Bean & Cheese Tostada

Easy weekday tostada recipe that’s good for breakfast or lunch.

2-4 servings

Time: 10 mins

By Ethan Chlebowski

Tostadas have changed weeknight dinners for me since they are a great way to use leftovers or toppings. Check out this video where I make three different tostada recipes, including this one.

Ethan Chlebowski

Ethan Chlebowski



  • Refried beans

    • pinto beans
      400 g1 14 oz can
    • cooking oil
      a drizzle
    • garlic
      , thinly sliced
      2 cloves
    • cumin seeds
      a sprinkle
    • smoked paprika
      a sprinkle
    • salt
      to taste
    • lime juice
      to taste
  • Tostada components

    • tostadas
    • monterey jack
      , shredded
    • sour cream
  • Breakfast additions

    • eggs
      , fried
    • hot sauce
    • cilantro
  • Lunch additions

    • lettuce
      , shredded
    • tomatoes
      , diced
    • pickled onions


Step 1: Simmer the beans

To start, set a pan over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of oil to the pan.

Add the sliced garlic and cumin seeds to the pan. Let these for 60 seconds to flavor the oil.

Then, right before adding the beans, add a sprinkle of smoked paprika. Follow this by adding the pinto beans, including the liquid.

Bring this mixture to a and let it cook for about 5 minutes.

Step 2: Mash the beans

Using a potato masher or fork, mash the beans until they are mostly broken down, but you can make this smoother or chunkier depending on your preference.

  • If you want it thicker, let it simmer for an additional couple of minutes so more moisture evaporates.

Once you’ve reached your desired texture, shut off the heat and taste. Adjust with salt and a squeeze of lime juice as needed.

Step 3: Assemble & serve

Gather the tostadas and any toppings you want.

  • If making the breakfast version, fry up an egg per tostada at this time.

To a tostada, add your cheese first and follow that with the hot beans over the top so it starts to soften and melt a little bit.

Once the beans are added, add a drizzle of crema or sour cream.

  • For the breakfast version, lay the fried egg on top, and finish with any other toppings.
  • For the lunch version, top with shredded lettuce, red onion, diced tomatoes, or your toppings of choice.


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