When I think of bite-sized appetizers, they need to be flavorful, encompass an assortment of textures, and be relatively mess-free. These Mini Tostadas are just that! I first came up with them when planning my menu for our annual Holiday Party, where we like to come up with an assortment of bite-sized appetizers from light to filling, and from a variety of different cuisines. In addition to my Freshly Baked Jalapeno Poppers, I needed to come up with another Mexican-inspired appetizer. Well these Mini Black Bean, Fire Roasted Tomato, Corn, & Spinach Tostadas made their way onto our menu for 2014, and they were such a huge hit that I decided they deserved a post of their own.
This recipe was inspired by the Black Beans and Roasted Onion/Bell Pepper Soft Tacos from Vegetarian Times that we make on a regular basis, although I needed to come up with something mess-free, with fewer ingredients and more flavor, that could be eaten in one bite. So I thought of making mini tostadas. I searched a few markets to try and find mini tostada shells, but had no luck. I found some mini corn tortillas, but didn’t feel like frying or baking them myself. So, I decided to use yellow tortilla chips. I’ve worked with the cup-shaped tortilla chips before to create a bean-based appetizer with Indian flavors (recipe to come soon), but ended up going with some round yellow corn tortilla chips to stick with the tostada shape. I made sure to buy ones that were lightly salted, since I wanted most of the flavor to come from the toppings themselves. I wanted to keep my toppings to a minimum, so decided to focus on perfecting the beans. I adapted the Black Beans from the taco recipe and added a few more ingredients to up the flavor-profile and spice things up a bit. Instead of adding my favorite hot sauce, Cholula, on top, I simply added it directly to the beans which worked out perfectly. I also added freshly chopped spinach, sweet corn kernels, and some additional seasoning directly into the beans to up the texture and flavor, while keeping things mess-free.
The beans themselves turned out exceptionally delicious! I can easily see myself satisfied by a simple layer of these beans, but I decided to top it off with some finely chopped green onions for color, raw flavor, and texture to go along with the chunky beans and crispy round chip. My husband enjoys these with some crumbled queso fresco or cotija cheese (the version we served at the party), but I actually love them without cheese. I also appreciate how you can make these beans and chop the green onions ahead of time and simply assemble when ready to serve.
Whether you’re planning a Mexican-themed dinner party, serving an assortment of appetizers, need a quick and filling side-dish, making a light lunch for yourself, or taking an appetizer for a potluck, these Mini Tostadas are amazing and a definite crowd pleaser!
It’s always wonderful to hear from my readers and followers in the comment section below. So if you make this recipe or even simply like the idea of the recipe, I’d love to hear from you. It’s also a great way for me to get feedback so that I know how you like the recipes, whether you are eating or making them. You can give any feedback below, or you can also tag me on Instagram if you make one of the recipes @veggastronomy , #vegetariangastronomy, so I don’t miss it.
Mini Black Bean, Fire Roasted Tomato, Spinach Corn Tostadas (vegan, gluten-free)
For the Fire-Roasted Black Beans:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 8 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 medium white onion , finely chopped
- 30 oz. can black beans , drained and rinsed
- 15 oz. can fire-roasted tomatoes , diced
- 1 cup fresh spinach , chopped
- 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 cup water
- cholula hot sauce , or your favorite hot sauce
- 1/2 teasp smoked paprika (optional)
- freshly ground black pepper
For the Mini Toastadas
- round yellow tortilla chips
- green onions , finely chopped
- vegan crumbled cheese (optional) to top
To Make The Beans:
- In a medium non-stick pot, heat the olive oil on medium heat.
- Add the minced garlic and saute until fragrant (~30 seconds). Add the chopped onions and cook until they start to become transluscent.
- Add the black beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, ground cumin, water, and hot sauce (to taste). Add the smoked paprika (if using), a dash of freshly ground black pepper, and salt. Mix and combine well.
- Bring the pot of beans to a simmer, then lower the heat, enough to maintain a gentle simmer.
- Simmer and reduce the bean mixture until it is reduced by about a 1/3, most of the water has evaporated, and the beans start to become thick in consistency (~15 minutes). During this time, be sure to mix frequently.
- Using a hand masher, mash the beans mixture in the pot to help thicken them, but be sure to keep the mixture chunky and most of the beans intact.
- Add the freshly chopped spinach and frozen corn kernels.
- Simmer again on low for about 10 minutes or until you reach a desired thickness and consistency for the beans and all the spinach has cooked in.
- Season with freshly ground black pepper, salt, and Cholula hot sauce to taste.
To Prepare Mini Toastadas:
- Prepare a serving tray with a single layer of yellow round in-tact tortilla chips (to act as mini-tostadas). Note that the tortilla chips do not need to be completely flat, but flat enough so that they can be layered on top.
- Spoon about 2 tbsp of the bean mixture on top of each mini tostada shell.
- Top each with chopped green onions and crumbled vegan cheese topping (if using).
Wow Anjali, these look soooo cute and absolutely delicious. Looks like a really flavorful dish! Love it!
Thanks Reshana!! I love these bites…they were a favorite when I served them at our Holiday party last year. Even I couldn’t keep my hands off them! They are fun, mess-free, and i could even eat the beans straight out of the pot! Great to hear from you and thanks for the comment on the blog!
Hi these look amazing and I’d love to try them but I’ve never seen fire roasted tomatoes in store, is there any substitutes I could use?
The fire-roasted tomatoes come in cans and are next to all the other canned tomatoes. This is the one I typically use. If you can’t find them, you can purchase on amazon here, or simply use your favorite brand regular canned tomatoes and perhaps a small amount of smoked paprika if you desire for that ‘fire-roasted’ smoky flavor, and hot sauce to taste…if you are able to get your hands on some Cholula Hot Sauce, it’s my favorite! Should taste great either way! Let me know if you give them a try and what you used! Thanks for following!
Thanks in will let you know how I get on
Hi again Anjali, I couldn’t find any roasted tomatoes, I don’t think we have them over here, but I made the recipe with ordinary canned tomatoes and a little extra smoked paprika and it was lovely. Thanks so much!
That’s great to hear! Yeah I think this recipe is pretty forgiving and you can simply add the extra smoky flavor in other ways. Glad to know that they turned out good for those times I don’t have the fire-roasted tomatoes in my pantry! Thanks for the comment, and excited you enjoyed this appetizer! The beans are my favorite and so versatile!
Home made taco and with all veg.& beans perfect meal. Love it.