What’s on the menu this week? My Lean Beef Tostada Bake! Lean ground beef combines with onion, spices, and diced green chilis to create a delicious tostada filling. Complimented by layers of beans and cheese, your tostada bake is carefully held together by crispy corn tortillas. It’s fun, filling, and fiesta-ready! This Lean Beef Tostada Bake helps keep dinner interesting and pairs perfectly with with pico de gallo, sour cream, shredded iceberg, salsa, avocado–the opportunities are endless!
What you’ll need to make this Lean Beef Tostada Bake
- 96/4 lean ground beef
- Garlic powder
- Chili powder
- Kosher salt
- Onion powder
- Mild diced green chilis
- Fat free refried beans
- Reduced fat Mexican blend cheese
- Extra thin corn tortillas
- Brand used: Mission Extra Thin Yellow Corn Tortillas
- Olive oil or avocado oil spray
Lightening up this recipe
This recipe is a great example of how a few simple swaps of ingredients can give you a recipe that is calorie friendly without sacrificing flavor or portion size, because…why would we want to do that?!
First, I utilized 96/4 lean ground beef (find it in a store near you using this store locator). Opting for 92% or 93% will also work. Just make sure you account for the difference in calories if you are following a plan like WW or counting calories or macros.
Another smart swap in this recipe shines through with the use of fat free refried beans. The calorie count of most “regular” beans are impacted by the use of lard or other oils, or sugar. Fat free refried beans have simple and calorie-friendly ingredient lists.
Reduced fat Mexican cheese blend is a no-brainer swap in my opinion. Unlike some fat-free cheeses, reduced-fat cheeses still offer great, familiar cheesy flavors that you’ll love. It’s all the flavor with less of the fat.
This recipe uses 12 tortillas. Normally, that could spike the calorie count dramatically. However, by using extra thin corn tortillas we are able to keep things light while still satisfying those crispy cravings. Opting for corn tortillas here is also a great way to make this recipe gluten-free.
Aside from the simple swaps noted above, this recipe uses all “real” ingredients, with no lack of flavor. This is a great twist on taco night!
How to make this Lean Beef Tostada Bake
Start by preheating your oven to 425F.
Chop a small onion. Add the chopped onion and lean ground beef to a frying pan over medium heat. Follow by adding the spices. Cook until the beef is no longer pink.
Then, add the diced green chilis and add water. Simmer for about five minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Spray a casserole dish with non-stick spray. Then, arrange the tortillas on the bottom and sides of the baking dish. Next, add the beans in an even layer, followed by the cooked beef, and finally the cheese.
Fold the edges of the tortillas over, and cover with the remaining tortillas. Add a smaller baking dish on top (or an oven safe pan) as a weight on top of the casserole to keep it from cracking open. Since corn tortillas can get super crispy in the oven, this dish will end up not being the prettiest when it bakes; the edges will crisp up, and it will not be even: but that’s ok! It tastes delicious, like a deconstructed nacho. And even better, it’s fun to eat.
Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with pico de gallo, salsa, sour cream, avocado, and shredded iceberg. The whole family can dress their dishes how they enjoy them, which makes this dish super family friendly as well.
Lean Beef Tostada Bake
- frying pan
- casserole dish
- small baking dish or oven safe pan
- 1 onion, small, chopped
- 1 lb 96/4 extra lean ground beef
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 4 oz diced green chilis, mild
- 1/2 cup water
- 12 corn tortillas, used: Mission extra thin
- 1 cup fat free refried beans
- 1/2 cup reduced fat Mexican cheese
- olive oil spray or cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Chop the onion. Add the onion and ground beef to a frying pan over medium heat with cooking spray.
- Add the spices. Cook until the beef is no longer pink.
- Add the diced green chilis and water. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
- Spray a casserole dish with non-stick spray, and then arrange the tortillas on the bottom and sides of the baking dish.
- Ensure the entire base of the baking dish is covered by the tortillas, as well as the sides. This will allow the filling to stay put and ultimately for the edges of the tortillas to be folded over.
- Add the beans in an even layer, followed by the cooked beef, and finally the cheese.
- Fold the edges of the tortillas over, and cover with the remaining tortillas.
- Spray the top of the casserole liberally with more cooking spray. Add a pinch of kosher salt on top.
- Add a smaller baking dish on top (or an oven safe pan) as a weight on top of the casserole to keep it from cracking open.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Optional: Serve with pico de gallo, salsa, sour cream, avocado, and shredded iceberg.
- 7 WW points (all plans)
Interested in more Tex-Mex recipes? Try one of these recipes with similar flavor profiles: