Recipe: Bean and Cheese Tostadas

To say I’ve been on a tostada kick over the past few weeks would be an understatement.  I’ve been craving these beany, cheesy bites on the daily, and they’ve been on the menu in my house at least once a week.  Originating from our (not so healthy) nachos habit that developed during the pandemic, tostadas capture everything that is amazing about a pile of loaded nachos (melted cheese, beans, salsa, and toppings scattered throughout a bag of chips) into one concise bite.  We like to say that these are “healthy nachos” in our house, and they are also truly delicious.

What makes a tostada special is the crunchy corn tortilla base, that is essentially a corn tortilla that has been fried (whole) into a delightfully crispy platform for toppings.  If you’ve never tried a tostada before, think of a crunchy taco shell, but fully flat.  They are substantial enough to hold a lot of toppings, and have a fried corn flavor that becomes even more delicious when toasted in the oven.   You can find tostada shells in most grocery stores along with the tortillas, or check specialty Mexican markets if you can’t.  You can also try to make them at home, I’ll link a recipe here to check out if that’s of interest!

The basic toppings that I’ve been doing with my tostadas has always been black beans and shredded cheese, but really anything would work here!  Last night I added corn to my tostadas before baking, once I had an avocado and salsa that I added on top after the oven.  Any protein options would work well here, ranging from crumbled tofu to scrambled eggs to grilled steak or chicken.  Got some guac?  Throw it on there!  Sour cream and salsa?  Yes please!  Refried beans instead of black beans?  Will totally work!  Leftover Chipotle?  Sure!  Anything that needs to be reheated or that would taste better warm can be added before the oven, and remember to save fresh ingredients (avocado, salsa, cilantro, fresh lime juice) for after the oven to provide that freshness after baking.

My recipe down below is for the basic bean and cheese tostadas, starting with the pre-made shells and topped with canned black beans and shredded cheese.  It’s a simple (but totally delicious) starting point to your own tostada adventure! 

Recipe down below, photo up top! 

Bean and Cheese Tostadas


  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheese
  • 6 tostada shells
  • Toppings of choice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Lay out the tostada shells into a single layer on a sheet tray.  Top each tostada shell with beans and cheese, then bake at 350F until cheese is fully melted and the beans are warmed through, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven and add any additional toppings of choice (salsa, avocado, sour cream, etc.).  Serve immediately and enjoy!

Need some inspiration for additional tostada toppings?  Check out these ideas below!

Fun Salsas and Sauces:

Proteins and Main Toppers:


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