Looking for a quick meal? Try the delectable taste of black bean tostadas with Spanish rice. With crispy baked tortillas, savory black beans, Spanish rice, and a medley of delightful toppings, this plant-based dish is bursting with flavor.
This meal is great for a quick weeknight meal, but you can make it quicker by batch-cooking everything beforehand. Everything keeps well in the refrigerator and reheats great in the microwave. All you have to do is freshly bake your tortillas, which only takes a few minutes, and cut up some toppings to guarantee a fresh taste.
Why you'll love this dish
Better than takeout: It's less expensive and faster than ordering takeout!
So much flavor: One of the delicious aspects of a tostada is the synergy of flavors. The earthiness of the black beans balances out with the savory flavor of the Spanish rice. Adding toppings like fresh Mango Cucumber Salsa, guacamole, or an easy homemade Vegan Avocado Crema results in a perfect blend of creaminess, savoriness, and freshness.
Soft, crispy, fluffy, oh my! The foundation of a tostada is its crisp shell. Laying that with soft smashed black beans, fluffy Spanish rice, and soft fillings creates a very satisfying combo of textures.
Customizable: One of the fantastic things about tostadas is how customizable they are. Depending on your mood and, most importantly, what's in the fridge, you can tweak your toppings. Want it extra spicy? Add some jalapeños or Mango Habanero Salsa. In the mood for something creamy? Drizzle on some Easy Chipotle Pepper Sauce.
Please refer to the recipe card for precise measurements.
Spanish rice, also known as Mexican rice, is a popular dish that is enjoyed all over the world. Long grain is my favorite for this recipe, but medium grain will work too. Short-grain rice gets too sticky. I think you'll find this easy to make with just a few ingredients.
- olive oil
- long grain rice
- vegetable broth
- tomato sauce
- cilantro (optional)
Black Bean Filling
I use black beans but feel free to substitute with your favorite beans like pinto or kidney.
- black beans
I prefer the corn tortillas but wheat tortillas work for this recipe too. The tostadas are best eaten fresh out of the oven or air-fryer. They will get stale if they sit out too long.
- corn tortillas
- cooking spray
- salt and pepper
Try these toppings to customize your tostadas.
- shredded lettuce
- red onions
- vegan sour cream
- green onions
- lime juice
- hot sauce
- shredded vegan cheese
See the recipe card at the bottom for detailed instructions.
Make the rice
Start with making the Spanish rice. This rice is great to batch cook or meal prep. You can have it ready to go in the fridge anytime the mood strikes.
Assemble the ingredients.
Lightly sauté the rice in oil until the edges turn golden brown. Add the garlic and stir to incorporate. Continue sautéing for an additional minute.
Then add the remaining ingredients, except the cilantro. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and let simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Check the rice after 20 minutes. It may need a little more time. Add the cilantro and fluff with a fork if all the liquid has been absorbed. Keep warm until ready to assemble the tostadas.
Make the beans
While the Spanish rice is cooking, prepare your beans. This is so easy but so flavorful and quick.
With just two ingredients, you can have a delicious tostada filling.
Combine the black beans and your favorite salsa in a medium bowl or pot (to save yourself from cleaning an extra bowl).
Mash with a fork or a potato masher until you reach your desired consistency.
Heat the bean mixture in a medium pot over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes until the mixture is heated through. Keep warm until ready to assemble the tostadas.
Prepare the tortillas
Now, bake the corn tortillas. You can always choose to fry them on the stovetop with a little oil, but I think they come out deliciously baked with no use of oil.
You can make delicious homemade and healthy lime-flavored tortillas with just salt, pepper, and lime juice.
Mix lime juice, salt, and pepper and brush onto both sides of the tortilla for maximum salty lime flavor.
Watch them carefully in the oven as they bake at 425°F (220° C). I place them directly on the grates as pictured in the recipe card, but you can also use a pan. They will burn super quickly! It's a good idea to set a timer for 3 minutes, check, and then continue baking until they are golden brown. I have burned many a tortilla in my day, including when I made this post...
I take them out of the oven when they just start to brown. They are firm but with a little softness. Don't worry, they will harden to the tostada you know and love as they cool down.
Ready to Assemble
Like I said earlier in the post, this is a great meal to batch cook and have ready anytime to assemble. With the rice and beans prepared, the tortillas crispy and warm, and the toppings ready to go, you're ready to assemble and eat.
Once the tortillas have cooled and hardened, add the warm smashed black beans as the base layer.
Then add the warm Spanish rice.
Finish off with your favorite toppings.
