A Secret Revealed- How To Make Crispy Tostadas - Lela's Cooking Journey Blog at Allrecipes.com - 294317

Lela's Cooking Journey

A Secret Revealed- How to Make Crispy Tostadas 
Jan. 13, 2013 1:40 pm 
Updated: Sep. 15, 2014 4:38 pm

 I didn't invent the method for crispy tostadas, but if you fry your tortilla shells, you know how messy that can be. So, don't pull out the frying pan. Here is the secret. Use your oven to make crispy tostada shells in less than 10 minutes. It will take longer to chop all the toppings than it will to bake the tostada shells. 

Eating Tostadas Is an Art.

I need to warn you about eating tostadas. It can sometimes be messy. There is an art to eating tostadas.  I would say, I am quite proficient at eating tostadas. By that I mean, I can eat a tostada without any of my toppings falling off. On the other hand,  my husband finds eating tostadas a messy affair. He wouldn't let me take his photo when he was eating his tostada, but I did find the Wandering Earl video on how to eat a Mexican tostada. Although I do not know Wandering Earl, I found his video amusing. Check out Wandering Earl.

How to Eat a Mexican Tostada by Earl

What I like best about tostadas is that you can vary the toppings. You will not be bored in coming up with different toppings for tostadas. Now, I don't know if you want to go as far as my brother who adds chopped dill pickles to his tostadas. I was skeptical, but when I added dill pickles to my tostadas, I actually liked it. Usually, I make chicken tostadas or just plain bean tostadas.  My  favorite tostada is the Beef and Bean Tostada. So, here is a simple recipe my family enjoys. 

Crispy Oven Beef and Bean Tostadas-(link)

Feel free to tweak away in making your tostadas. Everyone has different taste buds so I don't mind if you tweak the recipe.

(I wrote this blog with my son in mind who will be on his own someday.) I know he will miss my cooking.   

Serves: 3


1/2 pound of ground beef

1/2 cup to 1 cup of  sweet onion

1 garlic minced

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. garlic salt

1/2 tsp. cumin (or to taste)

1/4 tsp. black pepper

2 cups of refried beans (or 16 oz. can of refried beans) Add as the base of the oven baked tostada shell.

OR try- Spicy Ground Beef Recipe:

1 tsp. chili powder (I like New Mexico Powdered Chimayo powder)

1/4 tsp.  seasoning salt ( I use Lawry's)

1/4 tsp. garlic salt

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/8 tsp. cumin

1/8 tsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. low sodium beef base or beef bouillon granulated

I like Safeway's fat free refried beans. Using canned beans works well if you want a fast meal.  I have found these canned beans are quite tasty. Or if you would like to make your own-a great recipe from AR is Refried Beans without the Refry I would suggest using less salt (2 1/2 tsp.) with this recipe and read the reviews for more helpful hints. Also, the recipe takes all day in a crock pot.


lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, mild shredded cheddar cheese (I like the 4 Mexican cheeses from Sargento,) sour cream, or guacamole.

My brother likes chopped dill pickles. So, add whatever you like for toppings. 

Prepping Tostadas:

Here is how I prep my tostadas. I am thinking of my kids when I add photos and advice on prepping the tostadas. So, those of you who are experts in the kitchen you can just skip all the show and tell photos and get cooking in the kitchen.

Before I bake the tostada shells, I chop the onions.

Then, I cut up the tomatoes, lettuce, and more onions if you like raw onions on your tostadas. Prepare all garnishes such as salsa, guacamole, shredded cheese, etc. I add all the spices to a small bowl and mix the spices together.

Next, I add the chopped onions and all the spices to the ground beef. If you are making the Spicy Beef Mixture, add the beef base directly to the ground beef in the pan.

Finally, fry the ground beef on medium heat. Remove the grease from the pan.

Cover the pan with a lid to keep the ground beef warm.

Crispy Tostada Shells In the Oven:

Now, prepare your tostada shells.

 You can bake 6 tostadas in less than 10 minutes.


