Taco Pizza Recipe

Taco Pizza, a culinary marvel, stands at the crossroads of two of the world’s most beloved foods: tacos and pizza. This fusion dish has not only captivated taste buds but also woven itself into the fabric of culinary innovation, blending the spicy, savory elements of Mexican cuisine with the universally adored characteristics of Italian pizza. The origin of Taco Pizza can be traced back to the 1970s in the Midwest of the United States, a testament to the region’s openness to culinary experimentation and diversity. Created by Joe Whitty in Iowa at Happy Joe’s Pizza, this dish quickly rose from a novel invention to a menu staple, celebrated for its ingenious combination of flavors.

The popularity of Taco Pizza has grown exponentially, transcending its Midwestern roots to become a beloved option in pizzerias and kitchens worldwide. Its cultural significance lies not just in its taste but in its representation of culinary fusion, symbolizing the harmonious blend of diverse culinary traditions. Taco Pizza serves as a delicious reminder of how food can bring different cultures together, creating something new and exciting that resonates with a wide audience.

The Perfect Blend of Two Worlds

The concept of combining tacos and pizza into a single dish might seem simple at first glance, but it’s a testament to the innovative spirit of culinary arts. Tacos, with their rich fillings and spicy flavors, represent the heart of Mexican cuisine, while pizza, with its doughy base and melty cheese, stands as a pillar of Italian food. The creation of Taco Pizza is a bold venture into the realm of fusion cuisine, where the goal is not just to mix ingredients but to blend cultures and traditions in a way that celebrates both.

Taco Pizza is a unique culinary creation for several reasons. Firstly, it challenges the conventional boundaries of pizza toppings and preparation, inviting chefs and home cooks alike to experiment with new flavors and textures. Secondly, it offers a versatile eating experience, combining the handheld convenience of a taco with the communal, slice-sharing tradition of pizza. This duality makes Taco Pizza not just a meal but an experience, suitable for a wide range of occasions, from family dinners to social gatherings.

Moreover, Taco Pizza embodies the essence of culinary fusion, where the focus is on harmony and balance. The spicy, robust flavors of taco seasoning, the creaminess of cheese, and the freshness of toppings like lettuce and tomato all work together to create a dish that is both comforting and exciting. It’s a testament to the idea that culinary innovation can create dishes that are not only delicious but also bring people together, bridging cultural gaps with every slice.

Essential Ingredients for Taco Pizza

Creating the perfect Taco Pizza begins with selecting the right ingredients. Each component plays a crucial role in bringing together the distinct flavors and textures that define this dish:

  • Base: A sturdy base is essential for any pizza, and Taco Pizza is no exception. While traditional pizza crust works well, using naan flatbread as suggested by The Skinnyish Dish offers a quick and tasty alternative.
  • Sauce: Instead of the usual tomato sauce, a mixture of fat-free refried beans and salsa forms the unique “sauce” layer of Taco Pizza. This combination adds depth and richness to the dish.
  • Toppings: The toppings for Taco Pizza include:
    • Lean ground beef seasoned with homemade or store-bought taco seasoning
    • Part-skim mozzarella cheese
    • Freshly diced tomatoes and ripped iceberg lettuce
    • Doritos or Quest loaded taco protein chips for that extra crunch and protein boost
  • Optional: A drizzle of sour cream and extra taco sauce can elevate the flavors even further.

Step-by-Step Cooking Guide

Preparing the Base and Sauce

  1. Base Preparation: Begin by preheating your oven to the recommended temperature for your chosen base. For naan flatbread, a quick toast in the oven for about 3 minutes at 425°F (220°C) can provide a slightly crispier starting point. For homemade pizza dough, follow your recipe’s baking instructions, pre-baking the crust slightly before adding toppings.
  2. Sauce Mixture: In a bowl, combine refried beans and your choice of salsa until you achieve a smooth, spreadable consistency. This mixture should be evenly spread over the base, leaving a small border around the edges.

Cooking and Assembling the Toppings

  1. Cook the Beef: In a skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef until browned. Drain any excess fat and stir in taco seasoning and a splash of water, simmering until the mixture thickens.
  2. Assemble the Pizza: Spread the bean and salsa sauce over your pre-baked base. Next, layer the seasoned ground beef, followed by a generous amount of shredded mozzarella cheese.

Baking Instructions and Serving Suggestions

  1. Bake: Place the assembled pizza in the oven and bake according to the base’s requirements—typically around 10-15 minutes for naan or until the cheese is bubbly and golden for homemade dough.
  2. Final Touches: Once baked, top the pizza with fresh lettuce, diced tomatoes, and crushed Doritos or Quest chips. For those who enjoy a bit more zest, a final drizzle of sour cream and taco sauce can elevate the dish further.
  3. Serve: Cut into slices and serve immediately. Taco Pizza is best enjoyed fresh from the oven, allowing the blend of warm and cool, crunchy and soft elements to shine.

