Easy Ground Beef Tostadas

These ground beef tostadas are a fun spin on tacos! Crispy crunchy tostada shells are piled high with refried beans & savory Mexican-spiced ground beef then topped with all your favorite toppings! They’re packed with flavor & perfect for an easy weeknight dinner!

A ground beef tostada made with refried black beans and a saucy ground beef mixture topped with shredded cheese, sour cream and pico de gallo

Fun fact about me – when given the choice between tacos or tostadas, I’m choosing tostadas 90% of the time. (I think it’s the crispy tortilla that gets me.) These ground beef tostadas are my most favorite variation yet!

I think the star of the show has to be the ground beef. It’s a savory mixture flavored with a variety of Mexican spices then slow-simmered with saucy fire roasted tomatoes! This flavor-packed meat paired with zesty refried beans and a crispy tostada shell are a match made in heaven! Plus they come together in no time at all!

Ingredients used to make ground beef tostadas

Ingredients You’ll Need

Ground beef: Any type of ground beef works for this recipe. (We use 90/10 ground beef for ours.)

Canned diced tomatoes: I’ve found that using canned petite diced tomatoes have the best results. Because the tomatoes are smaller in size they won’t leave your ground beef mixture super chunky. I’d also suggest using fire roasted tomatoes to add even more flavor!

White onion: White onion pairs the best with the rest of your ingredients. You’ll use at least ½ of an onion for the ground beef.

Refried beans: A staple in most tostada recipes! The beans help hold your tostada together and keeps the toppings from sliding off. (We’re keeping this recipe simple by using store bought refried beans but homemade refried beans can always be used instead.) Black or pinto refried beans can both be used.

Tostada shells: Homemade or store bought tostada shells both work! (Our favorite store bought brand is Guerrero tostadas. I love that they have regular and baked tostadas as options.)

Spices: Chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and black pepper are needed to season the ground beef mixture.

3 ground beef tostadas sitting on a large sheet pan with lime wedges

What Is A Tostada?

The word tostada literally translates to “toasted” in Spanish. It usually refers to dishes that are made using a crispy tortilla as the base then topped with a variety of ingredients. (Think of them like a crispy “open-faced” taco.) The tortilla is usually fried or baked then slathered with some sort of sauce or beans and topped with meat.

My family absolutely loves these tostadas! They’re a fun spin on beef hard shell tacos with all the crunch and even more flavor!

A large skillet filled with ground beef taco meat ready to be used for tostadas
One ground beef tostada sitting on a large sheet pan surrounded by lime wedges and a bunch of fresh cilantro

How to Make The Best Ground Beef Tostadas

1. Prepare the toppings. Thinly sliced the lettuce, shred the cheese and chop the tomatoes and onions. Prepare any other desired ingredients.

2. Warm the refried beans. If using canned refried beans, heat the beans in a small pan or pot on the stove over medium heat and stir occasionally. (You may want to add a little bit of water to thin them out if they’re looking too thick. Keep in mind the beans will become thinner as they warm up.) Once they’ve reached your desired consistency, taste the beans and adjust your seasonings if needed. Keep the beans warm while you prepare the ground beef.

3. Make the ground beef. Add a splash of olive oil to a large skillet. Once hot, add the onions and sauté them until tender. Add the ground beef and seasonings and cook until the beef is browned and cooked through. (About 3-4 minutes) Add the canned tomatoes (drained) and continue cooking until almost all of the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. (About 5-7 minutes)

4. Assemble. Spread your warm refried beans over one tostada shell then layer with ground beef, shredded cheese, lettuce and any other toppings you prefer.

5. Serve. Serve immediately and enjoy!

A close up photo of a ground beef tostada topped with shredded cheese, lettuce, sour cream and pico de gallo

Topping Suggestions

Load up these tostadas with all your favorite toppings! You can opt for traditional ingredients like guacamole and shredded cheese or whip up a zesty cilantro lime crema – the possibilities are endless! Here are a few toppings we LOVE to help get you started:

  • Pico de gallo
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole/mashed avocado
  • Black olives
  • Crumbled cotija cheese
  • Pickled red onions
  • Pickled jalapeños
  • A squeeze of lime

Turn taco night into a DIY fiesta by creating a fun tostada bar! Provide a variety of toppings and sauces then let your family and friends get creative!

A ground beef tostada sitting on a dark sheet pan surrounded by fresh lime wedges and cilantro

Storing Leftovers

Any leftovers you have make a fantastic lunch the next day! You can recreate your tostadas, turn them into tacos or even make beef taco bowls! Here are a few quick tips for storing:

  • Keep your ground beef and refried beans stored in separate containers. All other ingredients can be stored in air tight containers in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them again.
  • To reheat: You can either reheat the ground beef and refried beans in separate pans on the stove or warm them up in the microwave.

Why you’ll love this beef tostada recipe!

  • An easy dinner idea! Prepping this meal takes no time at all – dinner’s the table in less than 30 minutes!
  • Loaded with flavor! The saucy savory ground beef is the star of the show! Mexican spices & fire roasted tomatoes turn this simple classic into a flavor explosion!
  • Easy to customize! Mix and match your favorite toppings to really make these tostadas your own!

[Made one of my recipes? Tag my Instagram @kalefornia_kravings & leave a review in the comments – I love seeing what you create!]

Easy Ground Beef Tostadas

These ground beef tostadas are a fun spin on tacos! Crispy crunchy tostada shells are piled high with refried beans & savory Mexican-spiced ground beef then topped with all your favorite toppings! They're packed with flavor & perfect for an easy weeknight dinner!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time11 minutes
Total Time26 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: beef tostadas, Mexican recipes, tostadas
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Caitlin

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef (I used 90/10)
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) canned petite diced tomatoes (drained)
  • ½ of a white onion
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • Refried beans (store-bought or homemade)
  • Tostada shells
  • Shredded lettuce, for serving
  • Chopped tomatoes, for serving
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, for serving
  • Chopped onion, for serving

Instructions

  • Warm the refried beans. If using canned refried beans, heat the beans in a small pot on the stove over medium heat, stir occasionally. (You may want to add a little water to thin them out if they're looking too thick. Keep in mind the beans will become thinner as they warm up.) Once they've reached your desired consistency, taste the beans and adjust your seasonings if needed. Keep the beans warm while you prepare the ground beef.
  • Make the ground beef. Add a splash of olive oil to a large skillet. Once hot, add the onions and sauté until tender.
    Add the ground beef and seasonings and cook until the beef is browned and cooked through. (About 3-4 minutes)
    Add the canned tomatoes (drained) and continue cooking until almost all of the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. (About 5-7 minutes)
  • Assemble. Spread your warm refried beans over one tostada shell then layer with ground beef, shredded cheese, lettuce and any other toppings you prefer.
  • Serve. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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