I’m not a vegan, but sometimes I create recipes that are “accidentally” vegan. I don’t intend for them to be vegan, and then at some point I realize, hey, this is vegan! It’s always a pleasant surprise, since a vegan meal here or there is something we could all use – especially if it also tastes delicious. These black bean tostadas are one example, and they begin with making your own tostada shells as well as some of the best refried beans you’ve ever had.
I was originally going to buy the already made tostada shells, but then figured I should use the giant stack of flour tortillas I have in my freezer. I also wanted to bake instead of fry them to make them a little bit healthier. It’s a worthwhile step and it’s SO easy – just brush the tortillas with oil and bake at 400 degrees, five minutes per side.
The refried black beans took longer than I expected, but they’re a labor of love. As soon as I tasted them, I knew they were worth the time and was glad I ended up with leftovers.
Two gadgets that will come in handy for this recipe are a food processor (a mini one is ideal) and an immersion blender. It’s totally fine if you don’t have these, but I highly recommend using them if you do.
- 1 30-oz. can black beans
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 jalapeño, seeds removed
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- Juice of one lime
- 1 cup refried black beans
- 4 flour or corn tortillas
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- 3-5 radishes, thinly sliced
- 2 stalks green onions, chopped
- Fresh cilantro, chopped
- Heat the vegetable oil on medium-high in a medium sized pot. Finely chop the jalapeño, garlic and onion in a food processor (or by hand if you don't have one).
- Add the chopped jalapeño, garlic and onion to the pot. Add the cumin and chili powder and stir. Sautée until soft, about five minutes.
- Add the lime juice and black beans, keeping all of the liquid, and reduce the heat to medium. Blend the mixture with an immersion blender, or mash the beans with a wooden spoon or potato masher. It's up to you how smooth or chunky you want them. The immersion blender will make them pretty smooth, so keep that in mind if you have a preference.
- Cook for 30 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens to your liking.
- To make the tostada shells, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the tortillas on a baking sheet and brush each side with vegetable oil. Bake for 5 minutes, then flip the tortillas and bake the other side for 5 minutes.
- To assemble the tostadas, spoon about 1/4 cup of the refried black beans on each tostada shell, then top with the avocado, radishes, green onions and cilantro.
- The refried black beans recipe makes more than you'll need for the tostadas, so I recommend halving it if you don't want leftovers.