This step-by-step guide ensures that even novice cooks can successfully create a delicious Taco Pizza, bringing a fusion of flavors and textures to the table that’s sure to delight any palate.

Nutritional Information and Health Considerations

Taco Pizza, while a delightful fusion of flavors, is often questioned for its nutritional value. A typical slice contains calories that can range significantly based on the choice of toppings and base. For instance, using naan as a base might offer a slightly higher calorie count compared to a thin homemade pizza crust. The toppings, especially the ground beef and cheese, contribute to the protein content but also add to the fat and calorie count. However, the addition of fresh lettuce and tomatoes introduces a splash of vitamins and fiber, making it not all indulgent.

To make Taco Pizza healthier, consider the following adjustments:

  • Use lean ground beef or a plant-based alternative to reduce fat content.
  • Opt for low-fat cheese to cut down on saturated fats without compromising on the gooey texture.
  • Increase the amount of fresh vegetables on top for added fiber and nutrients.
  • Choose a whole wheat base for extra fiber and a lower glycemic index.

Storing and Reheating Tips

Storage: To maintain the freshness and texture of Taco Pizza, store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Ideally, separate the fresh toppings from the base and store them in different containers to prevent the base from becoming soggy.

Reheating: For the best taste, reheat Taco Pizza in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until the cheese is bubbly and the base is crisp, about 5-10 minutes. This method helps to restore the pizza’s original texture and warmth without making it chewy or dry, unlike microwaving.


  • When was Taco Pizza invented? Taco Pizza was invented in 1974 by Joe Whitty, the founder of Happy Joe’s, in Iowa. It was a creative response to blending the flavors of Mexican and Italian cuisines, quickly becoming a beloved dish across the United States.
  • Is Taco Pizza healthy? Taco Pizza can be part of a balanced diet when consumed in moderation and with health-conscious modifications. Using lean meats, low-fat cheese, and a whole wheat base, along with plenty of fresh vegetables, can make it a healthier option.
  • How to store and reheat Taco Pizza? Store the pizza and toppings separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Reheat the pizza in the oven at 350°F for about 5-10 minutes for the best results. Adding the fresh toppings after reheating ensures they retain their texture and nutritional value.

Taco Pizza Recipe

Taco Pizza is a delightful fusion dish that combines the spicy, savory flavors of tacos with the comforting, cheesy goodness of pizza. This recipe offers a healthier take on the classic, featuring lean meats, low-fat cheese, and a whole wheat base, topped with fresh vegetables. It's a versatile meal that's perfect for any occasion, from family dinners to social gatherings.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Fusion, Italian, Mexican
Servings 4 Serves
Calories 500 kcal


  • Oven
  • Baking sheet
  • Skillet
  • Mixing bowl


  • Base
  • 4 whole wheat naan flatbreads or homemade whole wheat pizza crusts
  • Sauce
  • 1 cup fat-free refried beans
  • 1/2 cup salsa of choice
  • Toppings
  • 1 lb lean ground beef or plant-based alternative
  • 1 package low-fat mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 2 cups iceberg lettuce shredded
  • 1 cup tomatoes diced
  • 1/2 cup Doritos or Quest loaded taco protein chips crushed (optional)
  • Optional
  • Low-fat sour cream and extra taco sauce for drizzling


  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). If using naan, lightly toast on a baking sheet for 3 minutes. For homemade dough, pre-bake as per your recipe's instructions.
  • Prepare the sauce by mixing refried beans and salsa in a bowl until well combined. Spread evenly over the pre-baked bases.
  • Cook the beef in a skillet over medium heat until browned. Drain excess fat and stir in taco seasoning. Spread the cooked beef over the sauce.
  • Add cheese and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden.
  • Add toppings of lettuce, tomatoes, and crushed chips after baking. Drizzle with sour cream and taco sauce if desired.
  • Serve immediately for the best flavor and texture.


  • For a gluten-free version, use a gluten-free base and check the labels on all packaged ingredients.
  • The toppings can be customized according to preference. Feel free to add black olives, onions, or jalapeños for extra flavor.
  • Store leftovers separately to keep the base from getting soggy. Reheat the base in the oven and add fresh toppings before serving.
  • This recipe is easily adaptable for vegetarians by using a plant-based meat alternative and ensuring all other ingredients are vegetarian-friendly.
Keyword Family Dinner, Fusion Cuisine, Healthy Pizza, Quick Meal, Taco Pizza