Fry an egg to make crispy breakfast tostadas, a twist on a versatile dish

Fatty avocado and briny cotija cheese take this crunchy alternative to the breakfast taco over the top

By Ashlie D. Stevens

Deputy Food Editor

Published August 23, 2020 5:30PM (EDT)

Fried Eggs In Cooking Pan On Stove (Getty Images/Tom Baker)
Fried Eggs In Cooking Pan On Stove (Getty Images/Tom Baker)

Tostadas have always been there for me. They're a constant in my culinary repertoire. Need an extra appetizer for a party? Tostadas with ground beef and cheese are basically mess-free nachos that can be held in a palm of your hand. Cheap dinner on the fly? Pile a protein and whatever random veggies are wilting in your fridge (plus, copious amounts of hot sauce) onto a tostada.The moment when I roll over and realize I need a relatively effortless breakfast for two? You guessed it. Tostadas. 

The tostada — which is both the deep-fried tortilla and any dish that uses that tortilla as a base — is endlessly versatile, but typically when people think of it, their minds go to lunch or dinner. 

But as breakfast is my absolute favorite meal of the day (in the words of Leslie Knope, "Why would anybody ever eat anything other than breakfast food?"), I'm always looking for opportunities to toss a fried egg on things

So, think of this version as a crunchy update on the breakfast burrito, topped with flavorful refried beans, fatty avocado, and dripping with golden egg yolk. There are a couple elements that really take it over the top: briny cotija cheese (you can substitute feta if you have it on hand), a squeeze of lime juice, and a dash of smoky chili powder for heat. 

Breakfast Tostadas

Serves 2, 1 tostada per serving 

  • 2 corn tostadas 
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of refried beans 
  • ½ of an avocado, cut into thin slices
  • 2 tablespoons of cotija cheese 
  • 2 teaspoons of lime juice 
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder

1. In a small saucepan, heat the refried beans in one tablespoon of olive oil until warmed through. Set aside. Meanwhile, place the tostadas under the broiler on the lowest setting and heat until warm to the touch. Remove from the oven and set aside. 

2. Heat the remaining olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Break eggs and slide them slowly into the pan, and reduce the heat to low. Fry the eggs until the whites are firm and the edges of the egg are just starting to brown, remove from heat. 

3. Time to assemble the tostada! Spread 1 tablespoon of refried beans on each tostada, followed by a tablespoon of cotija cheese. Split the avocado between the tostadas, dressing each with 1 teaspoon of lime juice and ½ teaspoon of chili powder. Slide the egg carefully on top.

By Ashlie D. Stevens

Ashlie D. Stevens is Salon's deputy food editor. She is also an award-winning radio producer, editor and features writer — with a special emphasis on food, culture and subculture. Her writing has appeared in and on The Atlantic, National Geographic’s “The Plate,” Eater, VICE, Slate, Salon, The Bitter Southerner and Chicago Magazine, while her audio work has appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered and Here & Now, as well as APM’s Marketplace. She is based in Chicago.

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