Christina Clark 30 min. 15 min.

I love Mexican food of every kind, but I am notorious for over-loading my tortillas. For some reason I always overestimate what I can fit in a tortilla, and inevitably when I try to fold or wrap it, half the toppings spill out. Tostadas solve that problem: they stay flat! If the toppings can fit while the crispy tortilla is on my plate, they will (mostly) still fit on their way to my mouth.

Other things to love about these tostadas: they are healthier than traditional tostadas, as the tortillas are oven-toasted with olive oil, instead of fried in vegetable oil. Queso fresco, pico de gallo, and fresh avocado give plenty of bright flavor, and re-fried beans provide healthy heartiness to this meal.

If you want these tostadas to be really awesome, try my recipe for homemade re-fried beans. The initial prep time is almost instantaneous, and the end result is far superior to canned re-fried beans.

To make this meal vegan simply omit the cheese and sour cream, and they still taste great. For more richness, add some extra avocado. To make it gluten-free, just make sure you select gluten-free tortillas, which many corn tortillas are.

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Re-Fried Bean Tostadas

2 medium tomatoes
1 shallot (or 1/4 cup chopped red onion)
1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro
2 tsp lime juice
1/4 tsp salt
12 corn tortillas
Refried beans
1 can olives
Queso fresco or Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 head lettuce
Sour cream
2 large avocados

To make the salsa fresca, chop the tomatoes, shallot, and cilantro. Combine in a small bowl. Add in the lime juice and salt, and gently stir. Store in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush 6 tortillas with olive oil on both sides (about 1/4 teaspoon per side) and sprinkle with salt. Place in the oven for 5 minutes. Flip, and bake for 5  more minutes. Check them, and remove as soon as they are crispy. Keep an eye on them, as every oven and brand of tortilla is slightly different, and they go from lightly browned to burned quickly!

Slice olives if needed, chop the lettuce, half and cube the avocados. Crumble or grate the cheese and top your tortillas as desired.

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