Make homemade Tostada Shells in minutes with this easy recipe! They’re so snappy crisp that you’d never guess that they’re baked not fried. And a technique that may surprise you means they are evenly cooked and never have curled edges.
Those tostada shells piled into plastic sacks that you’ll find on grocery store shelves have never appealed to me. How long ago were they fried? But, until now, I’d had mixed results making them at home.
Here’s the trick: You invert an oven-safe wire rack over corn tortillas that are brushed with oil and arranged in a single layer on a baking sheet. The result: flat and perfectly crisp tostada shells. I can’t take credit for the technique, it comes from the clever people at Cooks Illustrated. But I can verify that it works beautifully, though I did need to adjust the recipe.
They called for baking the corn tortillas for 15-18 minutes, which led me to not one, but three batches burned to a crisp (I won’t bore you with the details. 😉 ). These go from heavenly crisp to inedibly burned in a matter of seconds, so you need to keep a vigilant eye. I found that the best method was hot and fast, in the upper and lower thirds of the oven for a total of 8 minutes, switching and rotating the baking sheets halfway through.
Use these to make Pork Carnitas Tostadas, Chicken Tostadas, or mix and match toppings like Homemade Refried Beans, Carne Asada, Chicken Tinga, Pico de Gallo, and Easy Guacamole. They make a quick and satisfying meal and are a great way to feed a hungry crowd with toppings served family style.
How to Make Tostada Shells
Step 1: Arrange 12 corn tortillas in single layers on 2 baking sheets (6 tortillas per sheet). Brush tortillas on each side with avocado or other high heat oil.
Step 2: Invert an oven-safe wire rack over tortillas in each baking sheet.
Step 3: Bake in the upper and lower thirds of a 450˚F oven for a total of 8 minutes, switching and rotating baking sheets after 4 minutes.
Step 4: Remove from oven and let cool. Serve.
Tostada Shells Recipe Video
- 12 6-inch corn tortillas
- 1/4 cup avocado oil or other high heat oil
- Arrange oven racks to upper and lower-thirds of oven. Preheat oven to 450˚F.
- Arrange corn tortillas in a single layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets, 6 per sheet. Brush one tortilla on both sides with oil; repeat with remaining tortillas.
- Invert an oven safe wire rack over the tortillas on each baking sheet. Bake on upper and lower-third oven racks for 4 minutes. Switch and rotate each baking sheet and bake for 4 minutes more, or until crisp and golden brown. (Note that the tortillas will continue to crisp once they're out of the oven so keep a careful eye to not overcook.)
- Remove from oven and let cool. Serve as desired.
- Use tortilla shells made simply with corn, lime, and salt – no preservatives.
- Store leftover tostada shells at room temperature in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag for up to one week.