Learn how to eat a tostada and most importantly how to make an authentic Mexican tostada with all it’s rich flavors and fresh toppings.
Born in the Pacific coast of Mexico I miss the culture, family, beaches, and boy oh boy do I miss the food. I’ve never met a soul who didn’t love the rich flavors of Mexican cuisine.
Mexican food is made up of simple and fresh ingredients. Most dishes are comfort foods passed down for generations. Homemade tortillas and refried beans are staples in every Mexican home.
Cheeses, always fresh vegetables and fruits, and of course the use of a wide variety of proteins make up the rich spicy and citrusy traditional Mexican flavors.
What’s The Difference Between A Taco And A Tostada?
Tostadas deserve more credit than they get. Tacos get all the attention, especially in the U.S. but tostadas are just as delicious as a good taco. The only main difference between them is the tortilla. You even eat a tostada the same as a taco…with your hands.
An authentic Mexican “street taco” will always be served in a small soft corn tortilla, not a crispy smiley shell. Unless you are eating taquitos, which are corn tortillas rolled around a savory filling like chicken, mashed potato, refried beans, or shredded beef, and then fried until crispy.
Tostadas on the other hand are served on a flat toasted tortilla. The tortilla is hardy enough to hold all your favorite toppings.
Try this recipe for Seafood Tostadas with a tall glass of icy cold Horchata. Yum!
Are You Supposed To Heat A Tostada?
If you are making homemade tostadas, then yes you would have to heat them up when you are making them.
But if you’re buying the ready made tostada bags from the grocery store then there is no need to heat them up.
Simply pull them out and start assembling for an easy dinner.
Are Tostadas Healthy?
If you’re making each topping on the tostada from scratch in your own kitchen and using good ingredients the answer is yes.
Cook your own choice of meat.
Make your own refried beans (it’s easy, I promise) using a good fat or oil instead of using canned beans.
Using organic fresh veggies and making your very own salsa.
Not to say that if you don’t cook each topping yourself tostadas are an unhealthy meal, but the nutritional value might not be all it could be.
How To Eat A Tostada?
Tostadas are a popular dish in Mexican restaurants and you will never see anyone trying to eat them with a fork and knife.
If you still want to try and eat a tostada in a tidy manner follow these simple tips:
- Pick up the prepared tostada with both hands and take small bites.
- When taking a bite of a tostada lean over your plate the entire time.
- Have a napkin close at all times, and wipe your mouth and hands after each bite.
But really, don’t worry too much about getting a little sour cream on your cheeks. Tostadas are naturally a messy food.
There is no right way or wrong way of making a tostada. Simply gather all your favorite ingredients and layer them on top of each other on a tostada.
You can use any type of meat you like. Ground beef, shredded steak or chicken breast.
Back beans, mexican rice, pickled onions, grilled vegetables, pretty much any fresh veggie you like.
Below I’m going to share with you an easy recipe for the chicken tostadas I grew up with my mom making in Mexico.
How To Make Authentic Mexican Tostadas With Creamy Refried Beans
The Day Before
If you want to make your own refried beans….
- Soak 1 pound of dry beans in 4 cups of water. I prefer Peruvian beans or pinto.
- After a few hours when you notice they have absorbed most of the water, rinse the beans well and leave soaking again over night.
The Next Day
1. Rinse the beans again and add them to the instant pot with a tablespoon of salt, a couple cloves of garlic and enough water so they are covered. Set the instant pot to pressure cook on high heat for a couple of hours.
2. While beans are cooking in the instant pot, make a fresh salsa (preferably not pico de gallo since that is not typically used on tostadas).
3. Cook the meat you will be using. For this recipe We will be using chicken.
Add 1 pound of boneless chicken thighs to a medium sauce pan with enough filtered water to cover the chicken. Add salt, a whole garlic clove, and half a small onion. Cover and cook on medium heat for about an hour.
When chicken is done cooking take out of the chicken broth and shred it.
4. When beans are done cooking, add lard, tallow, or olive oil to a hot frying pan, I like to use cast iron. When fat in skillet is sizzling hot, add the beans with only a small amount of bean broth. Make sure to include the garlic cloves you added to the instant pot.
Let the beans simmer for a few minutes (taste to make sure they have enough salt) and then lower the heat and start smashing them with a potato/bean smasher. Mash the whole beans until they reach the consistency you would like. Turn off the heat and ta-da! you have made your own refried beans! See, I told you it was easy.
Chicken Tostada Recipe
- Refried beans
- Creamy avocado (mashed)
- Shredded chicken
- Fresh shredded iceberg lettuce
- Crumbled queso fresco
- Salsa roja
- Mexican crema or regular sour cream
The best way to assemble tostadas is to add thin layers of each topping.
- Take a tostada and add a thin layer of refried beans.
- On top of the beans smear creamy mashed avocado.
- Shredded chicken goes on next.
- Fresh shredded lettuce on top of the chicken.
- A layer of crumbled queso fresco.
- Drizzle the face of the tostada with salsa or your favorite hot sauce.
- And top it off with a dollop of Mexican crema or sour cream.
This blog post is part of a fun collaboration titled Around The World In Eight Foods where myself and other bloggers take you on a journey to discover new and delicious recipes from around the world.
If you try this Tostada recipe or one of the other international dishes listed below, we would love for you to share them with us on social media! Use hashtags #aroundtheworldin8foods and #aroundtheworldin8days.
Happy cooking and Buen provecho!
- THAI – Harbor Home
- DUTCH/FRISIAN – Brambleberry Meadow
- ARABIC/MIDDLE EASTERN – Flower in the Weeds
- SPANISH – Road to Health and Healing
- ETHIOPIAN – Happy Homeschool Adventures
- BRAZILIAN – My Home Your Home Our Home