Vegetarian tostadas

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Are you looking for an easy vegetarian tostada recipe? Well then you are in the right place! In this article we tell you everything you need to know to make our favorite vegetarian tostada recipe.

Just because these tostadas are lacking meat, that does not mean that they are lacking flavor! These tasty vegetarian tostadas are made with refried beans, queso dip, and fresh veggies. We provide instructions on how to make a homemade queso dip, but you can also use a store bought queso dip if you are running short on time.

Two vegetarian tostadas with refried beans, queso dip, lettuce, an onions.

What is in vegetarian tostadas?

What ingredients do you need to make this recipe for vegetarian tostadas? Here are all the ingredients you need to make this recipe for vegetarian tostadas.

  • Tostada shells. The first ingredient you need to make this vegetarian tostada recipe is tostada shells. You can either buy store bought tostadas shells or make your own tostada shells using corn tortillas, neutral oil, and salt. All you have to do to make homemade tostadas is brush the tortillas with oil, salt them, and bake them for about 7 minutes per side at 400 degrees.
  • Refried beans. The next ingredient you need to make these vegetarian tostadas is refried beans. You can either use store bought refried beans or make your own refried beans. We generally use store bought refried beans. You should make sure that the refried beans that you use are vegetarian friendly if you want the tostadas to be completely vegetarian.
  • Queso dip. The next ingredient you need to make these vegetarian tostadas is queso dip. You can either use store bought queso dip or homemade queso dip. We usually use homemade queso dip. We include instructions for making homemade queso dip in this recipe.
  • Lettuce. You will also need some lettuce to make this recipe. We recommend using iceberg lettuce if possible. If you do not have iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce is the next best choice.
  • Onion. You will also need onion to make these tostadas. We generally use white onion to make these tostadas, but you can also use red onion if you prefer a more mild flavor.
  • Lime. Finally, some lime juice is needed to finish off these tostadas.

What is in our homemade queso dip?

What ingredients do you need to make the homemade queso dip for these vegetarian tostadas? Here are all of the ingredients you need to make homemade queso dip for these vegetarian tostadas.

  • Mozzarella. The first ingredient you need to make this homemade queso dip is mozzarella cheese. Mozzarella cheese is perfect for making queso dip because it melts nicely and creates a creamy texture. You should use low moisture mozzarella cheese that is not stored in water. You can use either pre-shredded cheese or a block of cheese. Pre-shredded cheese usually comes coated with starches so you might want to decrease the amount of flour by a smidge if you use pre-shredded cheese.
  • Sharp cheddar. Some sharp cheddar cheese is also added to give the queso dip a sharp flavor. You can either use pre-shredded cheese or a block of cheese. Again, you may want to decrease the amount of flour used by a smidge if you use pre-shredded cheese.
  • Heavy cream. Heavy cream is the main liquid that is used as the base of this queso dip. The high fat content of the heavy cream makes it less likely that the queso dip will curdle.
  • Flour. Some flour is used to thicken the queso dip. The additional starches from the flour help to prevent the queso dip from curdling as well. If you have a gluten intolerance, you should use a gluten free all purpose flour blend. Avoid using a specific type of gluten free flour like rice flour or tapioca flour.
  • Butter. Some butter is used to toast the flour and make a roux for the queso dip.
  • Jalapeño. Some jalapeño is added to the queso dip to give it a little extra flavor. If you do not like a lot of spice, then you can also use a more mild pepper like a poblano pepper or even a bell pepper.
  • Paprika. A little paprika is added to the queso dip to introduce a bit of a peppery flavor. We generally use sweet paprika, but you can also use smoked paprika if you prefer a smokey flavor. Smoked paprika has a stronger flavor, so we recommend reducing the amount of paprika used if you use smoked paprika.
  • Salt and pepper. Finally, some salt and pepper are added to finish off the queso dip.

How to make vegetarian tostadas

How do you make these vegetarian tostadas? Here are all the steps you need to follow to make these easy vegetarian tostadas.

