Cooking Tips, Dinner, Lunch

How to Make Tostadas with Refried Black Beans

Day two of sharing one of my favorite Mexican recipes, and funny enough, this was also a recipe I liked to make in college. Even though I would buy tostada shells pre-made to go with my black beans and Mexican rice, I recently learned how easy it is to make these shells from scratch! So I figured I would teach you how to make tostadas.

tostadas with pickled onions and avocado
tostada with refried black beans and toppings

The key elements for how to make a tostada

You see, eating a tostada is like eating an open-faced sandwich—so the key to avoiding a messy eating experience is layering the bottom of your tostada with refried beans. The refried beans will actually hold all of your toppings in place! AKA, so they don’t get all over your shirt. Have I made this mistake before? 100 percent!

The layers of your tostada are obviously important, given that your refried beans should be the first layer spread on your tostada shell. After that you have your taco meat of choice, then your toppings of choice. Past the refried beans, the toppings of your tostada really don’t matter—similar to how you fill your favorite taco. As long as you have the refried beans that will keep your tostada in place, you’re good to go.

Want fish for tostadas? Here’s how to cook it.

The tostadas pictured are actually used with unbreaded marinated tilapia, which is super easy to make! I published a recipe on how to make fish tacos for work, but here’s an easy guide to get you started.

  • Marinate 1 pound of tilapia with 1/4 cup of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Move the marinated tilapia fillets to a shallow casserole dish. I like to use a small Pyrex casserole dish from this set.
  • Bake for 15 minutes

You can also make regular ground beef taco meat, or even use the filling I use for my chicken fajita quesadillas.

ingredients to make homemade tostada chips

Making tostadas is EASY!

Seriously! All you have to do is spray down the number of tortillas you want with some cooking oil, sprinkle on some flaky sea salt, and place them under the broiler. Depending on how hot your broiler gets, you only need to cook the shells on each side for 3 to 5 minutes. Sometimes I find the first side to be slower than the second, so I’ll broil the first side for five minutes—flip and add salt—then broil on the other side for 2 or 3 minutes.

tostadas with black beans and pickled red onions

Other great tostada toppings

If you’re going to attempt to make tostadas, you might as well have some great toppings to go with it! Here are a few I suggest.

  • Pickled red onions
  • Avocado slices
  • Queso fresco cheese (like Cacique!)
  • Pico de gallo
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt!)
  • Fresh chopped cilantro
  • Chopped lettuce
  • Shredded taco cheese

Don’t forget sides—and a cocktail!

Prep yourself a side of Mexican rice, and why not mix up a classic margarita, or make a frozen strawberry one! Or if you’re more of a sangria person, I have that too.

fish tostada with toppings

Tostadas with Refried Black Beans

Make homemade tostada chips with this easy tutorial!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: black beans, tostadas
Servings: 4 servings


For the tostadas

  • 4 corn tortillas
  • Cooking spray
  • Flaky sea salt

For the refried black beans

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 14.5 oz. can of black beans slightly drained (leave some liquid)
  • Juice of 1/2 lime


For the tostadas

  • Turn the oven on broil.
  • Spray down both sides of the corn tortilla, place them on a sheet pan.
  • Sprinkle on the flaky sea salt on one side.
  • Place under the broiler for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Take them out of the broiler and flip the tortillas. Sprinkle the other side with sea salt.
  • Place back under the broiler for another 2-3 minutes. Watch carefully! If the edges start to darken, take them out.
  • Place on a paper towel and let them cool.

For the refried black beans

  • While the tostadas are in the oven, make the black beans. Heat up a small pot over medium heat.
  • Add in the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  • Add in the slightly drained can of black beans. Squeeze in the lime juice.
  • Cook on low heat for about 5-10 minutes, or until the black beans are easy to mash with the back of a wooden spoon.
  • Spread onto the tostada chip, then add whatever toppings for your tostada!


For the toppings on my tostada, I made this tilapia filling and topped it with my quick pickled red onions, avocado slices, and chopped fresh cilantro.

Photos edited with Color Pop in the Bright Brunch Lightroom Presets.

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