Black Bean and Corn Tostadas

by Gena on August 31, 2013


To all those who are celebrating, I wish you a wonderful and restful holiday weekend. I’ll be catching up on work, but doing so from my Mom’s place in New York, which is restful and nice for both of us. In the meantime, I’m here to share one of the recipes I’ve recently featured as a part of my vegan lunch column for Food52. This is a quick, easy option when you’re in a pinch, especially if you prep the black bean and corn filling ahead of time. If that’s too much, you can add some plain beans or lentils–no need to dress them up!

As I was writing this column, I realized that “tostada” was sort of a misnomer, because the corn tortillas aren’t fried, which is the traditional tostada preparation. Even so, the dish looked and tasted like tostadas to me. If you’d like to make it a little more authentic, you could heat the corn tortillas in a frying pan with some oil. Or you could call them burritos, or soft tacos…or whatever works. But the point is that these little guys make for a satisfying and tasty lunch. They’re also good to bring to potlucks or cookouts, if you’re attending any of those this weekend!


Black Bean and Corn Tostadas (vegan, gluten free*)


  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup black beans, cooked
  • 1 cup raw or frozen and steamed corn
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 cup jicama, diced (optional--jicama can be hard to find)
  • 1 Haas avocado, sliced
  • 4 corn tortillas (I like the sprouted corn tortillas from Food for Life)


  1. 1. Heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan. Add the onion and cook for five minutes, or until soft. Add the black beans and corn, cumin, paprika, chili powder, and lime juice. Remove from heat. Stir in the jicama, if using.
  2. 2. Divide the corn and bean mixture among the four tortillas. Top with avocado slices and a sprinkle of greens, if you like (I went with arugula, my summertime favorite). Makes 4 servings.
  3. *If you're extremely sensitive to gluten, corn tortillas may not be appropriate for you. Use a brand that you know and trust.

If you’d like a shortcut approach to this recipe, you can omit the onion and skip the cooking altogether. Simply toss the cooked black beans and corn with the seasonings, some olive oil, and the lime juice before piling them into your tortillas. Also delicious, and quicker for sure.


Of course, you can and should get creative with filling ideas. If you’d like to explore another one of my favorite recipes, check out my tortillas with creamy kale and toasted chickpeas!


What will you be eating for lunch this weekend? I hope it’s delightful, no matter what. And with that, happy Saturday, friends. Till very soon,


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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Randi August 31, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Oh man, Gena! Just when I thought I could go maybe one day without having tacos…


Gena August 31, 2013 at 2:29 pm

:-) Enjoy them, Randi!


Sprout'd August 31, 2013 at 4:08 pm

The creamy kale and toasted chickpeas looks DELICIOUS! How did you heat the corn tortillas in these recipes? Skillet?


Gena September 1, 2013 at 6:48 am

Yup! Just heat them gently in a skillet.


Elisabeth August 31, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Tacos are one of my favorite quick and easy but nutritious meals. They are endlessly adaptable and go with a number of side dishes. This is a great filling idea! Another idea is caramelized onions, portobello mushrooms, and Anaheim chiles, topped with tomato salsa and guacamole; it’s really good, especially when served with black beans and pico de gallo and a simple green salad with lime vinaigrette!


Gena September 1, 2013 at 6:50 am

That sounds great — minus the onions, of course ;-)


jodye @ chocolate and chou fleur August 31, 2013 at 8:24 pm

This looks like such a light and lovely summer meal. I love corn tortillas, and have been making my own quite a bit this summer. The black bean mixture sounds like it would go wonderfully with a fresh tortilla!


Christine Derrel September 1, 2013 at 2:17 am

Wow, these tostadas look delicious!!! Any info on calories??? Thx


Gena September 1, 2013 at 6:49 am

Hey Christine,

I’m sorry, I don’t do calorie counts for my recipes. But I’m sure you could try My Fitness Pal or CalorieKing…



Sienna September 2, 2013 at 3:17 am

Looks delicious.

@Christine – Looking at the ingredients, there’s probably about 250 calories per tostada


badouj September 2, 2013 at 4:55 am

Wow these look incredible. I’ve never seen a tostada recipe that involved baking and not frying. I got to try these!


Elaine September 2, 2013 at 7:28 pm

These look gorgeous! Unfortunately I am allergic to corn so I would like to share a tip for any others with the same issue. A good sub for the corn allergic is a soca tortilla or crepe. GF and I use them where corn tortillas are called for.


Gena September 3, 2013 at 6:21 am

That’s a great tip, Elaine. Thank you!


Christy@SweetandSavoring September 3, 2013 at 4:41 pm

This jumped right out at me- my husband and I are suckers for black bean anything! Thanks for reminding me of a simple, delicious & healthy meal. And creamy kale with chickpeas? Yum!


Gabby @ the veggie nook September 4, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Oh wow. This leaves me wishing I could find jicama SOMEWHERE!


kimmythevegan September 7, 2013 at 11:26 am

YUM – I love this quick & easy to throw together meal idea =)
Sounds awesome!


Sahil December 1, 2013 at 11:22 am

Great Recipe with low calories.. Awesome Combination.


عسلي February 1, 2014 at 3:24 pm

This leaves me wishing I could find jicama SOMEWHERE!


venu factor February 9, 2014 at 8:16 am

These look gorgeous! Regrettably I’m allergic to corn so I must share some advice for just about any others with similar problem. A great sub for that corn allergic is really a soca tortilla or crepe. GF and that i rely on them where corn tortillas are known as for.


Gena February 10, 2014 at 9:45 am

Great tip! Thanks.


Vert Shock Review April 4, 2014 at 9:07 am

I are suckers for black bean anything! Thanks for reminding me of a simple, delicious & healthy meal. And creamy kale with chickpeas? Yum!


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