Ethnic Splurges

Crispy & Flaky Tostada Bowls

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There is nothing more wonderful than a well-rounded meal. I mean veggies, protein, carbs, and absolute deliciousness. I know my favorite thing for many years has been the taco salad at Baja Fresh; that crispy, flaky tostada bowl shell most of all.

We used to live close to this place and I could have my splurge anytime. I would splurge like a pregnant woman with a craving! However, since we have moved out of state I have been deprived of my one true love… that tostada bowl. I have scoured Pinterest for something similar but have only found baked recipes and although good, they were just not the same.

So I bought a large bottle of oil, some tortillas, and all the fixings to make tostadas and began trying different methods on the stove (since my hubby has not blessed me with a deep fryer yet.) By this point I was completely obsessed with creating these and I finally succeeded!

I started by prepping some guacamole, pico de gallo, chopped lettuce, homemade beans, and some grilled chicken. I also gathered some cheese and sour cream to complete our tostada bar.

(Tostada bar is all set up)

For the tostada bowls, I started by heating a large pot of oil to “deep fry” in. While waiting I prepped my station: large burrito sized tortillas, tongs, this metal skimmer (one that has a ladle form, pictured below), and a plate with paper towels for draining. Oh, and a mitt because the oil may pop a little! Nothing big, just enough to sting your hand while you are trying to hold down the form.

(Metal skimmer won best tool for shape)

Once the oil was good and hot I placed in a tortilla and began to slowly push it down with the skimmer until it was completely submerged. I say slowly because it will create a bowl with a larger top shape. Rather, if you push it down quickly the top will fold over.  As soon as you begin pushing it down, it will be about 20 seconds until it can hold its own form and you can remove the skimmer.

Once the skimmer is removed allow the tortilla to fry for 30 more seconds and then use your tongs to flip upside down. This will ensure that that beautiful crisp and color is achieved on the top of the tostada bowl.

Can you see that beautiful fried brown color! That is what you want to achieve all over. Leave the bowl in this position for 30 more seconds and then flip one last time and let fry for 15 more seconds. Make sure to scoop a little oil into the bowl to achieve a nice color and crisp on the inside of the bowl.

Okay, so now your bowl has a nice browned color all over. Remove that crispy bowl of deliciousness from the pot, let it drain, and place upside down on a paper towel. Leave for a few minutes before serving to ensure all excess oil has been removed. Repeat this process as many times as needed. However, I like to leave a minute gap in between tortillas to allow the oil to resume to its temperature.

Now the fun part begins. The kids absolutely love putting together their own plates. Each one is so unique, even when it comes to their food. So having dinner set up in a “bar” form allows each one to pick and choose their toppings equaling four satisfied kiddos. We began by layering the bowl with beans, lettuce, and chopped grilled chicken and then topped with the rest of the fixings.

(The finished masterpiece)

And Success! The whole thing was perfectly portioned, fresh tasting, and not lacking in the flaky shell! The kids devoured them. Even my husband enjoyed tonight’s dinner and he is not a fan of tostadas. So I can definitely say this is a must try recipe. I hope you all enjoy as much as I do!

4 from 1 vote

Crispy & Flaky Tostada Bowls

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes


  • Burrito-sized flour tortillas
  • Large amount of oil for “Deep Fry”
  • Beans Refried or Whole
  • Lettuce
  • Grilled Chicken Chopped
  • Pico De Gallo
  • Guacamole
  • Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese
  • Sour Cream


  1. Heat large pot with enough oil to “deep fry”    

  2. When oil is extremely hot, place tortilla down   

  3. Push down center of tortilla with skimmer until submerged in oil and hold for 20 seconds.     

  4. Remove skimmer and fry for 30 seconds   

  5. Flip upside down and fry for 30 more seconds.    

  6. Flip right side up, scoop oil into bowl, and fry for last 15 seconds.  

  7. Use tongs to remove from oil (allow to drain over pot) and place upside down on a paper towel.       

  8. Layer in bowl- 1) Beans 2) Lettuce 3) Grilled Chicken 4) Favorite Fixings

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32 thoughts on “Crispy & Flaky Tostada Bowls

  1. Those just look so pretty and appetizing. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing on Throwback Thursday Blog-Style at Tots and Me. I hope you will be able to join in again.

    1. You know Ophelia, I have been thinking of making some mini ones for a get together. I am sure it is do-able, My mother-in-law suggested I use an empty soda can, I am sure that would work just fine with normal sized tortillas. There may be a better utensil for it though. Please share with me if you find success.

  2. Yum. I always love those burrito bowls despite the high calorie shell. I’m always scared to cook with that much grease on the stove too. Too bad there isn’t away to bake them instead.

    I might have to try these burrito bowls without the fried shell to save calories. 🙂

    1. There are a ton of ways to bake them on Pinterest. I have tried some and they come out crispy, just not the type of crispy I enjoy. These are one of my guilty pleasures.

    1. They most definitely are. And great for kids! My kids had fun “making their own dinner” and customizing them. Enjoy!

    1. You’re welcome. I moved away from my favorite restaurant with them, but if I would have known how quick and simple they were I would have done this sooner.

    1. That’s great that you can find them in store! I used to buy extra shells from the restaurant I ordered the tostada from, lol. I was so desperate.

  3. The tortilla base used to fry looks like the indian pani puris my mom used to make back in the day . This looks lovely, You make it look so simple!

    1. How cool. Amazing to me how different cultures have dishes that are similar sometimes. Indian food is still on my list to try.

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