6 corn tortillas

1/2 cup of Oil-I use canola oil


small bowl


large cookie sheet


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with tinfoil. Place 6 corn tortillas on the cookie sheet.  Pour a small amount of oil in a bowl. Brush both sides of each tortilla shell with oil.

Bake for 5 minutes on one side. Meanwhile, heat up the refried beans on medium low. Stirring often to prevent the beans from sticking to the pan.  Remove the tostada shells from the oven. Then, use tongs to flip the corn tortillas over and bake for 2-3 minutes on the other side. Or until the corn tortillas are crispy. You will have to watch the tortillas when you flip them over so they don't burn. Here's what the tortilla shells look like after I flipped them over.

Topping the Tostadas: Spread the heated refried beans on the tostada shell. Add ground beef. Top the tostadas with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa. You can even melt your cheese on your tostada before adding the lettuce. My son likes his tostadas with melted cheese. So, the tostadas go back in the oven for a minute or two. Then, he adds all the other toppings. You may also add guacamole and sour cream if you so desire. My husband doesn't like guacamole or sour cream on his tostadas. 

The Simple Beef and Bean tostada. 

Baking More than 6 Tostada Shells:

Now, when I bake more than 6 tostada shells,  I keep them warm on a large cookie sheet in my second oven until I bake all of my shells. If you are lucky to have a convection oven, you can probably bake more tostada shells at a time. 

If you have any special way you make tostadas or helpful hints, please share.

All of the above mentioned products are of my choosing. You may substitute another product to make your tostadas.

