Updated date:

Healthy Mexican Recipe: Easy Grilled Tostadas

Vespa's recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" and "Taste of Home". She belongs to Cook's Recipe Testers for "Cook's Illustrated".

Healthy Mexican Tostadas

Healthy Mexican Tostadas

Low Fat Tostada Recipe

Finally, balmy fall days have arrived. Sapped of our strength by the sultry Phoenix summer, we eagerly anticipated grilling in the backyard and dining al fresco.

We had just discovered our new favorite restaurant, The Mission, with our lifelong friends Joe and Karen. It's the kind of restaurant where you can savor Latino flavors by candlelight then linger over drinks and conversation. Our appetites whetted for Southwestern spice, we set out on a venture: creating our own fresh Mexican dish. We decided to develop a recipe for flavorful and healthy tostadas.

I had never been a fan of tostadas. Store-bought tostada shells are often stale and ground beef fillings can be greasy and flavorless. That was before I tasted this flavorful dish. Smoky green chile salsa sends these tostadas soaring to the top of our Mexican favorites list. Fresh toppings make them extra satisfying.

Why are these tostadas healthier? Instead of frying the tortillas, we brush or spray them with grapeseed oil. Then we heat the grill, lid closed, to 400 F. After opening the lid, we place six tortillas on the grill surface. We close the lid and wait until the temperature again reaches 400F. 60 seconds later, the edges have charred and the tortillas are beginning to crisp.

Serve these rustic, smoky tortillas as an appetizer, or with a side of beans & rice as a main dish. Enjoy!

The Mission, our favorite Southwestern restaurant

The Mission, our favorite Southwestern restaurant

Tostadas Recipe

Mexican Tostadas

Healthy Mexican Tostadas

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

20 min

15 min

35 min

12 appetizers or 6 light meals

Ingredients

  • 12 yellow corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 lbs. 85% lean ground beef
  • 3 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoons cumin, ground
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup baby organic spinach
  • 3/4 cup Feta cheese crumbles, fat free
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, fat free
  • 1/2 cup guacamole
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
  • grapeseed oil or cooking spray, for tortillas
  • Fire-Roasted Green Chile Salsa, see recipe below

Instructions

  1. Cook ground beef in a large skillet and brown, stirring constantly and breaking up chunks.
  2. Add spices and 1/4 cup water. Simmer for 15 minutes or until fragrant and cooked through.
  3. Heat oven or grill to 400 F. Brush tortillas with oil using a pastry brush or spray with cooking spray.
  4. Place tortillas on grill. Bake or grill approximately one minute, or until edges begin to char. Turn tortillas and grill one minute on the other side or until crispy.
  5. To assemble tostadas: sprinkle two tablespoons of seasoned meat over each tostada shell.
  6. Layer other ingredients in the follow order: baby spinach, Feta crumbles, guacamole, yogurt and tomato quarters. Drizzle with special green chile sauce.

Ingredients/Substitutions:

  • Vegetarian tostadas: Use 2, 12-ounce cans of black beans instead of beef. Season beans with spices. Heat in a skillet, mashing them lightly with the back of a fork. Add water to thin, if necessary.
  • Lower fat tostadas: Try ground turkey instead of beef.
  • Quick & easy tostadas: Substitute chorizo for ground beef and seasonings.
  • Baja tostadas: substitute 1 1/2 pounds white fish fillets for the ground beef. Sprinkle fish with seasonings and sauté. Continue with step 3, substituting coleslaw mix or chopped raw cabbage for baby spinach.
  • Chicken tostadas: Dice 1 1/2 pounds of skinless, boneless chicken breasts and/or thighs. Sauté until no longer pink. Continue with step 2.
  • Substitute field greens or another variety of chopped lettuce for the baby spinach.
  • Optional toppings include chopped red onion, green onion or cilantro. Minced fresh hot peppers such as jalapenos add more heat.
  • If you don't have Greek yogurt, try low-fat sour cream.
  • You can purchase the guacamole or click here for an easy recipe: Chunky Mexican Guacamole.
  • Substitute store-bought red or green salsa, although the Fire-Roasted Green Chile Salsa is worth the time and effort.
  • We use Mission yellow corn tortillas, which just happen to be gluten-free.
  • We prefer to brush the tortillas with grapeseed oil, which is ideal for the grill due to a higher smoke point.
  • If you don't want to bother with heating up the grill, brush tortillas with oil and bake them in the oven until crispy. The flavor won't be as smoky.
  • In a pinch, you can purchase pre-fryed Mission yellow corn tostadas. However, the total fat grams for the finished tostadas will increase.

