Healthy Black Bean Tostadas with Cilantro Sauce

Black Bean Tostada


The good news is that I ADORE THESE.

The bad news is that grocery shopping in the Philippines has become un-fun.

It started out being kind of fun because everything was new and exciting. Every time I saw something familiar, like Corn Flakes or PB&Co Peanut Butter or Laughing Cow Cheese (seriously, who is deciding on the imported foods list here?), I would do a happy dance and take a picture and buy all of it.

It was also fun to buy new and exotic things, like real coconuts and Milo cereal and milk in a box.

But then it wasn’t fun because
1. It was superrrr slowwwww,
2. I couldn’t find things like cilantro. ANYWHERE.

Black Bean Tostada

I almost gave up.

But to make a long story short, I found some! It has a sneaky name here in the Philippines: Yansoy. Except sometimes, at some stores, it’s called Wansoy. Who knows.

I bought every package in the store. I pureed it all into a sauce and downed it with a few tostadas on the side.

And it was so good. So fresh tasting and cooling and good, because that’s what cilantro is like.

You guys? Let’s be healthy and bake these tostadas. I’ve done enough frying lately. And as long as we’re going down this road, let’s make these vegetarian because it’s easier + deliciouser.

And now that they’ve gotten so healthy, let’s eat all of them. Today.

Black Bean Tostada

Update! For all my blended stuff, I always have the best results with my new Blendtec Designer Series Blender. If you’re in the market for a new grown up blender, this has your name all over it.

5.0 from 5 reviews
Healthy Black Bean Tostadas with Cilantro Sauce
Serves: 4
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (more for spicy)
  • salt and olive oil
  • 3-4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium avocado, cubed
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • ⅔ cup plain yogurt, Greek yogurt, or sour cream
  • ½ cup packed cilantro leaves (more to taste)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4-6 flour tortillas
  1. Preheat the broiler. Puree the black beans, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne in a blender or food processor, adding a tablespoon of oil (or water) at a time to help the mixture move. I pureed for a minute or two but still left some texture.
  2. In a food processor or blender, puree the cilantro, yogurt, garlic, and salt, adjusting the seasoning with more cilantro/salt/yogurt to your tastes.
  3. Place tortillas in the oven directly on the rack, taking care that the edges are supported (otherwise they will bend through the cracks and it will be bent in a funny shape). Let the tortillas bake for 3-5 minutes on both sides until they are browned and crispy.
  4. Top the crispy tortillas with black beans, tomatoes, avocados, and lettuce. Drizzle with cilantro sauce.
Holding the tostadas while you spread the bean mixture helps them not to break apart. Other topping ideas: Cotija cheese, lime wedges, salsa, ranch dressing (just sayin), or roasted corn or peppers. Nutrition information does not include any oil.


Oh what I wouldn’t give for some salty, crumbly, white Cotija cheese. Maybe my mom could send me some in a refrigerated box. Right, mom? Right.

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  1. I love a baked tostada!

  2. These are beautiful and look so fun to eat. Glad you have finally found cilantro!

  3. This recipe looks amazing, I am eating breakfast right now wishing I had some of these! I have a couple of questions though: (1) what do you do to “support the edges” of the tortillas in the oven and (2) do you think whole wheat tortillas would work just as well as the flour tortillas? Looks like you guys are having a great time in Cebu, love your blog!

    • I think whole wheat could work! And as for supporting them, I just meant by lining them up on the oven rack so the edges aren’t dangling over the cracks.. I guess it would also work to use a baking sheet?

  4. Wow. I can’t imagine what I’d do if I couldn’t find cilantro. Mexican food just isn’t really right without it. I love the cream that you made from it though. What a fantastic idea. I’m thinking we’ll be having tostadas for supper (with meat though). :)

  5. cilantro, cumin, avocado, black beans you had me at hello – this looks sooo good. I think the perfect dish to make for the family this weekend. I’ve never pureed cilantro so anxious to try – glad you were able to find in your grocery store or someone would have to ship you your own plant to harvest your own 😉

  6. It’s always nerve racking when you’re looking for a specific ingredient that should be so easy to spot (like cilantro) and it’s not available anywhere…I can only imagine the hardship of shopping for specific items overseas…although it does create the opportunity to try new items that are readily available. Great recipe and glad ya found the cilantro to make it happen!

