Ground Beef Tostadas make for an easy, tasty dinner that the whole family will enjoy, even your pickiest eaters! These are loaded with taco-seasoned beef, and all of the best tostada toppings.

My beef tostadas are so much better than the fast food version, especially when you use homemade taco seasoning, instead of the store-bought kind. Best of all, this dinner can be on the table in 30 minutes.

ground beef tostadas topped with cheese, sour cream and jalapeño slices

flavorful beef tostadas

These beef tostadas are an easy dinner weeknight win! They’re also a great way to enjoy Mexican food in a more nutritious way — we’re using lean ground beef (or use ground turkey), adding in fresh veggies, and whipping up our own taco seasoning. Good, nutritious ingredients with loads of flavor!

I’m always looking for new ideas to jazz up taco night, and these easy tostadas have quickly become a family favorite! They’ve got all of the best flavors of our favorite tacos piled in crispy tostada shells for a fun twist on taco night!

what is a tostada?

A tostado is a flat or bowl-shaped tortilla that is deep fried or toasted to make it crispy. The word tostado can also be used to refer to any Mexican-style dish using the tostado as a base for the ingredients. Tostados are just like tacos with all of your favorite taco toppings. Use this tostados recipe as a guide, but feel free to add in or swap out any ingredients that you’d like. One of my favorite things about tacos and tostados is how you can so easily customize them to your preferences.

tostados topped with ground beef, tomatoes, cheese and sour cream

ingredients for tostadas

This tostadas recipe is packed with flavor thanks to my homemade taco seasoning and all of the tasty topping options. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Lean ground beef. I like to use 90% lean ground beef in this recipe. It’s got plenty of flavor without all the grease. Feel free to use ground turkey, chicken or bison instead.
  • Onion + garlic. Cooked along with the bell pepper to add wonderful flavor to the ground beef.
  • Bell peppers. I used red and green, but any color of bell pepper works.
  • Flavorings. To season the meat, you’ll need tomato paste, chili powder, cumin and salt & pepper.
  • Tostada shell. You can use a flat or bowl-like tostada. You can even just make this recipe into tacos, if you’d like.
  • Toppings. See below for lots of delicious ideas!

ingredients needed for homemade tostadas

how to make tostadas

Making tostadas is just like making tacos! This is a super easy recipe that comes together in under 30 minutes. Simply follow the steps below and you’ll have a delicious dinner in no time at all. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full printable recipe.

  1. Cook tostada meat. To make the seasoned beef filling, combine ground beef, onion, bell peppers and garlic. Cook until the beef is browned and then add the water, tomato paste and spices. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Prep toppings. While the meat is cooking, prep all of your toppings. Depending on what type of tostada shell you have, you may need to bake it for about 5 minutes.
  3. Assemble tostadas. Now, it’s time to start loading up your tostadas! Evenly divide the meat among each tostada shell and top with cheese and other favorite toppings. Enjoy!

cooking taco meat in a large skillet and filling a tostado shell with beef

tips for the best tostadas

This tostadas recipe really is a breeze to make, but here are some tips to make sure you serve up the perfect Mexican tostadas every time!

  • If you’re using flat tostadas, spreading a layer of refried beans over the shell will help all the other toppings stick to the tostada.
  • Tostadas can be a bit messy to eat! I really like to use a bowl-shaped tostada shell because you can break off pieces of the sides and use them like chips to scoop up the filling. If you’re using a flat tostada, simply bite into it the way you would with a pizza. Be sure to serve these over plates and use a fork to scoop up any of the toppings that fall off.
  • Looking for the perfect side dish to pair with your tostadas? This simple cilantro lime rice or cilantro lime cauliflower rice is so good served alongside tostadas.
  • Make ahead option. Double this ground beef recipe and store half in the freezer to have taco meat on-hand for an easy weeknight dinner. To freeze, place cooked and fully cooled meat in a freezer bag, remove all of the air, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, place in the fridge overnight and then reheat on the skillet (or in the microwave) until warm.

tostadas toppings

These tostadas are great on their own, but phenomenal with all your favorite toppings!