Crispy Tostada
Photo Detail
Jan. 13, 2013 1:53 pm
Your pics are great and Wandering Earl was amusing. He sort of reminded me of how my son used to eat wings - he'd end up with more wing sauce on his face than in his mouth!
Jan. 13, 2013 1:55 pm
Yum. Never really new what a tostada was, basically a flat taco. You can be sure we will be trying these this week! Loved the video! Thanks for sharing.
Jan. 13, 2013 2:28 pm
Mother Ann-Ah don't you miss Steve even if he has wing sauce on his face? I am sure he misses your cooking. I am sure you just head out to your restaurant to get Mexican Food-I know I would if I had a restaurant.
Jan. 13, 2013 2:29 pm
wythout-If you like Mexican food you will like tostadas. However, the eating part is messy.
Jan. 13, 2013 2:33 pm
Hey Lela,i didn't know what a tostada was either.Love your pictures,interesting read.Thanks.
Jan. 13, 2013 2:33 pm
I also bake my tostadas but use cooking spray instead of brushing the oil on. I also sprinkle with some salt before baking. I like that it's not quite as much oil and is healthy to boot!
Jan. 13, 2013 4:33 pm
That is a good idea Cindy! I will try that sometime.
Jan. 13, 2013 4:35 pm
Hi Manella. I guess in Canada tostadas are not something you can get in a restaurant. Eating Mexican food very common in the Southwestern United States.
Jan. 13, 2013 5:19 pm
Lela,your right about that,the towns we live close to wouldn't know,i found out rather quickly that this is a meat and potatoes kind of place,good thing i know how to cook other things.We are not big on that kind of diet,we like all sort of foods.A little to much sometimes.
Jan. 13, 2013 7:02 pm
they sure do look good.
Jan. 13, 2013 8:37 pm
Hello King.-The tostadas are very easy to make, too.
Jan. 13, 2013 8:43 pm
Yummy - wish I had a tostado right now! Great blog Lela and loved the video and all your pictures.
Jan. 13, 2013 11:56 pm
Lela, I also make corn tortilla chips and tostada shells in the microwave . . . I kind of wing it, and times will differ according to your microwave, but I spray a microwave safe plate with non-stick spray, place the tortilla [or tortilla pieces for chips] on the plate and spray the top of the tortilla. [I sprinkle with salt for chips.] Microwave, 3-4 minutes, then flip and microwave, approx 2 minutes more - than add more time if needed.
Jan. 13, 2013 11:57 pm
I love the recipe for Tasty Lentil Tacos, and I make them into tostadas, because it's easier to reheat everything at work and come out with a decent tostada, rather than taco . . .
Jan. 14, 2013 12:00 am
[Unfortunately, I'm with your husband on eating a tostada - I just never quite mastered how to eat one daintily (=]
Jan. 14, 2013 5:40 am
Great blog, Lela! The instructions were very clear, and the pictures are super. Thanks for the tips!
Jan. 14, 2013 6:06 am
How timely! I buy the "precrisped" ones and after opening yet another bag of half broken ones I decided I need to do it myself. I'm going to try the oven and the micro. Thanks Ladies
Jan. 14, 2013 6:14 am
Good Morning, Shearone! Thanks for stopping by and your crispy tostada is here at my house anytime you want one!
Jan. 14, 2013 6:21 am
Hi, gammaray! How is that new grandbaby? What a great idea-making the corn tortilla chips and tostada shells in the microwave. I will have to try that! gammaray, you just need practice eating tostadas. My husband always needs a spoon to scoop up all the toppings that fall off his tostada. I have been eating tostadas since I was knee-high. So, you will have to practice. If you hold the tostada level it helps to keep your toppings on the tostada. Also, I have to admit I have never eaten lentil tacos. I will have to look that recipe up.
Jan. 14, 2013 6:23 am
Hello, Bibi. Nice to see you here. You are welcome. Thanks, for the compliment. I got a new camera for Christmas. I am still learning how to use it. I was using my phone to take photos before I got the camera.
Jan. 14, 2013 6:28 am
Good Morning, linda2d! I agree with you on buying the tostada shells-not a fun experience. One of my pet peeves is buying tortilla chips only to find a lot of broken chips. Happy Tostada Making linda!
Jan. 14, 2013 8:24 am
Nicely done Lela - To put fewer toppings on a tostada for less mess would be a crime. I have a set of non-stick fluted shell makers for taco salad. Was skeptical when I first got them but they really work. Just spray with Pam and stick them in the oven.
Jan. 14, 2013 9:11 am
Hi, bd.weld! I bought some shell maker and haven't used them yet. Sounds easy enough. Thanks for the tips.
Jan. 14, 2013 10:51 pm
Loved the pic's and simplified instructions. What a great easy meal!
Jan. 15, 2013 1:27 am
Growing up in So Cal, I grew up eating them, also - just never developed the knack (= [Or maybe I put too much on top ;)]
Jan. 15, 2013 5:50 am
Hello, Sandee-My family loves Mexican food, so tostadas are pretty easy to make.
Jan. 15, 2013 5:52 am
Gammaray-a lot of toppings on tostadas is challenging to eat. If you tip the tostada, there goes the toppings.
Jan. 15, 2013 6:36 am
Hi, Lela! Great blog. I used to fry mine, but that got old so I started buying the bagged ones, using the broken ones for taco salad. I never trusted the idea of baking them, but seeing your pics convinced me that they really DO get crispy. Thanks so much. We're doing tostadas on Thursday so I'll have a chance to try them your way. :)
Jan. 15, 2013 6:43 am
