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A bean tostada is a quick and easy meal option the whole family loves. Everyone can customize with their favorite toppings for a DIY dinner that’s perfect for busy nights.
With my kids in school, sports, and one of them now even working, our regular dinner schedule is constantly being adjusted.
That means we sometimes have to scramble to throw a meal together, but I don’t want to be relying on takeout options.
Happily one of the easiest meals, and one my kids love, is bean tostadas.
Made with refried beans and lots of fresh toppings, bean tostadas are the perfect option for a quick meal.
Everyone appreciates being able to choose their own combinations, which means less squabbling at the table and more full stomachs.
If your family loves tacos, why not give these tostadas a try?
Ingredients for bean tostadas
Tostada shells or corn tortillas – I save a lot of time by buying the premade tostada shells from the store instead of frying the corn tortillas at home.
Look for the tostada shells in the Mexican section of your regular grocery store, or visit a Mexican grocer for a wider selection.
If you choose to fry the tortillas at home, you can use white or yellow corn tortillas.
Refried beans – I make my own refried bean recipe and freeze the extra just so we can make these tostadas!
You can also use canned refried beans. You’ll need about 2 15-ounce cans, which is a little more than 3 cups of beans.
Cheese – We love using crumbly, salty cotjia cheese for both tacos and tostadas. You can use melty shredded cheese as well, such as oaxaca, chihuahua, or mozzarella.
Shredded lettuce – Fresh shredded iceberg lettuce adds a nice contrast to the warm beans. Shredded romaine works as well.
Tomato – Diced tomato or quartered cherry tomatoes both work well. You can also swap in pico de gallo.
Avocado – Sliced or mashed. I always buy at least two avocados just in case the first one I cut open isn’t good!
Cilantro – For those who like the flavor of cilantro, adding a bit of chopped fresh cilantro is a must!
Pickled jalapeños – While optional, I love adding a burst of heat from a few slices of pickled jalapeños.
How to make this recipe
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Assemble all of your toppings so they’re ready to go. I like to put everything out on the kitchen island so the family can assemble right there.
Warm the refried beans in a saucepan over medium-low heat, adding a small amount of water or broth to loosen the beans and make them smooth again.
If you like, you can mix cheese right into the beans.
While the beans are warming, heat the tostada shells in the oven.
Place the shells on a baking sheet and bake for 3-5 minutes, until warmed through.
Take 1 tostada shell and spread a few tablespoons of refried beans on top in an even layer. I usually leave the edge empty, just to make it a bit easier to eat.
Top with cheese. If you’re using a melty cheese, at this point you can return the tostada to the oven to melt the cheese, or continue assembling.
Add lettuce, tomato, avocado, cilantro, and pickled jalapeños as desired.
Repeat with the rest of the shells and enjoy!
If you have leftover toppings, store in the refrigerator in airtight containers. Extra tostada shells should be stored at room temperature.
Making just one bean tostada? Heat a small amount of beans in the microwave instead of the stove.
The beauty of tostadas is that there truly are no limits when it comes to the toppings.
You can make them even more filling by adding meat on top of the refried beans, such as leftovers from slow cooker chicken tacos.
Try with refried black beans instead of pinto beans.
Love cheese? Drizzle on some queso!
Squeeze on fresh lime juice, or top with pickled red onions.
Chopped red or white onion is great as well, or you can try some roasted corn.
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star review below! It means so much when you enjoy my recipes, so let me know how it goes and leave a comment if you have any questions.
- 8 to 12 tostada shells
- 3 cups refried beans
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1/2 cup cotija cheese
- 1/2 cup pickled jalapeños
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare topping ingredients.
- Arrange tostada shells in a single layer on a baking sheet. Warm in the oven for about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, warm refried beans in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in water or broth as needed to loosen beans and make smooth.
- Once warmed, spread an even layer of refried beans onto a tostada shell. Layer on chosen toppings.
- Repeat with remaining tostadas and enjoy.
- If frying corn tortillas, fry in a shallow layer of vegetable oil, turning after 45 seconds. Drain on paper towels.
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.
I focus on fresh ingredients and easy methods, with spins that keep meals interesting. Dinnertime shouldn’t be stressful or complicated, and I’m here to help you enjoy the time spent in the kitchen. Read more…