Tostadas are a popular Mexican dish made from fried tortillas, ground beef, beans and vegetables. Originating as a clever way to use up leftovers, there are many variations of tostadas recipes that can easily be made according to preference and ingredients on hand. It is often served as an afternoon snack or an appetizer.
The dish is well known for its versatility and its simple ingredients. The main component is the fried tortilla, although this can be baked for a healthier alternative. Traditional tostada recipes call for corn tortillas, making this a great gluten-friendly option.
Tostadas are a great solution to any extra vegetables you have lying around, as well as tortillas going stale. The act of frying or baking the tortilla extends its shelf-life and gives it a tasty crunch, perfect for holding many toppings.
As an appetizer or side, tostadas are often served with stews such as pozole and birria or Mexican rice. They are also a tasty treat to bring to potlucks and other gatherings.
Origin & Cultural Significance
The word tostada literally means “toasted” in Spanish. As a result, the components that you add on top can change drastically– as long as the tortilla is toasted flat and topped with some variation of meat, beans, and/or vegetables, it is a tostada!
Tostadas have a long and interesting history, spanning around 2,000 years across Mexico as they have evolved and taken on regional variations. It is believed that they hail from the Oaxacan region of Mexico, an area well known for its food culture, and came about to use leftovers from tacos as tortillas went stale.
Modern Oaxacan tostadas are nearly the size of pizzas, while other variations have made smaller alternatives suitable for serving as easy-to-hold street food.
Some Tex-Mex restaurants in the southwestern United States tried to claim their invention in the mid-20th century, but it was soon proven that the tradition had been around far before then. Either way, this recipe has proven through time immemorial as an inventive and easy way to reduce food waste and make a delicious snack.
- Corn Tortillas - 10
- Refried Beans - 1 can (10-15 oz.)
- Ground beef (or other ground meat) - 1 lb.
- Garlic powder - ½ tsp
- Salt - ½ tsp
- Pepper - 1 tsp
- Cumin - 1 tsp
- Paprika - ½ tsp
- Oregano - 1 tsp
- Yellow onion, diced - ½
- Roma tomato, diced - 1
- Iceberg lettuce, finely chopped - 2 cups
- Avocado, diced - 1
- Queso fresco
- Mexican crema
- Salsa Verde
- Vegetable or canola oil - ⅓ cup
- Prepare your ingredients by finely chopping iceberg lettuce and dicing tomato, onion, and avocado.
- In a frying pan, heat up ⅓ cup oil. Fry tortillas and set them aside.
- In a pan, add onions on medium heat for 1-2 minutes, until aromatic.
- Add ground beef, tomato, and all seasonings (garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, oregano).
- While this is cooking, heat the refried beans according to the instructions on the can.
- Once the beef is cooked and the onions are translucent, remove them from the heat.
- Form the tostadas: spread refried beans on the tortilla. Add ground beef, lettuce, cheese, salsa verde, avocado, and Mexican crema.
- Serve alongside your main of choice or alone. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 319Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 464mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 5gSugar: 2gProtein: 19g