  • Avocado. We love topping these with my homemade guacamole! You could also add thin slices or chopped avocado.
  • Tomatoes. Chop up a few to top the tostadas with or you could add a few spoonfuls of Pico de Gallo or salsa.
  • Chipotle ranch sauce. This sauce is a fan favorite and a drizzle of the creamy, slightly spicy sauce is perfection!
  • Cilantro. A bit of finely chopped cilantro adds freshness to every bite.
  • Lime. A few wedges of lime to squeeze over everything adds even more fresh flavor.
  • Sour cream. If you like the tang and creaminess of sour cream, add a dollop or two. Feel free to use lite or fat-free sour cream or even Greek yogurt to keep these tostadas on the lighter side.
  • Pickled red onions. I seriously don’t make these near enough. They are so tasty! I like this recipe for pickled red onion.
  • Green onions. If you aren’t a fan of cilantro, but want to add fresh herbs, green onions are a great option!
  • Jalapeño. Add a few slices of fresh or pickled jalapeño for a kick of heat.
  • Cheese. In my opinion, cheese is a must! I like to add a sprinkle of shredded Mexican blend cheese or cotija cheese on top.

My favorite topping picks are avocado/guac, cherry tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and the chipotle ranch sauce and/or cheese.

making a tostados recipe with taco toppings

what is the best ground beef for tostadas?

I like to use 90% lean ground beef for tostadas. The meat is flavorful and tender, yet not overly greasy. To shave off more calories feel free to use 96% lean ground beef. Ground turkey or chicken works too, if you prefer. Instead, you can use an 80% lean ground beef, but you’ll have a lot more fat to drain off at the end of the cooking process.

other ways to use beef taco meat

If you aren’t feeling like tostadas or tacos, the base seasoned ground beef (or turkey) is a great recipe to use in a variety of other ways!

  • Build a taco salad. Use the meat in this recipe, chopped romaine lettuce, grated cheese, tomatoes, and salsa as a dressing. Here’s a taco salad recipe to use as a guide.
  • Make lettuce wraps. Fold the taco meat and any of your favorite taco toppings into some butter lettuce leaves.
  • Add the seasoned taco meat to nachos. Add the meat and some freshly grated cheese to chips; bake and then load up with your favorite nacho toppings.
  • Make a beef burrito bowl. Prepare some chipotle ranch, top it with the meat, add in some black beans and corn, and finish it with a few more taco toppings. Drizzle with the chipotle ranch. Here’s a burrito bowl recipe to use as a guide.

tostada filled with beef, lettuce, cheese and sour cream

Tostadas are perfect for a quick weeknight dinner, but they are also great to serve to a crowd! I love to set up a taco/tostada bar for get togethers with friends and/or family. Simply put out separate bowls of ingredients and lots of fun toppings, and let your guests assemble their own tostadas. You can even give them choices of different meats, cheeses and dressings. I can’t wait for you all to taste these delicious tostadas!

more Mexican dinner ideas

Layered Taco Casserole

Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole

Best Fish Tacos

Flavorful Turkey Tacos

If you try this homemade tostadas recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.

ground beef tostadas topped with cheese, sour cream and jalapeño slices
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Ground Beef Tostadas

Ground Beef Tostadas make for an easy, tasty dinner that the whole family will enjoy, even your pickiest eaters! These are loaded with taco-seasoned beef, and all of the best tostada toppings.
Author: Kim


Taco meat

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (or ground turkey or chicken)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup water (or 1 cup water if you drain the fat from the beef)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

For serving

  • 8 tostada shells or tortillas or taco shells, cooked according to package instructions
  • Finely shredded lettuce
  • Diced tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes
  • Shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • Sour cream, guacamole, diced avocado, olives, jalapeños, cilantro, diced red onions
  • chipotle ranch


  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef, stirring and constantly breaking apart the beef.
  • When the meat is mostly cooked through, add the onions and bell peppers and continue cooking, stirring constantly until vegetables are soft and meat is cooked through. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Add the water, tomato paste and seasonings; stir to combine and reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes. Once cooked, pile on top of tostada shells, tortillas or taco shells and garnish with your favorite toppings - lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, avocado, and cilantro. Enjoy!


Storing leftovers: The components for tostadas, if stored separately, will stay fresh in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Place all ingredients in separate air-tight containers.
Photos by Molly at Yes to Yolks.
Serving: 1tostada, Calories: 176kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 35mg, Sodium: 333mg, Potassium: 374mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 737IU, Vitamin C: 33mg, Calcium: 32mg, Iron: 2mg

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