Make delicious beef tostadas at home! These easy Mexican tostadas are piled with seasoned beef, beans and cheese. You’ll love this restaurant quality dinner you can make it minutes.
Living in the Southwest, we love Mexican inspired dishes like cheese enchiladas and slow cooker chicken tacos. We recently added these tasty tostadas to our rotation and they’ve been a favorite ever since.
Reasons to Make Tostadas
- Convenient ingredients. Store bought shells, canned beans and ready made sauce make this tostadas recipe quick and easy. They are great for a busy weeknight meal.
- Perfectly spicy. Taco seasoning adds amazing flavor to the basic ground beef.
- Lots of topping options. Serve with lettuce, salsa and all your favorite garnishes. Everyone in the family can customize their own tostada!
- Inexpensive and delicious. The affordable ingredients make tostadas budget friendly–without compromising taste.
If you haven’t tried homemade tostadas yet, what are you waiting for? Let’s get cooking.
What is a tostada?
Tostada is Spanish for “toasted.” The name refers to a crispy corn tortilla that’s been deep fried or baked (toasted). Tostadas can be served topped with meat, beans, vegetables or cheese.
Today’s tostada recipe is a Tex-Mex classic. These Beef Tostadas have a layer of refried beans at the bottom and a hint of fresh lime. We serve them with bowls of garnishes so everyone can customize their own beef and bean tostada!
What Do You Need To Make Tostadas?
At a glance, full printable recipe found below.
- Tostadas shells: You can make your own tostadas with small tortillas. Just cook them in the oven at 250 F for 10 minutes, then fry them in a pan with some oil to get the bubbles.
- Ground Beef: Substitute with your choice of meet. Shredded chicken, chopped chicken, ground chicken, ground turkey, shredded beef, carne asada, pork, etc. You can even use tofu or go meat free.
- Yellow onion: Any type of onion will work for this recipe. Use red, sweet, or white if you want to.
- Taco seasoning
- Cayenne pepper
- Green chili enchilada sauce: Feel free to use a red or green enchilada sauce.
- Lime juice: Lemon juice will also work here. Use fresh or from concentrate.
- Refried beans: Replace with black beans, pinto beans, or whichever is your favorite. Just be aware that with another type of bean, you won’t be able to spread it on the tostada well unless you mash it up first.
- Mexican crema: This can be difficult to find, so you can replace this with Sriracha mayonnaise, sour cream, plain Greek yogurt, or even ranch.
- Fresh tomatoes: Or use Pico de Gallo, Rotel, or other form of small cut up tomatoes.
- Mexican cheese: Add your favorite type of cheese instead. I like sharp cheddar cheese, mozzarella, pepper jack, or Monterey jack.
- Avocado: Make your avocados into a guacamole, or just buy some store bought guac to slap on top.
- Lettuce: Use whichever lettuce you have on hand. My favorite is butter lettuce.
- Salsa: There are so many salsas to choose from, so either buy your favorite or make your own.
- Measuring tools
- Cutting board and tools
Steps To Take
Steps at a glance, full printable recipe found below.
- Brown ground beef and onion, then add sauce and spices. Cook until thickened.
- Heat refried beans according to directions on can.
- Assemble tostadas by topping each tostada shell with beans, beef and desired toppings.
Tips and Tricks for Best Tostadas
- Adjusting spice. Use a milder enchilada sauce and taco seasoning to cut back on the heat. You can also omit the cayenne pepper to make the tostada recipe less spicy. On the flip side, add MORE cayenne pepper (a pinch at a time) to amp up the spiciness.
- Serve fresh. Tostadas are best served right away. The longer the ingredients sit on the tostada shells, the less crispy the shells will be.
- Prepping ahead of time. If you’re in a rush, chop the onion and get the garnishes ready ahead of time. Store in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the tostadas.
How do I store my tostadas?
Your fully assembled tostadas don’t store well. It’s best to store the ingredients separately to keep the ingredients fresher longer. I like to separate my meat from everything else by putting my meats in an airtight container in the refrigerator (you can also freeze them) for 3-4 days. Then I place all my leftover veggies in a plastic baggie in the refrigerator.
Don’t wait more than a day to use them, because ingredients like the avocado will go bad quickly. Refried beans also go in a separate container in the refrigerator.
How do I cut up my vegetables?
I like to cut up my vegetables for these types of meals into the smallest pieces I can manage. This includes the onions, tomatoes, and lettuce. I also like the avocado chopped into small pieces, but some people like the long, thin slices of avocado. Ultimately it is up to you.
How do you eat a tostada?
With your hands! You can think of it like an open face taco. Keep a fork on hand for eating any of the delicious toppings that spill onto your plate.
What’s the difference between a taco and a tostada?
The main difference is the tortilla. Tacos are traditionally served on soft corn or flour tortillas that are then folded around fillings. Tostadas are always fried or baked until crispy and served open without folding.
What side dishes go well with tostadas?
We love our tostadas with a side of Mexican Rice and a family-friendly Cheesecake Margarita Pie or Chocolate Tacos for dessert. Don’t forget a frozen margarita for the grown ups!
More Recipes You’ll Love
Add these other deliciously easy recipes to your dinner menus!
- Easy Nachos
- One Pot Taco Pasta
- Southwestern Chicken And Rice
- Cheese Enchilada Casserole
- Taco Casserole
Crispy tostada shells are covered in spicy ground beef and beans in this easy Mexican meal. Once you learn how to make tostadas, they’re guaranteed to become a family favorite.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 1/2 cup green chili enchilada sauce
- 1 tbsp taco seasoning
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 16 oz can refried beans
- 4 - 6 tostada shells store bought or homemade
- Optional garnishes: shredded lettuce, salsa, avocado shells, Mexican cheese, Mexican crema, chopped cilantro
- In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef with the onion. Cook until the beef is cooked through and the onions have softened and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Drain excess fat.
- Add in the chili enchilada sauce, lime juice, taco seasoning, salt, and cayenne pepper. Cook the beef in the chili enchilada sauce for 2-3 additional minutes or until the sauce has thickened, then remove the skillet from the heat.
- Use a small microwavable bowl to heat the refried beans. Make sure to put a paper towel over the top so it doesn’t explode and get all over the microwave.
- Take a spoonful of the refried beans and spread them over each tostada. Layer the tostada with the ground beef next, then your choice of garnishes: a handful of lettuce, some chopped tomatoes, chopped avocados, a spoonful of salsa, a handful of Mexican cheese, and/or a drizzle of Mexican crema. Top with chopped cilantro and then plate and serve.
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Made these instead of tacos for taco tuesday and they were great!