A fun twist on a Mexican classic

Sep 10, 2019

A tostada is basically an open-face crunchy taco. 

Credit Jennifer Chandler

I have to give my sweet husband full credit for this Beef Tostadas recipe.  Tacos and such are considered Dad’s specialties in our house. The kids look forward to the nights when their Dad is in the kitchen cooking, laughing, making a bit of a mess, and preparing one of their favorite dishes.

Whether he is in the kitchen or I am, there are many things to love about this dish. 

First and foremost, it can be on the table in about 30 minutes from start to finish.  Something that is ideal for busy weeknights.  Secondly, it uses economical fast-cooking ingredients like ground beef.  Lastly, I can sneak more veggies onto my children’s plates by adding toppings such as shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced avocado, and salsa.

You can find tostada shells premade at the grocery, but I think they taste better when made at home. It’s really simple to do. All you do is fry a corn tortilla until it is puffed and crispy, which takes only about a minute or two. For best results when frying, heat the oil to 375 degrees. If the oil is not hot enough, the tortillas will not get crispy.

My husband has come up with a great trick for assembling the tostadas. His special “cooking technique” is to spread the refried beans onto the tortilla like a shallow well. This keeps the other toppings from falling off.

Ground turkey or even shredded leftover chicken can easily be substituted for the ground beef.  For a vegetarian version, omit the meat and add grilled vegetables or sliced avocado.

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Bon Appetit!

Beef Tostadas

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus extra for frying the tortillas
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup finely diced yellow onions (1 small onion)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can (15-ounce) refried beans
  • 8 small (4-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 bag (8-ounce) shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
  • Sliced pickled jalapenos (optional)

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the skillet. Add the meat and onion and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the beef, until the meat is browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.

In a small sauce pan, warm the refried beans over medium-low heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover to keep warm.

In a large stockpot, pour enough oil so that you have a 1/4-inch layer of oil. Warm the oil on medium-high heat until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pot. One at a time, fry the tortillas until crisp and golden brown on both sides, about 30 seconds to 1 minute per side. Use metal tongs to lift the tortilla out of the pan, draining the excess oil as you do so. Transfer the tortillas to a paper towel lined plate to drain.

To serve, spread 2 or 3 tablespoons of refried beans evenly over the tortilla followed by 1 tablespoon of sour cream. Add the ground beef. Garnish with a small handful of lettuce, salsa, and cheese. Top with jalapenos if desired. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Reprinted with permission for Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler.