A versatile and meal prep ready recipe full of flavor and texture! Vegetarian Tostadas are easy to pull together. Black Refried Beans, Monterey Jack cheese, fajita veggies, your favorite toppings and crispy Baked Tostada Shells makes this black bean tostada recipe ideal for busy weeknights. This recipe is vegetarian, easily vegan and gluten free.
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Easy Black Bean Vegetarian Tostadas
Okay, y’all, when I say easy, I mean it because it’s a word that rarely parts my lips. If I could have any recipe meal prepped and stashed in my fridge, this would be one on my short list.
Almost all the components of this vegetarian tostadas recipe can be made ahead, but even better, these black bean tostadas satisfy omnivores, vegetarians, vegans and those eating gluten free alike! I love it when a recipe can do that.
These Veggie Tostadas Are:
- Meal prep ready
- Easy to make
- Loaded with flavor and texture!
Mexican flavors are a favorite in our home anyway, and so it goes that we must have homemade vegetarian Mexican food at least once a week. And when it’s this easy, why not?
Related: Make the best homemade Refried Black Beans using my easy recipe!
Quick Guide: How to Make Black Bean Vegetarian Tostadas
The sky is the limit with what to pile on top of these crispy vegetarian tostadas recipe. That’s what makes them so versatile. Fajita veggies and Mexican cabbage slaw complement the creamy refried black beans, and with the crunch of the tostada… SOOoooo good! In summary, here’s how to make these easy tostadas (see recipe card below for details):
- First, saute the fajita veggies and whip up a batch of chili lime cabbage slaw.
- Second, spread a few tablespoons of refried beans on the tostada. I love these easy baked tostada shells and homemade refried black beans.
- Third, sprinkle a bit of cheese on top; Cheddar or Monterey or Pepper jack cheese.
- Fourth, add the fajita veggies on top of the cheese.
- Next, bake the tostada for about 8 minutes to melt the cheese and warm the beans.
- Last, out of the oven, finish the tostadas by piling on the chili lime slaw, avocado (or creamy guacamole with sour cream), sour cream (or unsweetened yogurt – full fat!), a sprinkle of cotija cheese, pickled jalapeños, hot sauce and/or Mexican salsa and plenty of cilantro.
Share with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and you have a texture rich, crispy mouth party!
Let’s Make Vegetarian Tostadas!
How to Eat Veggie Tostadas
A messy endeavor, but really there’s no wrong way to eat a vegetarian tostada! Here’s what I do:
- Pick up the tostada, holding it flat and supporting it with both hands. Everything should stay on it, although a few things may fall off, so have a plate underneath to catch all the goodness.
- Take a bite and enjoy the crunch! Bits will fall to the plate. Use a fork to scoop up and enjoy the good things that went overboard.
- If the tostada softens from the refried beans, simply enjoy the remaining tostada with a fork, cutting the tostada with the side of the fork as you work your way through it.
- Or just eat the whole thing using a fork by chipping away at the tostada with your fork for each bite!
Related: DIY your own Tostada Shells at home. These are baked, crispy and super easy!
Vegetarian Tostadas as a Main, Appetizer or Small Plates
If making homemade tostada shells, you can choose what size you prefer to make your veggie tostadas with.
Small Tostada Shells
- For an appetizer, snack or kid size tostada shells, I opt for the mini 4 1/2″ (11.4cm) corn tortillas. This size is also fun for social gatherings or tailgating, whenever we can get back to that again.
Larger Tostada Shells
- These are a perfect dinner size. Look for 6″ – 7 1/2″ (15cm – 19cm) corn tortillas. I can only eat one topped with all the things, Rob, about 1 1/2. The tortillas will shrink a bit as they bake, so keep that in mind.
Looking for a creamy sauce for all your Mexican food favorites? Give my Avocado Cream Sauce a go. It’s a 5 minute recipe!
A Few Veggie Tostada Recipe Tips
- When making vegetarian tostadas with refried beans, try black refried beans. They’re easy to make and simply elevate the flavors in this tostada recipe.
- Vegan or Dairy Free? Yes please! To create that creamy and tangy flavor, omit the cheese and use your favorite dairy free sour cream or try my chili-lime pepita crema.
- A delicious alternative to the Mexican slaw is simply finely shredded Romaine lettuce. I do this when I don’t have the cabbage in the larder. It’s delicious!
- Prep Ahead? Yes please! Homemade black beans can be frozen for up to two weeks and homemade baked tostada shells can be made up to a week in advance. The fajita veggies, up to three days ahead! It’s a perfect meal prep dinner.
- A Note on Cheese If possible, buy it in blocks and shred it at home. It’s more economical, melts better and there’s no additives.
More Vegetarian Mexican Food Recipes to Love
- Tacos Rancheros
- Creamy Guacamole with Sour Cream
- Roasted Cauliflower Tinga Tacos
- Skillet Black Bean Vegetarian Enchiladas
- Mexican Inspired Tofu Tacos with Chili Lime Slaw
- Roasted Stuffed Poblanos with Quinoa, Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans
- Homemade Sofritas
Black Bean Vegetarian Tostadas with Fajita Veggies Recipe
For the Fajita Veggies:
- 2 Tbs Vegetable Oil I like olive oil
- 2 (430g) Bell Peppers large, one red, one green, sliced in long thin strips
- 1 (150g) Purple Onion large, sliced in 1/2 moons
- Fine Sea Salt
Make the Chili Lime Slaw:
- 3 C (150g) Shredded Mix of Red and Green Cabbage loosely packed
- 1 Tbs Seeded Jalapeño minced (or to taste. Take this up if you like spicy!)
- 1/2 C (20g) Cilantro rough chopped
- Juice of 1-2 Limes to taste and depending on how juicy the lime is.
- 1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
For the Black Bean Tostadas
- 6-8 (6-7 inch / 15-18 cm) Tostada Shells gluten free if needed
- 2 1/3 C (580g) Refried Black Beans this is from one batch of my homemade recipe, if using canned, you'll need about 1 1/4 cans.
- 2 C (8oz / 226g) Shredded Monterey or Pepper Jack Cheese shredded*
- Avocado Slices or Guacamole
- Sour Cream *
- Cojita crumbled, just a little on top, optional
- Fist - Full of Cilantro chopped
- Mexican Chipotle Salsa
- Fresh Limes
Make the Fajita Veggies:
- In a 10"-12" saute' pan, or cast iron skillet and working in two batches, add 1/2 the oil and heat on high until it shimmers. Add the onion/pepper mixture, a pinch of salt and saute' on medium-high heat stirring occasionally for about 8-9 minutes. If you feel the pan could use a bit more oil, add a teaspoon or more. Charring is good and encouraged! The veggies should be tender crisp when done. Remove from pan as soon as they're done cooking, and place them in a bowl. The longer they set, the softer they get.
Make the Slaw:
- In a medium bowl, mix the red and green cabbage, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice and sea salt. Lid and set in the refrigerator until ready to top the tostadas.
Assemble, Bake and Top the Tostadas:
- Preheat the oven to 450F (230C). Arrange oven racks in the upper third and center of the oven.
- Spread the refried beans evenly over the tostadas and arrange on sheet pans. Sprinkle a bit of cheese over the beans, about 1 - 2 each (or more as desired). Top with the onion and bell pepper mixture. Bake tostadas for about 5-8 minutes just to melt the cheese and warm the tostadas.
- Once out of the oven, top warm tostadas with cabbage slaw, sour cream, avocado or guacamole, cojita if using and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
- Share right away with lime wedges and Mexican salsa.
- Tostadas are best enjoyed right after assembly. They tend to get soggy if stored assembled.