What is a Tostada?
Tostadas are corn tortillas that are usually baked or fried to become crispy and crunchy. They are then topped with frijoles refritos, chicken, ground beef, or anything your heart desires.
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Table of Contents
How to Make Tostada Shells
Homemade Tostada Shells is usually what I make when I’ve bought a big package of corn tortillas, and we didn’t eat all of them. Yes, it can happen.
There are three ways you can make homemade tostada shells.
As a kid, my mom would make homemade tostada shells. They were always fried and delicious… because everything FRIED tastes better!
The first way is my mom’s way.
- Heat oil in a pan.
- Fry the tortilla in oil for 3 minutes on each side.
- You can also put them in a deep fryer for a total of 2 minutes.
These fried tostada shells are insanely good. Of course, they are not heart healthy. It’s a “once in a blue moon” type of food.
- Place the fried tostada on a paper towel.
- Drain any excess oil.
- Season with salt.
Several of our authentic Mexican food recipes are fried. We have really big problems in Mexico with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease.
Things are getting better, though, as people become educated on health and diet.
That’s why I like the baked version better.
I didn’t know how easy it was to make “baked” tostada shells until I tried it. You know those AH-HA moments? Yeah, that’s what this felt like.
- Place the tortillas on a cookie sheet.
- Brush them with oil.
- Sprinkle with salt.
- Turn and brush the other side.
- Sprinkle with more salt.
These go into the oven at 400 degrees F for 4 minutes. Turn the tortillas and return to the oven for another 4 minutes.
How easy is this recipe for Homemade Tostada Shells?! I recommend letting them cool slightly before adding the topping.
Also, while the oven is on, make a big batch and store some for later.
Note: You can also add different seasonings here in addition to salt – chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder. Let your cooking imagination run wild!
Third and final way to make homemade Tostada Shells: Microwave!
This has to be my least favorite way to make tostada shells.
Corn Tostada Made in the Microwave
- Place a corn tortilla between two paper towels.
- Cook for 1 minute.
- Turn and cook for 30 seconds.
- Check the texture. If it is still soggy and not crispy, turn again and cook for another 30 seconds.
Basically, you are absorbing the moisture from the tortilla until it becomes a crispy tostada.
It is the easiest way to make homemade tostada shells, and there are some good and bad things about this.
Pros and cons:
- It’s easy. Pro.
- You can only make one at a time. Con. (If you have a large microwave, you might be able to make two at a time).
- You get to eat dinner faster. Pro.
- Sometimes the texture can be off. Con.
If it’s just you eating, or two people for dinner, this method might work well.
- Bake the tostadas according to the recipe.
- Let them cool completely before placing in a sealable plastic bag.
- Remove as much air as possible.
Freezing tostada shells is not something I recommend. However, it can be done. Simply, freeze them in a plastic bag.
To reheat frozen tostadas: Defrost the tostadas. Bake on a sheet pan in a 400 degrees F oven for 4 minutes.
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How to Eat a Tostada
Yes, you can use a fork and knife, but if you go to a Mexican household, they will look at you weird.
- Pick up the tostada with both hands. Take a bite.
- Some of the topping will fall down. There’s no way around it.
- Whatever falls down, use your fork to eat.
Making homemade tostada shells is so incredibly easy. The only real problem is knowing how much to pile on top of a tostada without everything falling.
Before digging in, use your best judgement. Take some of the topping off if you have to.
This Mexican recipe is ideal for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or whenever you’re craving something delicious. Hope you give it a try.
Homemade Tostada Shells
- Sheet Pan
- Cooking Brush
- Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place corn tortillas on a sheet pan.
- Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
- Turn and brush with more oil and sprinkle with more salt.
- Place in the oven for 4 minutes.
- Turn and bake for an additional 4 minutes.
- Let cool before adding the toppings.
Here are 10 Tostada Recipes:
Tostada de Pollo (Chicken Tostada) is an incredibly easy and delicious Mexican recipe. It comes together in a minutes and an tasty way to use up leftover chicken.
Tostada de Atún wins the cheap and delicious tostada recipes award! It’s made with a can of tuna and several traditional Mexican ingredients. So easy and so yummy!
Chicken Tinga Tostada is what you make when you have leftover chicken or you have a crowd to feed. Chicken in a savory chipotle sauce and topped on a crunchy tostada. A delicious bite of Mexican heaven.
Steak Huevos Rancheros is the ideal meal for Sunday Brunch. Got leftover carne asada from the day before? Top it on a tostada and add an egg. A delectable breakfast that anyone would love!
Looking for a healthy tostada idea? Or what about a vegetarian tostada? This Lentil Tostada fits the criteria! Use up leftover lentils this insanely delicious and good-for-you dish.
Ceviche de Camaron (or Shrimp Ceviche) is what you want to pile on a crunchy tostada. Shrimp marinated in a spicy lime sauce. Mmm… Healthy, low carb, and insanely good!
Salpicon de Res Tostada is a tasty dish that is perfect for busy weeknights. It comes together in a flash, and it’s a great way to use leftover beef roast. Marinated in a lime vinaigrette. You’ll just LOVE this yummy recipe!
Calabacitas a la Mexicana on top of a tostada… Yes please! A vegetarian tostada (and a healthy tostada too!) that will please your tastebuds. Serve with beans or a salad, and dinner is served.
Huevos Rancheros is a classic and absolutely delicious Mexican recipe. Serve it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s good all day long!
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Maggie Unzueta is the writer/blogger, photographer, recipe developer, videographer, and creator of In Mama Maggie's Kitchen. She has been developing easy and authentic Mexican food, Mexican-inspired recipes, and traveling tips since 2010. From family recipes to her extensive travels throughout Mexico, she brings traditional Mexican flavors from South of the Border and into your kitchen. Maggie has been featured in notable culinary websites and other media outlets. For more details, check out her About page.