Seasonal produce is delicious, colorful, and oftentimes, inexpensive. These easy vegetarian tostadas use summer produce, making it a delicious seasonal meal. This is also a great meal for kids to help prepare – older kids can help dice the vegetables and little ones can have fun mashing the black beans and building their own tostadas! Let’s get started!
Is this a healthy vegetarian tostada recipe?
You bet it is! This plant-based vegetarian tostadas recipe is 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, fresh vegetables, and black beans.
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 varieties with excessive additives; choose corn tortillas with minimal ingredients: corn, water, lime, and salt.
Red bell peppers, zucchini, and garlic add great color, flavor, and texture to this recipe. Red bell peppers are high in Vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene. Zucchini is packed with fiber and water. Garlic contains anti-microbial and anti-cancer properties (1). Combined, these nutrients contribute to healthy digestion and disease prevention.
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.
If you want to get fancy, you can use a potato masher to mash the beans and salsa together. Otherwise, a fork will do the job.
Be sure to do all of your chopping and cutting ahead of time (i.e. mise en place)! Once you get cooking, the process moves quickly. The spices can burn if the pan and oil get too hot, so be careful!
If you don’t use low-sodium canned beans, drain and rinse your beans to remove excess salt.
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. Different microwaves produce different results, so just be sure to watch the first one carefully so it doesn’t burn!
- Corn tortillas: you can use whole wheat tortillas, although they don’t crisp up as well in the oven or microwave.
- Vegetables: use all three of our suggestions or just one or two! Or substitute your favorite vegetables, noting that cooking time will vary.
- Corn: use fresh, frozen, or canned.
- Red Bell Pepper: substitute orange, yellow, or green. Keep in mind that green peppers aren’t as sweet as red peppers, so this will affect your final product.
- Zucchini: use yellow squash as an easy replacement.
- Garlic: use pre-chopped garlic or garlic powder. This will affect the final product’s flavor and nutrition, but it will save you some chopping time.
- Black Beans: use any beans of your choice! Pinto beans are a good substitution in this recipe.
- 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.
This black bean and corn tostada recipe can be easily adapted to your taste. Feel free to add more spices, leave some out, or add additional vegetables, such as onions, mushrooms, or potatoes.
This recipe can be simplified by topping with cheese, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and/or diced avocados – no sautéing required!
This vegetarian tostadas recipe uses summer veggies, but it can easily be adapted to use seasonal spring or fall vegetables! For a fall variation, use sweet potatoes, mushrooms, butternut squash, kale, onions, and/or cauliflower. For a spring variation, use tomatoes, spinach, peas, turnips, garlic, broccoli, and/or potatoes.
Want to turn these into vegetarian tacos? Simply don’t bake the tortillas! Add all other ingredients as indicated.
Make delicious black bean mango tostadas by pairing with a store-bought or homemade mango salsa.
This is a great recipe for kids to help make. They love mashing, mixing, and assembling! While the veggies are cooking, prepare a variety of garnishes and vegetarian tostada toppings: chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, diced tomato, chopped greens, and cheese. Once you’re ready to eat these vegetarian tostadas, serve the toppings family-style and let everyone customize their tostada to THEIR taste!
Storage & Leftovers
Store the sauteed veggies in an airtight container separately from the cooked tortillas, black bean spread, and toppings. Store extra baked tortillas in a bag or container at room temperature.
What to do with Leftover Black Bean Tostadas
There are so many ways to serve leftover ingredients! Make a green salad by combining the cold veggies, a dressing, and other desired garnishes. Alternatively, reheat the veggies and pair with cooked grains, leftover baked tortillas, or fresh tortillas. Leftover black bean spread also makes a great dip for veggies, crackers, or chips or a tasty burrito filling.
Want more easy plant-based dinner recipes?
We’ve got you covered! Check out some of our other favorite main meals and sides:
Black beans, corn tortillas, & salsa are the foundation of a basic tostada. Add some sautéed summer veggies to make these easy, flavorful vegetarian tostadas!
- 8 corn tortillas
- 1 teaspoon + 1 Tablespoon canola oil
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 cup corn, canned, frozen (thawed), or fresh
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced (~1 cup)
- 1 small zucchini, diced (~1 cup)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 2-15 ounce cans low-sodium black beans, drained
- 1 cup salsa
- 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.*
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add remaining oil and then spices. Cook for 30 seconds or until spices are fragrant. Add corn, red bell pepper, and zucchini.
- While veggies are cooking, place beans and salsa in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until mixture begins to simmer and beans are heated through. Turn off heat and mash beans to almost the consistency of refried beans.
Once veggies are tender (~10 minutes), add garlic and cook for 30 more seconds. Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Build tostadas by spreading a layer of beans on each shell. Top with veggie mixture and desired garnishes. 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.