Recipes > Lunch/Dinner > Cheese Tostadas with Non-Refried Beans

Cheese Tostadas with Non-Refried Beans

These black bean cheese tostadas are packed with nutrients needed for a healthy plate and a healthy body.
cheese tostadas with non-refried beans on a baking sheet

This is one of the variations of our baked tostada base recipe featured in our Whole Life Meal Plan. These cheese tostadas with non-refried beans come together in less than 15 minutes and will please even the pickiest eaters!

Learn How to Make the Base Recipe

Must-Know Cooking Skills

For recipe success, learn how to:

Culinary Tips for the Best Vegetarian Tostada Recipe

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

You can also use beans that have been cooked from dried. Use our stovetop dried beans base recipe or Instant Pot dried beans base recipe as a guide.

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 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 just 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!

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 a burrito or tacos instead.
  • Canola Oil: substitute avocado or olive oil. Pan spray will also work; lightly spray the tortillas on both sides.
  • Black Beans: we think that pinto beans make the best substitution, but use whatever kind of beans sound good to you! You can also use beans cooked from dried. One 15-ounce can contains ~ 1 ½ cups drained beans, so you will need 3 cups total.
  • Salsa: use any flavor of salsa. 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.
  • Monterey Jack Cheese: substitute a Mexican cheese blend, pepper jack, mozzarella, asadero, or another cheese that melts well and compliments the flavors.

Recipe Variations

Want to make vegan tostadas? Simply leave off the cheese, or use a plant-based cheese instead.

Want to add a protein boost? Add some shredded chicken, flaked fish, or beef and mushroom taco meat.

Want some baked tostada recipe inspiration?

Use our base recipe as a guide, or check out these tasty variations!

Equipment Recommendations

Use these kitchen tools for recipe success!

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Are Tostadas Healthy?

These black bean cheese tostadas are! They are packed with nutrients needed for a healthy plate and a healthy body. The featured ingredients in this bean tostada recipe are whole grain corn tortillas, beans, and salsa.

Whole Grain Corn Tortillas

Whole grains contain B vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, 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 and are an important part of a plant-forward diet. 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. Canned and/or cooked tomatoes are higher in lycopene than their fresh counterparts.

Learn more about health benefits of different foods in our book, To Your Taste!

Serving Suggestions for Cheese Tostadas

We recommend serving bean and cheese tostadas with roasted vegetables, a side salad, and/or some fresh fruit to make a beautiful Whole Life Plate.

Once you are ready to eat, serve extra toppings family-style and let everyone customize their tostadas to their taste!

How to Store Black Bean 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, quesadillas, Tik Tok wraps, or burritos.

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

Want more easy plant-forward recipes?

Try out these tried and true favorites!

Bean Burgers Base Recipe

Healthy Burrito Bowl Base Recipe

Whole Grain Pasta Base Recipe

Easy Coconut Curry Base Recipe

One Pan Mexican Quinoa Skillet with Black Beans

cheese tostadas with non-refried beans on a baking sheet

Cheese Tostadas with Non-Refried Beans

This is one of the variations of our baked tostada base recipe as seen in our Whole Life Meal Plan. These cheese tostadas with non-refried beans come together in less than 15 minutes and will please even the pickiest eaters!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8 tostadas


  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 2, 15-ounce cans low-sodium black beans, drained
  • 1 cup salsa
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Garnishes to YOUR taste

  • Hot sauce
  • Lime juice
  • Lime crema, plain Greek yogurt, or sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa or pico de gallo
  • Chopped fresh cilantro


  • 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.*
  • 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 the consistency of refried beans. Add salt & pepper to taste.**
  • Build tostadas by spreading a layer of beans on each shell and then sprinkling with cheese. Add optional garnishes to taste. Enjoy!


*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 until easy to mash, then mash to desired consistency.
Keyword Cheese Tostadas

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