Baked Tostadas Base Recipe

This is one of our base recipes. Forget 30 minute meals – how about 15?! This baked tostadas base recipe comes together super quickly, can be customized in countless ways, and is absolutely delicious! 

Must-Know Cooking Skills

For recipe success, learn how to:

Chop Cilantro
Cook Dried Beans

Culinary Tips for the Best Baked Tostadas

If you don’t have low-sodium canned beans, drain and rinse your beans to remove excess salt.

The flavor of the “refried beans” is dependent on the salsa, so buy one that you enjoy and is appropriately mild or spicy for your taste. 

When heating the beans with the salsa, be sure to stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

If you prefer smoother beans, use an immersion blender or a regular stand blender.

Don’t want to turn your oven on? No problem! You can easily crisp up the tortillas by placing them one at a time on a paper towel or microwave-safe plate, then microwaving for 1 minute on each side. Smaller tortillas cook faster, so use your first tortilla as your “test” tortilla, then adjust microwave times from there. Different microwaves produce different results, so be sure to watch the first one carefully so it doesn’t burn; sometimes 30 seconds is enough time for the second side.

Don’t want to turn your stovetop on? No problem! Place the beans and salsa in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each. Heat through and mash to desired consistency.

Between these two alternative cooking methods, you can make this mess-free recipe anywhere that has a microwave! How’s that for an easy workplace lunch?!

This is a great recipe for kids to help make. They love mashing, mixing, and assembling! Once you are ready to eat, serve the toppings family-style and let everyone customize their tostadas to THEIR taste!

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Corn Tortillas: you can use whole wheat tortillas, but they don’t crisp up as well in the oven or microwave. If using whole wheat tortillas, consider simply warming them and making burritos or tacos instead.
  • Canned Beans: substitute beans cooked from dried. One 15-ounce can contains ~ 1 ½ cups drained beans, so you will need 3 cups total.
  • Salsa: use any salsa of your choice. Fire-roasted and chipotle salsas add smokiness, whereas mango and peach salsas add a touch of sweetness. Choose a spice level that suits your preferences.

Base Recipe Variations

Remember that this is a base recipe, so the goal is for you to customize it to your taste! You can change up the beans, salsa, and toppings to whatever sounds good to you. 

We’d love to see what fun combinations you come up with; send us a picture or leave a comment below with your culinary creation!

Use these recipe variations for inspiration, then have fun exploring other flavors, ingredients, and textures!

Vegetarian Tostadas with Summer Veggies

Black Bean Tostadas with Avocado and Tomato

Baked Tostadas with Black Bean Corn Salad

Equipment Recommendations

Use these kitchen tools for recipe success!

Are Tostadas Healthy?

These oven baked tostadas are! They are packed with all of the nutrients needed for a healthy plate and a healthy body. The featured ingredients in this recipe are whole grain corn tortillas, beans, and salsa.

Whole Grain Corn Tortillas

Whole grains contain B vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber. These nutrients provide your body with energy, promote satiety, and regulate digestion. Avoid corn tortillas with excessive additives; choose varieties with minimal ingredients: corn, water, lime, and salt.


Beans of all varieties contain plant-based protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients promote gut health, decrease risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, and promote a healthy weight. All of the world’s longest lived populations consume beans daily.


The main ingredient in salsa is tomatoes. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a phytochemical that helps protect against heart disease and prostate cancer. (1, 2) Canned and/or cooked tomatoes are higher in lycopene than their fresh counterparts. (3)

Serving Suggestions for Baked Tostadas

With the right toppings, this tostada recipe can be a meal on its own! Build your tostada with all five food groups to make a filling and satisfying meal. If you would like to add a side dish, we recommend serving tostadas with roasted vegetables or some fresh fruit.

How to Store Leftover Tostadas 

Store the bean spread in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Use extra bean spread as a dip for veggies, crackers, or chips or as a tasty filling in wraps or burritos.

Store leftover baked tostada shells in a bag or container at room temperature. 

Want more Easy Plant-Forward Entree Recipes?

Try out these tried and true favorites!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos

4 Bean Chili

One Pan Mexican Quinoa Skillet with Black Beans

Baked Tostadas Base Recipe
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins

This baked tostadas base recipe comes together quickly, can be customized in countless ways, and is absolutely delicious!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Yield: 8 tostadas
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 2 15-ounce cans low-sodium black or pinto beans, drained
  • 1 cup salsa
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Toppings of choice (see below)
  • Diced avocado or guacamole
  • Fresh or roasted bell pepper
  • Canned, fresh, or roasted corn
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Shredded lettuce or other greens
  • Diced onion
  • Diced tomato
  • Sautéed vegetables
  • Shredded cheese
  • Crumbled feta or goat cheese
  • Beef & mushroom taco meat
  • Shredded or diced chicken
  • Tempeh or tofu
  • Hot sauce
  • Lime juice
  • Salsa
  • Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Lay tortillas on a cookie sheet in a single layer (do not overlap). Using 1 teaspoon of oil and a pastry brush, brush both sides of each tortilla. Bake 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time.*

  2. Place beans and salsa in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until mixture begins to simmer and beans are heated through, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and use a fork or potato masher to mash beans to almost the consistency of refried beans.** Add salt & pepper to taste.

  3. Build tostadas by spreading a layer of beans on each shell. Add toppings of your choice. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*Alternatively, place one tortilla at a time on a microwave safe plate or paper towel. Cook for one minute, flip to other side, and cook for another minute or until crisp.


**Alternatively, place beans and salsa in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring between each. Heat through and mash to desired consistency.

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