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Cheez-It Tostadas

5 from 6 votes

Got a craving for a tongue-tingling snack that’s big, bold, and cheesey? Check out Cheez-It Tostadas! Made famous by Taco Bell, make a run for your kitchen and make these cheesy treats today!

Cheez-It Tostada on a white plate.

Why settle for a regular tostada when you can sink your teeth into a piled high Cheez-It Tostadas! The light, crispy, and cheesy tostada base is packed full of flavor, and when you top it with taco meat, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and more, it’s a flavor explosion!

Homemade Cheez-Its aren’t hard to make, and I’ve supersized these! About 16 times the size of a regular Cheez-Its, these are the perfect base for a mountain of Mexican flavors. You can make the tostadas ahead of time, too, so all you need to do is assemble and eat!

What you’ll love about Cheez-It Tostadas


  • They’re packed with big, bold, and cheesy flavor!
  • Top them however you like!
  • They’re fun to make AND eat!

Ingredients

There are two parts to this Cheez-Its Tostada recipe: the first is making the cracker base, and the second is preparing all the taco toppings.

For the Cheez-It Tostada base:

  • Cheddar cheese – Shredded.
  • Butter – Salted is fine.
  • Chipotle powder– Gives it a bit of a kick!
  • Mustard powder – Another layer of flavor!
  • Salt – A bit more salt puts these over the top!
  • All-purpose flour
  • Ice cold water

For the toppings:

  • Refried beans – Optional, but it’s great for holding on the meat.
  • Taco meat – Your favorite cooked beef with taco seasoning.
  • Shredded lettuce – Iceberg lettuce is great on tostadas.
  • Shredded cheddar – More cheese!
  • Tomatoes – Diced small.
  • Sour cream 

What’s The Best Cheese To Make Cheez-Its From Scratch

To make the most authentic traditional Cheez-Its, use yellow sharp (or extra sharp for more cheddar flavor) cheese. Also called old cheddar, this has the flavor punch you need for these cracker tostadas. And, to keep the color the same as the original crackers, use orange cheddar.

How To Make Cheez-It Tostadas

For a complete list of ingredients and instructions, please scroll down to the recipe at the bottom of this page.

  1. Pulse the butter, cheddar cheese, chipotle powder, mustard powder, and salt in a food processor until it is fully mixed and creamy.
  2. Add the flour and pulse in the food processor until it the mixture looks like coarse grains.
  3. Drizzle in 1 tablespoon of ice-cold water at a time while the food processor is running until a ball of dough forms.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
  5. When the dough is cold and hard, cut it into quarters, then working with one-quarter of the dough at a time, roll it out on parchment paper until it is very thin – about ¼-inch thick.
  6. Cut the rolled dough into a 5-inch square, then transfer the square to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  7. Continue until all the squares are cut. You can roll the dough trimmings into a fifth square.
  8. Bake the squares in a preheated 375-F oven for 16-18 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown and the tops are slightly poofy. Cool.

To assemble your Cheez-It Tostadas

  1. Top each cracker base with refried beans, spreading them evenly on top of the base. 
  2. Add ¼ cup of hot taco meat to the tostada, followed by lettuce, shredded cheese, and tomatoes. 
  3. Add a dollop of sour cream and enjoy with your favorite hot sauce!

Recommended

Make It A Meal

These tostadas are fun to eat and can be a complete meal. Or, you can make a south-of-the-border feast with other tasty eats like Tacos Dorados, Baja Fish Tacos, a creamy jalapeno dip, Italian Stuffed Mushrooms, and more! 

Instead of assembling the tostadas and serving them complete, set out a build-your- own tostada bar! Put all the toppings into small bowls and let your family or guests customize their tostada just the way they like it!

