Mexican Pizza (20 Minute Meal!)

In just 20 minutes, make the most delicious Mexican Pizza with ground beef, refried beans, and melted cheese layered on crispy corn tortillas.

Crispy corn tortillas, seasoned ground beef, melted cheese, creamy refried beans, and all your favorite taco toppings? What’s not to love? Seriously this copycat Taco Bell Mexican Pizza is everything you want in a quick and easy dinner.

While I love making authentic Mexican recipes and tacos, sometimes I get nostalgic for Tex-Mex classics I grew up with like Taco Bell’s famous Mexican Pizza. There was just something so delicious about those crispy, crunchy ground beef pizzas covered in melted cheese and taco sauce. Yum.

Using that as inspiration, I wanted to make an easy at-home version that’s equally delicious, but also a little better for you than the original. This version uses baked tortillas instead of fried and swaps in lean ground beef or turkey. Plus it uses some extra refried beans and a little less cheese. Trust me, no one will notice! These are seriously good.

Why You’ll Love These Copycat Taco Bell Mexican Pizzas

  • Ready in 20 minutes: This is truly a quick and easy weeknight meal! Saute the ground beef, assemble the pizzas, and bake – that’s it!
  • Healthier than the original: Instead of reaching for the Taco Bell takeout version that packs in 530 calories and 29 grams of fat (mostly saturated), make a lightened up version at home that tastes just as good using lean beef or turkey, high fiber refried beans, and a little less cheese.
  • Make it your own: My whole family loves this meal since everyone can pile on their own toppings to build their ideal taco pizza. Mine features sliced avocado, cilantro, jalapenos, lettuce, pico de gallo, and a dollop of sour cream.

What is a Mexican Pizza?

Although there is some controversy about who invented the Mexican pizza, it became wildly popular when Taco Bell added it to its menu. Think about it as a mash-up between a pizza and tostadas, with Tex-Mex ingredients.

It’s made with two crispy corn tortillas filled with seasoned beef, refried beans, taco sauce or tomato sauce, three types of shredded cheese, tomatoes, and a drizzle of sour cream. The original version also contained black olives and green onions, but the current version no longer contains those ingredients.

There is also a popular vegetarian version of the Taco Bell Mexican pizza made with only refried beans.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Here is everything you need to make these irresistible taco pizzas.

  • Ground beef: Traditionally these Mexican-inspired pizzas are made with ground beef. However, they are delicious with ground turkey, shredded chicken, or make a meatless version with just refried beans.
  • Taco seasoning: Season the ground beef with store-bought or homemade taco seasoning. This beef should taste like traditional Tex-Mex or American-style ground beef tacos. You can also simply use a combination of chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt, and black pepper.
  • Corn tortillas: For the best results, use corn tortillas for this recipe since flour tortillas don’t stay as crispy when baked.
  • Refried beans: Use any type of homemade or canned refried beans you like for this recipe including refried pinto beans or black beans.
  • Enchilada sauce: Mexican pizzas can be made with enchilada sauce, taco sauce, tomato sauce, ranchero sauce, or a thin salsa. Personally, I love the slightly smoky, spicy flavor of red enchilada sauce.
  • Cheese: Any type of shredded cheese that melts well can be used for these Mexican pizzas. Use cheddar cheese, Monterey jack, pepper jack, or a shredded Mexican cheese blend.
  • Toppings: Taco Bell Mexican pizzas are topped with diced tomatoes and a drizzle of sour cream. Consider adding shredded lettuce, sliced black olives, green onions, cilantro, avocado, salsa, and any other taco toppings you love.

Looking for the lowest calorie option? Make these with extra lean ground turkey, extra thin corn tortillas (like the ones by Mission), and reduced-fat cheese.

Crispy corn tortillas with refried beans, ground beef, and cheese on a baking sheet for Mexican pizzas.

How to Make An Easy and Delicious Mexican Pizza

These pizzas are so easy to make and turn out great cooked in the oven or air fryer.

1. Cook the ground beef

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and taco seasoning. Cook, breaking up the beef as it cooks until it is no longer pink. Taste and season as needed.

