Black Bean and Quinoa Tostadas

"I was searching for some vegetarian taco recipes, and found something similar to this. It was very tex-mex though, so I took inspiration from Rick Bayless's book Authentic Mexican (that book is amazing, it is my culinary bible), and put together this recipe. I'm not a vegetarian myself, and sometimes vegetarian meals feel like they're missing something to me. Not this though, the way the flavours and textures of everything come together are very satisfying. It's also relatively easy to put together, the hard part is finding the time to cook the beans and slice the vegetables. For an easier version, use tinned black beans, and substitute the tomatoes, onions, garlic, and serannos with a jar of Herdez salsa. Just be careful when you fry the salsa though, the liquid tends to spatter."
photo by Space Burger Steve photo by Space Burger Steve
photo by Space Burger Steve
Ready In:
16-24 tostadas, depending on how you load them


  • Beans

  • 34 cup dried black beans
  • 3 cups water
  • 12 small white onion
  • 12 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 teaspoons corn oil
  • Quinoa

  • 700 g tomatoes
  • 1 12 white onions
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 serrano peppers
  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1 12 cups water
  • 34 cup white quinoa
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 1 12 teaspoons vegetable bouillon (I use Better Than Bouillon)
  • To Serve

  • 16 tostadas (or more)
  • 200 g goat cheese
  • 250 ml sour cream
  • 250 ml guacamole (or mash 2 avocados)


  • Rinse the beans and cover with water in a pot, soak overnight.
  • 3-4 hours before dinner, rinse the beans, and add the remaining bean ingredients. You can dice the onion as fine as you like, I usually cut the ends off one onion, cut it in half across its axis, peel off the outer layer, and throw one half in the pot.
  • Simmer the beans for 2-3 hours, until the beans are tender. Turn off the heat, cover, and set them aside if they're done before everything else.
  • About 1 hour before dinner, soak the tomatoes in hot (boiled, not boiling) water for a few minutes, then rinse them in cold water, and peel the skins off. Remove their seeds and cores, and dice the tomatoes fine.
  • Dice the onions, crush the garlic, add to the tomatoes.
  • Remove the seeds and membranes from the serranos, and dice them as fine as you can. Add them to the tomatoes, onions, and garlic.
  • Heat up a frying pan to medium high, pour in the corn oil. When the oil is nice and hot, add the vegetables (and fruit, if you insist on being pedantic about it :p ), and fry until the onion is clear.
  • Transfer the vegetables from your frying pan to your rice cooker, and add the remaining ingredients for the quinoa. Give it a good stir, and turn it on.
  • When your rice cooker is finished cooking the quinoa, strain and rinse the beans, and stir them into the quinoa.
  • Serve on tostadas with sour cream, crumbled goat cheese, and guacamole. You could use queso fresco instead of the goat cheese, but that little bit of pungence goes nicely with the quinoa. For the quacamole, I mash two avocados, and add crushed cumin seeds, one clove crushed garlic, kosher salt, lime juice, Buffalo chipotle sauce, and fresh cilantro, all to taste.

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