Mexican Recipe: Vegetarian Tostadas


This recipe is meant to be super quick. If you can prep ahead of time your homemade beans, you get extra points for slow food- for cooking at home!

If you simply don't have time to cook the beans because you get home from school or work and you are very hungry, you can use canned beans and put this meal together in 10 minutes!

Tostadas are flat baked tortillas (originally fried) that you will find very similar to tacos since you can basically add any toppings! For non-vegetarian options the most common are chicken and beef. But in Mexico you will also find fish and seafood tostadas near the coast.

This plant-based tostadas include cheese, but as always, this ingredient can be avoided by vegan athletes.

What I love about this recipe is that the base are pinto beans which are a good source of protein: 1 cup = 16g protein.

Additionally, you get complex carbohydrates and fiber that prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal.

But also pinto beans can increase your energy by helping to replenish your iron stores. Boosting iron stores with pinto beans is a good idea, particularly for female athletes, who are at higher risk for iron deficiency. For non-meat eaters pinto beans are another source of iron, rich in carbohydrates, protein and virtually fat-free, for those trying to stay lean!


Recipe: Vegetarian Tostadas

Makes 2 tostadas

  • 1 cup refried pinto beans (for a healthier option, just mash your cooked pinto beans and skip refrying them in oil).
  • 2 baked tostadas (hard tortillas available now in many grocery stores in the US) - look for baked tostadas instead of fried!)
  • 1/2 cup nopales (tender cactus).I like to get these that are ready to eat or you can also sauté them.
  • 1/2 tomato, sliced
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco (soft crumbling cheese)
  • Green salsa- I like tomatillo salsa which is not very spicy. Avoid the ones that on the ingredient list  include sugar! The simpler the better: tomatillos, chile peppers, onion, cilantro, and salt.
  • Salt, pepper, cumin, and oregano to taste


  1. In a small pan, heat up the pinto beans and season with salt, pepper, cumin and oregano
  2. Spread the beans on baked tostadas.
  3. Add nopales, cheese, sliced tomatoes and salsa to taste!

And you are done!


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