Easy Shrimp Tostadas made with juicy shrimp on a crispy tostada shell. Top with black beans, guacamole salsa, and crumbled cheese and you’ve got a fresh and flavorful Mexican dinner idea!
Table of contents
Mexican tostadas are amazing in the way that they provide a combination of so many different flavors and textures atop a crunchy corn tortilla. No wonder chicken tostadas are so popular among the readers!
These shrimp tostadas are just one of my favorite ways to make them! Healthy, wholesome, fresh ingredients are what you need to make the most of this classic dish.
I made mine with air fryer shrimp but you can cook yours any way you like including on the stovetop!
Ingredients You’ll Need
Your family will love this simple shrimp tostadas recipe! They can top how they like and then eat pizza style or with a fork.
- Corn tortillas: You can buy these already crisped as ready made tostadas, or follow my directions to make them. Corn tortillas are not the same as flour tortillas. They’re thicker, sturdier, and smaller.
- Cooking spray: I use Misto spray, but use what you have.
- Raw large shrimp: I like to use jumbo shrimp for this and place two or three on the tostada. It’s up to you if you want to use smaller shrimp to be able to have more!
- Olive oil: Drizzled over the shrimp, it helps to adhere the seasoning to the shrimp and prevent sticking to your pan.
- Seasoning: Smoked paprika, garlic powder, low sodium taco seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Beans: The traditional route is to use refried beans, whether black refried beans or pinto refried beans. But I have to admit I tend to make a lot of Instant Pot black beans, so I always have some on hand. You use what you prefer!
- Diced tomatoes: You’ll need a few medium ripe tomatoes. Plum tomatoes or Roma tomatoes are great year round.
- Avocados: Diced avocado for that creamy good fat.
- Red onion: Finely chopped or thinly sliced. Sweeter and milder than regular onion and add a ton of flavor and crunch.
- Cilantro: You either love it or you don’t, but in this case, fresh cilantro adds that signature vibrant herbed flavor popular in Mexican dishes.
- Seasoning: Cumin, chili powder, salt.
- Lime juice: Finishing it off with a squirt of lime is everything!
- Crumbled cheese: Cotija cheese is a Mexican cheese that has the saltiness and texture of feta (which can also be used) and the sharpness of cheddar cheese when aged.
How to Make Shrimp Tostadas
Tostadas with shrimp are great way to enjoy eating healthy year round!
To air fry the shells: Spray shells with cooking spray and sprinkle both sides with salt. Arrange in a single layer in the basket.
It’s OK to overlap them slightly. Cook at 400 degrees F for 4 minutes. No flipping is necessary.
To bake the shells: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and arrange a single layer of seasoned tortilla shells on a large parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake for 12 minutes, flipping halfway.
Prep the shrimp: Rinse the shrimp and transfer them to a medium or large bowl and pat dry with paper towels.
Season the shrimp: Drizzle with olive oil and toss the shrimp around to make sure they’re evenly coated with the oil. Sprinkle the dry seasoning and toss to combine.
Cook the shrimp: Two easy methods for your shrimp! Place shrimp in a single layer in the basket of the air fryer and cook for 6-8 minutes, or add shrimp to a large ceramic skillet over high heat and cook on both sides until no longer grey.
Prep toppings: While the shrimp are cooking, make a simple guacamole salsa in a medium bowl by combining tomato, avocado, red onion, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, salt, and lime juice.
To assemble tostadas: Spread refried beans or place cooked black beans on the tostada shell. Top with shrimp, a heap of guacamole salsa, and top it off with crumbled cheese. So good!
There are so many ways to switch up the flavors on a tostada, whether it’s the protein used, the topping ingredients, or the seasonings.
- Add some sliced jalapeño for heat. Chipotle or cayenne pepper would also be amazing.
- Enjoy pico de gallo on your tacos and burritos? You’ll love it on a tostada!
- Grilled shrimp tostadas: Use the seasonings from this recipe and follow grilled shrimp skewers. You could also use a grill pan.
- Skip the tostada: Fold into a taco instead and drizzle with sour cream or Greek yogurt.
- Homemade refried beans: I love using my Instant Pot refried beans recipe!
- Make homemade tostada shells: Store bought shells come with a lot of artificial colors and preservatives. I prefer to make a homemade version by crisping them up using a bit of cooking spray and salt.
- To speed things up if you don’t have the time to make guacamole salsa, just use store bought guacamole and add chopped onions and tomatoes as a topping.
- Layering order matters when building your shrimp tostadas. The beans at the bottom act as a barrier to all of the ingredients on top that come with more liquid. That way, the shell doesn’t become too soggy.
- Precooked shrimp is another way to make this recipe even faster!
You can. It’s best to thaw them first before cooking so that the seasoning adheres to the shrimp for maximum flavor.
You bet. A shrimp tostada isn’t so much about how the shrimp is cooked, but more about the crispy shell, the delicious fresh toppings, the authentic flavors, and the textures. Bake or broil for about 8 minutes in the oven.
While these are best served immediately, you could refrigerate leftovers separately for 48 hours.
You can bake homemade tostada shells as well up to 48 hours in advance. Just store in resealable Ziploc bag to keep shells crunchy.
You can cook the shrimp, chop or dice veggies, and crumble the cheese up to 48 hours in advance. Keep everything stored in airtight containers in the fridge. You can even prep the guacamole salsa and store it for up to 24 hours.
More Healthy Mexican Recipes
For the Shrimp:
To Cook Shrimp:
- Rinse and drain shrimp, transfer to a medium bowl and pat dry with paper towels. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with smoked paprika, garlic powder, taco seasoning, salt and pepper; stir to combine.
- To cook shrimp in air fryer: Transfer shrimp into the basket leveling into a single layer and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until pink and cooked throughout. No need to shake.
- To cook shrimp on a skillet: Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on high heat and add shrimp. Cook until pink on the bottom, flip and cook until no longer gray. For more char, flip once and press on shrimp with spatula.
To Make Homemade Tostada Shells:
- Arrange tortillas in a single layer, spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt on both sides.
- To air fry: Place 2-3 seasoned tortillas at a time in the basket in a single layer overlapping a bit, close carefully not to disturb and cook at 400 degrees F for 4 minutes. No need to flip.
- To bake in the oven: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat. Bake for 6 minutes per each side, means you have to flip one time.
To Make Shrimp Tostadas:
- Prep toppings: While tostadas are baking, make easy guacamole salsa by combining tomato, avocado, red onion, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, salt and lime juice.
- Assembly: To assemble tostadas, spread refried beans on a tostada shell and top with shrimp, guacamole salsa, and cheese.
- Storing tostada shells: You can bake homemade tostada shells for up to 48 hours in advance. Just store in resealable Ziploc bag to keep shells crunchy.
- Make ahead: You can cook shrimp, chop veggies, crumble cheese for up to 48 hours in advance and store in airtight containers. You can even prep guacamole for up to 24 hours.
- In a rush? You can skip making salsa guacamole and use store-bought guacamole and just add a few chopped tomatoes and red onions as a topping.