How to Make Authentic Mexican Chalupas or Tostadas
Recipe for Homemade Tostadas and Chalupas
The terms "tostadas" and "chalupas" are both used to identify this tasty meal. The terms may vary by region, but both names are widely acceptable.
Atop a round, fried tortilla, layer the toppings—refried pinto beans or black beans, mashed potatoes, or guacamole. Additional toppings can vary and can accommodate a variety of tastes and dietary needs. Whether you are a vegan, vegetarian, or beef lover, you can create your own personal tostada.
- 6 round tortillas, white, yellow, or red
- One 16 ounce can of pinto or black beans, (you can also use refried, but they will have more fat and sodium)
- 1 pound fajita, round steak, or ground beef, grilled or broiled, thinly sliced or crumbled
- 4 cups shredded lettuce
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 2 large avocados, cut in slices or chunks
- 2 cups queso fresco, crumbled
- Prepare the beans. I prefer this healthy version of refried beans: Instead of mashing them and cooking them in lard, rinse one 16 ounce can of pinto or black beans, then add beans to a blender with 1/4 cup water and blend until smooth. Transfer to and simmer in a saucepan until warm.
- Prepare the meat: Add 1/2 a tablespoon of canola oil to a medium to large skillet. Heat to medium heat, then brown the round steak. Optional seasonings: salt, pepper, and/or garlic powder. Ground beef option: Brown, crumble, and drain. Fajitas: Grilling is the best method to prepare fajitas. Cook to medium-well and slice into thin bite size pieces.
- Shred lettuce and cut it into 1 to 2 inch strips. Tip: add shredded lettuce to a bowl and cover the surface with water and chill. This will keep it crisp until you're ready to serve.
- Chop tomatoes into small 1/2 inch chunks.
- Take a palm-sized piece of queso fresco and use your fingers to crumble it into small chunks.
- Cut the avocado in half and remove the seed. Carefully cradle the avocado half in your hand and make thin cuts at horizontally and vertically. Take great care to not pierce the skin of the avocado. Take a large soup spoon and, with a single swoop, scoop out the cut avocado and place in a bowl. You can sprinkle with lime juice to keep it from browning.
- Create a serving assembly line of your ingredients. I used the following order in creating the chalupa with the ingredients above: Beans, meat, lettuce, tomato, queso fresco, and avocado. Each chalupa takes approximately two tablespoons of each ingredient. Enjoy!
How to layer a traditional chalupaClick thumbnail to view full-size
The beauty of tostadas is you can use a variety of toppings. We usually create a buffet line of toppings.
- beef, chicken, or vegetarian toppings
- chopped onion
- chopped jalapeños
- chopped cilantro
- shredded cheese: colby, Monterey jack, mozzarella, or cheddar
- shredded carrots
- sour cream
- crema (a pourable and softened cheese that is similar, but not quite the same as, sour cream: I suggest using the brand Crema La Vaquita)
- chunky french fries
- salsa: red, green, or pico de gallo
- bean and corn salad: 1 part black beans (canned or boiled), 1 part kernel corn (canned or boiled), 1 part chopped red and/or green pepper. Mix and chill with 1/4 cup vinaigrette dressing.
- mashed potatoes
© 2012 Marisa Hammond Olivares