Trader Joe’s Layered Beef Tostada Review

Trader Joe’s Beef Tostada Front
I know when my kids were younger, we struggled to find fast food we could make at home. One of those staples was tortilla pizzas. Slap a tortilla in a hot pan. Some tomato sauce or salsa and some cheese and maybe some pepperoni. Turn the heat down and put a lid on to melt everything and you have instant pizza ready in a couple of minutes. I know my kids loved them and we ate them for many years. I still make them sometimes for a quick meal. 


Taco Bell Mexican Pizza
So, if you have had your head stuck in the ground you haven’t heard about Taco Bell’s Mexican pizza. It’s been around for a few years and has come and gone from the menu at Taco Bell. Right now it’s back again and it has a loyal following like McDonald’s McRib sandwich. It’s nothing groundbreaking but there are plenty of people that order it. If you look at pictures of the Taco Bell version it looks exactly like the new Trader Joe’s version.
Trader Joe’s Beef Tostada Back
As you can see from the above image it looks almost exactly like the Trader Joe’s version, except for the olives.
So, Trader Joe’s created a copycat version of the Taco Bell Mexican Pizza. It wouldn’t be the first time that Trader Joe’s jumped on a popular trend and ran with it. Ube Ice Cream anyone?
Essentially, what this Tostada (aka Mexican Pizza) is is two tortillas with some refried beans and beef sandwiched in between. Then topped with cheese, salsa, black olives, and onions. It’s simple. Actually too simple.
Trader Joe’s Tostada directions
The major difference between the Taco Bell version and Trader Joe’s Tostada is that Taco Bell uses corn tortillas and Trader Joe’s uses wheat tortillas. Then there are the black olives, which I don’t mind but soooo many people hate black olives. Pick them off if they really bug you.
There are two preparation methods. Baking and Microwave and their preferred method is baking. So, I went with that. I think microwaving this dish would probably just make it a soggy mess. 
Trader Joe’s Beef Tostada cooked
Fifteen minutes later I pulled it out of the toaster oven and the tortillas were crunchy around the outside edge. Make sure you put it on a sheet pan with some parchment or foil down because the cheese will melt and run off the sides and stick to the sheet pan. 
Honestly, I was underwhelmed by this. It just seems like Trader Joe’s was putting minimal effort into coming up with this. I could literally slap this together in a minute or two. A couple of tortillas, refried beans with meat in a can, cheese, salsa (Trader Joe’s has so many good ones!), green onion, and those pesky black olives if you want. Pile it up and put it in the oven. It’s really not that hard. I could see a case for having something to bring to work but not I’m not sure this is something I would bring to work since they don’t have toaster ovens and I don’t think microwaving is a good idea.
I am going to give this a pretty low rating of 5 Bells. I would hard pass on this if you are thinking about picking it up.
INGREDIENTS: Tortilla (Unbleached Enriched Flour Wheat Flour;
Folic Acid, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin],
Canola Oil, Sugar, Baking Powder [Cornstarch, Sodium Bicarbonate,
Monocalcium Phosphate], Sea Salt, Mono- And Diglycerides [To
Preserve], Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Yeast), Ground Beef, Tomatoes,
Pinto Beans (Pinto Beans, Water), Cheddar Cheese (Pasteurized Milk,
Cheese Cultures, Salt, Microbial Enzyme, Annatto Extract [For
Color]), Monterey Jack Cheese (Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Cultures,
Salt, Microbial Enzyme), Enchilada Sauce (Tomato Puree, Water,
Chilies, Onions, Garlic, Citric Acid [Acidifier], Oregano, Salt, Spices),
Sliced Black Olives (Olives, Water, Salt, Lactic Acid [To Preserve],
Ferrous Gluconate [To Stabilize Color]), Taco Seasoning (Sea Salt,
Cumin, Chili Pepper, Cane Sugar, Paprika [For Color], Onion, Garlic,
Black Pepper, Red Bell Pepper, Oregano, Cayenne Pepper, Smoked
Paprika), Green Onions.
Contains Milk, Wheat.


Pre-heat oven to 425°F. Remove tostada
Pre-heat air fryer to 380°F for 5
from all packaging and place on baking
minutes. Meanwhile, defrost tostada
sheet lined with parchment paper. Place
in microwave for 1½ minutes on
on center rack of oven and cook for 15 to
medium power. Place tostada in air
18 minutes, or until cheese is melted and
fryer and heat for 5 to 6 minutes or
tostada is cooked thoroughly.
until tostada is cooked thoroughly.

Defrost tostada in microwave for
1½ minutes on medium power.
Place on lightly oiled pre-heated
pan over medium heat. Cover and
heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until
tostada is cooked thoroughly.


  1. I just tried this. It was ok, but the cheese was weird. Like plastic that wouldn’t melt no matter how long I chewed it. Because of the gross cheese, I wouldn’t buy again.

  2. I just had this for dinner. I actually really enjoyed the heck out of it. I doctored it up with sliced avocado, the sweet and hot Jalapeños from TJ’s and a little bit of hot sauce.I loved it!

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