Tostadas with Refried Beans

July 15, 2023

I know I didn’t invent tostadas. They have a fascinating history, originating in Mexico as a clever way to use up leftover corn tortillas that were no longer foldable. But, the toppings on these vegan Tostadas with Refried Beans are what make them truly exceptional. You start with a crispy tortilla base then top it with a generous layer of flavorful refried beans, crunchy lettuce, and a mouthwatering pico de gallo. To tie it all up at the end, you drizzle (pour is more of what I do) a low-calorie cilantro dressing that is out of this world.

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The Corn Tortillas

Living in Tokyo, I don’t always have access to all the international foods I crave. However, luck was on my side when I stumbled upon some corn tortillas in the frozen section of a small supermarket that carries a few international products. While they may not be the thin corn tortillas I’m used to, I’m counting my blessings and embracing the regular-sized ones for this recipe. But in all honesty, I would much rather eat 4 thin corn tortillas and spread the same amount of toppings on all of them.

To make these tostadas, start by toasting the corn tortillas in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly spray both sides of the corn tortillas with olive oil and bake for 5 minutes on one side, flip them over and bake for another 5-10 minutes. Check to see if they are getting crispy. You have the option of deep frying the corn tortillas, but if you’re trying to keep it light, I recommend baking them.

The Toppings for the Tostadas with Refried Beans

Let’s talk about the toppings. I have a love (we can call it an obsession) for foods that have toppings. Who doesn’t love an explosion of flavors in every single bite or spoonful? It’s like a little flavor fiesta on your plate, and I’m here for it! These tostadas are vegan-friendly, and we’re going to make them incredibly delicious. Start by spreading a layer of fat-free refried beans on each toasted tortilla. The creamy beans will be the base for the other ingredients and even helps hold them together.

Next, pile on some fresh chopped lettuce for a refreshing crunch. Top it off with a generous spoonful of homemade pico de gallo. And to elevate the taste even further, drizzle on a zesty cilantro dressing.

The Low-Calorie Cilantro Dressing might be the star of the show. It has a blog post dedicated to it because, well, it deserves it. The serving size is 2 heaping tablespoons and only 35 calories. It tastes so incredible that I recommend making 2 batches because you’ll want to, guilt-free, pour it over every salad and bowl you make this week.


To make these Tostadas with Refried Beans recipe super simple, we will use store bought corn tortillas and canned refried beans. This recipe will make 4 servings, however, at least in my house, our serving sizes vary from person to person. My teenage son, usually eats 3 servings of whatever meal I’m making.

Keep in mind that a can of fat free refried beans usually yields 3.5 servings, therefore you might need to have 2 cans if you want it to be an exact amount. For my recipe, each serving is a little over 1/2 cup of refried beans (5/8 of a cup).

For this recipe, one serving will be 2 regular sized corn tortillas. If you like to eat more volume but still keep your calories at bay, you might want to use thin corn tortillas, just calculate and adjust calories.

I cannot get myself to buy store bought pico de gallo, I really like to make my own and I think they are so simple to make. You simply chop and mix 3 medium sized tomatoes, 1/2 of a red onion, juice of one lemon, 1 clove of crushed garlic and 1-2 teaspoons of salt. So easy!

I must confess, every time I make these tostadas, I find myself dreaming of any leftovers (if I’m lucky enough to have any!). The combination of crispy tortillas, creamy refried beans, and fresh toppings is simply irresistible. So, this is just a thought, but you might want to make extra!

Tostadas with Refried Beans

Recipe by Raquel QuevedoCourse: UncategorizedCuisine: MexicanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





One serving size consists of 2 tostadas


  • 8 regular size corn tortillas (you can substitute thin corn tortillas, simply adjust nutritional information)

  • 2 cans of refried beans – you will use 2.5 cups for 4 servings. Each serving will take 5/8 of a cup (a little over 1/2 a cup)

  • 2 cups of chopped lettuce (crispy lettuce)

  • Pico de Gallo
  • 3 medium size tomatoes chopped in small dices

  • 1/2 red onion very thinly chopped

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 1-2 teaspoons of salt

  • Low-Calorie Cilantro Dressing
  • 1/2 yellow onion

  • 1 (or 2 if you like it garlicky) cloves of garlic

  • 1 or 1/5 tsp of salt

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 1 cup of cilantro

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil


  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
  • Lightly spray both sides of the corn tortillas with olive oil to help them crisp up during baking.
  • Place the oiled tortillas on a baking sheet, ensuring they are in a single layer.
  • Bake the tortillas in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, flip the tortillas over and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until they become crispy and lightly golden brown. Keep an eye on them to prevent burning.

  • While the tortillas are baking, heat the canned refried beans in a microwave-safe bowl until warm and creamy. You can microwave them in short intervals, stirring in between, to ensure even heating.
  • Once the tortillas are ready, take them out of the oven and assemble your tostadas. Divide 5/8 cup of refried beans evenly among two regular-sized corn tortillas, spreading it as the base.
  • Top each tostada with 1/4 cup of chopped crispy lettuce.
  • Now, add 2 heaping tablespoons of homemade pico de gallo to each tostada.
  • Finish off your tostadas with a final touch of 1 heaping tablespoon of Low-Calorie Cilantro Dressing on each. This zesty dressing will tie all the flavors together and elevate the taste.
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Chop all ingredients and mix in a serving bowl
  • Low Calorie Cilantro Dressing
  • Blend all ingredients in a blender

More Mexican Inspired Dishes:

Crispy Tofu and Pineapple Salsa

Crunchy Fajita Tacos

Please be aware that the information provided with this recipe is intended solely for general informational purposes. While we have tried to accurately test this recipe and present precise measurements and instructions, individual results may vary due to differences in ingredient types, cooking equipment, or preparation techniques.The nutritional information accompanying this recipe is not intended as dietary or medical advice. For any specific health or nutritional inquiries, please consult a registered dietitian or healthcare professional. We disclaim any liability for inaccuracies or misrepresentation of the provided information. We encourage users to approach this recipe with a mindful understanding that cooking is both an art and a science, and to use their best judgment in the kitchen.

Nutrition Facts

4 servings per container

  • Amount Per ServingCalories382
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 8g 13%
    • Total Carbohydrate 69g 23%
      • Dietary Fiber 15g 60%
      • Sugars 9g
    • Protein 12.7g 26%

      * The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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