These delicious Tostadas de picadillo are loaded with seasoned ground beef, veggies, and piled high on crispy corn shells with your favorite toppings, this classic dish is perfect for a quick and easy dinner.
Tostadas de picadillo are a traditional Mexican dish made of a crispy fried or toasted tortilla topped with seasoned ground beef (picadillo), lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and Mexican cream.
Picadillo is a mixture of ground beef, diced potatoes, tomatoes, onions, chilies, and spices, and it is often used as a filling for tacos, burritos, and other Mexican dishes.
The combination of the crispy tortillas, savory picadillo, and fresh toppings creates a wonderful array of flavors and textures that is both satisfying and delicious.
Tostadas de picadillo can be enjoyed as a snack or as a main meal, and they are a great option for those looking for a quick and easy yet satisfying meal.
Love those crispy treats? Try also my tostadas de pollo recipe!
- Tostadas: You can make my recipe for homemade tostada shells or use store-bought shells.
- Refried Beans: Make my recipe for frijoles refritos or use canned refried beans if you want to speed up cooking time.
- Queso Fresco: Queso fresco is a soft, crumbly Mexican cheese that is mild and slightly salty. If you can’t find queso fresco, you can substitute it with crumbled feta cheese, panela cheese, or cotija cheese.
- Lettuce: Iceberg lettuce is commonly used in tostadas de picadillo, but you can also use romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce, or any other type of lettuce you prefer.
- Tomato: Use any type of ripe tomatoes you have on hand.
For the picadillo topping
- Ground beef: Lean ground beef or substitute it with any ground meat of your choice.
- Vegetables: Peeled and diced potato, carrots, and white onion.
- Chiles & spices: Guajillo chilies or any other type of dried peppers such as chile ancho or chile chipotle. As for spices, I used garlic cloves, cumin seeds, black pepper and salt.
- Oil: Olive oil or any vegetable oil such as canola oil or avocado oil.
How To Make Tostadas de Picadillo
Place tomatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring water to a boil and cook until tomatoes are nicely softened.
Turn off the heat and add guajillo peppers to the hot water. Use a fork or spoon to help the peppers to immerse nicely and leave them to soak for 10 minutes.
In a blender, place tomatoes, soaked guajillo peppers, garlic cloves, black peppercorns, cumin seeds, and oregano.
Pour in 1 1/2 cups of water and blend at high speed until you’ll have a smooth sauce. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a cooking pan and add ground beef and onions. Cook until the meat has changed its color and the onions are nicely soft and translucent (about 10 minutes).
Stir in the potatoes, carrots, and peas. Cook for 5 minutes mixing constantly.
Pour in the tomato and chili sauce and season with salt.
Bring to a simmer, then cover the pan and allow to cook for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through.
Uncover the pan and set the heat to medium-high, cook stirring constantly until the sauce has reduced considerably.
Top Tip: Allow the sauce to thicken and reduce almost completely, so your tostadas won’t get too soggy and break off when taking them to eat.
Adjust seasonings to taste and turn off the heat. Allow the picadillo mixture to lightly cool down.
Assemble the tostadas
Place tostadas in a serving platter and spread on each some refried beans first.
Spoon the picadillo mixture to in the middle of each corn shell.
Top with shredded lettuce and sliced tomato. Finish with a sprinkle of queso fresco and a spoonful of Mexican crema.
- Don’t overload the tostadas: Be careful not to overload your tostadas with too many toppings, as this can make them difficult to eat. Keep them simple and balanced, with just enough toppings to enhance the flavor of the picadillo.
- Serve immediately: Tostadas are best served immediately after they are made, while the tortillas are still crispy. If you need to make them ahead of time, keep the components separate and assemble them just before serving.
- Play with seasonings: Make sure to season your picadillo also with your favorite spices, some people like to add chili powder, chipotle peppers, or paprika to enhance the flavor of the ground beef and give it a delicious, smoky taste.
- Use other toppings: You can also use other toppings to make this tostada recipe, think of frijoles de la olla or pickled jalapeño peppers.
- Use fresh ingredients: Fresh and high-quality ingredients, especially the vegetables like lettuce and tomatoes, will ensure that your tostadas are flavorful and nutritious.
How To Store
To store Tostadas de Picadillo, consider storing each component separately then assemble whenever you want to serve. Here are some tips on how to store and reheat each component:
Picadillo Mixture: Let it cool to room temperature and then transfer it to an airtight container. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, you can place it in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally .
Refried Beans: If you have leftover refried beans, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. To reheat, you can place them in a saucepan over medium heat or in a microwave.
Toppings: Toppings such as lettuce, cheese, avocado, and cilantro should be stored separately in airtight containers or resealable bags, those ingredients don’t store for longer than a couple of days.
When reheating the picadillo mixture you can add a splash of water or broth to the mixture to help loosen it up if it has thickened in the refrigerator.
The ground beef mixture and beans can also be freeze for up to 3 months and then thaw before reheating.
More Tostadas Recipes
Hope you loved this Tostadas de Picadillo recipe, please remember to rate it and leave a comment below if you made it! Also, don’t forget to share and follow this blog on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.
Tostadas de Picadillo
- 16 medium tostada shells
- 2 cups refried beans
- 1 small head iceberg lettuce (chopped)
- 1 large tomato (sliced in half-moons)
- queso fresco (or your favorite cheese)
- Mexican cream (or sour cream)
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 medium potato (peeled and cut into small cubes)
- 1 large carrot (peeled and cut into small cubes)
- ⅓ cup frozen peas
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 1 small onion (diced)
- 3 guajillo chilies (stems and seeds removed)
- 2 cloves garlic (peeled)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or you preferred oil)
- salt (to taste)
Make the picadillo mixture
- Boil tomatoes in plenty of water for 10 minutes or until softened.
- Turn off the heat and add guajillo peppers to the hot water. Leave them to soak for 10 minutes.
- Place tomatoes, soaked guajillo peppers, garlic cloves, black peppercorns, cumin seeds, and oregano in a blender along with 1 1/2 cups of water.
- Blend at high speed until you’ll have a smooth sauce. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a cooking pan and add ground beef and onions. Cook until the meat has changed its color and the onions are nicely soft and translucent (about 10 minutes).
- Stir in the potatoes, carrots, and peas. Cook for 5 minutes mixing constantly.
- Pour in the tomato and chili sauce and season with salt. Bring to a simmer, then cover the pan and allow to cook for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through.
- Uncover the pan and set the heat to medium-high, cook stirring constantly until the sauce has reduced considerably.
- Adjust seasonings to taste and turn off the heat. Allow the picadillo mixture to lightly cool down.
Assemble the tostadas
- Place a tostada shell in a serving plate and spread with refried beans first.
- Spoon the picadillo mixture to in the middle and add lettuce and tomato slices.
- Top with a sprinkle of queso fresco and a spoonful of Mexican crema. Repeat with all tostada shells and enjoy immediately.
- Allow the picadillo sauce to thicken and reduce almost completely, so your tostadas won’t get too soggy and break off when picking them to eat.
- Tostadas are best served immediately after they are made, while the tortillas are still crispy.
- If you need to make them ahead of time for a party or a potluck, keep the components separate and assemble them just before serving.
Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.