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How to make Tostada Shells (Baked or Fried!)

Here I'll show you how to bake and fry corn tortillas to turn them into crispy & delicious tostadas!
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6 tostada shells
Calories: 72kcal
Cost: 50p / 50c


  • Sharp Knife
  • Wire Rack
  • Tongs
  • 1-2 Large Baking Trays & Brush (for baking)
  • Large Frying Pan & Two Spatulas (for frying)


  • 6 Corn Tortillas (6-7")
  • Salt, as needed
  • Vegetable (1 cup/250ml for frying or 1-2 tbsp for baking)



  • Pre heat oven to 200C/390F.
  • Stab each tortilla a few times with a sharp knife. This will help steam escape as they cook. Lightly brush both sides with oil and sprinkle with a small pinch of salt.
  • Spread out on a baking tray (you'll probably get 3 per tray), then pop in the oven for 4-5mins or until they JUST start to brown. Keep on eye on them as they go from perfect to burnt very quickly. If you spot the outside browning quicker than the middle, take them out and lower temp to 180C/350C (all ovens can be different).
  • After 4-5mins take them out and use a spatula or fork to push down on any steam bubbles. Flip the tortillas, rotate the trays then pop back in the oven for another 4-5mins. Again, just be vigilant. Remove from oven and rest on a wire rack. They will crisp as they cool.


  • Stab tortillas a few times with a sharp knife.
  • Heat up enough oil to comfortably cover the base of your pan to around 1/4" high. Around 1 cup/250ml should suffice depending on the size of your pan. You want the oil sizzling but not smoking. If you have a thermometer aim for between 170C/340F - 180C/350F.
  • Use a pair of tongs to carefully slide the tortilla into the oil. Immediately grab your spatula and gently push down on the tortilla to flatten any bubbles and keep the tortilla under the oil.
  • After around 30-45 seconds (or until the bottom side starts to brown), use two spatulas to carefully flip the tortilla and fry for another 30-45 seconds. Remove tortilla and rest on wire rack. They'll crisp as they cool. Again, just be vigilant because these will burn quickly. Better to remove them from the oil early than to leave them too long and burn.
  • Sprinkle both sides of the tortilla with a light pinch of salt.



a) Can I use Flour Tortillas? - You can indeed. From personal experience they don't crisp up quite as well, but for all intents and purpose they work just fine!
b) My tortillas are still slightly rubbery, how do I crisp them up? - You might find with frying them that they don't come out perfectly crispy every time. Firstly I'll just emphasise that they do crisp as they cool (make sure it's a wire rack so you can circulate air around them to cool, and don't stack them on each other). If you're still not happy with the texture you can dry them out in the oven at 120C/250F until nice and crispy. 
c) Storage - Tostada shells are tricky to store as they retain a lot of moisture. However if you keep them at room temp in a zip lock bag (squeeze out as much air as possible) they'll be good for a couple of days. You can dry them out again in the oven if needed.
d) Reheating - Pop in the oven at 180C/350F for a couple of minutes until they crisp up again.
e) Tostada Recipe - Put these to use and make my Best Ever Chicken Tostadas!
f) Calories -  Per tostadas shell assuming 1 tbsp veg oil and 1/4 tsp salt in total.


Calories: 72kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.71g | Protein: 1.37g | Fat: 2.95g | Saturated Fat: 1.956g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.377g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.424g | Sodium: 108mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 1.5g | Sugar: 0.21g | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 0.3mg