Tostadas are meant to be messy! Pile them with your favorite toppings and dig in. These are made with a crispy fried corn tortilla topped with refried beans, grated cheese, chopped avocado and tomato, sliced lettuce, and salsa.
If there’s anything that comes close to a Mexican version of an open-faced sandwich, the tostada is it. Just when you thought nothing could get messier than taco night, along comes the tostada, which I dare you to eat daintily.
It can’t be done.
Strike that. Actually, you must attempt to eat a tostada with finesse, otherwise all hope is lost, and the thing will crumble in your hands with the mounds of filling succumbing to gravity only to ricochet off your plate to the surrounding table, lap, floor, etc.
What is a tostada?
A tostada has a pretty simple construction: it’s like a taco, but flat. It’s usually made with a fried corn tortilla, topped with refried beans, shredded cheese, salsa, and other toppings. Anything that could go in a taco could also go on a tostada, so you can have fish tostadas, shredded chicken tostadas, or beef tostadas.
How To Make Tostadas
We almost always make tostadas with refried beans and plenty of toppings. When we make them we put all of the toppings in separate bowls in the center of the table, distribute the freshly cooked tortillas, and then we each add our topping of choice, starting with the beans.
Mashed refried beans are usually used as the first layer because they spread over the tortilla well, and the other toppings have a better chance of sticking to the beans than they would the straight tortilla.
An Easy Recipe to Adapt
The decision that confronts you when you decide to make tostadas is, “How easy do I want this process to be?” If you want something truly over-the-top you might make your own tortillas from scratch, let them get a day or two old, then fry them and top them with home-cooked beans that you’ve smashed up with bacon fat.
Or, if you were looking for a quick mid-week meal, you could use canned refried beans (or even canned white beans that you heat and mash with a little chile powder added for flavor) and packaged tostada shells.
We almost always make our own refried beans from scratch, because with a pressure cooker it just doesn’t take that long. And we almost always use packaged tostada shells, because we live in California where you can buy them at almost any supermarket (when you are shopping for them, the thicker the tortilla the better, by the way).
Looking for More Great Mexican Dishes?
- Chicken and Black Bean Tostadas
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas
- Pressure Cooker Green Pork Pozole
- Carne Asada
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