Pressure Cooker: You can make Spanish rice in a pressure cooker. On the sauté mode, add the oil and rice. Sauté until the rice is lightly toasted, about 4 minutes. Then add the garlic and saute for another minute. Pour in the remaining ingredients but reduce the amount of vegetable broth to two cups. Secure the lid of the pressure cooker. Set it to cook on high pressure for 4 minutes and let it release pressure naturally for about 10 minutes. After that, you can release any remaining pressure manually. Open the lid, fluff the rice with a fork, and check the seasoning. Adjust if necessary. Add the fresh cilantro if desired. (These instructions are for long-grain white rice. Check your pressure cooker instructions for other varieties)
Air Fryer: If you only want to make a couple of tostadas and have an air fryer, you're in luck. Just heat the corn tortillas in a preheated air fryer at 350°F degrees for about 4-6 minutes for warm, quick, crispy tostada shells. Air fryers vary, so check the tortillas often to avoid burning.
While black beans are the most traditional choice, you can certainly experiment with other types of beans, such as pinto beans or kidney beans.
You can prepare the rice and beans beforehand, but it's best to make the tortillas and add the toppings right before serving for the best taste.
It's worth noting that the overall health benefits of Black Bean Tostadas With Spanish Rice will depend on how they are prepared and what other ingredients are used. For example, tostadas made with corn tortillas or whole grain tortillas and topped with fresh vegetables will be healthier than those made with refined flour tortillas and topped with high-fat toppings like sour cream and shredded vegan cheese.
I find the baked tortillas are easy to make and don't recommend storing them as they get stale quickly. The other ingredients can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for about 3 days. Do the same for chopped toppings except for avocado, which does not save well.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegan butter
- 2 cups rice (long grain)
- 1 teaspoon garlic (1 clove minced or ½ tsp garlic powder)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- ⅔ cup of tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup cilantro (optional)
- 2 cans black beans (or any bean you prefer)
- ¾ cup of your favorite salsa
- corn tortillas (whole wheat tortillas or a corn and flour combination work too)
- salt and pepper
Toppings (assemble your favorite)
- Sauté: Heat oil in a medium-sized pot on medium heat. Add rice and stir to coat. Cook until golden brown on the edges - about 4 minutes.
- Sauté: Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
- Combine: Add the broth, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, and cumin at once.
- Boil: Raise the burner to high heat and continue to stir occasionally until it boils. Reduce temperature to low heat when it comes to a full boil.
- Simmer: Place lid on the pot and let simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the rice is cooked and no liquid is left.
- Finish: Add the cilantro if using and fluff the rice using a fork. Keep warm until ready to serve.
- Combine: Combine the black beans and salsa in a medium-sized bowl or pot. Mix until well incorporated.
- Smash: Mash the mixture with a fork or potato masher until you reach your desired consistency.
- Heat: Heat the mixture in the pot on the stove until warmed.
Corn Tortilla Shells
- Preheat: The oven should be heated to 425°F.
- Combine: Mix together the lime juice, salt, and pepper.
- Prepare: Brush the lime mixture on both sides of the tortilla.
- Prepare If you want to make taco shapes, place them in the oven over two grates which create a bottom on the tortilla. See picture. If making tostadas, place flat on top of the grate.
- Bake Bake for 8 - 9 minutes. They burn quickly, so keep an eye on them.
- Assemble: Assemble your tacos by adding the mashed bean mixture and rice to each tortilla.
- Garnish Serve the tacos with additional toppings like diced tomatoes, vegan sour cream, guacamole, sliced avocado, chopped cilantro, or hot sauce if desired. See post for more topping ideas.
Batch cook for easy and quick meals throughout the week.
Follow the instructions on the package for rinsing your rice.
You can use medium-grain rice too. I find short-grain rice becomes too mushy.
The rice may take a little longer than 20 minutes to completely absorb all the liquid. Different burners have yielded different times. I'm also in a high-altitude location, which increases my cooking time. Check at the 20-minute mark and increase the time as necessary.
When sauteeing rice, you're not just aiming for color but also for toasting the rice to bring out its nutty flavor. The goal is to achieve a general toasty aroma and flavor. Aside from color, one of the best indicators it is ready is the aroma.
The bean mixture serves about 6 tostadas, but you will have leftover rice with this recipe. I like extra to serve on the side. If necessary, it stores well in an air-tight container in the fridge for about 3 days.
If needed, you can microwave corn tortillas for 30-40 seconds until they are more pliable to work with.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. This estimate does not include toppings like guacamole and vegan sour cream. Use a nutritional app like Cronometer to get information on the exact ingredients and amounts you are using.
Tostadas should be eaten fresh because they tend to get stale after a little while.
See post for instructions on how to cook the rice in a pressure cooker and the tortillas in an air fryer.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Stovetop, Oven
- Cuisine: American, Mexican-Inspired
- Diet: Vegan
- Serving Size: 1 tostada
- Calories: 452
- Sugar: 7
- Sodium: 1564
- Fat: 8
- Saturated Fat: 1
- Carbohydrates: 82
- Fiber: 11
- Protein: 14
- Cholesterol: 0 mg