During the holidays, tostadas are a traditional Guatemalan appetizer or snack. Nothing brings families and friends together like traditional foods that reunite us and reconnect us to our roots. Some of my favorite family memories consist of a full kitchen with everyone pitching in to create our delicious meals. While my mother worked on our dinner, my father and I would get started on the tostadas to snack on while we played Lotería. We’d gather the ingredients for the guacamole while my sister would fry the tortillas. My abuelita would slice and dice the vegetables while telling old family stories about our family members back in Guatemala. These tasty tostadas are a flavorful treat that I hope you will enjoy with your friends and family.


Tostadas are usually topped with guacamole, refried beans, or red sauce with onions and cilantro. To save time, you may buy most of the ingredients ready-made at the supermarket. You should be able to find plain corn-tostadas instead of frying your own corn tortillas. I also recommend buying Ducal refried red or black beans which come directly from Guatemala and can be found in most grocery stores. I do, however, recommend making the red sauce from scratch as nothing else will taste quite the same.


• 12 cold thin tortillas (or 12 toasted tortillas)
• Oil for frying them (I prefer olive oil)
• Red sauce
• Refried beans

• Guacamole
• Queso seco (crumbling cheese)
• Onion thinly sliced and chopped Cilantro


Ingredients for the Guacamole
• 3-5 avocados
• ½ onion finely diced
• 1 teaspoon of oregano
• 2 limes
• salt to taste
• pepper to taste

Directions for Guacamole
Place the pulp of the avocado in a bowl and mash it with a fork until it becomes a puree, add the onion, lime juice and the rest of the ingredients.


Ingredients for Red Sauce
• 6 large tomatoes
• 1 garlic clove
• 1 sweet pepper
• 1 small onion
• 1 tablespoon of Adobo seasoning
• 1 tablespoon of oil (veg. or olive)
• salt to taste

Directions for Red Sauce
Boil the tomatoes, onion, garlic and sweet pepper in 3 cups of water. After they are cooked remove the pan from the fire and let it cool. Blend all of the ingredients and put them through a sieve.
In a large pan heat the vegetable oil, add the sauce, the adobo and salt to taste and bring it to a boil stirring it until it thickens.


Ingredients for Refried Beans
• 2 cups of cooked black beans
• 1/2 cup finely chopped onion

• 1 finely chopped garlic clove
• 2 tbsp. of oil (veg. or olive)

• a pinch of black pepper

• salt to taste

Directions for Refried Beans
Heat a little oil in a large skillet. Reserve a couple tbs of the chopped onion and add the rest to the oil in the skillet. Cook until the onion is just becoming translucent and add the chopped garlic. Cook over medium heat until the onions become well-browned or golden, then transfer to a blender. Add the cooked beans and their liquid and puree. Heat a little more oil in the skillet and pour in the pureed bean mixture. Cook on medium heat and stir until they acquire the desired consistency.

Fry the tortillas in oil until crispy. Transfer to paper covered plates to absorb any residual oil. Once they have cooled down spread some with guacamole, some with refried beans and some with salsa. Garnish with thin slices of onion, queso seco and cilantro. Enjoy!