  7. Finding healthy versions of my mexican favorites is like hitting the jackpot. An easy dish that I don’t feel too guilty about eating. I have so many saved up now.. a lot from your blog, Lindsay.. that I need to incorporate a weekly mexican night. :)

  8. Thiiiiiis is my heaven.

  9. Healthy + Mexican = Heck YEA!

  10. Well these sound pretty amazing!

  11. I hope that what you found is really cilantro. Because in the Philippines, kinchay (flat leaf parsley) is more commonly used than cilantro and they look almost alike in appearance though their taste is really different. When I first went overseas (I’m Filipino) I always get to buy cilantro instead kinchay whenever I’m looking for the latter as they are more common outside my home country. Check this link:

    • I’ll have to check out that link! I often have to double check with a good sniff, but I am definitely positive that both things I bought (Yansoy and Wansoy) were cilantro… I would know that distinct, cool, fresh smell/taste anywhere! :)

      • I guess I should clarify… when I’m thinking of cilantro, I’m thinking of the herb that comes from the coriander plant… that link has the first herb (Wansoy) labeled as coriander but I think that coriander is maybe the dried stage of the plant? I don’t know. I won’t pretend to be an expert on it… just following my tastebuds. :)

  12. Apparently kinchay is really Asian celery and not flat leaf parsley as I mentioned earlier

  13. Looks amazing!! I loooove cilantro, and I make way too much Mexican inspired food so this looks right up my alley!!
    Someday, you are going to win jeopardy (or trivial pursuit) for knowing what they call cilantro in the Philippines. That will make it all worth it 😉

  14. TOSTADAS. Yes, please. I think that if we ever moed out of the US, Mexican food would be our main craving–that is, unless we happened to go to Mexico. :)

  15. Im surprised its hard to find cilantro there.

    • I know. A Filipina lady told me she had been looking for 3 months and still hadn’t found any! It seems like the kind of thing that should be at the markets…

  16. I totally understand how you feel! Cilantro is still hard to find here too. When we first moved to France I was so overwhelmed when we went grocery shopping . I promise it gets better after a while!

  17. That looks delicious! Your recipes always do.

  18. I love your stories… they always make me laugh. Who decided to make two words for cilantro that sounds like one of them was a mistake? HAH!
    Love the tostados… healthy meals are totally great for your self-esteem!

  19. What a great idea! Love that they’re semi-healthy…. I made a nacho dish with tostados the other day and it was definitely not healthy :)

  20. I would cry if I had to live without cilantro! These look awesome!

  21. Oh yum! These look so delicious. I am a sucker for anything with a tex-mex flair!

  22. This is soooooo my kind of meal. Could eat this every day!

  23. What a great light dinner! These look like something I would just love!

  24. These look wonderful. I just found your blog and am so excited about it.

  25. can the cilantro sauce be frozen & successfully thawed for later use?Thx,looks good:0P

    • No, I wouldn’t recommend it. It lasted a few days in the fridge before it got a little weird. Could have been my yogurt, though… the yogurt quality in the Philippines is a bit… different. :)

  26. I love cilantro. The cilantro sauce looks really good and refreshing with the black beans. Nice picture by the way.

  27. i don’t know if i could go on without cilantro. i love this creation–great job!

    • im surprised by the no cilantro as well. it could be because the rainy season has been messing with the herbs.

      basil is also a bit hard to find at the moment which is surprising since local super markets normally carry it. even the basil plants in our house did not take to kindly to the rains.
      happy hunting!

      • That’s great that you have your own plants… I should really just get my own, too. I use those herbs so frequently and both the basil and the cilantro that I’ve bought last for about one day before shriveling up and turning brown. :)

  28. Yum. I’ve been eating black bean tostadas recently (baked tortillas too!) and your cilantro sauce sounds like something I need to have. Like now. Or maybe tomorrow. Glad you found the code word for cilantro!

  29. So delicious and so easy! I make A Lot of vegetarian meals and this happens to be one of my new favorites. The ingredients sound so simple, but they come together beautifully. I highly recommend.

    I had a few extra ingredients on hand that I thought I’d use: added juice of 1 lime to cilantro dressing (used sour cream), chopped green chiles to black bean mixture, used some frozen corn, melted queso quesadilla cheese on top of beans.

  30. I just made these tonight and they are wonderful! My husband, who is a meat loving man, couldn’t get enough. Thank you so much for sharing!

  31. Cilantro troubles — I can relate! We moved to Australia 10months ago and could not find cilantro anywhere! A little google search (“Cilantro in Australia”) came up “Corriander Leaf” and my crisis was adverted :)

  32. This look delish!! Kinda like my mom use to make, minus the meat which will be good for the vegetarian boyfriend and healthy which will be good for me :)
    super excited to try these!
    Huliee Hoops at

  33. I saw this featured on tasty Kitchen and I was so drawn to that cilantro sauce. I’m wondering… how ling can a jar of that sit in the fridge seeing the cilantro is fresh. That would affect how much I would make in a sitting. Though, anything drowned in that would be just awesome.

    • I would say just a day or two, with the fresh cilantro and yogurt you probably don’t want to give it more than that. :) usually mines gone by then anyways!

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  35. These were so good!! The cilantro sauce put them over the top. Yummy! Now I need to put it on everything!

  36. Great recipe! I’ve made this three times in the last few weeks. Currently my wife’s favorite. I add a jalapeno to the beans with the juice of half a lime and the juice from the other half to the cilantro sauce. Cotija cheese is perfect with the tostadas.

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