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Barbacoa Beef Tostadas

These double stacked beef tostadas are the perfect way to serve or repurpose leftover shredded barbacoa beef and other protein options. The bottom layer of refried black beans and melted cheese hold the baked tostadas together and provide a layer of smooth flavor that perfectly compliments the barbacoa and tangy slaw on top. They’re easy to make and customize, too. So let’s get to it!

four beef tostadas with slaw on quarter sheet pans with queso fresco, pico, and lime wedges

Barbacoa Beef Tostadas Recipe Walkthrough

This is a very basic recipe that involves two other recipes from my blog. You’ll find a printable recipe card at the bottom of the post with links to the barbacoa beef and refried black beans recipes I used, as well as other protein options you could use instead of the beef. I’ll also cover a few additional substitutes and customization options in the walkthrough below.

Step 1: Make the Tex-Mex Slaw

cole slaw mix, seasoned Greek yogurt, lime juice, diced jalapeño peppers, and cilantro

This creamy Tex-Mex slaw uses Greek yogurt, coleslaw mix, jalapeño, cilantro, and a few spices to make a quick topping for your beef tostadas. If you’d like a non-creamy slaw option, check out this Mexican cabbage slaw. And for a souped up version with black beans and corn, check out this Mexican coleslaw.

If you have picky eaters in the house or would rather skip the slaw, that’s perfectly fine. I’ve included nutrition facts for the tostadas with and without the slaw in the recipe card below.

Step 2: Add refried black beans and cheese to 4 baked tostadas. 

refried black beans and cheese on 4 baked tostadas

Baked Tostadas

I used store bought Mission baked tostadas. There are other options available, and you can even make your own by baking tortillas for 8-10 minutes at 400ºF. The extra thin corn tortillas I used for my baked tacos and air fryer taquitos work great.

Refried Black Beans

If you didn’t want to make your own refried black beans, you could always buy them canned or even use classic refried pinto beans. You can even find fat free refried beans in a can these days.

That said, I’d highly suggest making your own!

For the cheese, I used a blend of cheddar and Monterey jack. Any melting cheese will work great here.

Step 3: Top with 4 additional tostadas and bake for 8-10 minutes at 400ºF.

baked tostadas before adding barbacoa beef and slaw

You want the cheese to melt, sealing the two layers together. Be careful not to burn your tostadas here, especially if you’re making your own with extra thin corn tortillas. Those things go from golden brown to black in a hurry.

Step 4: Top with barbacoa beef, Tex-Mex slaw, and crumbled queso fresco.

barbacoa beef tostadas with slaw

This is the fun part. The recipe calls for 8 oz of cooked barbacoa beef, so about 2 oz per tostada. If you wanted to increase the protein, you could always add a bit more.

Any protein works here. I have a recipe for Texas smoked pot roast that would be great, though it’s not the leanest option. And if you’d rather use chicken, pork, or any other type of tostada-friendly topping, go right ahead. Some ideas:

A quick note about this step, since you’ll not be baking the tostadas again, is to be sure your protein is either freshly cooked or reheated before adding to the tostadas.

Like I mentioned above, I’ve included notes for the tostadas with and without the slaw. If you’re going sans slaw, you can still add the crumbled queso fresco. Or you could swap that out for a simple fat free Greek yogurt and salsa or hot sauce drizzle like I served my black bean quesadillas with.

One last thing before you get cooking. These barbacoa stackers (and my barbacoa enchiladas) are inspired by a restaurant on our Best Austin Restaurants list, Jack Allen’s Kitchen. If you’re in Austin and haven’t been, get on it!

Okay, that should be everything you need to know. Be sure to let me know what you think about these barbacoa beef tostadas via a recipe review or comment at the bottom of the post. If you have a recipe question I forgot to cover, you can leave it there in the comments as well. Otherwise, enjoy!

Double Stacked Barbacoa Beef Tostadas

Double Stacked Barbacoa Beef Tostadas

Yield: 4 Tostadas
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Refried black beans and melty cheese between two tostadas topped with barbacoa beef, Tex-Mex slaw, and queso fresco.


For the Slaw

  • 1-2 tsp Diced Jalapeño
  • 1 Tbsp Chopped Cilantro
  • 1/3 C (113g) Fat Free Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp (30g) Lime Juice
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 4 oz Cole Slaw Mix


  1. Mix all the slaw ingredients together, cole slaw mix last, and place in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat oven to 400ºF and place 4 baked tostadas on a baking sheet.
  3. Top the tostadas with the refried black beans and 1 oz of cheese each.
  4. Top with the remaining 4 tostadas and bake for 8-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and tostadas are golden brown.
  5. Top the tostadas with the barbacoa beef, slaw, and crumbled queso fresco.


*You can buy pre-baked tostadas or bake Extra Thin Corn Tortillas on their own for 8-10 minutes at 400ºF.

Barbacoa Beef Substitutes

You could swap barbacoa beef for other protein options like my Mexican shredded chicken, pork tenderloin carnitas, or something like ground turkey taco meat. For a quick solution, you could use pulled rotisserie chicken.

Nutrition Information Notes

  • Each beef tostada has 7 WW SmartPoints (blue).
  • Without the slaw, each tostada has 310 calories, 20g protein, 30g carbs, and 10g fat.
  • For a lower fat option, you can use 2 oz of shredded cheese instead of 4 oz. This version would have 300 calories, 21g protein, 31g carbs, and 9g fat per tostada (with slaw).
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Tostadas Serving Size: 1 Tostada
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 350Total Fat: 13gCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 25g

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