Tostada de Frijoles Recipe

In this version of tostadas guatemaltecas, fried corn tortillas are topped with refried beans, cabbage slaw, avocado, tomato and chilli. These tostada de frijoles make a delicious vegetarian snack!

Tostada de Frijoles | Guatemalan Cuisine

Tostadas Guatemaltecas

One of the most beloved snacks you’ll find in Guatemala are tostadas guatemaltecas, or corn toast tortillas. These crunchy bites are commonly served as appetizers during traditional holiday festivities.

Tostadas guatemaltecas come with various toppings, and every Guatemalan will have their own favourite. The three most typical toppings are:

  • Recado Salsa: Red tomato-based sauce
  • Guacamole: Pureed avocado with lime juice
  • Frijoles: Refried beans

Making Tostadas de Frijoles

I have always thought that I hated refried beans. Until I made refried beans from scratch. I realized it was TINNED refried beans I disliked. My perspective on the humble mashed bean was transformed.

My eyes have now been opened to all kinds of recipes I would have avoided in the past. The first recipe I tried was pupusas, which are corn cakes filled with refried beans and cheese. The second was this recipe for tostada de frijoles!

In Guatemala, tostadas de frijoles would typically just be refried beans topped with sliced onion, cheese and cilantro. For my recipe, I also added zingy slaw and fresh slices of avocado, tomato and chilli for a bit more freshness.

Tostada de Frijoles | Guatemalan Cuisine

How to make tostada de frijoles

Make the cabbage slaw:

Mix all the ingredients for the slaw together and allow to marinate whilst preparing tostadas guatemaltecas.

Tostada de Frijoles | Guatemalan Cuisine

Make Refried Beans:

Heat vegetable oil in small frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, add in onion petals and cook for 10 minutes or until browned, tossing occasionally. 

Add kidney beans and their juices in blender, then add in onion petals, leaving the onion oil in the pan. Blend until a smooth but thick consistency is achieved.

Add bean mixture back into pan over medium heat and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture has thickened, take off heat. Add in grated cheese and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Tostada de Frijoles | Guatemalan Cuisine

Make the Tostadas:

Heat a bit of oil in a flat-bottom frying pan over medium-high heat. Place in one corn tortilla, fry for a few minutes until golden, then flip and repeat. Do this with all the tortillas.

Tostada de Frijoles | Guatemalan Cuisine

Serve Tostadas de Frijoles:

Top fried tortilla with refried beans, cabbage slaw, sliced avocado, tomato and chilli. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Tostada de Frijoles | Guatemalan Cuisine

Ingredient notes for tostada de frijoles

Cheddar cheese- Feel free to omit the cheese if vegan or sub for your favourite vegan cheese

Kidney beans- Sub for black beans or pinto beans. Traditionally in Guatemala, black beans are used to make refried beans. However, I personally prefer the flavour profile of kidney beans for this recipe.

Corn tortillas- Tostadas are typically made using corn tortillas. However, you can also use flour tortillas if this is what you have on hand. Use store-bought or try making your own!

Tostada de frijoles (refried bean tostadas)

Tostada de frijoles (refried bean tostadas)

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Resting time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes

In this recipe for Guatemalan tostada de frijoles, corn tortillas are fried till crisp, then topped with hearty refried bean mix, tangy cabbage slaw, fresh slices of avocado, tomato and chilli.

Ingredients

Cabbage Slaw:

  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup coriander

Refried beans:

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 white onion, halved and peeled into petals
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup cheddar cheese, grated (sub for vegan cheese)

Tostadas:

  • Cooking oil
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

Cabbage slaw:

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the slaw together and allow to marinate whilst preparing tostadas.

Refried beans:

  1. Heat vegetable oil in small frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, add in onion petals and cook for 10 minutes or until browned, tossing occasionally.
  2. Add kidney beans and their juices in blender, then add in onion petals, leaving the onion oil in the pan. Blend until a smooth but thick consistency is achieved.
  3. Add bean mixture back into pan over medium heat and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture has thickened, take off heat. Add in grated cheese and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Tostadas:

  1. Heat a bit of oil in a flat-bottom frying pan over medium-high heat. Place in one corn tortilla, fry for a few minutes until golden, then flip and repeat. Do this with all the tortillas. Place fried tortillas in the oven on low heat to keep warm and crisp whilst the others are cooking.
  2. To serve, top fried tortilla with refried beans, cabbage slaw, sliced avocado, tomato and chilli. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a comment & review above or share a photo on Instagram tagging @polkadotpassport so I can reshare your creations!

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How to make tostada de frijoles from Guatemala
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