These barbacoa tostadas are the perfect easy and customizable meal option. They’re made with crispy tostada shells loaded up with tender shreds of beef, refried beans, melty cheese, and all your favorite toppings. The perfect way to use up leftover beef barbacoa, or take your barbacoa to a whole new level.
Barbacoa Tostadas – The EASY Way!
First thing’s first: what is barbacoa? Well, it’s a Mexican method of cooking in which a meat, in this case beef, is slow cooked with seasonings until ultra tender and flavorful.
Now, these Barbacoa Tostadas are one of my favorite ways to use up leftover barbacoa beef when I have it. This recipe gives the leftover beef the perfect refresh with crispy tostada shells, refried beans, melty cheese, and any and all of the best toppings.
Just spread a few tostada shells with your favorite refried beans, top that off with cheese, and bake. A few minutes in the oven gets the tostada extra toasty and allows the cheese to melt into the meat.
This recipe gives you a restaurant quality meal with little to no effort!
If you don’t have leftovers, don’t worry! This crockpot beef barbacoa is so easy to whip up fast!
Why I LOVE this recipe!
- Quick and easy. This simple and comforting dinner is ready in under 20 minutes. Easy dinners for the win!
- Gives new life to leftovers. While you can use a fresh batch of barbacoa beef for this recipe, it’s designed as a way to use up leftovers. It gives them new life in the best way!
- Customizable. Assemble the tostadas, then let everyone customize their own with their own favorite toppings. The sky is the limit!
What to Serve with Beef Barbacoa Tostadas
Since this dish has the classic Mexican flavors, it will pair well with many of your favorite Mexican side dishes. There are both classic options and some healthy options to keep it light.
Side Dish Ideas
- Mexican Street Corn Casserole – Fill your meal out with another comforting Mexican dish. This street corn casserole is loaded with Mexican flavors and comes together in just one dish. Delicious flavor and easy cleanup!
- Mexican Rice – Round your meal out with this classic Mexican side dish. This 25 minute recipe calls for just a few simple ingredients and has so much flavor and spice. You can serve this on the side or layer it right into the tostada!
- Mexican Roasted Vegetables – Looking for a lighter side dish option? These roasted veggies are it. This blend of veggies is colorful, tossed with taco seasoning and lime juice, and roasted until perfectly tender.
You can choose one or add a few sides to make a wholesome, well rounded dinner.
This Beef Barbacoa Tostadas recipe is as simple as promised! Just 18 total minutes for a family friendly meal.
In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use when making this recipe to get the absolute best and most delicious results.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.
Ingredients + Substitutions
- Tostada Shells – You can make your own tostada shells or grab a store-bought version. They can be found at most grocery stores near the tortillas!
- Refried Beans – Grab a can of your favorite refried beans or make a homemade version in the crockpot.
- Shredded Beef Barbacoa – Whip up my homemade Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa or use any leftovers you may have.
- Shredded Cheese – Use your favorite shredded cheese to melt over the top of the tostadas. Sharp cheddar or Monterey jack are both great options!
Tostada Toppings Ideas
- Shredded Lettuce
- Pico de Gallo – I have a 10 minutes homemade pico de gallo or you can grab a container at the store.
- Sour Cream
- Freshly Chopped Cilantro
- Corn Salsa
- Shredded Cabbage
- Shredded cheese
- Mango Salsa
- Pineapple Salsa
- Jalapeno Ranch
- Adjust amounts as needed – This Beef Barbacoa Tostadas recipe is scaled to make four tostadas but you can make as many (or few) as you want depending on your serving needs or the leftovers you have. It also makes this great for feeding a crowd.
- Customize – I love to keep it simple with lettuce, pico, sour cream, and cilantro, but feel free to customize these tostadas with all the best toppings! Try guacamole or chopped avocado, your favorite salsa or hot sauce, Jalapeño Ranch Dressing, Chipotle Corn Salsa, you name it. Anything that looks delicious to you is fair game.
- Serve immediately – Once the cheese is melty, these tostadas are best served right away. If they sit too long, the texture of the cheese will change and the tostada shell will soften.
If you love this recipe as much as we do and want some quick ways to change it up for variety, these little tips will do the trick!
- Add veggies – Give your tostadas a boost of nutrition by layering in cooked fajita veggies.
- Use another meat – Swap the beef barbacoa out for shredded pork, shredded chicken, or Mexican Shredded Beef.
- Try another barbacoa recipe – Looking for another way to use your barbacoa? Try my Barbacoa Quesadilla, Loaded Beef Barbacoa Burrito, or Slow Cooker Barbacoa Street Tacos.
More Mexican-Inspired Beef Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, I really hope you will take a moment to grab a few more easy recipes for another busy night!
You can check out all of my beef recipes here, or see a few of our readers favorite recipes below.
- 4 tostada shells
- 1/2 cup refried beans
- 2 cups shredded beef barbacoa, prepared (or leftover)
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese, or more to taste
- 2 cups shredded lettuce
- 1/2 cup pico de gallo
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- freshly chopped cilantro
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
- Spread 1/4 of the beans over each tostada shell, top with 1/4 of the barbacoa and 1/4 of the cheese. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and the shell is crispy.
- Top each tostada with 1/4 of the lettuce, pico de gallo, and sour cream. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro. Serve immediately!