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The Best Homemade Tostadas
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4.34 from 6 votes

Easy Homemade Tostadas

These homemade tostadas are the perfect Cinco de Mayo celebration food! You may be thinking that you don’t need a recipe for tostadas, but you do. And this is it.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time6 hrs
Total Time6 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: dinner, slow cooker
Servings: 1 Tostada
Calories: 270kcal


for the refried beans

  • 1 pound dry pinto beans
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion cut into large segments
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons bacon drippings or vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped

for the red sauce

  • 2 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 jalapeño chili stemmed and cut into quarters
  • 1- 28 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil

you will also need

  • one package tostada shells
  • cooked shredded chicken or shredded pork shoulder
  • iceberg or romaine lettuce sliced in thin ribbons
  • sour cream
  • guacamole
  • white onion sliced thin
  • cilantro chopped
  • cheddar cheese shredded


for the refried beans

  • Lay the beans on a large baking sheet to check for stones and rocks.
  • Rinse the beans in a colander and then dump into a large pot.
  • Add two quarts of water, the onion and two tablespoons vegetable oil. Bring the water to a boil.
  • Transfer the beans and water into your slow cooker and cook on high for 6 hours. When the beans are tender, stir in 1½ tablespoons salt.
  • At this point you can smash them and just have smashed beans, or you can fry them up in a bit of garlic and bacon grease and have heaven here on earth. (If you need, you can refrigerate the beans after they have cooked in the crock-pot and save the frying and smashing for day two.)
  • To fry them, heat vegetable oil or bacon drippings over medium heat in a large pan. Add the garlic and stir until the garlic is fragrant, about one minute.
  • Add the beans and enough water to cover the beans. Bring to a simmer and start to smash the beans with a potato masher. Continue to smash and stir for 5-10 minutes until the beans are the consistency of soft mashed potatoes. Don’t over cook or the beans will get dried out. Salt to taste.
  • Remove from the heat and enjoy.

for the red sauce

  • Turn on your blender or food processor running. Drop in the garlic, one clove at a time and the jalapeño one quarter at a time, letting each piece get finely chopped before adding the next.
  • Add the fire roasted tomatoes and juice and continue to process until the mixture is smooth.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a pan to medium and then add the sauce.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened just a little.
  • Keep warm until ready to serve.

building the perfect tostada

  • Build upon your tostada shell, layer by layer of the ingredients of your choice, starting with the beans + sauce, then the meat, lettuce, guacamole, sour cream and cheese.
  • Eat and enjoy!


Calories: 270kcal