Mexican refried bean tostadas are delicious and so easy to make at home. The homemade Mexican refried beans taste nothing at all like that stuff from a can. This recipe is made even easier by using canned pinto beans. Extra flavor is added from the addition of some leftover bacon fat which makes this taste so amazing!
Why I love these refried beans
Homemade Mexican refried beans are surprisingly easy to make and they are actually not fried! The process is just taking cooked beans, mashing them down and adding a little liquid and seasoning until you have a somewhat smooth texture.
I actually never knew how simple these beans were to make until a Mexican friend of mine showed me. She said now that you see how easy this is, why do people buy the canned refried beans?
Good question! I never bought those canned beans but I will say this version of refried beans tastes so much better than what they serve at the Mexican restaurants.
The ingredients you will need for this refried bean tostadas are:
- Canned beans (pinto beans or Mayocoba beans). You can also use dried beans and just cook them until soft.
- Corn tostadas (you can find these in the International section of your grocery store).
- Bacon fat (this really adds a lot of flavor). You can use vegetable oil if you do not have bacon fat.
- Seasonings (red pepper flakes, salt, pepper cumin)
- Toppings: pico de gallo, peppers, onions, cheese, avocado or whatever you have on hand.
Very simple ingredients that make a really delicious mostly vegetarian tostada meal. If you do want this to be completely vegetarian, just omit the bacon fat.
About the beans in this recipe
The beans I use in this refried bean recipe are pinto beans because they are traditional and I also prefer to use canned beans that everyone has access to. I have also purchased dried Mayocoba beans which is a Peruvian bean and cooked those up for this recipe and it was amazing.
You can use any creamy textured Spanish bean for the refried bean portion of this tostada.
You can even use black beans for a black bean tostada and that would taste wonderful! Use whatever you have on hand and can find in your local grocery store.
This recipe is about easy and that not only goes for the ingredients in the tostadas but the toppings as well. I make these often and each time I make them I have to say the toppings change.
I prefer to use the ingredients I have on hand. Sometimes that might be coleslaw mix and I will make my cumin and lime coleslaw and other times I will saute up some peppers and onions and maybe even slice up an avocado.
I will include some topping ideas for you in the recipe below but feel free to make it your own and use up what you have.
How to make refried bean tostadas:
- Pre-heat a medium saute pan
- Add your bacon fat.
- Cook your diced shallots and garlic.
- Add beans and mix it around in your shallot and garlic mixture.
- Now mash up your beans until the mixture starts to look smooth.
- Add water and mix in until you have a smooth consistency.
- Now season your beans
- Prepare your tostada toppings.
- Warm your tostadas shells in oven.
- Assemble your tostadas.
If you have never purchased corn tostadas before, they are flat round crispy corn shells that are stacked up in a package. Much like crunchy taco shells, they are not ready to eat as is. You will need to re-heat them.
How to use tostada shells:
- Pre-heat your oven to warm (usually 170 degrees)
- Remove your tostada shells from their wrapper.
- Place the shells on to a large sheet pan.
- Place in your pre-heated oven.
- Warm for at least 30 minutes or up to an hour.
- remove and serve immediately while they are warm and crispy.
This is a really easy refried bean recipe and one that you will want to add to your meal rotation. Most of these ingredients are already in your pantry and it uses up those leftover veggies from your fridge.
If you would like to make these bean tostadas with meat that tastes amazing too. You can season up some ground beef and add that on top of the refried beans. Grille chicken or steak would work too.
Make this your own and remember use what you have and I know you will love this.
More Mexican recipes
If you love refried beans, you may also love these traditional Mexican recipes:
Mexican Refried Beans Tostadas
Tried the Recipe? We Would Love To Hear From You In The Comments Below!
- 2 - 15 ounce cans of pinto beans drained and rinsed thoroughly you can also use Mayocoba beans or black beans
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 shallot diced finely
- 2 tablespoon of bacon fat drippings from making a batch of bacon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
- water as needed to thin beans.
Toppings (choose from any or all of these)
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar, Jack or Queso fresco cheese
- 1 package of corn tostadas they will usually have around 20 tostadas per package
- 1 cup pico de gallo or salsa store bought
- 1 red pepper sliced and sauteed until soft
- 1 Spanish onion sliced and sauteed until soft
- 1 Avocado sliced and drizzled with a little lime
- 1 corn on the cob grilled and corn cut off the cob
- Cumin and lime coleslaw cumin and lime cole slaw recipe
- Pre-heat your oven to 170 degrees.
- Remove your tostadas from their package and place on to a large sheet pan.
- Place in the oven for 30 minutes or until your are done making your beans and toppings.
- Pre-heat a medium saute pan over medium heat.
- Add your bacon fat and let it get nice and hot.
- Once the bacon fat is heated, add your diced shallots and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
- Now add your garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add your pinto beans and mix it around in your shallot and garlic mixture and heat it for 2-3 minutes.
- Now with a potato masher (or if you don't have that, use the bottom of a sturdy glass) start smashing down your pinto beans. Keep doing this until the mixture starts to look smooth.
- Now add 2 tablespoon of water at a time mixing it in to your beans until it has a creamy smooth consistency. If you added too much water just cook it a little longer and it will thicken. If your mixture is too dry add more water as needed.
- Now season your beans with salt, cumin and pepper.
- Remove from heat and place a lid on top to keep warm while you prepare your toppings.
- Shred your cheese and prepare your toppings based on what you have or your preference. See ingredient list above for ideas!
Assembling the Refried Bean Tostadas
- Remove tostada shells from the oven.
- Scoop a heaping spoonful of the refried beans on to the center of your tostada shell and spread it out almost to the edge.
- Top with a good sprinkle of cheese.
- Now add any extra toppings that you are using on top of the cheese.
- Do this with all the tostadas.
Nutrition Values are estimates only.See full nutrition disclaimer here