Tijuana Flats Tostadas

Since I spent the majority of my life in Florida, it’s safe to say there are a few restaurants I miss. Though I can’t enjoy their divine creations here in North Carolina, I can certainly re-create my favorite dishes at home, right?  Heck yes I can!   I’ve actually gotten pretty good at it.  
Here are a few of my past copy-cat creations:
Today’s copycat was inspired by my absolute favorite dish at Tijuana Flats
Tijuana Flats Tostadas
Traditionally, tostadas consist of crispy round corn tortillas with toppings piled ever-so-high into a mountain of yum. Tijuana flats breaks them in half and keeps the toppings simple + neat, which is fabulous when you are eating with friends, because said toppings don’t end up all over your face (or up your nose. don’t ask. ever) So obviously I had to make them at home. The neat way. The way that doesn’t embarrass me in front of Paul.  Though it won’t stop me from falling down the stairs and running into walls, will it? 
Didn’t think so.
homemade copycat Tijuana Flats Tostadas #Recipe
DIY T-Flats Tostadas for Two

Whats in it?
6 hard taco shells, baked + broken in half
1 cup refried beans
1 medium tomato, diced
1/4 white or red onion, diced
1 large jalapeno [fresh = spicy + jarred = mild-medium]
grated cheddar or mexican cheese, a little… or a lot =) 
black olives if you like/have them [I’m still working on loving them]
Serve with your favorites: 
salsa, sour cream, guacamole, taco sauce… anything goes!
tijuana flats copycat tostadas
Get Cooking!
Pre-bake the tortillas while you chop your veggies. Layer your tortilla halves with beans and cheese and pop in the toaster oven at 350F. Bake for approx 15 minutes or until beans are hot and cheese is melted.  Remove from oven and top with your raw chopped veggies.  That’s it!  Quick and easy!

tijuana flats copycat tostadas restaurant recreation
So… How was it?
Soooooooo gooooood! I always have leftovers from taco night, and this is the perfect way to use them up the next day without having to eat the same meal twice!  It is also glorious when prepped fresh with pantry and produce staples.  The crunch and flavor of the raw veggies on top of the hot beans and cheese is absolute perfection.  So fresh and flavorful!  And easily vegan-ized too!  I’m in LOVE with this copycat! It tasted 100% like the original, which is always fantabulous =)
Don’t forget the not-so-secret sauce!
trader joes sweet chili sauce for tostadas
Sweet Chili Sauce on mexican!? 
In a word, YES! Don’t ask questions. Just do it =)

If you could re-create any restaurant dish, what would it be?


  1. says

    weirdly enough I’ve tried TJs sweet chili sauce on my quesadillas (which are pretty similar ingredients-wise to your tostadas) and it’s actually a killer combo…fusion if you will

  2. says

    That looks delicious!  I always have tons of leftovers from Taco night too.  I usually just make my boyfriend eat the tacos until he can’t take it anymore!  Haha! 

  3. Lindsey @ Happy or Hungry says

    Sweet baby cheeses. That looks amazing. I am totally making that, you inspirational little minx!

  4. bananas. says

    hate to break it to ya but those are nachos, not tostadas.

    well…i guess they could be mini tostadas.

    whatever they look good but that’s cuz their mexican…like me! πŸ˜‰ 

    ps. that TJ chili sauce is bomb!!!

  5. Fresh Squeezed says

    Those look sooo yummy! And I am also trying to like black olives …maybe putting them on something that delicious helps!

  6. says

    WOW!  Your pictures are amazing!!!!  I love me some Tijuana Flats, too bad the hubby thinks it’s “garbage” my sis and I always go there together when we meet for lunch, hehe.  My fave sauce is the sweet chili too!  I douse everything in it…it’s especially good with queso dip :)

  7. Kay says

    Looks delish!

    Also, I tried out the pizza rolls last night and they were a huge hit!  Brian’s already come up with a list of things he wants to add/change for next time (which is especially awesome because it means he’ll probably be the one cooking them!)

  8. says

    Hi!  I just returned from 10 days in Clearwater and got to experience Tijuana Flats for the first time!! Or should I say 3 times!!!  I LOVE it!!  I wish it was in New Jersey.  The closest one is in PA but not that far.  I hate paying $5 to go across the bridge though. :-(  I think it would be worth it!!

  9. jessie_saxton says

    Hey Jenn!