The Perfect Salsa to Go With the Meal

Fire-Roasted Green Chile Salsa

Rather than burn the palate with spice, this salsa will tantalize your tongue with plenty of smoky, bright flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 6 tomatillos, husked, rinsed and halved
  • 1 Anaheim chile, seeded and halved
  • 1 Poblano chile, seeded and halved
  • 1 jalapeno chile, seeded and halved (optional)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 small fistful of cilantro, mostly leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Place tomatillos, chiles and garlic cloves, cut side down, on foil-lined baking sheet.
  3. Roast for 20-30 minutes, or until fragrant.
  4. Place in plastic bag and cool.
  5. Remove skin from peppers that easily peels off.
  6. Place roasted peppers and remaining ingredients in a blender container.
  7. Blend until roughly chopped, about 20 seconds.
Healthy & Easy Mexican Tostadas

Healthy & Easy Mexican Tostadas

Complete the Meal

Menu Suggestions

Comments

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on October 04, 2016:

I hope you enjoy these healthy Mexican tostadas, Nancie M!

Nancie McKinnon from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and Seoul, South Korea on October 04, 2016:

These sound amazing! I love all fresh healthy ingredients. I'll be cooking these up in my own kitchen one of these days.

Audrey Howitt from California on April 01, 2014:

This looks delicious! I am not a fan of store bought shells either---

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on March 17, 2014:

Rajan jolly, these fajitas are a nice way to get fresh vegetables into your family's diet. Thanks for your comment.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 16, 2014:

These tostados look so tempting with all the colorful toppings. And healthy too with all those ingredients.

mylindaelliott from Louisiana on February 09, 2014:

It sounds sooo delicious.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on December 29, 2013:

Randomcreative, I hope you can try grilled tostadas soon. Enjoy your weekend!

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on December 28, 2013:

What a great idea to put tostadas on the grill! I would love to try them prepared in that method. Thanks for sharing so many great options for tostadas.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 28, 2013:

Vickiw, I have missed seeing you although I haven't been around much myself. I hope you can try these delicious tostadas soon. Thanks for coming by!

Vickiw on November 28, 2013:

Beautiful picture, and it must be great to be a family member of yours! Looks so tasty, I am looking forward to trying it! Sorry, haven't been around for a while!

http://www.griefcanheal.com/

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 24, 2013:

Suzanne Day, thank you for your kind words. I wish I had your designer's eye. : ) Thanks for coming by!

Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on November 24, 2013:

These look divine and I want to eat one right now. I also like your writing style and can tell you have a bit of poet in you, with the delicious and melodic description of the low fat tostada!

Prithima Sharma from Delhi, India on November 24, 2013:

hmmm yummie

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 24, 2013:

Au faut, thanks for the link...right back at you! Hope you're enjoying the weekend.

C E Clark from North Texas on November 23, 2013:

This looks so yummy! I've posted a link in my link capsule (along with all your other Mexican recipes) on my Quick and Easy Mexican Corn in a Cup recipe article. Looks like this article is an Editor's Choice too, congrats!

Pinned to 'Awesome Hubpages,' and voted up!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 22, 2013:

GetitScene, we hooe you enjoy these delicious and healthy tostadas. Thanks so much!

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on November 22, 2013:

We are going to make these tomorrow!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 22, 2013:

Vacation Trip, thanks so much!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 22, 2013:

Epbooks, enjoy! Thanks for coming by.

Susan from India on November 21, 2013:

Looks delicious. I liked your photos.

Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on November 20, 2013:

Yum, yum, yum. This looks absolutely divine! Going to make this soon.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 20, 2013:

Hezekiah, this sounds like the recipe for you! It's definitely low carb and delicious. Hope you can try it sometime.

Hezekiah from Japan on November 19, 2013:

Low fast and Mexican - sounds like the perfect combination. I love Mexican foods but trying to stay away from the high carbs.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 19, 2013:

Deborah-Diane, I'm always happy to meet a fellow Mexican food lover.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 19, 2013:

Moonlake thank you for sharing the sweet anecdote about your tostada cravings! Hope you can try them sometime.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 19, 2013:

Prithima Sharma, thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

Deborah-Diane from Orange County, California on November 19, 2013:

This looks wonderful! Mexican style dishes have long been very popular in our family!

moonlake from America on November 19, 2013:

I love tostadas and your recipe looks so good. When I was pregnant with our oldest son tostadas was what I graved. Thanks for sharing, voted up.

Prithima Sharma from Delhi, India on November 19, 2013:

wow, luking yummy, want to try it once... thanks for providing me this recipe.Great job,

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 19, 2013:

DDE, I hope you have the chance to try Mexican food sometime! This one isn't too complicated to make and if you don't have tomatillos for a green sauce, you can use regular tomatoes to make a red salsa. Enjoy!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on November 18, 2013:

Healthy Mexican Recipe - Easy Grilled Tostadas looks such a lovely treat and though I would love to try this kind of food as yet I haven't had the chance to try Mexican foods thank you for this delightful recipe.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 18, 2013:

Thanks for your comment, truthfornow.

