Mexican Tostadas with Black Beans, Lime, Cilantro

If you’re looking for a quick and easy midweek meal, these 10 Minute Mexican tostadas with black beans and squash will hit the spot! Vegan and gluten free, and easily adaptable to whatever you have in the fridge. These tostadas are packed with satisfying plant-based protein and fibre for the ultimate healthy comfort food.

What is a tostada?

Tostada literally means toasted…so you guessed it, tostadas are toasted or fried tortilla shells topped with any number of yummy toppings. They are crispy, crunchy, messy and SO delicious! I’m the kinda gal who believes that anything is better in a taco…so ditto for a tostada. Once you get the hang of it, tostadas are a great meal for pantry cooking or cleaning out the produce drawer.

In my opinion, there are a few things you need for a great tostada:

  • The protein base: black bean tostadas are a classic, but you could easily make a crumbled tofu base or lentils would be delicious too.
  • A saucy element: my avocado cream sauce would be delicious, as would a cashew cream, queso or your favourite store-bought salsa.
  • Something spicy and/or pickled: Quick pickled onions, thinly sliced cucumbers or radishes would be delish or keep it simple with some jarred jalepenos
  • Some veggies, of course! Mine the depths of your produce drawer. Roast them, sauté them, or just add some shredded cabbage. There are no rules…just have fun with it!

How to make tostada shells

My local supermarket typically carries pre-made tostada shells but when I went to create this recipe, they were out! Never fear, it’s super easy to make a crunchy shell for your tostadas at home. Here is what you need to do:

  • Grab small (typically 6 inch) corn or flour tortillas
  • Heat up a nonstick skillet or griddle pan on medium and give it a little drizzle of avocado oil or other neutral flavoured oil.
  • Cook tortillas in the skillet until they start to crisp up and turn golden, about 2-3 minutes a side.
  • Remove to a cooling rack until the recipe is ready. Or, if making ahead, let cool completely and then transfer to a large ziploc with a piece of paper towel to absorb moisture, and close only halfway. It’s best to use them up within a day or two.

Why you’ll love these Mexican Tostadas with Black Beans and Squash

  • They’re the perfect combination of soft and crunchy, sweet and salty, comforting and healthy!
  • They come together in just ten minutes…quicker than take out!
  • They are packed with plant-based protein and fibre so they’re super satisfying and will help keep your blood sugars on an even keel
  • The recipe is versatile – use whatever you’ve got at home – perfect for making the most of that pantry.
  • If you love these tostadas, be sure to leave a rating and comment! It really helps others find my work.

Tips, Tricks + Substitutions

  • Got 5 more minutes? Make a luscious cashew cream, spiked with some garlic and chili powder to drizzle over top. HEAVEN!

Looking for more quick and easy bean recipes? Try these!

Mexican Tostadas with Black Beans, Lime, Cilantro

10 Minute Mexican Tostadas with Black Beans and Squash

This super quick weeknight meal will NOT disappoint! Black beans and squash are a yummy combination packed with protein, fibre and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals. These Mexican tostadas with black beans and squash are anti-inflammatory comfort food at its finest!
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  • 6 tostada shells, or six small tortillas (see note)
  • 2 398ml cans of no salt added black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 rounded cups cubed leftover squash, or 284g bag of frozen butternut squash cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Topping Ideas

  • 1 lime, cut into quarters
  • ½ cup cilantro, or curly parsley
  • 1 small avocado, sliced, or my avocado cream sauce!
  • pickled jalepenos or onions
  • hot sauce
  • tofu feta
  • cashew cream, spiked with garlic and chili powder


  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add squash and cook, stirring once or twice, until it gets a little colour, about 4-5 min.
  • Reduce heat to medium,sprinkle chili powder, cumin, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and cinnamon and stir to combine.
  • Add the beans, and cook until warmed through, stirring frequently so the squash and beans begin to break down a little. You could even smash some of the beans with a fork if you want a creamier texture. Stir in lime juice, taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
  • Spread black bean squash mixture on tostada shells and add your favourite toppings. Six tostadas will serve 2-3 people depending on appetite.


If you couldn’t find tostada shells, simply heat tortillas over medium with a little bit of oil until crisp and golden, about 2-3 minutes a side. Remove to a cooling rack while you make the black beans!