    I am going to feature your “Eat Veggies” sign on my blog today, if you don’t mind?!? I LOVE your message and want to share it with my readers! I am starting an Eating Better series and your blog fits right in with that theme! Keep up the awesome work!


  10. Katheryn Limback says

    Whew. I was seriously nervous ’til I saw the Sweet Chili Sauce pic. I thought, “Oh no…can she get Sweet Chili Sauce in NC?!” Truly, the best thing about food is the sauce and sweet chili sauce at Tijuana Flats makes everything on their menu go to 11. I’ll be bookmarking these beauties to try!

  11. Shari Press says

    These look amazing! And, I used to LOVE tijuana flats too. :) P.S. Where’d you get the TJ’s sweet chili sauce? I thought your TJ’s were MIA? I need to make something with that sauce soon. I’m thinking shrimp. 

  12. says

    Its 2.5 hours away in Raleigh so every 2 months Paul and I do a foodie Road trip and go to WF TJs and shop! =) I blogged about it a few times silly goose! I’m DYING for another trip once we move and get settled!

  13. says

    wow they look so good. Sweet chilli sauce, I cannot say its my favourite thing, I want to like it, but im really bad when it comes to spicy things, I have to have about a gallon of water next to me, ready to cool my tongue down ahha. 

  14. says

    SO YUMMY!  Can you please come make me your delicious meals? 

    I want to re-create the Chicken Pipette Pasta Dish from Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano in Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. I had it in October and I was in LOVE. I was literally hugging my dish at the table. I didn’t even have to ask the waitress to pack up the leftovers because she could see love all over my face. I ended up carrying my leftovers around and ate it when I watched the Fantasmic! show that night. 

  15. says

    I’d totally re-create the fries at my favorite restaurant Magleby’s Fresh here in Utah – but it never occured to me to try until now!  I’m so going to do it.  Or try it… If I’m not successful, I can, luckily, still go there this weekend!

  16. Lauren says

    These totally passed the mouth watering test. I try to recreate smoothies a lot (the extent of my copycatness) though I did try my hand at a kale caesar salad, restaurant version better than mine.

  17. says

    Billy and I both love tostadas! And so easy to make adjustments for vegetarian/vegan tostadas. Mine would HAVE to have guacamole, though. :)

  18. Helennaturally says

    Oh thanks for sharing.  I am adding this to my next menu…..yes I make one of those…….any way looks delish! 

    As for copy cat recipes I have done several and have one coming up on blog soon – Lafayette restaurant that serves crawfish enchiladas :)

  19. says

    What a fabulous little recipe! I’ve never been to Tijuana Flats before, I don’t think they have them here in LA because I’ve never heard of it until now. But it certainly sounds delicious!

    I would love to replicate Cheesecake Factory’s avocado eggrolls but I fear that once I find out how much terrible stuff goes into them I’ll no longer want to eat them!

  20. says

    Mmm I love a good crispy tostada! Especially when it’s PILED high with guacamole,  beans, cheese and sour cream.  Goopey (totally a word!) + crunchy = simply irresistible. :)

    I bet that sweet chili sauce gives is it a sweet and sassy kick too! I’ll have to pick some up next time I’m at TJ’s!

    Happy weekend, Jenn! Love ya, girl! xoxo

  21. says

    Oh my word … when I was going to school in Gainesville, I LOVED Tijuana Flats.  It’s so yummy.  I am a huge condiment fan, so I loved getting to try all of their sauces.  This post brings back great memories.  Thanks, Jenn! πŸ˜‰

  22. says

    Ok, I’m totally trusting you on the chili sauce…besides, you’ve never steered me wrong before! But honey, honey, honnnnnnnney…love the black olive and it will in turn, love you m’dear! I swear I could eat them straight out of a jar/can/whatever! Mmm!

    I about peed my pants when I saw my all-time coveted Bang Bang Shrimp from Bonefish Grille in one of my Food Network Magazines…as soon as I make their recipe, my life will be complete! :)

  23. says

    For an even healthier spin on it: Take La Tortilla wraps/soft tacos and bake them for 5 min to crisp them up, so that you can sub them for the fried taco shell!  I use them as chips, to add crunch on top of a casserole, as hard tacos, etc…I’m gonna have to try your recipe with them now!

  24. says

    I love this recipe. I want to eat ten of them. I find it odd that we have Tijuana Flats in VA but you say you don’t have them in NC? *confusing* Because NC comes before FL on i-95. OH WELL! This recipe is better anyway!

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