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What Is Difference Between Chalupa Vs Tostada? Everything You Need To Know

Mexico is famous for its specialty food and delicacies that have won millions of hearts worldwide. For originality and convenience, pico de gallo, tostada and chalupa ought to be at the top of the list. 

International tourists frequently incorrectly assume that tostada and chalupa are the same items, despite having distinct features. 

Therefore, we will compare tostada vs chalupa and disclose the significant differences that will help you distinguish between the two.

What Is A Chalupa Vs Tostada?

The form of the maize tortilla distinguishes a tostada from a chalupa.

The term “chalupa” implies “boat” in Spanish, chalupas have a slight curvature that makes them seem similar to tacos.

A tostada is cooked, but people place it flat to retain all of the toppings better!

What Is A Chalupa?

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You can make chalupas by pressing a thin coating of masa flour around the outside of a small mold, forming an open container in a boat shape, and deep-frying the crisp, shallow maize cups that emerge. 

Shredded pork, chicken, chopped onion, jalapeno pepper, green, and red salsa are just a few components. They are comparable to tostadas, in which they are both formed of baked or fried masa dough. 

Thick, small bowl-shaped fried tortilla with only cheese, salsa, and shredded lettuce as topping are traditional chalupas from Puebla, Cholula.

In South Central Mexico, they add pork, chorizo, or shredded chicken to the typical salsa, cheese, and lettuce topping. Other times, the cooked masa is formed into tostadas and filled with chalupa ingredients.

View more: Filet Mignon vs Ribeye

What Is A Tostada?

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Tostadas are corn tortillas that have been fried, roasted, or baked before being topped with different toppings. Tostada toppings include beans, steak, guacamole, chicken, cheese, lettuce, salsa, onion, or tomato. 

They are similar to tacos, except they are usually left flat tortilla rather than being folded in halves. They frequently appear as a main dish.

Most people regard this as one of the easiest Mexican dishes to prepare since the cooking and preparation time is generally quick. 

Tostadas are commonly referred to as Tex-Mex cuisine due to their popularity in the USA. Every Latin America cuisine that became popular in the Southwestern states of Texas, now widely available across the USA, is referred to as Tex-Mex. 

These dishes might be perfect copies or minor changes to the classic. Tex-Mex foods include burritos, tacos, enchiladas, chalupas, quesadillas, guacamole, tamales, and salsa.

What Is The Difference Between A Chalupa And A Tostada?

The primary distinction is the sort of tortilla used in each flavor. Chalupas are made of soft flour tortillas, while we use harder maize tortillas to make tostadas. 

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Mexican Food Share Almost The Same Ingredients

Though chalupas are typically served flat, having tostadas on top, you may not always cook the flour tortilla. When making tostadas, however, they generally bake the flour tortillas to ensure crispiness. 

Moreover, chalupas take longer to prepare since you must cook the wheat tortillas until crisp in a skillet. On the other hand, Tostadas are prepared from flattened maize tortillas marked “Tostadas” on the package.

How To Make A Chalupa?

This one is the recipe for you if you like tostadas and tacos. These chalupas have a crispy exterior and a mushy inside. Learn how to prepare chalupas by watching this video


  • Masa flour
  • ½ cup and 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup salsa
  • ½ cup shredded lettuce
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups shredded chicken, like from a roasted or rotisserie chicken
  • 1 white onion cut into tiny cubes
  • ½ cup grated cheese


  • Whisk the masa, 1 tsp oil, salt, and 2/3 cup water in a mixing bowl. Mix all the ingredients with a spoon and stir until a smooth dough forms. Make the dough till it is smooth and elastic, adding more water or oil as needed. 
  • Roll the dough into 1.5-inch balls with both hands, then press each ball into a plate using your palm. Using a spoon, create a hole in the middle of each ball, then shape the dough into a boat. 
  • Heat the oil for a while. In a big cast pan, heat 1/2 cup vegetable oil over medium heat.

When the oil starts shimmering, add the shells of the chalupa. Cook for 1 minute, or until lightly browned and crispy on one side, then flip using your tongs and cook until nicely browned on each side. 

  • Using tongs, throw the shells onto a tissue towel-lined plate. A tbsp of salsa, lettuce, onion, chicken, and Havarti cheese goes on the top of each.

How To Make A Tostada?

chalupa vs tostada

Taco Salad Shell

You may use taco salad shells instead of tortillas for a bit change, or add additional lettuce and use salad shells.


  • 10 shells for tostadas
  • 1 refried bean can 
  • 1 pound of ground or chopped meat   
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder, black pepper, oregano 
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper 
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin  
  • 1 finely cut head of lettuce 
  • 1/4 cup cut onion 
  • Favorite cheese
  • 1 avocado
  • Sour cream 
  • Salsa, or Verde salsa

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  • Bake or cook the tortilla shells if you are not using bought tostada shells. 
  • Sauté the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat. Cook it till browned, dividing it up into small pieces with a spoon. It’s time to get rid of the grease. 
  • After putting in the spices and onions, cook for several more minutes. 
  • Put the refried beans into a microwave-safe plate or a medium pan over moderate heat. Mix with a teeny-tiny dollop of sour cream. Cook till everything is nice and toasty. 
  • Arrange the tostadas in the following order: Apply a thin layer of beans to the tostada shell. On top, there’s a little scoop of beef mince, then lettuce, avocado, salsa, cheese, spicy sauce, and sour cream. 
  • Serve immediately.


Here are some frequently asked questions we have collected while researching this field.

1. Is There A Proper Method To Eat Tostadas? 

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Do You Know How To Enjoy Tostadas Correctly?

Put the tostada down after each bite to enable you to re-grip the shell and devour the residual toppings.

Instead of using a fork, you can consume the toppings with your teeth. Eat the entire tostada with your teeth and hands for a good taste, particularly if the tortilla is not piled too high. 

2. Is A Chalupa Considered Traditional Mexican Food? 

Chalupas are a tasty fried masa (or snack) from Mexico. The name “chalupa” refers to the hollow form of the masa cakes,  from the Spanish term for a small sailboat. Salsa, lettuce, cheese, and meat are standard chalupa toppings.

3. What Are The Most Essential Elements To Make Tostadas?

Tostadas may be cooked in various ways using many components.

By varying the cheese, protein, toppings, and salsa, you could prepare a new tostada every day for the rest of your life. To that end, here are a few things you’ll need to create tostadas. 

Corn Tortillas

It may be tempting to buy tostada shells (which is excellent if you don’t have much time), but making your own is the way to go if you want the tastiest tostada shells. Handmade fried tostada shells are considerably superior – they are so crispy, fresh, hot, and straightforward to prepare! 

If you want to make healthier shells, you can bake them, and they are still delicious. Search for fresh, organic ones when buying. Some corn tortillas contain flour, but they will not crisp up. 

Also, choose the thinnest to ensure they get crispy as much as possible. Peanut oil or vegetable oil is significant since, for baking, you can use any neutral oil.

Refried Beans

All the toppings cling to refried beans; make sure you use mashed beans; otherwise, everything will fall off the tostada.

Store-bought or refried beans also lend an enticing creaminess to the dish, which pairs perfectly with the crisp tostada shells. 

You may use canned refried beans or prepare your own using black or pinto beans. Others such as cannellini beans, chickpeas, or white beans can be mashed with a spoon or added to your mixer with a quantity of sour cream. 

If you don’t want to use beans, bind the remainder of the toppings with a coating of mashed avocado combined with salt and lime juice.


For tostadas, use whatever sort of meat you want, from ground turkey to beef turkey or pork as long as it is well-seasoned and delicious enough to stand up to the garnishes and the beans. It would be best to slice or dice meat to make it easier to consume without using a fork.


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Cheese Is An Important Ingredient

Traditional fresco is crushed on top of completed tostadas, but shredded cheddar or Cheddar Jack cheese can also be sprinkled on top or mixed straight into the beans to melt. 


With the burst of acidic, creamy, and crunchy flavors, it truly brings them to life.

Toppings are perfect for everyone to personalize the tostada shells. Traditional toppings to tostada include tomatoes, lettuce, avocados, and sour cream or guacamole, but you may add anything your heart wishes.

Final Thoughts

After reading this article, we hope you’ve gained a better understanding of the difference between chalupa and tostada.

If there are any additional questions, please visit us at Battersby for more information. It would be our pleasure to expand on our previous post.

Thank you for reading!

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