How to Make Tostadas: A Simple Guide

Tostadas are a delicious and versatile dish that is a staple of Mexican cuisine. They are essentially crispy tortillas that can be topped with a wide range of ingredients, making them perfect for any meal or occasion. Many people love tostadas for their crunchiness, but they often struggle to make the perfect shell without breaking it. In this post, we’ll take you through a step-by-step guide on how to make tostadas at home, so you can enjoy this tasty treat any time you want!

What Are Tostadas?

Tostadas are one of the most popular dishes in Mexican cuisine and are enjoyed by people all over the world. A tostada is a dish made with crispy tortillas that are topped with various ingredients such as beans, meat, cheese, vegetables, and salsa.

The word “tostada” means “toasted” in Spanish, which refers to the process of frying or baking the tortilla until it becomes crispy. The result is a crunchy base that provides the perfect foundation for the toppings.

In Mexican cuisine, tostadas are often served as a snack or appetizer, but they can also be a main course. They are easy to prepare and can be customized to suit individual tastes and preferences.

One of the reasons why tostadas are so popular is their versatility. They can be made with a wide range of ingredients, making them suitable for vegetarians, meat-lovers, and everyone in between. Tostadas can be topped with anything from refried beans and shredded chicken to fresh avocado and pico de gallo.

Another reason why tostadas are so beloved is their satisfying crunch. The crispy texture of the tortilla adds a satisfying contrast to the soft and flavorful toppings. Plus, because they are typically eaten with your hands, tostadas can be a fun and interactive way to enjoy a meal.

In summary, tostadas are a delicious and versatile dish that has become an integral part of Mexican cuisine. With their crispy tortilla base and endless topping options, there’s no limit to the flavor combinations you can create.

Ingredients You’ll Need

When it comes to making delicious tostadas, having the right ingredients is key. Here are the main ingredients you’ll need to make perfect tostadas:

Corn Tortillas

Traditional tostadas are made with crispy corn tortillas. These can be found in most grocery stores and come in a variety of sizes. You can also make your own by frying or baking corn tortillas until they are crispy.


To make the tostada shells crispy, you will need to fry them. Choose an oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil or canola oil. Be sure to heat the oil to the right temperature before frying to ensure that the shells cook evenly.


Adding seasoning to your protein and vegetables can turn a basic tostada into a flavor-packed dish. Popular seasonings include chili powder, cumin, paprika, and oregano. You can also add a squeeze of lime juice for some brightness.


Tostadas can be made with a variety of proteins, including chicken, beef, pork, fish, or beans for a vegetarian option. Season the protein with your choice of spices and cook until tender and juicy.


Add some color and crunch to your tostadas with fresh vegetables. Some popular options include lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, onions, avocado, and jalapeños. Slice or chop them up and arrange them on top of the tostada shell.


Tostadas are all about the toppings! Some classic toppings include shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and salsa. Get creative and experiment with different combinations to find your perfect tostada recipe.

With these ingredients on hand, you’ll be well on your way to making delicious homemade tostadas that are sure to impress.

Making the Tostada Shells

Making the Tostada Shells

One of the most important components of a perfect tostada is the crispy shell. The shell should be firm enough to hold all the toppings but light enough to add texture to the dish. Here’s how to make your own tostada shells at home.


  • Corn tortillas
  • Oil for frying
  • Salt or other seasoning (optional)

Step 1: Heat the Oil

Heat oil in a deep skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. You can use any type of oil that has a high smoke point, such as vegetable, canola, or peanut oil. Be sure to use enough oil to cover the tortillas completely.

Step 2: Fry the Tortillas

Once the oil is hot, carefully place a tortilla into the skillet using tongs or a slotted spoon. Fry the tortilla for about 1-2 minutes on each side, or until it becomes golden and crispy. Remove the tortilla from the oil and place it onto a paper towel-lined plate to drain the excess oil.

Step 3: Season (Optional)

While the tortilla is still hot, sprinkle salt or other seasonings of your choice, such as chili powder or cumin. This step is optional, depending on your taste preferences.

