3 1/2cupsprepared refried, pinto or black beans (if using canned from 2 - 15 oz cans)*
2cupsshredded cheese, such as Cheddar and Monterey Jack (cotija is also good)
1head Romaine lettuce, chopped
3 - 4Roma tomatoes, diced
Chopped red or green onions, cilantro and fresh limes for juicing or cilantro lime ranch dressing, hot sauce
Prepare chicken according to directions listed here.
To prepare tostada shells, heat 1/4 - inch of oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot (you can tell by adding the tip of a shell and if the oil sizzles around it, it's ready), add one tortilla and fry until golden on bottom, then using metal tongs, rotate tortilla to opposite side and cook opposite side until golden and crisp.
Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels and repeat process with remaining tortillas, adding additional oil to pan as needed and preheating oil before frying tortillas. If baking tortillas preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Using about 2 Tbsp oil total, brush both sides of tortillas with oil then align in a single layer on 2 cookie sheets. Bake in preheated oven 8 - 10 minutes, rotating once halfway through baking, until crisp and lightly golden.
Spread warm shell with beans, followed by prepared and shredded chicken, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, avocados and other toppings desired. Serve immediately.
If using canned refried, pinto or black canned beans I like to heat them in a saucepan, and add a few dashes of chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper as well as a few tbsp of salsa. Also, if using canned refried beans I would recommend adding a few tbsp of water to thin.