Shrimp and White Bean Tostadas

Shrimp and White Bean Tostadas

When the semester gets busy–which is pretty much immediately–I start to fall back on fast, easy to put together meals.  Anything elaborate either happens on Sundays or is prepared by one of our favorite restaurants.  One of my absolute favorite “fast food” meals is shrimp tacos or tostadas.  They come together really quickly, taste wonderful, and we both love them.

For the tostada base there are several good options.  If you want a lower fat tortilla you can lightly brush the tortillas with oil (or use a good hit of cooking spray) and bake them until they are crunchy.  They don’t get as crisp this way but they are very good.  The method I used for this batch was a stove-top version because I didn’t want to turn the oven on in this heat.  Just brush the tortillas with a light coating of oil and then heat them in a skillet, flipping once, until both sides are browned and have puffed up a bit.  Again, not as crunchy as deep fried, but still crispy and delicious.

For refries I like to use canned beans and give them a good rinse, then cook them with a little olive oil and some spices, mashing them as I go.  When I have the time I always make my own (and it doesn’t take long since you are essentially just reheating and mashing the beans), but of course you can use prepared refries if you are really pinched for time.  The white beans are a nice change of pace and they pair well with seafood.

Shrimp and White Bean Tostadas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 15-ounce can white kidney beans, well drained
1 teaspoon minced garlic (or garlic paste)
pinch of whole cumin seed

1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 fresh chile (I used a mild Anaheim), seeded and chopped

tostada shells
shredded cabbage (I used Napa)
chopped tomato
fresh cilantro
salsa verde
lime wedges

For the beans, heat the oil over medium-high heat in a nonstick pan and add the beans and spices.  Cook, stirring and mashing frequently, until the beans are the texture you prefer.  I sometimes stir in fresh cilantro when I remove them from the heat.

For the shrimp, cook them in a dry, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat along with the chile, stirring frequently, for about three minutes.  You want the shrimp just cooked through, and I prefer a little crunch to the chile.  If you like the chile soft, cook it without the shrimp for a few minutes, then add them in.  If you are worried about the food sticking you can use oil, but I prefer the color of the shrimp when they are cooked in a dry skillet.

Layer your ingredients on the shells in the quantities desired, and eat immediately.

Thanks for reading,


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  1. Love your tostada with beans and seafood! Very fresh and tasty!

  2. Those look delicious and great pics, too. I'm a chz freak, so I'd add some melted mexican chz… aka Quesadilla style 🙂 I'll eat healthy when I'm dead!! jk Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. claudia @Whats Cookin

    What a great idea! I love these!~

  4. This looks amazing and perfect for summer. I know what we're having for dinner this week.

  5. Wonder what the calorie content is? I want to make this soon!

    1. Cynthia, I don’t know the exact count (it depends a lot on how much topping you use and what all you add), but if you do the baked method for the tortillas the overall count would be pretty low.

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