Authentic Mexican Tostadas

Corn tostadas are filled with beans, sour cream, shredded beef, lettuce, queso cotija, homemade salsa, and marinated onions. This recipe comes from Mexicali, Mexico, where we grew up eating nothing but authentic Mexican food. If you aren't able to find cotija cheese, queso fresco will also do.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
2 hrs 50 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 20 mins
12 tostadas


  • 1 (2 pound) boneless beef chuck roast

  • 1 medium onion, halved

  • 6 cloves garlic, divided

  • salt to taste

  • 4 cups water

  • 2 pounds dried pinto beans

  • salt to taste

  • 2 medium red onions, thinly sliced

  • ½ cup white vinegar

  • 1 large lemon, juiced

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • 5 tomatoes, stems removed

  • 3 jalapeno peppers, stemmed, or more to taste

  • salt to taste

  • 12 corn tostada shells

  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream

  • 1 head lettuce, chopped

  • 2 (12 ounce) packages crumbled cotija cheese


  1. Fill a large pot halfway with water and add chuck roast. Add onion and 4 cloves garlic, and season with salt. Cook over medium-low heat until meat is falling apart, about 1 1/2 hours. Let cool slightly and shred using 2 forks. Set aside and keep warm.

  2. Bring water to a boil in a large pot; add pinto beans and salt to taste. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until tender, about 1 hour. Drain and let cool slightly. Smash beans using a potato masher; set aside and keep warm.

  3. Place red onions, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl and combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

  4. Bring tomatoes, jalapenos, and enough water to cover to a boil in a small pot. Continue to boil until semi-soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool slightly and transfer to a blender. Add remaining 2 cloves garlic; season with salt. Blend hot sauce until smooth.

  5. Top each tostada evenly with cooked beans, sour cream, shredded beef, lettuce, Cotija cheese, marinated red onions, and hot sauce, in that order.

Cook's Notes:

Both the roast and beans can be prepared a day or so beforehand.

If you are frying your own tostadas, use a frying pan with plenty of oil over high heat. Once the frying pan is hot, place a corn tortilla into the pan, pressing down with a large cooking utensil, not allowing the tortilla to get bubbly. Cook until nice and crispy, about 2 minutes on each side.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

712 Calories
33g Fat
65g Carbs
40g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 712
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 33g 42%
Saturated Fat 17g 87%
Cholesterol 102mg 34%
Sodium 790mg 34%
Total Carbohydrate 65g 24%
Dietary Fiber 14g 51%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 40g
Vitamin C 25mg 127%
Calcium 536mg 41%
Iron 6mg 32%
Potassium 1485mg 32%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.