How To Fry Tostada Shells

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Lisa Hanafin Modified: February 18, 2024
How To Fry Tostada Shells

How To Fry Tostada Shells

Tostadas are a delicious and versatile Mexican dish that can be enjoyed on their own or as part of a larger meal. While you can easily find pre-made tostada shells at the store, there’s something satisfying about making them from scratch. In this article, we will guide you through the process of frying tostada shells to perfection.


  • 6 corn tortillas
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Start by heating the vegetable oil in a deep skillet or frying pan. You’ll want enough oil to submerge the tortillas completely.
  2. While the oil is heating up, prepare the tortillas. If they are slightly stiff, you can soften them by wrapping them in a damp paper towel and microwaving them for about 30 seconds.
  3. Carefully place one tortilla into the hot oil. Use a pair of tongs to ensure it is fully submerged. Fry for about 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy. Adjust the cooking time as needed to achieve your desired crispiness.
  4. Using the tongs, carefully remove the fried tortilla from the oil and place it on a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt while still hot to enhance the flavor.
  5. Repeat the frying process with the remaining tortillas, making sure to maintain a consistent oil temperature. Avoid overcrowding the pan, as this can result in uneven cooking.

Tips and Variations:

  • Experiment with seasonings: Add extra flavor to your tostada shells by mixing spices into the corn tortilla dough before frying. Try options like paprika, cumin, or chili powder for a kick.
  • Go for a healthier option: If you prefer a lighter version, you can bake the tortillas instead of frying. Simply arrange them on a baking sheet, lightly brush each side with oil, and bake at 400°F (200°C) for about 10-12 minutes, or until crispy.
  • Get creative with toppings: Once your tostada shells are ready, the toppings are up to you! Some popular options include shredded chicken or beef, refried beans, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, and guacamole. Customize your tostadas to suit your taste preferences.
  • Store the leftovers: If you have any leftover tostada shells, store them in an airtight container to maintain their crispiness. They can be enjoyed for up to 2-3 days.

Now that you know how to fry tostada shells from scratch, you can enjoy the crispy texture and homemade goodness whenever you want. Whether you’re planning a Mexican fiesta or simply craving a delicious snack, these homemade tostada shells will certainly elevate your culinary experience. So grab your tortillas, heat up that oil, and get ready to enjoy the mouthwatering delights of freshly fried tostadas!

What ingredients do I need to fry tostada shells?
To fry tostada shells, you will need corn tortillas, cooking oil (such as vegetable oil or canola oil), and salt (optional).
How do I heat the oil for frying tostada shells?
Heat a generous amount of cooking oil in a deep frying pan or a pot over medium to high heat. Make sure the oil is hot enough (about 350°F or 175°C) before adding the tortillas.
Can I use flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas?
While corn tortillas are traditionally used for tostadas, you can also use flour tortillas if you prefer. However, keep in mind that the texture and taste may differ slightly.
How long should I fry the tostada shells?
Fry each tortilla for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until they become golden brown and crispy. Make sure to keep an eye on them to prevent burning.
Can I bake the tostada shells instead of frying them?
Yes, if you prefer a healthier alternative, you can bake the tortillas in the oven. Simply brush them with a little oil, place them on a baking sheet, and bake at 400°F (200°C) for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are crispy.
How can I make the tostada shells flatter and more even?
To make the tostada shells flatter and more even, you can use a kitchen utensil like tongs or a spatula to gently press them down while frying. This helps to prevent them from puffing up too much.
What can I do with leftover tostada shells?
If you have any leftover tostada shells, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days. They can be used to make delicious dishes like chilaquiles, Mexican salads, or even as a base for appetizers like nachos.