Basic Tostada Recipe (Dairy Free!)

One of the simplest meals in my arsenal is a Basic Tostada. It’s super easy, really tasty, cheap and totally adaptable.  Before I realized I could make my own tostada shells for a fraction of the price of store-bought, I could pull this meal together in 20 minutes max.  Now it takes maybe 30 minutes, which is still awesome for an allergy friendly crowd pleaser.

Basic Tostada Recipe


1lb ground beef

½ cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

¾ cup water

1 tablespoon chili powder

1tsp cumin

1tsp garlic powder

1tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

1 can refried beans

2 tbsp salsa

Corn tortillas

Fixings (lettuce, tomato, salsa, cilantro, etc, whatever suits your fancy)


Preheat your oven to 400F. Brown beef, onion and garlic together in a large skillet on medium high heat until beef is cooked through and onions are soft. Drain off the fat and return pan to stove. Add water and spices and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 8 minutes. Meanwhile, put as many corn tortillas as you can fit and/or want on a cookie sheet and stick in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes. (pay close attention to these, don’t want them to burn!)

Now you get to make a choice. You may choose to warm and serve the refried beans separately or mix them directly into the meat mixture. It’s up to you, I’ve done it both ways and both work just fine. Warming the beans up separately makes for a prettier presentation while mixing them right into the meat is a bit more convenient. Add the salsa to/with the beans and heat over medium heat until beans are bubbly.

Serve with the crisped tortillas and enjoy!

Remember how I said this recipe was totally adaptable? Just last night I modified it to suit Maya’s food needs. She can’t have garlic, beef, or tomato, so I mashed up some previously cooked black beans and added my onion/garlic free chili powder recipe along with the rest of the spices and cooked that up. Then I just smeared the bean mixture on a crispy tortilla. It was super simple, but she loved it. (It was really tasty if I don’t say so myself)


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