Best Tostada Recipe

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This post is sponsored by McCormick®, all opinions are my own.
If you’re looking for a dish that is as festive as it is delicious, look no further!
Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine is loved by millions of people all over the world. And it’s no wonder! It is at its best when it’s fresh, flavorful, and full of vibrant color. This dish is no exception. It brings together the classic Tex-Mex tastes on one flat crunchy tortilla, piled high! And most of the components can be prepared well in advance!
We are thrilled to have partnered with the most amazing spice company, McCormick, to bring you this classic dish. We’ll be using one of their new low-sodium spices called McCormick Hint of Sea Salt Mexican Taco Truck to bring these babies to life!
How To Make Tostadas

Making a tostada from scratch is really easy to do, and fun for the whole family!

We make our refried beans in advance, as well as the delicious taco meat, and then reheat just before serving.

This dish truly is a culinary fiesta in every possible way!

What Is a Tostada?

You may be wondering what’s the difference between a tostada and a taco? Actually, they are quite similar and have a colorful history.

The main difference is that with a tostada, the crispy corn tortilla is usually flat and the addition of beans is traditional.

EXPERT TIP: To prepare the tortillas, you can either deep-fry them or bake them. Here’s how to get them nice and crispy:

  • Deep-frying – The classic preparation. Use a deep-fryer, or pour enough vegetable oil into a sturdy skillet to submerge a tortilla. Heat the oil to 350°F, and carefully add the tortillas. Flip a couple of times, and after a couple of minutes, they will be golden and crisp. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
  • Baking – Not as traditional, but still yummy and healthier. Simply brush vegetable oil (or cooking spray) on both sides of the tortillas, and bake at 415°F for 5 minutes, flip, and cook for another 5. Check for crispiness. If not crisp enough, bake a little longer. Keep an eye on them, don’t let them brown too much, or they will have a burnt taste. However, if they don’t cook long enough, they will be chewy to the bite. 

Building the Perfect Tostada

Crispy corn tortillas and flavorful refried beans are critical to making the perfect tostada. But folks, the real star is the taco meat.

We start off by sautéing onion, jalapeno, and garlic in a little oil. Add 1 lb of quality ground beef (we like 85% lean) and cook until no longer pink.

Now, let’s add mega flavor without adding a ton of sodium. Bring on the McCormick Hint of Sea Salt Mexican Taco Truck

EXPERT TIP: The classic TexMex beef filling for items such as tacos, tostadas, and enchiladas should be very moist, almost wet in texture. The addition of tomatoes not only adds flavor and texture but keeps the mixture moist. And finally adding 1 cup of robust beer deepens the flavor even further and keeps the filling super moist.

Building the Perfect Tostada

Now that we have all the components, it’s time to build the best tostada ever!

We start by smearing about ¼-cup of the refried beans on each crispy tortilla.

Then top that with another ½-cup of the perfectly seasoned beef.

Choose any, or all, of the following toppings for a wonderful taste and beautiful presentation:

EXPERT TIP: For a truly fun and festive presentation, place all of the ingredients on a serving table and let guests build their own tostada!

Like so many home cooks who want to make the best-tasting dishes for loved ones, we have relied on McCormick for all of our seasoning needs.

Quality is important to McCormick and it is with us, too.

We are in love with their new low-sodium and salt-free spices! In addition to the amazing McCormick Hint of Sea Salt Taco Truck that we use for our Best Tostada Recipe, we can’t get enough of these two incredible spices:

Enjoy all the flavor without all the salt! Double WIN!  We always find these incredible McCormick spices at our local H-E-B!

How To Serve

As mentioned, we love to put all the various ingredients in their own bowl or platter and let guests build their own tostada.

However, it’s also a stunning presentation to build them yourself and then deliver them to the table on a platter. Be prepared for lots of ‘ooh’s and ah’s!’

