Crispy, homemade tostada shells are extremely easy to make. This healthier recipe is baked rather than fried so it requires less oil. Plus, you'll only need 3 simple ingredients and 15-20 minutes from start to finish. You'll never need to buy shells again, and your leftover corn tortillas won't go to waste. That's a huge win in my book!
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I love making tostadas for dinner (and even lunch sometimes). I always seem to have a lot of corn tortillas on hand but I rarely buy tostada shells from the grocery store.
And really, there's no reason to, because making tostada shells is quick and straightforward.
Use your shells to make this scrumptious Shredded Beef Tostada Recipe or these mouthwatering Shrimp Tostadas!
Ingredients & Substitutions
- 6 inch corn tortillas: I normally use white corn tortillas but yellow ones also work. You can even buy extra thin corn tortillas, if desired. I've always had good luck with regular ones.
- Olive oil cooking spray: or another high smoke point cooking spray (like avocado oil). Tostada shells are baked at a high temp so we want to avoid low smoke point oils as they'll cloud up the oven.
- Kosher salt: sea salt or regular salt can be substituted. I like using a larger grain salt because it's more forgiving and adds nice texture/crunch.
How To Make Tostada Shells In The Oven
Keep scrolling for the full recipe card. We’ll start here with a quick overview!
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Arrange corn tortillas in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
- Coat corn tortillas with olive oil cooking spray (be sure to cover both sides). Don't use too much oil, you just need a little bit.
- Sprinkle both sides of tortillas with a pinch of salt.
- Place an oven safe wire rack on top of your tortillas, this will help keep them flat while baking. The wire rack will have little "feet" on it, make sure those are pointing up.
- If you don't have a rack, that's okay! Your shells will probably curl up a bit on the edges, but they'll still be perfectly usable and delicious.
- Bake tortillas for 6-7 minutes. Flip and bake 6-7 more, until golden brown.
- Remove shells from the oven and allow them to cool.
- Slather tostada shells with refried beans and add all of your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
There are so many delicious things you can put on a tostada shell, the options are truly endless! Here are some ideas to get you inspired:
- Seasoned shredded chicken
- Shredded beef or ground beef
- Fried eggs (think huevos rancheros)!
- Carne asada
- Shredded lettuce
- Shredded cheese
- Pico de gallo salsa
- Homemade guacamole
- Sour cream
- Black beans
- Hot sauce
- Baja sauce
- Poblano sauce
Small batch: if you want to make just 1 or 2 shells, you can use a toaster oven!
Pastry brush: instead of using cooking spray, you can use a pastry brush to apply a thin layer of oil to your corn tortillas before salting.
Seasonings: nine times out of ten I season my homemade tostada shells with salt. Feel free to have some fun and try other options like garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder or a flavored salt.
Why Are My Tostada Shells Chewy/Stiff?
To prevent stiff and chewy shells, make sure they bake long enough and turn a nice golden color.
Heat from the oven is removing moisture from our corn tortillas, and if they don't cook long enough we won't get that desirable CRUNCH.
Allowing the shells to cool will also help with crispiness because moisture is still evaporating as temperature drops.
If you have more self control than me and end up with leftover tostada shells, they're easy to store!
Allow them to cool completely and transfer to an airtight container or Ziploc bag. Keep at room temperature for 5-7 days.
I do not recommend storing leftovers in the refrigerator as they can lose crispiness and become soggy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Tostada shells are typically made by baking or frying corn tortillas with some salt and oil until they're crispy and crunchy.
Use shells to make delicious, crispy tostadas of all sorts! You can also break into pieces and enjoy them as homemade tortilla chips with salsa, guacamole or queso dip. They're also delicious when crumbled on top of Chicken Taco Salads.
If you don't want to make your own tostada shells, you can buy them at most grocery stores. I normally find them by the corn and flour tortillas.
You can simply place them a plastic bag and store at room temperature for up a to a week.
More Mexican Food Recipes
- Beef Taco Stuffed Peppers
- Cheesy Chorizo Quesadillas
- Blackened Mahi Mahi Tacos
- Low Carb Taco Casserole
- White Chicken Enchiladas
- Chicken Tinga Enchiladas
- Shredded Beef Enchiladas
- Sheet Pan Nachos
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How To Make Baked Tostada Shells
- 1 Large baking sheet *I normally use a 13 x 18" sheet
- 6 corn tortillas *white or yellow corn tortillas
- Olive oil cooking spray *see note below
- Kosher salt to taste *see note below
Recipe notes:Cooking spray: olive oil or avocado cooking spray are good options. Just make sure you use a high smoke point oil so you don't cloud up the oven. If you don't have spray, you can use a pastry brush to apply a thin layer of oil to each tortilla. Kosher salt: sea salt or regular salt can be substituted. I like using a larger grain salt because it's more forgiving and adds nice texture/crunch. General: be sure that shells bake long enough. They need to turn a nice, golden color! If under baked, they may be chewy or stiff. Keep in mind, as shells cool they'll become a little more crunchy.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Arrange corn tortillas in a single layer on your baking sheet.
- Lightly coat corn tortillas with olive oil cooking spray and sprinkle with kosher salt. Be sure to cover both sides.
- Place an oven-safe wire baking rack on top of the tortillas to keep them flat (the little "feet" on the wire rack should be pointing up). It's not a big deal if you don't have a rack, just know the shells will curl some while baking.
- Bake tortillas for 6-7 minutes. Flip them over and bake 6-7 more, until golden.
- Remove tostada shells from the oven and allow them to cool. Cover them with all of your favorite tostada toppings and enjoy!
Storing leftover shells:
- Allow leftovers to cool completely and place them in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. Store at room temperature for up to a week. Do not refrigerate (this can lead to sogginess).
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