Long time no hear Lucylove! Nice to see you hear. My family prefers the baked tostada shells. IF you line your pan with foil, there is less mess. I hope you enjoy your tostadas on Thursday.
Jan. 15, 2013 6:45 am
hear=here Lucy! My typing skills are bad so early in the morning.
Jan. 15, 2013 11:26 am
I just made tostadas last night and wondering what was the best way to bake rather than fry...but ended up frying anyways. I love how tostadas are so versatile and customizable to everyone's liking. My friend says he loves putting vinagrette dressing on his. I have yet to try that, but there's a first time for everything. TFS
Jan. 16, 2013 7:12 am
1st Lady, actually a vinagrette on tosatadas sounds yummy to me.
Jan. 17, 2013 9:13 am
Your blog made me try baking my corn tortillas for a change. I did what Cindy in Pensacola suggested, though, spraying on cooking spray instead of the oil. I loved it. I'll be doing my tortillas, or tostados, this way all the time now. I wouldn't have known to do it, though, had I not seen your blog. Thanks, Lela!
Jan. 17, 2013 11:34 am
Hello, Paula. Your welcome. Spraying with cooking spray is less calories I am sure. I am glad you liked them. So much easier than frying, too. By the way, the yeast spoon is calling my name. I am looking for a low calorie bread like Subway. If you run across a recipe, let me know.
Jan. 18, 2013 10:51 am
These look wonderful and now I'm starving for some tostadas! Trouble is, I called out from work today for feeling kind of under-the-weather, and can't figure out how to get to the grocery store for some of the listed ingredients, without getting busted! :)
Jan. 18, 2013 9:33 pm
I love tostadas. And now I'm hungry.
Jan. 19, 2013 7:16 am
Hello, lindamarie. I hope you had a good day resting at home. There is always tomorrow. I stopped frying my corn tortillas because baking them made the tortillas so crispy. Not to make you hungry again.
Jan. 19, 2013 7:18 am
Hi Clover, thanks for stopping by. I have done my job if I made you hungry. Have a good day!
Jan. 19, 2013 9:24 pm
Great blog, Lela! Way too much Mexican food around our place... lots of authentic restraunts about! Also a sidewalk vendor I can recall seeing all the time! I have to watch the "heat" tho... still kind of a wimp - but getting better!
Jan. 20, 2013 8:14 am
Hello, Stevie! Aren't we lucky that we live in the Southwestern United States? Mexican food abounds. People who live else where in the United States don't know what they are missing. There is so many different Mexican restaurants and so many different variations of Mexican Food.
Jun. 1, 2014 3:31 pm
I made them and they were good but I found they didn't crisp up quite as consistently as when I fried them. Perhaps I need to get "una bandeja de horno más grande" (a bigger cookie sheet)- because when I put six of them on the cookie sheet they hung over the edge a little and didn't touch the cookie sheet flatly.
Sep. 15, 2014 4:37 pm
Tried them just like the instruction. Cooked them at 400 degrees for 5 min flipped and sprayed with oil and 2-3 more minutes. Result: tough as -- hell I give up.
Sep. 15, 2014 4:38 pm
Tried them just like the instruction. Cooked them at 400 degrees for 5 min flipped and sprayed with oil and 2-3 more minutes. Result: tough as -- hell I give up.
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About Me
I enjoy cooking for our family sit down dinners. Although my kids are grown, we are a close family that enjoys 4-5 sit down dinners a week together. My family's favorite dinner is chicken enchiladas smothered in green chili. I have a passion for cooking, baking for the holidays and food photography.
My favorite things to cook
I am family oriented and spend time with my family enjoying meals. My favorite things to cook are Mexican food and any food my family asks me to cook. My family looks forward to home cooked Mexican food at least once a week and Italian food.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I am on a journey to reclaim family recipes that were lost when the cooks in my family passed away. Cooking traditions are a major part of my passion for cooking. On Christmas Eve, we always had green chili and tamales. Cookie baking, lemon bars, pizzelles , and potica have been a must at Christmas as long as I can remember. My family looks forward to homemade pizza, when we gather as a family to decorate the Christmas cookies. Thanksgiving wouldn't be Thanksgiving without noodles and gravy piled high on mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and broccoli and rice casserole. On the 4th of July, there is the 4th of July Potato Salad that I make using 10 pounds of potatoes. Mexican Food is part of our weekly menu--green chili served over mashed potatoes or as a slopper (green chili poured over hamburgers.) I am always making tortillas for someone. They call my tortillas little white pieces of gold. Saturdays are Family night for dinner. It is the one day my kids can request a meal.
My cooking triumphs
Seeking help on the Buzz and the AR Blog has resulted in a few triumphs. I am extremely ecstatic about overcoming the yeast monster. I can now bake baguettes, focaccia and the best rolls in the world, my Grandma Rita's Butter Rolls.
My cooking tragedies
My first attempts at baking bread/rolls resulted in rock hard flat rolls. However, I am improving. Baking at High Altitude is somewhat of a challenge.
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