Step 4: Repeat

Repeat the process with the remaining tortillas, adding more oil to the skillet as needed. Make sure that the oil stays hot throughout the process and adjust the heat if necessary.

Tips and Tricks:

  • To save time, you can fry multiple tortillas at once.
  • If you don’t have a deep skillet, you can use a regular frying pan and just add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan.
  • You can also bake the tortillas in the oven instead of frying them. Simply brush both sides of the tortilla with oil and bake them in a preheated oven at 375°F for about 5-7 minutes on each side or until crispy.

In conclusion, making your own tostada shells is easy and only requires a few minutes of frying. By following these steps, you can create perfect, crispy shells that will take your tostadas to the next level.

Preparing the Protein and Vegetables

Preparing the Protein and Vegetables

When it comes to making tostadas, the protein and vegetables you choose play a crucial role in creating a flavorful and satisfying dish. Here are some tips for preparing your ingredients:


For meat lovers, options like shredded chicken or beef, ground beef, or even pulled pork are great choices for topping your tostadas. To add extra flavor, try seasoning your meat with spices like chili powder, cumin, and paprika before cooking. You can also marinate your meat in a mixture of lime juice, garlic, and cilantro for added zing.


Beans are an excellent source of protein and make a great vegetarian option for your tostadas. Black beans, pinto beans, and refried beans are all popular choices. To prepare your beans, simply rinse them and heat them up on the stove with some garlic, onion, and spices. If you want to take things up a notch, blend your beans with some salsa or chipotle peppers for a smoky kick.


Vegetables like lettuce, tomato, avocado, and jalapeño are common toppings for tostadas. Try mixing and matching different veggies to create a colorful and nutritious dish. For added crunch, you can also add some thinly sliced radishes or cabbage. To make your veggies more exciting, try roasting them with some olive oil and spices like cumin and coriander.


Spices are key to adding flavor and depth to your tostada toppings. Experiment with different combinations of chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, and garlic powder to find your perfect blend. Don’t be afraid to get creative – you can even add some cinnamon or cocoa powder to your meat for a unique twist.


No tostada is complete without a good salsa. Whether you prefer mild or spicy, homemade or store-bought, salsa adds a zesty kick to your dish. To make your own salsa, simply blend together some tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. You can also add other ingredients like jalapeño or mango for extra flavor.

By following these tips for preparing your protein and vegetables, you’ll be well on your way to creating delicious and nutritious tostadas.

Assembling Your Tostadas

Assembling Your Tostadas

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the fun part of making tostadas – assembling them! This is where you get to be creative and add your own personal touch. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Start with a Crispy Tostada Shell

The base of any good tostada is a crispy shell. Take your homemade or store-bought tostada shell and place it on a plate.

Step 2: Choose Your Protein

Next, add a layer of protein on top of the tostada shell. You can use any kind of protein you like – shredded chicken, seasoned ground beef, black beans, or refried beans are all great options.

Step 3: Add Some Vegetables

After the protein, add a layer of fresh veggies. Chopped lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced avocado, or shredded cabbage are all delicious choices.

Step 4: Add Your Favorite Toppings

This is where you can really get creative! Add toppings like shredded cheese, sliced jalapeños, diced onions, fresh cilantro, or pickled radishes.

Step 5: Finish with Sour Cream, Guacamole, and More Cheese

To finish off your tostada, dollop some sour cream and guacamole on top. Then sprinkle some shredded cheese over everything for an extra burst of flavor.

There you have it – a perfectly assembled tostada that’s ready to eat! Just repeat the process for as many tostadas as you want to make. Enjoy!
Creating your own tostadas at home can be a fun and delicious way to explore the rich flavors of Mexican cuisine. By following these simple steps, you can easily make crispy tortilla shells and customize your toppings to suit your taste preferences. Whether you prefer meat, beans, or veggies as your protein base, there’s no shortage of creative combinations to try out. So next time you’re in the mood for a quick and satisfying meal or snack, give homemade tostadas a try! With a little bit of practice, you’ll be whipping up restaurant-quality dishes in no time.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button