May 4, 2023

Plant-Based Tostone Tostadas

Shake up taco night with this fun Plant-Based Whole30 take on tostadas! Not only are these Tostone Tostadas vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free and nut-free, they are so fun. A dish you eat with your hands that the whole family will love. A great, easy weeknight dinner!

What is a Tostada?

A tostada is a flat crunchy tortilla shell. The word tostada means “toasted.” Tostadas are a popular dish in Mexico and Latin America. No tortillas made with flour, even with compatible ingredients, are allowed on the Whole30, per The Pancake Rule. However, these tostadas have only one ingredient – plantains – and are allowed. 

We made the plantains into large tostones as a tostada shell. Tostones are twice-cooked green plantains and are common to Latin American and Caribbean cultures. They are crispy and flat, making them a great Whole30 tostada base. 

What do you put on a tostada? The options are as endless as taco toppings. Make it your own with your favorites! We used guacamole, refried beans, black beans, shredded lettuce, and pico de gallo, with a drizzle of ranch and a pinch of fresh chopped cilantro.

About Plantains

Plantains are a tropical, starchy fruit related to the banana. In fact, they look like large straight bananas. They are starchy when green and sweet when yellow with brown spots, similar to a banana. For this recipe, you will want your plantains green. If they aren’t green, they won’t get crispy and hard enough to build on like a tostada shell. Plantains are found in the produce section. They are often located close to the bananas. 

Tips for making these plantain tostadas

  • Be sure not to cut your plantain pieces too big and to cook them on medium-low heat. Raw green plantains are dense and take a long time to cook through, so you don’t want to cook on too high of heat. Low and slow is the way to go!
  • Plantains are a nice golden yellow color when cooked. Flip or rotate them in the pan until all sides are golden. Avoid letting them get brown, as that will make them too crunchy to flatten well.
  • If your plantains break apart or have a hard time smashing flat, they weren’t cooked long enough. 
Recipe author: Autumn Michaelis

Plant-Based Tostone Tostadas

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 3 large green plantains peeled and cut into 1 ½” tall coin-shaped pieces
  • high-heat cooking oil, like avocado or coconut oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1 (15) oz refried beans
  • 1(15) oz can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 head lettuce shredded
  • 2 cups guacamole
  • 2 cups pico de gallo

Optional toppings

  • ranch
  • chopped cilantro
  • jalapeños


  • MAKE the tostone tostada shells by heating a shallow amount of oil (about ¼”) in a medium saucepan. Cook the plantain slices until golden all over, rotating as necessary to get all sides golden. Try to avoid them getting brown. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to do this in batches.
  • SMASH the cooked plantains while still hot with a kitchen mallet or the flat bottom of a mug until flat and thin. Cook again in the shallow oil over medium-low heat, about 3 minutes on each side until crispy. You will need to do this 2-3 at a time, depending on the size of your pan. Sprinkle tostone with salt immediately after cooking.
  • WARM the refried beans and black beans each on the stove or in the microwave.
  • BUILD your tostada by laying on top of the tostone with refried beans, black beans, guacamole, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo and other toppings of choice, such as a drizzle of ranch, chopped cilantro, and jalapenos.
  • SERVE and enjoy!
Autumn Michaelis wearing an apron and holding a bowl of fresh salad smiling at the camera.

Autumn Michaelis

Autumn Michaelis is an ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist, with a B.S. in Exercise Science from BYU. Though exercise was her first love in the health world, nutrition has become her passion. She created the blog Wholefoodfor7, sharing easy and budget-friendly Whole30, Paleo, and gluten-free + dairy-free recipes for families. In August 2022, Autumn released the newest Whole30 Endorsed cookbook, Whole Food for Your Family. She is mom to 5 boys (yes 5!) and when not in the kitchen can be found adventuring, hiking, and tearing up the dance floor.