Variations

Let your imagination go wild! Switch up the flavors, toppings, spices, and more! Here are some of my top suggestions:

  • Swap traditional taco meat for pulled pork, smoked chicken, chopped brisket, or even Chicken Tinga.
  • Make the Cheez-It Tostadas vegetarian by skipping the meat and adding grilled veggies, roasted corn, grilled jackfruit, and more.
  • Add more spice! Pickled or fresh jalapenos will add a bit more kick. Or go for big spice with this arbol salsa.
  • Crema! Use crema in place of sour cream – just mix ½ cup of sour cream with a tablespoon of lime juice and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream.
  • Pico de gallo, guacamole, queso, mango-habanero salsa, and all your favorite taco fixings will go great with these easy tostadas!

baked cheez-it tostadas

Storage

Leftover plain Cheez-Its will keep on the counter in an airtight container for a day or two. The toppings should be refrigerated.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are homemade Cheez-Its easy to make?

Yes, they sure are! Not only are they easy to make, but they taste better than the real thing! With loads of cheese flavor and a hint of spice, you might never buy another box!

Are homemade Cheez-It Tostadas just like Taco Bell’s?

Yes! These are very much like the Taco Bell offering, but better! With fresher toppings, more cheddar flavor, and easy to customize, these tostadas are so good you’ll never buy one again!

How long does it take to make Cheez-It Tostadas from scratch?

The tostadas themselves will take the most time. The dough comes together quickly, but it must be chilled for about an hour. You can, however, make the tostadas the day before, and then this meal will come together quickly!

Step By Step Photos

cheez-it tostada on a plate with crackers and hot sauce nearby
Print Pin
5 from 6 votes

Cheez-It Tostadas

Big, bold, and sassy flavors infuse this fun-to-make-and-eat Cheez-It Tostada! Loaded with all your favorite toppings, these cheesy treats are so good and perfect on their own or with your next Mexican feast.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican, Tex-Mex
Keyword beef, cheese, cheez-it, cheez-its, taco, taco meat, tostada
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chilling time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings
Calories 651kcal

Ingredients

For the Cheez-Its Tostadas

  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese shredded
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ice water

For the toppings:

  • 1/2 cup refried beans
  • 1 cup cooked taco meat
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1/4 cup diced tomato
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

Instructions

  • Pulse the butter, cheddar cheese, chipotle powder, mustard powder, and salt in a food processor until it is fully mixed and creamy.
  • Add the flour and pulse in the food processor until it the mixture looks like coarse grains.
  • Drizzle in 1 tablespoon of ice-cold water at a time while the food processor is running until a ball of dough forms.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
  • When the dough is cold and hard, cut it into quarters, then working with one-quarter of the dough at a time, roll it out on parchment paper until it is very thin – about ¼-inch thick.
  • Cut the rolled dough into a 5-inch square, then transfer the square to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  • Continue until all the squares are cut. You can roll the dough trimmings into a fifth square.
  • Bake the squares in a preheated 375-F oven for 16-18 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown and the tops are slightly poofy. Cool.

To assemble

  • Top each cracker base with 2 tablespoons of refried beans, spreading them evenly on top of the base. 
  • Add ¼ cup of hot taco meat, followed by lettuce, shredded cheese, and tomatoes. 
  • Add a dollop of sour cream and enjoy with your favorite hot sauce!

Nutrition

Serving: 1tostada | Calories: 651kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 148mg | Sodium: 1027mg | Potassium: 360mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1233IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 496mg | Iron: 4mg

A Note on Nutritional Information

Nutritional information for this recipe is provided as a courtesy and is calculated based on available online ingredient information. It is only an approximate value. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.

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By Chef Jenn

6 thoughts on “Cheez-It Tostadas”

  1. 5 stars
    OH MY GOSH! These were amazing! This was pure creative genius and my kids loved them! This is going into my regular rotation for sure!

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    It is school holidays here in Australia, so every time I get home there always seems to be a group of kids hanging out!!! 5 kids and their friends is a lot of mouths to feed.
    So I sent this to my two eldest and suggested they give it a go.
    They nailed it and have been making it pretty much everyday since.
    Only trouble is, it is so popular that our house is now even more the place to hang out!
    but it is a great recipe, and they are loving making it for themselves. I love that it is baked in the oven rather than fired as that makes me feel safer leaving them to it!

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    I made these cheez-it tostadas with grilled jackfruit and they turned out delicious. This will be a regular in my kitchen !! Thanks for the lovely recipe.

    Reply

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