Beefy Bean-y Tostadas

I’m not sure if the Mexican cooking we do around here can be called truly authentic. Jim and I lived in Arizona for a few years and nothing I have made has even come close to the flavor overload from a taco cooked to perfection in a shack siting in a parking lot.

But that does not stop me from craving that flavor family pretty often. Since I’m still working on my technique and I don’t have a Spanish speaking grandmother stashed away to show me the ropes, I have to stumble along.

In my stumbles, I have found many ways to combine the flavors I love with the simple ingredients I have available and on hand. This is how these tostadas were born. I had an excess of tortillas, ground beef I had no idea what to do with, and a well stocked pantry that included a can of refried beans.

Make these when you feel the need to fiesta, when you feel the need for dinner to be done already, or just because they sound good!

Beefy Bean-y Tostadas

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 35 | Serves: 4


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning (or 1 packet store taco seasoning
  • Water (1/4 cup if using homemade seasoning or amount per package)
  • 1 can refried beans (about 2 cups)
  • 4 tortillas (corn or flour)
  • olive oil for brushing
  • Cheese, tomatoes, avocado, sour cream for toppings


  1. Cook ground beef until no pink remains. Break up into small clumps and skim any excess fat
  2. Add taco seasoning and 1/4 cup water (if using packet, follow instructions on packet) and allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes or until most of liquid is gone
  3. Warm refried beans in a pot over medium heat or in the microwave for 3-4 minutes
  4. While beef is simmering and beans are warming, set oven to broil on low setting
  5. Brush corn tortillas with olive oil on both sides and place on large cookie sheet
  6. Broil tortillas for 3-4 minutes or until crisp and golden, rotating the sheet every minute or so to allow for even browning
  7. Place tortilla on plate and top with beans then the taco meat, making a nice open face taco Provide your favorite taco-type fixings and get to work!


  • Tostadas are messy! But that is what makes them fun. These can be cut into quarters for easier eating or just do what we do and use your hands! Have a fork around to get every last bite of this tasty and fast meal.
  • You can sub ground chicken, cut up chicken chunks seasoned with the taco seasoning or chorizo (a spicy sausage) in this if you are not feeling the beef. Black beans also stand in nicely for the refried beans if that is what you have on hand. You can even make this meatless by using refried beans and black beans. Talk about a Bean-y Tostada!