla that has been either toasted or deep fried. The crispy tortilla is then piled with your favorite toppings.

Tostadas are a popular dish in Mexico and other parts of Latin America. The name is used for any dish that uses the toasted tortilla as the base. In Mexico, tostadas are often served with any fresh protein or they are also eaten as snacks or sides to other dishes, such as pozole or soup (they are so yummy with Chicken Tortilla Soup).

Tostada ingredients with tortillas, refried beans, ground beef and lettuce

How to Make Tostada Shells

You can buy crunchy “tostadas” or prepare your own. Tostada shells can be made by either baking or frying. We prefer to bake the tortillas as a healthier option that still gets crispy. It’s a super simple process:

  1. Oil the Tortillas – Spray Tortillas with cooking spray or brush lightly with oil.
  2. Bake the Tortillas – Lay the tortillas flat on a baking sheet and bake at 415˚F, flipping halfway, and bake until they turn crispy and golden.
How to toast tostada shells

How to Assemble Tostadas

Making tostadas is quick and easy. Prepare the toppings in advance, to make your process even simpler. Follow these easy steps to make your tostadas:

  1. Bake Tostada Shells – See the easy instructions above to make the shells.
  2. Make the Taco Meat – Cook the ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up with a spatula. Season the beef with garlic powder, taco seasoning and salt, to taste. Add the diced onion and continue cooking until the onion is soft and translucent, and beef is fully cooked.
  3. Prepare the Toppings – Heat refried beans in a skillet on the stove or in the microwave. Prep and chop the rest of your tostada toppings.
  4. Serve – Spread the top with warmed refried beans, add ground beef and remaining toppings before serving.
Cooking ground beef and refried beans for tostadas

Pro Tip: Applying a layer of refried beans first will allow the other toppings to stick to the tostada.

Assembling tostada with toppings

Tostada Toppings

There are so many tostada topping options! You can use both hot and cold ingredients. Our recipe includes some of our favorites, but you can use whatever you’d like or what you already have on hand. You can’t go wrong with:

  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • Avocados
  • Tomatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Cheese – cotija or queso fresco
  • Guacamole
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Lime wedges to squeeze over the top
Tostada toppings on tostada shell

Common Questions

What is the difference between a tostada and a tortilla?

A tostada is made out of a tortilla that has been baked or fried to get golden, crispy, and crunchy. It’s similar to a tortilla chip, except that a tostada is the whole tortilla vs cut into triangles for chips.

What’s the difference between a taco and a tostada?

A tostada is flat and served on a crispy tortilla shell, while tacos are folded using soft corn or flour tortillas. The toppings used are similar for both tacos and tostadas. A tostada is like an open-faced crispy taco.

How do you eat a tostada?

You simply bite into a tostada the way you would with a pizza. Tostadas can get a little messy so serve these over plates. Keep a fork nearby to scoop up any of the toppings that fall off.

Can I substitute the beef?

To make these vegetarian tostadas, you can skip the ground beef. You can also use Carne Asada or if you prefer seafood, try making the juicy shrimp from these Shrimp Fajitas or the tilapia from these Fish Tacos.

Up close crunchy tostada with toppings

Homemade Tostadas are so easy to make. You can also prep the ingredients ahead if you were serving them for a party and let guests build their own Tostadas.

More Mexican Recipes

If you love Mexican foods, these are some of our all-time favorite and top-rated rates. P.S. Don’t forget the Tres Leches Cake for dessert.

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Easy Tostada Recipe

5 from 44 votes
Author: Natalya Drozhzhin
Tostadas served with lime wedges
Homemade Tostadas will make your tastebuds dance! They are so simple to make, super versatile and provide so many topping options.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


Servings: 10 servings
  • 10 corn tortillas , or prepared tostadas
  • 16 oz lean ground beef
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 10 oz refried beans
  • 2 cups iceberg lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese, or queso fresco, crumbled
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 cup pico de gallo, or salsa
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped


  • Preheat the oven to 415°F. Spray the corn tortillas on both sides with oil. Lay them flat on a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 4 minutes and flip them over and bake for another 5 minutes or until the tortillas are crispy and golden.
  • Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat and break it apart with your spatula. Season with garlic powder, salt and taco seasoning. Add the diced onion and cook until the onion is translucent and the beef is fully cooked.
  • Reheat the refried beans in a skillet over medium-low heat or in a microwave until steaming hot.
  • To assemble, top each tostada with refried beans, ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado and pico de gallo or salsa. Sprinkle some cheese and cilantro on top. Serve right away.

Nutrition Per Serving

208kcal Calories22g Carbs14g Protein8g Fat3g Saturated Fat1g Trans Fat35mg Cholesterol705mg Sodium376mg Potassium5g Fiber4g Sugar447IU Vitamin A6mg Vitamin C80mg Calcium2mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Easy Tostada Recipe
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: homamde tostada, tostada, tostada recipe
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $
Calories: 208

Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya is a food blogger who founded Momsdish.com to make cooking easier. Growing up on a farm in Ukraine, Natalya was inspired by the amazing dishes that were prepared using simple ingredients. Natalya is most notably known for making cooking approachable for any person.

Read more posts by Natalya

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating


  • Kelly
    August 4, 2023

    I am so glad I decided to up my taco Tuesday game with this recipe! My family was skeptical at 1st, but once they tasted it, they gobbled it up! I baked the tortillas and made my own refried beans. Viva la tostada Tuesday!


    • NatashasKitchen.com
      August 4, 2023

      Hi Kelly! That’s wonderful to hear. Glad they were a hit.


  • Meg
    February 6, 2023

    Very tasty, I will definitely be making these again. I like that you can customize them and add whatever you’re in the mood for. Delish!!!


    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 6, 2023

      That’s right, Meg! They are so versatile. Thank you for sharing. I’m glad you love the recipe.


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