Easy Vegetarian Tostadas

April 3, 2013

The first time I make a recipe, I prefer to use the specified ingredients and follow the instructions as written. I’m a fairly methodical person – the original recipe is like my control group, so no experimentation until I know how the control turns out! And if I like the way the recipe turns out as written, I don’t usually have much reason to modify it.

This tostada recipe, however, is one that I’ve done plenty of experimentation on, usually because I’m missing an ingredient or two. I believe the original recipe (which I don’t even refer to anymore, haha), used only onions, black beans, and chopped fresh tomatoes, but I like to add frozen corn, and you could also add green or red peppers along with the onions. I’ve used canned diced tomatoes in a pinch, and substituted pinto beans for the black beans depending on my pantry supplies. Flour tortillas of all sizes work too: just put the filling on half  the tortilla and then fold each over like a quesadilla during baking. And if you don’t have any fresh cilantro on hand (like in the picture below), no big deal.

Start-to finish time is only about 20 minutes. A perfect last-minute supper because the recipe is so flexible, and they’ve always turned out tasty no matter what additions or substitutions I’ve made. :)

Tomato, bean, and cheese tostadas

Serves 4


  • 8  6-inch corn tortillas
  • Olive oil
  • 1  large onion, chopped
  • 1  jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4  cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1½  cups chopped tomato or 1 15-ounce can petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 6  ounces Monterey Jack, pepper Jack, or cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4  cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Place tortillas on a large baking sheet and lightly brush both sides with olive oil. Bake about 3 minutes on each side or until light golden and crisp.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Cook onion, jalapeno, and garlic until onion is tender, about 4 minutes. Add corn and cook for 2 minutes more. Add black beans and tomato; heat through.
  3. Sprinkle tortilla with half of cheese. Spoon bean mixture over tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake about 4 minutes, or until cheese melts. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

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