EXPERT TIP: All components can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance, including the tostada shells. Simply reheat the beans and meat filling in separate pans over low heat on the stove. Reheat the shells in a low-temperature oven (200°F) for about 15 minutes. If desired, keep the meat and beans in small slow-cookers on the “warm” setting. The garnishes can be prepped and kept in air-tight containers in the fridge.

Every time we serve this to guests, we get rave reviews, and so will you!

Don’t forget to include the McCormick A Hint of Sea Salt Mexican Taco Truck for maximum flavor!

These tostadas really are the best you’ll ever try and serve! Olé!

Ready to make the most festive (and delicious) feast this side of San Antonio? Go for it!
And when you do, be sure to take a photo, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and @McCormickSpice
A crispy flat corn tortilla topped with layers of refried beans, taco meat, lettuce, tomatoes, and cream.

Best Tostada Recipe

Tostadas are truly as festive as they are delicious. All of the components of the deliciously savory dish can be made in advance. Simply reheat just before serving. Serve the tostadas on a nice large platter, or let guests build their own! You can't go wrong either way!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican / TexMex
Keyword: easy Mexican recipe, how to make tostadas, TexMex recipes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6
Calories: 589kcal


  • Deep fryer or sturdy skillet (if frying)


For the Meat Filling

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and ribs removed, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lb ground beef 85% lean
  • 2 tomatoes chopped, Romas work well
  • 1 tbsp McCormick® Chili powder
  • 1 tbsp McCormick® Ground cumin ground
  • 1 tbsp McCormick@ Low-Sodium Sea Salt Taco Truck Seasoning
  • 1 cup dark beer preferably Mexican

For the Tostadas

  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 3 cup refried beans
  • 2 cups iceberg lettuce shredded
  • 1 cup tomato chopped
  • 1 cup cheese queso fresco (crumbled), or shredded cheddar
  • ½ cup sour cream or Crema Mexican
  • ½ cup cilantro chopped, optional
  • Salsa for serving


Make the Meat Filling

  • Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onion and peppers and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until aromatic, about another minute.
  • Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Drain the meat mixture and return to the skillet.
  • Still over medium heat, stir in the tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, and Low-Sodium Mexican Taco Truck seasoning. Cook, stirring frequently, for another 5 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to break down somewhat.
  • Slowly pour in the beer and cook until the mixture thickens somewhat, about 15 minutes. Add a little more beer if the mixture is getting dry. It should be very wet. Cover and set aside.

Make the Crispy Corn Tortillas

  • While the beef is cooking, or before, heat your deep-fryer to 350°F or fill a sturdy skillet with an inch or two of vegetable oil and heat over medium-high heat until you reach 350°F (and candy thermometer helps with this). See NOTES for baking the tortillas.
  • Add the tortillas a few at a time to the hot oil, carefully flipping them a few times as they cook. After a couple of minutes, they should be golden and crispy. Transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Once cool enough to handle, taste one to ensure they are properly done. If a little chewy, they need to cook a little longer. Don't overcook them, too! Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside.

Build the Tostadas

  • To build each tostada, start by spreading about a ¼ cup of the refried beans on each crispy tortilla. Then add about a ¼ to ½ cup of the meat mixture. Top with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes or pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, and chopped cilantro (if using). Serve at once!


If you prefer, you can bake the tortillas and they will still be delicious.  Preheat your oven to 425°F and either spray the tortillas on both sides with cooking spray, or brush a little olive oil on them.  Place on a baking sheet (not overlapping) and cook for 10 minutes, flipping them halfway, or until they are crispy. 
To serve, either place all of the components in various bowls and plates and let guests build their own.  Or, build them all yourself, and then place them on a platter to bring to the table, passing extra garnishes with them. 
The tortillas, beans, and meat mixture can all be prepared 1 to 2 days in advance.  Keep the tortillas in an air-tight container on the counter and the same for the beans and meat, but keep them in the fridge.
The beans and meat mixture can be frozen for up to 2 months. 


Calories: 589kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 512mg | Potassium: 634mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1601IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 286mg | Iron: 5mg
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