Taco Pizza

Just when you thought we couldn’t get any more pizza-tastic, here we go again. We’ve explored some crazy pizza variations so far, in just 11 episodes of Eat The Pizza. I mean, we’ve made cereal pizzas, pizza ice cream with pepperonis on top, and did you see our YouTube Pizza Challenge?? (WARNING: yuck.)

But, this week, we’re going all out with a pizza fiesta, so delicioso you won’t want to miss it: TACO PIZZA. Have you ever seen a pizza topped with TACOS?! Well, you’re about to. Now, don’t be mislead—this pizza is clearly based on the Americanized version of Mexican food, with a “quesadilla” crust and soft flour tacos. But, it’s authentically awesome, epic, and crazy tasty.

As always, we’ve got the recipe for you down below. We highly recommend it, although you’d better invite some friends over and put on your stretchy pants. Before we get there, we’ve got to pay homage to the Mexican pizza, in its many forms.

Pizza, a la Mexico

The Mexican pizza we’ve made it certainly in a class all its own, but it’s not the first of its kind. After all, pizza is the number 2 most popular food in Mexico (after tacos). It’s common to find pizzas topped with ingredients from typical Mexican cuisine. Some go more gourmet, piling on deliciousness like chorizo, scallops, chiles, bell peppers, jalapeños, and avocado. Yet, many keep it classic pizza-style, with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.

And there are also the less-gourmet American versions—like the taco pizza we’ve seen at some Cici’s Pizza buffets—with lettuce, tomato, chicken, cheese and sour cream. Naturally, Taco Bell also offers a Mexican Pizza, which is basically two tortillas stuffed with refried beans and beef, topped with tomatoes and cheese, that you can dress up however you like. Even off of the North American continent, Domino’s in India offers a Mexican Green Wave Pizza, topped with onions, bell peppers, tomato, jalapeño, and Mexican herbs. And while these sound pretty awesome to us, none of them are real Mexican pizza...

What's a Mexican Pizza, For Real?

A true Mexican pizza is called a tlayuda (th-lie-you-dah), a traditional Oaxacan dish. Tlayudas are made from huge corn tortillas, that can be fried, baked, or griddled. Once the tortilla is ready, it’s then covered with asiento (pork lard) and mashed beans. Then comes the cheese—typically queso fresco, or homemade Oaxaca cheese—maybe some lettuce, and the meat, which might be shredded chicken, steak, or pork. Finally, it’s all drizzled with a special, fire-roasted chile sauce.

You can imagine how amazing this tastes, especially because it’s generally ALL made by hand. In some Oaxacan towns, the tortillas are still spread out and griddled on large stones. The beans are ground into a purée with avocado leaves, again using stones. Plus the cheese is made in-house?! Well, we didn’t go quite this far on Eat The Pizza (yet), but we still went pretty wild.

 Mexican Pizza

Pizza & Tacos: Two Tasty Amigos

Pizza and tacos are classic food favorites across the world. They may seem cultures apart, but they’re not. In fact, Mexico eats the second most pizza in the world (after the U.S.)! Pizzas. Tacos. They cross cultures. And, in some ways, they’re cut from the same dough.

Pizza may have been formally created in Italy, but that never would’ve been possible if it weren’t for Mexico. Hernando Cortez, a Spanish explorer, traveled to Mexico and brought back tomatoes in 1519, opening the door for the creation of tomato sauce and, of course, pizza. But, that time didn’t come for over 100 years. Europeans were initially suspicious of tomatoes, thinking they were poisonous! Luckily, they came around, tried the tomatoes, and decided they’d be the perfect topping on their focaccia. Needless to say, tomatoes took their herb-and-spice covered flatbreads to the next pizza-tastic level.

So, really, we’ve got Italy and Mexico to thank for pizza. And the two cultures’ cuisines have some genius similarities. Both pizza and tacos were meant to be eaten with our hands, clearly creating a strong bond between the food and the eater. Initially, these tasty dishes were also designed as a way to make the most of in-season and leftover ingredients. Toss ‘em in a taco, toss ‘em on a pizza, delicious. No utensils needs, top with whatever you want, endless delicious combinations—with tacos or pizza, what could go wrong?

Mexican Pizza

        Doing it Right

        Nothing could go wrong, that’s what. And, with our Mexican-inspired pizza, SO much went right. This pizza is wild, it’s extravagant, it may look too big to fit in your mouth for a bite. But we believe in you—you can do it. And we think you’ll be glad that you did. This has been one of our FAVORITE pizzas, and one of the most epic.

        The quesadilla crust is insanely delicious and fluffy, giving this a pizza-like taste. Then the salsa, tacos, sour cream, and guac pile on the Mexican flavors we love. Plus, there’s no denying it, a bite of this bad boy is HUGE and every piece of it is scrumptious. So get hungry, throw a fiesta, try out this recipe, and then EAT THE PIZZA.

        Ingredients:

        Quesadilla Crust

        • 2 premade pizza crusts (we used Boboli crusts!)
        • shredded sharp cheddar cheese

          Taco Meat

          • 1 Tbsp olive oil
          • 1 cup diced onion
          • 4 cloves garlic, minced
          • taco seasoning, to taste
          • 1 lb ground beef
          • 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed

                Tacos

                • small wheat taco shells
                • spinach
                • Roma tomatoes, diced
                • taco meat
                • Mexican blend shredded cheese

                Pizza Assembly

                • salsa
                • guacamole (we made our own using avocados, onion, & Roma tomatoes!)
                • sour cream

                  Procedure:

                  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
                  • In a large pan over medium heat, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil, until fragrant.
                  • Add ground beef. Break beef apart with spatula and mix to integrate.
                  • Add taco seasoning to taste.
                  • Stir in black beans and allow to cook until meat is cooked through, stirring occasionally.
                  • While meat cooks, assemble your quesadilla crust. On a pizza pan lined with parchment, place on pre-made crust, cover with cheddar cheese, and top with another crust.
                  • Bake until cheese has begun to melt, about 5-10 minutes. (It’s best to check on the quesadilla crust to be sure it doesn’t get crispy or burn!)
                  • Then, use your taco meat to assemble your tacos. I like to lay the tortilla flat, then layer on the meat, diced tomatoes, chopped spinach, and Mexican cheese. Be sure to push tacos together (kind of firmly) to create a fold, because they’re going to be layered on top of your pizza!
                  • If you’re making you own guacamole, now’s the time! Just mash up your avocados, then stir in your onions and tomatoes, and season to taste.
                  • When crust is finished baking, spread on salsa as your sauce.
                  • Layer tacos on top of pizza (we did a sort of pinwheel pattern around the pizza), and add more cheese on top of everything.
                  • Bake for another 5-10 minutes. Again, it’s good to monitor it so you can see when the cheese is melty, and prevent burning!
                  • Add sour cream and guac on top, slice, serve, and Eat The Pizza!

                     Yields 1 EPIC Mexican Pizza

                    Mexican Pizza

                    Mexican Pizza

                    Like the Eat The Pizza swag from this episode? Get it here!