These crispy, crunchy homemade Baked Tostada Shells are the perfect base for all of your favorite Tex Mex toppings. They’re inexpensive and incredibly easy to make. Ready in just 20 minutes!
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Tortillas ~ You’ll need yellow corn tortillas to make the most authentic tostada shells. They come in sizes ranging most often from about 4.5 inches to 6 inches. Smaller ones are best for appetizers or snacks. Larger sizes are best for lunch or dinner.
You could make baked tostada shells with white corn tortillas or flour tortillas, as well, however, baking times may vary and they may not turn out quite as crisp.
Oil ~ You don’t need much oil, just about 1 tablespoon for 12 tortillas. This will help the tortillas bake up nice and crispy.
Use a high-heat neutral tasting oil, like avocado oil, grapeseed oil, or canola oil.
Lime ~ A squeeze of lime juice adds a hint of flavor. It’s optional, but delicious.
Salt ~ A sprinkle of salt provides necessary seasoning.
Extras ~ Most tostada shells are very simple made with just oil and salt. However, if you’re feeling a bit extra, you could add some additional flavors if you like.
Try a sprinkle of chili powder, cumin, or garlic powder. You could even sprinkle some nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan cheese for a cheesy twist.
How to make the recipe
For exact ingredient measurements and step-by-step instructions, scroll down to the recipe card.
Most recipes call for baking at 400°F, but in my attempts, I have found that at that temperature the outsides tend to burn before the middles crisp up enough.
I prefer baking at 375°F for a longer amount of time and they turn out perfectly.
However, watch them closely so they don’t burn, especially if your oven tends to run hot.
On the flip side, if they aren’t crispy enough after the allotted time, bake for additional 1 to 2 minutes at a time until the desired texture is achieved.
Arrange the tortillas in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Do not overlap.
Add the oil and lime juice to a small bowl and whisk to combine.
Using a pastry brush, brush a bit of the oil/lime mixture onto both sides of each tortilla. You don’t need much! Just enough to slightly moisten each side.
Sprinkle a pinch of salt onto each side.
Bake at 375°F for 8 to 10 minutes. The side that was on the bottom should be lightly golden. The tortillas should be starting to firm up, but won’t be crispy.
Carefully, flip over each tortilla and bake for another 5 to 7 minutes until both sides are golden brown and the tortillas are firm and crispy.
You can sprinkle additional salt while they’re still hot, if you desire.
The baked tostada shells will continue to crisp up as they cool.
Storage and freezing
Room temperature: Once completely cooled, store them in a container or zip-top plastic bag at room temperature for 5 to 6 days.
Fridge: Do not store in the fridge.
Freezer: You can freeze these homemade tostada shells, too! They should keep well for up to 3 months. Thaw them at room temperature and reheat them in a 400°F oven for 2 to 3 minutes to crisp them up again.
How to serve
Tostada shells are basically like giant tortilla chips or flat crispy taco shells.
Try my using vegan refried beans, 3 bean corn salsa, or easy homemade guacamole and then topping with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes or salsa, chopped fresh cilantro, slice jalapeños, thinly sliced radishes, and quick pickled red onions. Drizzle some southwest vegan ranch dressing to top it all off.
Pro tips and tricks
~ Use corn tortillas for the most authentic flavor.
~ Use just enough oil to slightly moisten each side. Too much oil will make them soggy.
~ Sprinkle with salt so they’re not bland.
~ For additional flavor, add a sprinkle of chili powder, cumin, and or garlic powder.
~ Arrange the tortillas in one even layer on the baking sheets. Do not overlap.
~ Watch them closely towards the end. They can go from crisp to burnt quickly. Different brands of tortillas will having varying thickness, which means they may crisp up quicker or require extra time.
~ If the middles aren’t yet crispy after the allotted time, bake for additional 1 to 2 minute increments until crispy.
~ They will continue to crisp up as they cool, but make sure the middles are already pretty crisp before removing from the oven.
Yes! Tostada shells are corn tortillas that have been baked or fried until crispy.
Tostada shells are typically made from corn tortillas, however, flour tortillas will work if you prefer. Baking times may vary.
Tostadas are usually topped with any ingredients that you might add to a taco or burrito. They are eaten open face and can get a bit messy, but that’s part of the fun! Be sure to eat them over a plate to catch any ingredients that fall off when you take a bite.
More vegan Tex Mex recipes
- Healthy Taco Salad
- Vegan Burrito Bowl
- Vegan Mexican Burger
- Mexican-Inspired Sloppy Joes
- Vegan Enchiladas
- Black Bean Mini Tacos
- Vegan Taquitos
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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Baked Tostada Shells
- 12 corn tortillas about 5-6 inches in diameter
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or other high-heat neutral oil
- juice from ½ lime
- 1 – 1 ½ teaspoon(s) salt
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Arrange 6 tortillas in one even layer one rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining 6 tortillas on a separate baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the oil and lime juice.
- Using a pastry brush, brush a bit of the oil/lime mixture of both sides of each tortilla. Use just enough to slightly moisten each side – you don't need much.
- Sprinkle a tiny pinch of salt on each side of the tortillas.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the bottoms are lightly golden. Carefully flip over the tortillas and bake for another 5 to 7 minutes until both sides are golden brown and the tortillas are firm and crispy. Watch them closely so they don't burn. If they are still flimsy in the middle, bake in additional 1 to 2 minute increments until the desired texture is reached. They will continue to crisp up as they cool.
- To serve, load them up with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
Nutrition facts calculated based on 2 baked tostada shells per serving.
Nutrition values are calculated using online calculators and are estimates only. Please verify using your own data.