I haven't eaten at a Taco Bell in years, but, it's worth mentioning the first time I ate a Mexican pizza was the first time I ate at a Taco Bell -- and I liked it a lot. My personal-sized "snack pizza" came as a pleasant surprise. It contained refried beans, nicely-seasoned ground beef, cheddar cheese, a few small-diced tomatoes and red enchilada sauce -- all sandwiched between two slightly-crispy flour tortillas. It wasn't my choice to stop at their drive-thru window on that day, but, I must admit, it indeed inspired me to make many a Mexican "snack pizza" for our three boys.
After a week of cooking and blogging about New Mexico-style red chile enchilada sauce, plus two recipes for the ever-popular kid- and tailgate-tested New Mexico-style spicy ground beef, lots-of-onion and green chiles enchiladas, and, Jack cheese, black bean and sweet corn enchiladas, I have just enough of yummy "this" and "that" leftover in my refrigerator to make a really tasty "snack pizza" -- just for myself.
That said, when it comes to Mexican-style flour-tortilla pizza in general, I've often make several of them (four will fit on a 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking sheet lined with parchment paper). Once they're cut into wedges, I place 'em all on a big plate and serve 'em up as super-wonderful appetizers at cocktail or tailgate parties. They're also a great idea for a kids party as they all kids love getting a personal-sized pizza.
Use the following recipe as a template (a guide, a method). Pick and choose your favorite toppings -- or use what you have leftover. Taco Bell copycat recipes use all store-bought ingredients: ground beef seasoned with a Taco seasoning packet, a can of enchilada sauce (or a jar of salsa), refried beans and sliced black olives, and, a bag of shredded cheddar. Don't roll your eyes -- all kids love it, and, at midnight, in secret, most adults do too.
Think of it this way, anything that you would put in a quesadilla, will work in a tortilla pizza (and it doesn't have to be Mexican fare). I just happen to have leftover homemade enchilada sauce, grated Monterey Jack jalapeño cheese, diced tomatoes and minced cilantro, plus, meat filling and cheese filling (from the enchiladas pictured above) -- it's going to be a great combination.
For each 6"-round Mexican pizza (ingredients are in "layering order"):
1 flour tortilla
1 tablespoon enchilada sauce
1/2 cup seasoned ground beef (Note: I'm using 1/4 cup of both of my fillings today.)
1 flour tortilla
1 tablespoon enchilada sauce
1/4 cup grated jalapeño Jack & 2 tablespoons yellow cheddar
2 tablespoons diced tomato
1 tablespoon thinly-sliced black olives (optional)
1 tablespoon minced, fresh cilantro or green scallion tops, for garnish after baking pizza
~ Step 1. Spray an 8" nonstick skillet with no-stick cooking spray and place it over medium-high heat. Place one flour tortilla in the skillet and spray the top of the tortilla too. Cook, flipping the tortilla frequently (three-four times), until it is turning lightly-golden and puffing up in random spots across the surface, 1-1 1/2 minutes per side. Repeat this process with second tortilla (or as many as you are making).
~Step 2. Line a pie dish (or a baking sheet for multiples) with parchment paper. Place one (or more) tortilla on the parchment. Spread 1/4 cup refried beans across the surface, then spread 1 tablespoon enchilada sauce atop the refried beans. Distribute 1/2 cup filling mixture atop beans (I'm using 1/4 cup beef filling and 1/4 cup cheese filling, for a total of 1/2 cup filling).
~Step 3. Place a second tortilla atop the filling and spread 1 tablespoon enchilada sauce across the surface. Distribute 1/4 cup jalapeño Jack cheese atop the sauce followed by 2 tablespoons yellow cheddar. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons diced tomato atop the cheese. Bake on center rack of preheated 350° oven 8-10 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven and cool for 4-5 minutes prior to garnishing with minced cilantro, slicing and serving.
Bake in 350° oven 8-10 minutes & cool 4-5 minutes:
Special Equipment List: cutting board; chef's knife; hand-held box grater; 8" nonstick skillet; 9" pie dish (for 1 pizza) or 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pan (for 4 pizzas); parchment paper
Cook's Note: Flour tortillas, along with most types of flatbread, make a delicious base for pizza. When our garden tomatoes and basil are at their peak (which is just about two weeks from now) I make a fantastic tomato-basil pita pizza to snack upon on an almost daily basis.
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2017)