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What to Eat with Tostadas

Tostadas are an easy way to use leftovers or serve your favorite meat or vegetarian entree for a quick and easy weeknight meal everyone will love. Whether you make homemade tostada shells or buy them from the grocery store, here are 33 tasty ideas for what to eat with tostadas

A cover image for what to eat with tostadas.

What is a Tostada?

Tostadas are crisp, flat tortillas used as an edible base for toppings, and a staple in Mexican cuisine. When buying them, look for fresh tostadas that are flat and crisp at grocery stores or learn how to make tostadas at home.

How to Make Tostadas

Turn your dinner dreams into a reality, and learn how to make tostadas in the oven or stovetop with these easy tips and tricks.

A stack of corn tostadas.

Meat Entrees

While tostadas are the main ingredient, they can be a simple way to eat some of your favorite meals, perhaps a few you haven’t thought about before. Here are a few of my favorite fresh protein toppings:

1. Birria con Consome

A bowl of birria con consome garnished with onion and cilantro.

Instant Pot beef birria con consome is a flavorful dish made up of tender shredded beef, rich broth, and aromatic spices, and it pairs perfectly with warm corn tortillas, tostadas, diced onions, fresh cilantro, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

2. Salpicón de Pollo

Salpicón de Pollo in a serving dish.

Salpicón de pollo is a refreshing shredded chicken, radish and mint salad that’s popular in Mexico, Guatemala, and much of Latin America. Enjoy it topped on a crunchy tostada shell or tucked inside soft tacos for a party appetizer, picnic food or game day snack.

Photo Credit: A Taste for Travel

3. Carnitas

Garnish our Instant Pot Carnitas with onion and cilantro.

Top a corn tostada with juicy, tender, melt-in-your-mouth pork shoulder and top it with fresh cilantro and red onion for restaurant-style Instant Pot carnitas you can make in the comfort of your own home.

4. Homemade Tacos

Homemade tacos with ground beef on a plate.

Homemade tacos with ground beef or ground turkey are easy to make and perfect for feeding a crowd, but feel free to skip the crispy tortilla shells and serve the ground beef on a warm, crispy tostadas.

5. Chicken Tinga

Spicy, saucy, simple, and so fresh – chicken tinga is one of the best bases for flavorful chicken tostadas.

6. Carne Asada

Carne asada searing on the grill.

Tender and juicy carne asada steak marinates and is grilled to perfection to make the best street-style carne asada tacos or tostadas.

7. Chori Pollo

Chori pollo combines tender, juicy chicken and spicy chorizo smothered in a creamy cheese sauce for a dish that will have you licking your plate clean.

8. Pan Seared Shrimp

Pan seared shrimp on a plate.

Spiced pan-seared shrimp cooks with peanuts, lime, and warm spices like freshly ground coriander and black pepper. Eat the juicy, flavorful shrimp on tostadas or with rice for a quick dinner idea that’s ready in 30 minutes!

9. Fajitas

Fajitas on a baking sheet.

Sheet pan fajitas are a go-to in our family because they are an easy, crowd-pleasing dinner; this recipe is for chicken, but you can serve them with steak, shrimp, or a combination of the three.

Photo Credit: Healthy Mom Healthy Family

I am telling you, the possibilities are endless! However, if you’re still not decided on what to eat with tostadas, you should try barbacoaadobada, or machacha.


10. Ceviche de Camaron Tostada

Ceviche de Camaron Tostada on a plate.

Ceviche de camaron tostada or shrimp ceviche tostadas is a classic Mexican dish that combines the zesty fresh flavors of ceviche with crispy tostada shells for an easy-to-make dinner or appetizer.

11. White Fish Ceviche

White fish ceviche in a bowl.

Ceviche is a perfect summer appetizer or light dinner. White fish ceviche combines hearty cubes of fresh snapper and halibut cooked in lime juice and mixed with shallots, chili peppers, bell peppers, and fresh cilantro.

Photo Credit: The Forked Spoon

12. Chilean Ceviche with Salmon

Salmon ceviche in a serving bowl.

Ceviche in all its varieties, is a great way to feature tostadas. And have you tried Chilean ceviche with salmon?

Photo Credit: Irene Mercadal

Soup and Stews

13. Pozole Rojo

A bowl of pozole rojo.

Authentic Instant Pot pozole rojo is a stew made from tender pork, hominy, and a savory chili-based broth. Pile your bowl high with fresh toppings and eat it with crunchy corn tostadas!

14. Chili Con Carne

A bowl of black bean soup with toppings.

Warm up with a heaping bowl of this savory, southwest-style chili. Our authentic chili con carne with beans recipe is my take on an old classic with hearty beef chuck, black beans (gasp! I know), and a satisfying combination of chilies.

Photo Credit: Strength and Sunshine

15. Black Bean Soup

Serve chipotle black bean soup with a dollop of sour cream and golden brown homemade tostadas for a tasty dinner idea. 

