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Pinto Bean Tostadas with the most delicious and vibrant street corn tomato salsa: one of my new favorite meatless meals and extra fun for entertaining! With creamy avocado, tender pinto beans, and a colorful salsa all layered on crisp, lightly salted tortillas, these are an irresistible explosion of flavor and texture.

Small plate with a pinto bean tostada topped with a street corn tomato salsa, crumbled Cotija cheese, and shredded cabbage.

One of my personal favorite types of dishes to discover or create are meatless meals that are not pasta or pizza. Don’t get me wrong: I love both pasta and pizza, but variety is the spice of life, plus it’s always nice to have more vegetarian options that still pack in the protein and vegetables.

Pinto bean tostadas accomplish this and do it in style! I have seen lots of recipes for tostadas floating around recently, and essentially wanted to put together one with a combination of re-fried pinto beans (my favorite for vegetarian nachos) and this chipotle-infused street corn dip that is a massive hit everywhere that it goes.

The resulting mix is colorful, delicious, and positively bursting with flavor and texture. Pull this out to spice up family Tex-Mex night — or when you have vegetarian guests and want to impress!

Ingredient & Substitution Notes

Labeled overhead photo of corn tortillas, corn, pinto beans, tomatoes, a whole avocado, oil, butter, Cotija, garlic, jalapeno, limes, ancho sauce, broth, and spices, all measured and ready to cook.

Here are a few notes and shopping tips about the ingredients you’ll need. Find full amounts in the print-friendly recipe card below.

  • Corn tortillas. Be sure they are pretty fresh – stale tortillas don’t crisp all the way!
  • Pinto beans. I used canned beans to save time. By all means cook your own from dried beans if you prefer.
  • Corn. Fresh, frozen, or even canned.
  • Tomatoes. Halved cherry or grape tomatoes, or diced Roma or on-the-vine.
  • Fresh minced garlic and an optional jalapeno.
  • Veggie broth or stock.
  • Olive or avocado oil and a smidge of butter.
  • Fresh lime juice.
  • Ancho sauce. This is the sauce in which canned chipotle chilis are packed.
  • Spices: ground cumin, chili powder, chipotle chili powder, ancho chili powder, and kosher salt. If you don’t have these specialty chili powders in your spice drawer, you can definitely substitute extra chili powder.
  • Crumbled Cotija or queso fresco cheese.
  • Avocado and any shredded lettuce, cabbage, cilantro, or other salsas you’d like for toppings. My husband likes a dollop of sour cream!

How To Make Pinto Bean Tostadas

Although these tostadas have a longer ingredient list than most of my recipes, I still find them fairly easy to pull off without kitchen drama — or an explosion of dishes — because there’s a straightforward progression for assembling the component parts.

First, make the tostadas by crisping corn tortillas in the oven. This truly is quick and easy, but if you want to save a step, you can purchase pre-made tostada shells in the Latin or Hispanic foods aisle of most major grocery stores.

Six tostadas on a large rimmed baking sheet.

Season the beans while the tostadas are crisping. This is pretty much a matter of stirring some aromatics, seasonings, and broth into the beans and letting the mixture simmer while you prep the salsa.

Refried, seasoned pinto beans in a bowl garnished with thinly-sliced lime.

Grab another skillet to quickly whip up the tomato corn salsa. This is my personal favorite part. I could literally eat it by the spoonful, or scooped up with tortilla chips.

While the salsa is cooking, chop any greens or other toppings.

Cast iron skillet full of street corn tomato salsa with Cotija.

When everything’s ready to go, I like to set up a little assembly line. The adults generally like to pile on the toppings, and kids can “pick two” (or whatever number you like) or more items to fill their plates.

I like to mash a little avocado on the bottom to hold the bean mixture on, but if you have sufficiently refried beans on their own, or you don’t mind a slightly messy tostada situation, this isn’t necessary. You could top with diced avocado or guacamole instead.

Countertop with a plate full of pinto bean tostadas, surrounded by extra salsa, tomatoes, avocado, and lime.

