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Mely Martinez’ Black Bean Tostadas

4 Servings

30 minutes

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Tostadas are the ultimate comfort food for Mely Martinez, food blogger and author of “The Mexican Home Kitchen.” She favors cooking dried beans, but canned beans and store-bought tostadas (corn tortillas that are fried flat) allow this recipe to come together easily and with amazing speed. Martinez prepares her black beans simply, without added spices, but we like them spiked with ground cumin. We’ve kept the cumin optional, so the choice is yours whether or not to add it. Either way, the tostadas offer a delicious contrast between crunchy and creamy, with salty notes from the queso fresco, coolness from the lettuce and creaminess from the Mexican crema (or sour cream).




Don’t forget to cover the skillet when sautéing the onion and chilies. This helps soften the aromatics so they melt into the beans rather than retain their texture.

30 minutes


  • 2

    15½-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 3

    tablespoons lard or neutral oil


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Jennifer B.
April 8, 2023
Surprisingly great!
I didn't think I'd like this as much as I did. The flavors and textures worked perfectly together. I think fresh beans are a must, but i'm a bean snob. I also got great tostadas and quese fresco from our local Latin American store. Delicious!
Andy B.
June 11, 2022
so good!
I have made this many times. It has become a standard in our house.
August 25, 2022
Best quick school night dinner!
Easy to pull together and surprisingly delicious.
Ken L.

I LOVE this recipe! It’s so simple and tastes amazing. Sautéing some red peppers and onions to put on top also added some extra flavor, but it’s excellent - and truly comforting - as is.

christine d.

This recipe is delicious! We already made it twice, once for dinner, once for breakfast with an egg on top. The flavor of the black beans hits the spot.

Susan M.

I used dry beans that I cooked myself, and the end result was so yummy.

Astra F.

I used the canned black beans as I was feeling pretty lazy. I blended them up in my food processor w jalapeño white onion cumin and a few cilantro stems, then fried them in vegetable oil. Really great result. I feel like I broke some rules but the beans were so flavorful.