If you are store-bought seasoning that is meant to be cooked with water, follow the directions on the package of taco seasoning, using slightly less water so the meat doesn’t make the corn tortillas soggy.

For even more flavor, consider adding diced onion, garlic, or tomato paste.

2. Crisp up the tortillas

One of the most delicious things about Mexican pizza is the crispy corn tortillas, which are similar to a tostada shell. It’s important to crisp up the tortillas before adding the toppings, otherwise they will turn out soggy.

Start by preheating the oven (or air fryer). Spray the tortillas with cooking spray or brush them with a very thin layer of olive oil. Place on a baking sheet and cook for 2-3 minutes per side until they are golden brown and crispy.

Shortcut: Speed things up with premade tostada shells that can usually be purchased in the Mexican section of your supermarket.

3. Assemble the pizza

Carefully remove the tostadas from the oven. Add a thin layer of refried beans to the corn tortilla. Then add a layer of seasoned beef (skip for vegetarian) and drizzle with enchilada sauce, tomato sauce, taco sauce, or salsa.

Stack another corn tortilla on top and add a drizzle of enchilada sauce, ground beef, and shredded cheese. Add any other toppings you would like to heat up.

Return to the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and melted. Carefully remove from the oven and add any other toppings you like.

Air Fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees. Precook the tortillas in the air fryer until crispy, about 1-2 minutes per side. Remove and assemble pizzas. Return to the air fryer for 3-5 minutes until the cheese is melted and everything is heated through.

Taco bell Mexican pizza with ground beef, melted cheese, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, sour cream, and cilatro.

Best Toppings for Taco Pizza

There are so many ways to customize your Mexican pizzas with different toppings. I love to set up a bunch of toppings and let everyone build their own creations.

Recipe Variations and Ideas

There are lots of ways to customize this recipe and make it your own, the most popular being to turn it into a more traditional pizza.

  • Use pizza dough: Another popular version of Mexican pizza uses traditional pizza crust in the palace of the corn tortillas. Simply par-bake your pizza dough. Then add a layer of refried beans, ground beef, cheese, enchilada sauce, and your toppings. Bake until the cheese is melted. Add any fresh toppings and serve.
  • Make it vegetarian: Leave out the ground meat and double up the refried beans for an easy meatless option. Leave off the cheese as well for a vegan Mexican pizza. Or swap in soy chorizo or roasted veggies for the meat.
  • Ground turkey Mexican pizzas: Use 99% lean ground turkey and extra thin corn tortillas for a lighter option with less fat and calories.
  • Extra veggies: To keep this light and healthy, I always pile on tons of fresh veggies including lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, mini bell peppers, green onions, and pico de gallo. You can also add some cauliflower rice, diced zucchini, or spinach to the ground beef mixture.

Slice of Mexican pizza with two layer of tortillas, beef, beans, avocado, black olives, and sour cream on a cutting board.

How to Avoid Soggy Tortilla Crust

The most common problem people encounter when making Mexican pizza is a soggy crust.

The best way to avoid a soggy crust is to create a barrier between the tortilla and the heavier, moist toppings. Do this by coating the corn tortillas with cooking spray or brushing with oil before baking. You could also lightly fry them in oil.

If that isn’t enough, consider melting cheese on the tortillas before adding the refried beans or ground beef. The cheese creates an extra barrier between the crispy tortilla and the wet toppings.

Storing Leftovers

Mexican pizzas are best eaten as soon as they come out of the oven. That’s when the texture of the tortilla crust is crunchy and firm. If you plan on prepping them in advance, simply prep the meat and toppings and then assemble and bake right before serving.

With that said, you can store leftovers in the fridge or freezer, just know that they will not be as crispy when reheated. Do not store leftovers with fresh toppings.

  • Fridge: Let the pizzas fully cool and store in an airtight container or wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2-3 days.
  • Freezer: Let the pizza fully cool and then wrap individual Mexican pizzas in plastic wrap and the foil. Store in the freezer for 2-3 months.
  • Reheating: Heat the oven to 350 degrees and cook for 10-15 minutes until warmed through. If the Mexican pizzas are frozen, cook for 18-25 minutes.

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