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Homemade Tostada Recipe: How to Make Crispy Tostadas at Home

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Nov 8, 2020 • 2 min read

Try making your own crispy tostadas at home—you’ll find they’re so much better than store-bought tostada shells.



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What Are Tostadas?

Tostadas are corn tortillas that have been fried to crispness, like extra large tortilla chips. These fried tortillas usually aren’t eaten by themselves: Top them with anything you’d normally find in tacos or nachos—guacamole, carnitas, ground beef, veggies. Tostadas are also an ideal vehicle for ceviche, diced raw fish marinated in lime juice or alcohol.

Which Ingredients Make the Best Tostadas?

Ready to make your own crunchy homemade tostada shells? There are only two ingredients, making tostadas one of the easiest Mexican recipes.

  • Old corn tortillas: Day-old tortillas are best since they have less moisture and will crisp up more easily. Even better? Day-old, homemade tortillas.
  • Neutral vegetable oil: Use a neutral vegetable oil with a high smoke point, such as rice bran oil or safflower oil. Stay away from delicate oils such as extra virgin olive oil.
Homemade tostadas

Homemade Tostada Recipe: How to Make Tostadas

Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min


  • 480ml rice bran oil, safflower oil, or any vegetable oil with a high smoke point
  • 8 day-old corn tortillas
  1. Fry the tortillas: In a large skillet, heavy-bottomed saucepan, or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F. Ensure that there are at least 2 inches of oil in the pan. Working in batches to avoid overcrowding, add as many tortillas as will fit in the oil, flipping occasionally with a wire skimmer or tongs. Cook until golden and firm, about 1 minute. (If your tortillas are thicker, they’ll need more time to fry.) Typically, tostadas are deep-fried, but you can shallow-fry them or even bake them. For baked tostadas, arrange tortillas in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and use a pastry brush or cooking spray to lightly coat each side in oil. Bake at 450°F until golden brown, about 5-10 minutes. Flip tostadas and continue baking until golden and crispy, about 5-8 minutes longer.
  2. Cool the fried tortillas: Transfer the fried tortillas to a plate lined with paper towels to cool. Repeat the frying process with the remaining tortillas. Allow the tortillas to cool to room temperature, at least 15 minutes.

For an easy weeknight dinner, try chicken tostadas: Shred a rotisserie chicken and season with garlic powder, cumin, black pepper, chipotle chili powder or hot sauce. Top tostadas with shredded chicken, and set out a topping bar with your favorite toppings, such as queso fresco or cotija cheese, iceberg lettuce, pickled red onions, sliced avocado, sour cream, jalapeños, and pico de gallo (diced tomatoes, cilantro, and onion).

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