16. White Chicken Chili

Instant pot white chicken chili in a small bowl.

Generous chunks of chicken and corn simmer in a richly spiced broth with creamy white beans to make easy Instant Pot white chicken chili in under an hour. Once the weather turns, my family loves chili. If you’re like us, work your way through the 25 best chili recipes – each one of them a perfect way to eat tostadas!


Spread a thin layer of smooth, creamy refried beans on a crispy corn tortilla to create the ideal base for even more toppings. Make your own from scratch, or eat canned refried beans if you’re in a hurry. You can also top the tostadas with seasoned black beans before adding various toppings for the perfect small bite.


17. Mexican Rice

Vegan Mexican rice in a serving dish with lime wedges.

Easy-to-make vegan Mexican rice brings restaurant-style rice straight to your table for a tasty and versatile side dish.

Add Your Favorite Toppings

Making the perfect tostada requires plenty of toppings like avocado, fresh tomatoes, onions, lettuce, shredded cheese, queso fresco, sour cream, Mexican crema, cotija cheese, and salsa to pile high on the crispy tortilla for delicious flavor and texture in every bite.

18. Guacamole

Guacamole without tomato in a bowl.

Guacamole without tomato is ready in 10 minutes, and all you need is a few ingredients! Serve it as a tasty dip or use it to top your favorite entree. If you don’t feel like taking the time to make guacamole, serve a tostada with chunks of creamy avocados. 

19. Mango Pico De Gallo

Mango pico de gallo in a bowl.

Sweet, spicy, and easy to make – serve fresh mango pico de gallo as a dip or a topping for crispy tostadas.

20. Esquites or Mexican Street Corn Salad

Learn how to make these delicious and authentic Mexican esquites, a popular street food in Mexico. The salad is inexpensive to make, and it is a perfect addition to tostadas.

21. Pico de Gallo

A bowl of pico de gallo.

Make fresh pico de gallo with just five ingredients – ripe tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, and the juice of a lime make the perfect salsa or topping.

22. Pineapple Corn Salsa

Pineapple corn salsa in a serving bowl.

It’s salsa time! This savory and sweet pineapple corn salsa recipe is just what you need to serve with corn tortilla chips or use as a topping for burgerstacos, and fresh salad greens.

23. Avocado Cream Sauce

Avocado Lime Crema in a serving bowl.

Drizzle tangy, creamy avocado lime crema over tacosburgers, salad and, tostadas. This quick and easy 5-ingredient condiment adds fresh flavor to all the Tex-Mex classics.

24. Black Bean Corn Feta Dip

Black Bean Corn Feta Dip in a serving dish.

Use simple ingredients to make an easy black bean corn feta dip with whipped feta for game day, potlucks, and get-togethers.

25. Hot Sauce

Drizzle Mexican tostadas with a few drops of your favorite hot sauce, like Cholula, Tapatio, or Valentina, and enjoy!

More Creative Toppings to Eat With Tostadas

If you’re still stumped about what to eat with tostadas, here are some out of the box idea for you to try with your leftover crispy tostada shells:

26. Chicken Salad

A close up of california chicken salad with a fork in it.

Crunchy and slightly sweet California chicken salad features shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken, canned chicken, or homemade shredded chicken), grapes, celery, and pecans tossed in a creamy, flavorful dressing.

Serve the salad as is, with crackers as a dip, or use it as a topping for a croissant, pita, or tostada. 

27. Buffalo Chicken Dip

Instant Pot buffalo chicken dip in a serving bowl.

Whip up this easy-to-make appetizer in minutes! Creamy and slightly spicy Instant Pot buffalo dip features canned shredded chicken, tangy buffalo sauce, cream cheese, butter, and ranch dressing to make a dip that cooks to perfection in the Instant Pot.

Serve it with tortilla chips, fresh vegetables, air fryer pita chips, or corn tostadas.

28. Tuna Salad

Tuna salad features simple ingredients such as tuna, mayonnaise, onion, and celery. It’s the perfect combination of creamy and crispy. Serve it in a sandwich, wrap it in lettuce, or use it as a topping for a crunchy tortilla.

29. Mediterranean Breakfast Taco

Mediterranean breakfast tostadas with Greek-inspired toppings are a quick and delicious breakfast recipe that will fill you up and fuel you for the day!

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the proper way to eat a tostada?

Tostadas are a mess – that’s how it is. The juices will drip all down your hands, the tostada will break, and the toppings with fall off. It’s all a part of the experience, so go for it. And the best part? Just break another tostada into small pieces and scoop up the leftover toppings on your plate like a chip.

What do you cook tostadas on?

The materials you need to prepare tostadas from scratch depends on the method you choose. For fried tostadas, use a griddle or nonstickcast-iron, or stainless steel skillet. For baked tostadas, all you need is a baking sheet and foil.

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