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tostada recipe, a customizable family style dinner table set with multiple ingredients to build your own tostada at the table

Tostada Recipe

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Looking for a meal that’s easy, versatile, and perfect for the whole family? Try our customizable tostada recipe! Featuring homemade tostada shells as the crunchy base, topped with beans, meat, veggies, and optional toppings, these tostadas are a hit for any occasion. Whether it’s a quick weeknight dinner or a gathering with friends, everyone can build their own tostada just the way they like it.

Tostadas is one of those diners that is on repeat in our weekly meal planning. It never gets old. And it probably never gets old because every week there is something a little bit different. A little bit different, but enough the same in the toppings we lay out on the table. For instance, we generally have some type of bean, but the type of bean varies from week to week. One week it may be black beans, the next re-fried pinto beans. And not only the beans, but the vegetables as well. Cabbage is a frequent topping choice some weeks and other weeks we use shredded lettuce. Some weeks we have pickled radishes and some weeks we have pickled onions. Even the cheese type and salsa types depends on what we have on hand. And what matches with the ingredients that we are using that week.

Tostadas = Your Meal Time Canvas

The most loved thing about tostada recipe night is that we get to eat family style. That means that in less than 15 minutes, we have bowls and platters of ingredients lining our dining table. Then everyone gets to build their own tostada. The adults get to add as much as they like, and the kids as little as they wish. Or vice versa! We like to call these types of meals, build your own adventure. Another fun thing about tostadas is that in the same meal, you could make two to three different versions.

table set with ingredients for a quick tostada dinner

Picky Eaters Love Tostadas

Choosing your own adventure type meals mean that kids get to explore different things on the table at their own pace. When it comes to picky eaters being in control of what goes on your plate is a safe feeling. We’ve found that when we lay ingredients on our table with no rules, our kids will actually try things that they would not try if we were to put it on the plate for them in the first place. Perhaps its a bit of peer pressure, or just the notion that they get to make a choice for themselves. But whatever it is – it works for us! And an interactive table makes for a more vivacious meal.

picky eater's plate with chosen tostada ingredients
child’s tostada built with ingredients they choose

Tostada Recipe for the Entertaining Win!

Speaking of vivacious meals, our tostada recipe is great for casual entertaining. A tostada spread laid out is not only beautiful visually, but makes for a fun and relaxing party. And whatever leftovers you have can be easily made into a meal the next day.

family style dinner table set with ingredients for building your own tostada

Tostada Recipe Ingredients and Tips

We think it’s worth making homemade tostada shells, but you can use store bought. Same with the beans. Homemade beans are the best! But if you are in a true hurry, canned beans work just fine. This is one of those meals that you can put as much or as little effort into as you need.

Start early in the week with batch cooking. Make a batch of tostada shells on day. Another day make a pot of beans while you clean house. While you are doing something else in the kitchen you can quick pickle some vegetables. And you can also plan to use those ingredients in various meals throughout your week.

Or, if you forgot to plan dinner one night, grab the items you need from the store and be on your way! Either way you do it, tostadas will probably make their way into your meal plan more frequently.

tostada recipe: shell topped with beans,lettuce, cheese, pickled jalapeno, pickled onions and salsa

Customizable Tostadas Recipe

This customizable tostadas recipe offers a delicious and versatile meal option for any occasion. With a crunchy base of homemade tostada shells, topped with beans, meat, a variety of vegetables, and optional toppings like salsa, crema, and cheese, these tostadas are easy to customize to suit your taste preferences. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or as a crowd-pleasing dish for gatherings. We put all the ingredients on the table family-style and let everyone build their own.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: adaptable, batch cooking, easy, high fiber, leftovers, quick, versatile
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 250kcal
Author: juiceofsevenlemons
Cost: $8


  • 6 tostada shells
  • 2 cups cooked beans black beans, pinto beans, or refried beans
  • 1 lb cooked meat optional (ground beef, shredded chicken, or pork)


  • 2 cups shredded lettuce or cabbage
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup quick pickles onions, radishes, jalapenos, and/or fresnos

Optional toppings:

  • salsa optional
  • Mexican crema or sour cream optional
  • Queso fresco or shredded Monterey Jack cheese optional


  • Prepare the tostada shells according to the linked recipe.
  • Warm up the cooked beans in a saucepan over medium heat. If using meat, warm it up separately.
  • Assemble the tostadas: Spread a layer of beans over each tostada shell. Add the cooked meat on top, if using.
  • Top with shredded lettuce or cabbage, diced tomatoes, and pickled onions, radishes, jalapenos, or fresnos.
  • Drizzle with salsa or pico de gallo, Mexican crema or sour cream, and sprinkle with queso fresco or shredded Monterey Jack cheese, if desired.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!


  • Build Your Own: Feel free to mix and match toppings based on personal preferences.
  • Packed Lunches: Leftovers make a great packed lunch, especially for kids!


Serving: 150g | Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 400mg | Potassium: 300mg | Fiber: 5g | Vitamin A: 2000IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg

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