These Tex-Mex chalupas, also known as tostadas, are quick to throw together and are Texan comfort food. It’s the perfect recipe for easy lunches or busy weeknights that does not require meal planning!
Wanna know why God made beans?
So you can make refried beans to spread on chalupas.
They serve as the glue that hold the fresh, wholesome meat and veggies onto a perfectly crispy tostada shell. That is true love right there.
Tex-Mex chalupas are a staple and absolute favorite in our Texas farmhouse. They are pure goodness, super easy, and perfect for those moments when everyone is hungry, there is no meat thawed, and you have no clue what to make for supper.
No warming the tostada shells in advance or dirtying up another pot to heat the refried beans. Simply cook the meat, assemble the chalupa, and pop it in the oven for 10 minutes!
This recipe skips any extra steps making it very quick and easy with little cleanup!
The Great Debate: Chalupa or Tostada?
The great debate in our household is whether this recipe is a chalupa or a tostada – us Texans take our Tex-Mex food very seriously.
If you ask Chris, it is a tostada.
If you ask my grandma from South Texas, it is most definitely a chalupa.
What is the difference between a tostada and a chalupa?
A tostada is a flat fried, or baked, tortilla while a chalupa is in the shape of a boat, or canoe. Both a tostada and chalupa are topped with beans, meat, cheese, and vegetables.
So technically Chris wins this one. However, I did ask a very sweet lady from Mexico to settle the debate for us. She giggled and told me that it was dependent on the region.
Perhaps we are both right after all. Nevertheless, I grew up referring to them as chalupas so they will forever be known as such to me.
Tips for Making Easy Weeknight Chalupas:
- Store leftover taco meat and refried beans separately in the refrigerator. Assemble the tostada, refried beans, taco meat, and shredded cheese as usual and simply pop into the oven at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes to reheat.
- Refried beans are the first topping to go on the chalupa as it allows the meat or other toppings to stick to the tostada.
- Cook ground meat from frozen if in a pinch to make dinner with no meat thawed in the fridge.
- Make your own tostada shells by simply applying a thin coat of avocado or olive oil to both sides of a tortilla and lay them flat on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes per side, or until tortilla becomes golden and crispy.
Tex-Mex Chalupas Toppings:
There are probably endless ways on how to assemble a chalupa with toppings. Use what you have on hand and your creativity to come up with your favorite combination. Some of our favorite chalupa toppings are:
This is where is becomes very personalized and quite honestly you can’t go wrong here.
Traditionally speaking, and according to my grandma, a true South Texas chalupa consists of beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions – no meat.
However, Chris believes, in an ever so manly fashion, that a meal is in fact not a true meal without meat… so we always add ground meat.
- Refried beans
- Ground meat with taco seasoning
- Cheese – shredded and melted on top
- Lettuce – butter leaves or mixed greens
- Lime – squeezed across the top
- Homemade guacamole
- Pico de Gallo
- Sour cream
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Avocado or olive oil – My preferred cooking oils are olive and avocado along with coconut oil for baking. I recommend using these healthy oils over any vegetable, seed, or hydrogenated oil.
Tostada shells – You can use either store bought tostadas or make your own with tortillas. Simply apply a thin coat of avocado or olive oil to both sides of a tortilla and lay them flat on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes per side, or until tortilla becomes golden and crispy.
Ground meat – Choose your preferred meat between beef, turkey, or chicken.
Taco Seasoning – I use 2 tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning per pound of meat.
Refried beans – Either homemade or canned refried beans with work just fine for this recipe.
Cheese – Our favorite types of cheese for tostadas are cheddar, colby-jack, Monterey jack, or a combination of each. We prefer shredded over sliced cheese for a nice balance – not too thick – and melted on top.
Lettuce, tomato, onion, and avocado – Sliced or chopped veggies and full lettuce leaves are perfect toppings for chalupas. You could also opt to use homemade guacamole or pico de gallo.
Easy Tex-Mex Chalupas Recipe
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
Cook the ground meat in the skillet until fully cooked and season with taco seasoning.
Spread a thin layer of refried beans onto tostadas, then layer with cooked meat and shredded cheese on top.
Place the assembled chalupas on a baking sheet and place in oven for 8-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and beans are heated.
Prep the veggies while the chalupas are in the oven.
Top the heated chalupas with veggies and a sprinkle of lime juice. Serve and enjoy!
Printable recipe available below!
More Texas Farmhouse Recipes:
Find more homemade recipes here.
Do you refer to it as a chalupa or a tostada? Let us know in the comments!
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- 12 tostadas
- 2 tbsp avocado or olive oil
- 1 lbs ground meat (beef, turkey, or chicken)
- 2 tbsp taco seasoning
- 2 cups refried beans
- 1/2 cup cheese (shredded)
- 2 cups lettuce (chopped)
- 1 cup tomato (chopped)
- 1/2 cup onion (chopped)
- 1 avocado (chopped)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
- Cook the ground meat in the skillet until fully cooked and season with taco seasoning.
- Spread a thin layer of refried beans onto tostadas, then layer with cooked meat and shredded cheese on top.
- Place the assembled chalupas on a baking sheet and place in oven for 8-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and beans are heated.
- Prep the veggies while the chalupas are in the oven.
- Top the heated chalupas with veggies and a sprinkle of lime juice. Serve and enjoy!