The nice thing about serving tostadas is that everyone can construct their own at the table, making it easy on the cook. These easy vegan black bean tostadas make a quick weeknight meal for the family or fun fare to serve to company.
Tostadas are crisp tortillas layered with a variety of toppings — the standards include beans, lettuce, and salsa. Typical of the southwestern or Tex-Mex style, there’s often just one component that needs a bit of cooking — in this case being the black bean layer, and everything else gets placed on the table.
Complete the meal: Though tostadas can be a full meal on their own (leaving you room for dessert!), you can add the following for a larger meal: fresh corn is a perfect companion for a summer meal; baked or microwaved sweet potatoes are good for winter; or steamed squashes any time of year.
Serving size: One tostada could be plenty for someone who fills up quickly — or as a child-sized portion, but most eaters will likely want two tostadas.
Recipe adapted from Plant Power by Nava Atlas. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.
BLESS YOU, BLACK BEANS
These small dark beans are famous for their role in black bean soup and in Cuban cuisine and are a flavorful part of Mexican, Southwestern, and Mediterranean cuisines as well. Their pleasantly bold flavor holds up well to strong seasonings such as thyme, oregano, cilantro, and cumin.
- Black beans are wonderfully enhanced by onions, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice.
- As a salad base, black beans combine well with bell peppers, corn, tomatoes, and scallions.
- Black beans are delicious served with simple rice dishes and as part of tortilla specialties like this one.
- Black beans make a great base for dips.
- A more offbeat use that’s become popular in recent years — black bean brownies!
- 8 good-quality corn tortillas
Black bean layer
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Two 15-to 16-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed (or 3 to 3 1/2 cup cooked) Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon, or more, to taste
- 1 to 2 small hot green chili peppers, seeded and sliced, optiona
- l 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- Shredded lettuce, baby greens, or baby spinach, as needed
- Salsa, your favorite variety (see Note)
- 1 medium avocado, peeled and diced, tossed with lemon or lime juice
- Vegan sour cream, optional
- To toast the tortillas in the oven: Preheat the oven to 375º F. Spread the tortillas on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until crisp and dry and just starting to be touched with golden brown spots. Remove them from the oven and place on a serving platter. To toast the tortillas on a stovetop: Heat a large skillet. Toast the tortillas over medium heat (two or three at a time, depending on the size of the skillet) for about 5 minutes or so on each side, until crisp and touched with golden brown spots. Don’t be afraid to let them get nice and crisp—that’s better than ending up with a soggy tostada.
- For the black bean layer: Heat the oil in medium skillet. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the black bean layer ingredients plus 1/4 cup water, and bring to a simmer. With a potato masher, or large fork, mash some of the beans so that the liquid becomes a thick sauce.
- To serve: Place the shredded lettuce, salsa, avocado, and sour cream in separate serving bowls and let everyone assemble their own tostadas as follows: A layer of shredded lettuce; the black bean mixture; salsa; and sour cream. Pick up the tostadas and eat out of hand (with plenty of napkins!).
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 140Total Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 100mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 4gProtein: 7g
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