  • Make the queso dip. The first step in making these vegetarian tostadas is making the queso dip. Dice the jalapeños and cook them in about half the butter for a few minutes until they soften. Add the flour and the other half of the butter to the pot and let them cook for a minute or two. Slowly stir the heavy cream into the flour mixture then add the spices to the cream. Finally, remove the pot from the heat and stir the cheese into the cream.
  • Prepare the vegetables. The next thing you need to do is prepare the vegetables. Specifically, you should dice the onion into small pieces and slice the lettuce into thin strips. We recommend using a high quality knife like this Victorinox 8-inch chef’s knife (this is what we use) to dice the onions so that you get clean cuts and the onion pieces do not become mushy.
  • Heat the beans. After you prepare the vegetables, it is time to heat the beans. All you have to do is put the beans in a microwave safe bowl and microwave them on high for 60 – 90 seconds until they are heated throughout. You may want to mix the beans half way through to ensure that they are heated evenly.
  • Assemble the tostadas. After that, all that is left is to assemble the tostadas. Start out by spreading a thin layer of beans on the tostada shells. After that, drizzle some queso dip over the beans. Top the queso dip off with lettuce and onion then add a squirt of lime to finish the tostadas off.
Two vegetarian tostadas with refried beans, queso dip, lettuce, an onions. There is a small glass bowl of queso dip next tot he tostadas.

How to store vegetarian tostadas

How do you store these vegetarian tostadas? We recommend storing the individual components that are used to make these tostadas separately rather than storing pre-assembled tostadas. The reason for this is that you want your tostada shells to remain nice and crispy. If you store pre-assembled tostadas in the refrigerator, the liquids from all of the toppings will soak into the tostada shells and make them soggy.

For best results, you should store all of the ingredients that are used to make these tostada shells in airtight bags or food storage containers in the refrigerator. If stored correctly, the ingredients that you cooked (like the queso dip) should keep for three days. If you use store bought ingredients with added preservatives, the ingredients might last a little longer.

How to reheat vegetarian tostadas

How do you reheat these vegetarian tostadas? For best results, you should reheat the ingredients for these vegetarian tostadas individually rather than reheating pre-assembled tostadas. There are a few reasons for this. One is that you want the tostada shells to remain nice and crispy. If you reheat the tostada shells with other ingredients on them, the liquids from these ingredients might steam the tostada shells and make them soggy.

The queso dip and the refried beans are the only ingredients that need to be reheated. We recommend cooking the refried beans in the microwave on high heat for 60 – 90 seconds. Again, you might want to stir them half way through to ensure that they heat evenly.

With the queso dip, you need to be a little more careful because it might curdle if it gets too hot. We recommend heating the queso dip on high heat for 15 – 20 seconds at a time then stirring it and checking the temperature. That will ensure that the dip does not get excessively hot.

Vegetarian tostadas

These vegetarian tostadas may be lacking meat, but they are certainly not lacking flavor! These tasty tostadas are made with vegetarian refried beans, queso dip, lettuce, onion, and lime.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 8 tostada shells
  • 1 can refried beans (vegetarian)
  • 1 cup lettuce (shredded)
  • 1/4 onion (diced)
  • lime juice

Queso

  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour (gluten free)
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 1/2 tsp paprika (sweet)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 pinch salt

Instructions

Queso dip

  • Heat a small to medium sized pan over medium low to medium heat. Add about half of the butter to the pot.
  • Dice the jalapeños into small pieces.
  • Cook the jalapeños in the butter for 3 – 5 minutes until they start to soften.
  • Add the flour and the rest of the butter to the pot. Cook the flour for 1 – 2 minutes until it lightly browns.
  • Add the heavy cream to the pot. Slowly stir the heavy cream into the flour a little bit at a time to ensure that the flour does not clump up.
  • Add the paprika, salt, and pepper to the pot.
  • Remove the pot from the heat then add the mozzarella cheese and the sharp cheddar cheese. Continue to stir the queso dip until the cheese melts.

Vegetarian tostadas

  • Prepare the vegetables. Slice the lettuce into thin strips and dice the onions into small pieces.
  • Transfer the refried beans into a microwave safe container and reheat the beans in the microwave. Cook the beans for 60 – 90 seconds on high heat.
    You may want to mix the beans half way through the cook time to ensure that they heat evenly.
  • Assemble the tostadas. Spread a thin layer of refried beans over the tostada shells then drizzle the queso dip over the refried beans. Spread the lettuce and onion over the top of the queso dip. Top the tostadas off with a squirt of lime juice.

Substitutions for vegetarian tostadas

  • Jalapeno. If you do not like overly spicy food then you can use another type of pepper like a poblano pepper or even a bell pepper in the queso dip. We do recommend including some type of pepper in the queso dip.
  • Smoked paprika. If you prefer a smoky flavor, you can use smoked paprika rather than regular paprika in the queso dip. We do recommend reducing the quantity of paprika used if you use smoked paprika. Smoked paprika has a stronger flavor.

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