Marie Hurt from New Orleans, LA on November 18, 2013:

Looks yummy. The pictures are great.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 18, 2013:

AliciaC, I'm glad you enjoyed this recipe and hope you can try it soon. Thanks for your comment!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on November 18, 2013:

I love tasty and spicy food. These recipes sound and look delicious! Thanks for describing all the substitutions and suggesting alternate ideas, too. This is a very useful hub!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 18, 2013:

Prasetio30, I'm gald you plan to show yhis recipe to your mom. Thanks for your comment.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on November 18, 2013:

Wow....just looking at the pictures, makes me hungry. Thanks for sharing and I'll show the recipe to my mom. Good job and voted up. Yummy :-)

Prasetio

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 18, 2013:

Lindacee, I'm glad you're going to try these low-fat tostadas. Grilling the tostadas gives them such a nice smoky flavor. Enjoy and thanks for your comment!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 18, 2013:

lesliebyars, thanks for the vote and tweet! I hope you can try these delicious tostadas someday.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 18, 2013:

PeggyW, what a nice idea! I would love to publish a cookbook...maybe someday. Lately, I've only had time to write a few Hubs, let alone a cookbook. I appreciate your support and I love your new profile photo. : )

Linda Chechar from Arizona on November 18, 2013:

Wow! There are dishes I love more than homemade tostadas! Looking forward to trying your low fat version. As always, thank you for sharing your culinary expertise!

lesliebyars on November 18, 2013:

Sounds delicious and I love Mexican food. I was hooked as soon as I spotted the picture. Voted up and useful plus I tweeted it.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 18, 2013:

Oh my! This looks and sounds delicious! Have you ever thought about assembling your work into a cookbook? You have such a wide variety of great sounding recipes!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 18, 2013:

Paul Edmondson, the chunky guacamole really adds a fresh touch to these tostadas. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 18, 2013:

chef-de-jour, I'm glad you're going to share this recipe with your son. They're fun to make and even more fun to eat...hope he can make some for you soon. Enjoy!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 18, 2013:

CraftytotheCore, I wish I could send a tostada over your way. They really are a delicious way to get out in the backyard for some food on the grill. Enjoy!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 18, 2013:

JustAskSusan, I'm glad you're going to try these delicious tostadas. The green chile salsa is very addictive. Enjoy!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 18, 2013:

anglnwu, the green chile salsa is definitely worth trying. I love sauces that are full of flavor but still healthy and low fat. Enjoy! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 18, 2013:

GlimmerTwinFan, thanks for the encouragement! I hope to spend more time at HP...it's been a crazy year. : )

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 18, 2013:

Daddy Paul, thanks for coming by!

Paul Edmondson from Burlingame, CA on November 18, 2013:

The guacamole looks amazing in this.

Andrew Spacey from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK on November 18, 2013:

Nicely put together.

My son cooks Mexican for us all every time he comes home from uni. I'll show him your tostadas - guaranteed to inspire him to even more Mexican cooking.

Votes for this delicious hub.

CraftytotheCore on November 18, 2013:

These look so delicious! I'm so hungry right now. I skipped lunch. I could take a bite right out of the screen! LOL

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on November 18, 2013:

You know how much I love Mexican food and your recipe will be tried as soon as I get to the grocery store to buy needed ingredients.

Voting +++, sharing, pinning and more. Thanks for another great recipe!

anglnwu on November 18, 2013:

Oh my goodness, your food always looks so decidedly decadent. I could definitely eat a couple of those. Thanks for sharing, especially the green chili salsa. Going to make it. Rated up.

Claudia Mitchell on November 18, 2013:

Yummy! Will be trying these soon. I'm glad to see your recipes again vespawoolf. Pinned and shared.

Daddy Paul from Michigan on November 18, 2013:

Looks tasty.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 18, 2013:

ChitrangadaShran, I'm glad you stopped by. I also like that this dish is colorful. Have a great week!

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on November 18, 2013:

This looks so healthy and colourful and I am sure is equally delicious. Very nicely presented with so many variations.

Thanks for all the effort! Voted up!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 17, 2013:

FlourishAnyway, I so agree about the black beans. They are really good on grilled tostadas. Enjoy! Thanks for coming by.

FlourishAnyway from USA on November 17, 2013:

This looks good. I like the black bean idea. I tried black beans on a whim about a year ago and could not believe what I was missing. Voted up and more.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 17, 2013:

Jackie Lynnley, it's so nice to hear from you! I'm glad you're going to try the vegetarian version with black bean filling. Thanks for coming by on this Sunday evening.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 17, 2013:

JPSO138, enjoy these delicious tostadas! They take a little time, but the technique is easy and they're so worth the effort. Thanks for your comment.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on November 17, 2013:

Don't know if it is your photography or recipe but that looks soooo good! I will def try it. I am just starting to use black beans in recipes so I know I like those and the rest just looks mouth watering. Thanks for sharing! ^

JPSO138 from Cebu, Philippines, International on November 17, 2013:

I love Mexican foods and I will surely try this out. Glad that you have shared this recipe. Up for this one...