Storage & Reheating

These keep and reheat very well as long as you store the components separately, specifically the tostadas and everything else.

  • Extra tostadas should be sealed in a zip-top container and stored at room temperature. You can always re-crisp them briefly in the oven or toaster oven on medium heat.
  • Leftover beans and corn salsa can be stored together in any air-tight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a small saucepan, adding a splash of broth or water to the beans to re-moisten if desired.

Related Recipes

Craving more Tex-Mex inspired meals at home? Don’t miss our simple but always popular and easy ground chicken tacos, Baja chicken tacos, black bean enchiladas, or a ground beef enchilada casserole.

Of course, any taco night is wildly enhanced by the right side dishes: homemade guacamole, 5-minute blender salsa, black bean salsa, or a Mexican three bean salad are among our top favorites! And making homemade flour tortillas is the icing on the cake.

Small plate holding two pinto bean tostadas topped with corn and tomato salsa, red cabbage, Cotija, and lime wedges.

If you try these Pinto Bean Tostadas, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing how recipes turn out in your kitchen, and it helps other readers, too.

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Pinto Bean Tostadas with Tomato Corn Salsa

Pinto Bean Tostadas with the most delicious and vibrant street corn tomato salsa are one of my favorite meatless meals and extra fun for entertaining!

Ingredients

For the Tostadas:

  • 8 corn tortillas
  • cooking spray
  • pinch of salt

For the Beans:

  • 1 teaspoon olive or avocado oil
  • 1 small clove garlic minced
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/4-1/2 cup veggie broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder see note
  • 1/8 teaspoon ancho chili powder see note
  • 1-2 teaspoons lime juice

For the Salsa:

  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 small clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper seeded and diced, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 and 1/2 cups corn kernels fresh, frozen, or canned
  • 2 teaspoons ancho sauce from canned chipotle peppers, see note
  • 1 cup tomatoes see note
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Cotija or queso fresco
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

To Assemble:

  • 1 avocado

Instructions

  • To make the tostadas, lay tortillas out on a large sheet pan. Cover both sides with a light mist of cooking spray and the lightest sprinkle of kosher salt. Bake at 400 degrees F for 5 minutes, then flip and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until they are fully crisp. Set aside.
  • While the tostadas bake, start the pinto beans. Warm oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When shimmering, add the garlic and cook for 30-60 seconds, just until fragrant. Stir in the pinto beans, 1/4 cup of the broth, cumin, salt, and all three chili powders. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and let simmer, adding extra broth a little bit at a time as needed if the beans become dry. Add lime juice just prior to serving.
  • While the beans simmer, make the salsa. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, jalapeno if using, and chili powder. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add corn kernels and ancho sauce. Stir to coat, then let the corn cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in tomatoes, Cotija, lime juice, and salt. Taste and add more salt as desired.
  • To assemble, mash a few slices of avocado on top of each tostada, then top with beans, corn, and other toppings as desired. I like a little extra lettuce or shredded cabbage and more lime. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Tortillas: Be sure to use fresh corn tortillas. It’s tempting to try tostadas to salvage tortillas that have been lingering in the pantry, but I’ve found once they’re truly over the hill, they never crisp up as well as fresh ones!
  • Chili Powders: If you don’t have chipotle or ancho chili powder in your spice drawer, feel free to substitute extra “regular” chili powder to taste.
  • Ancho Sauce: For more heat in the corn salsa, dice a whole chipotle chili pepper and add it to the corn mixture along with the ancho sauce.
  • Tomatoes: You can use either cherry or grape tomatoes cut in half, or dice up a Roma tomato or on-the-vine variety.

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 457 kcal, Carbohydrates: 71 g, Protein: 16 g, Fat: 15 g, Saturated Fat: 4 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7 g, Trans Fat: 0.1 g, Cholesterol: 8 mg, Sodium: 1726 mg, Potassium: 1139 mg, Fiber: 19 g, Sugar: 7 g, Vitamin A: 804 IU, Vitamin C: 15 mg, Calcium: 164 mg, Iron: 5 mg
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