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Mexican Pizza

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Ingredients

3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 packages active dry yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
1-1/3 cups warm water
1-1/2 pounds ground beef
2 onions, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 (7 ounce) package instant dried refried beans
1 (16 ounce) jar taco sauce
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried cumin
1 (3 ounce) can diced green chiles, drained, if desired
3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
4 cups shredded Colby cheese

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Mexican Pizza

  • Serves 8
  • Medium

About This Recipe

As I was shooting this photo, I realized something strange about the Midwest. We cut our pizzas into squares, not triangles – even round pizzas. It’s not just homemade pizza that’s cut this way – pizza we buy from our local pizza place is cut into squares too.

BTW, this is the first picture shot with natural light this year! Yay spring – almost!

This cut is called the “party cut” or the “tavern cut.” Theories about this weird cut range from making more pieces to serve more people to the idea that some people don’t like the edges of the crust.

Who knows?

Anyway, I have developed a lot of recipes in my time. But none has the lasting appeal of Mexican Pizza, the first recipe I ever created. This fabulous pizza has the most wonderful taste, texture, and appearance and remains my favorite recipe after more than 30 years.

I was working at Green Giant in Minneapolis and in the test kitchen, home ecs had developed a pizza made with refried beans. I got to taste some of it, and could not get the flavor out of my head. That product never made it to development.

But this recipe did.

The refried beans in the sauce is the secret ingredient – well, that and the taco sauce.

You must make the cornmeal crust to go with this recipe. The filling is quite dense, and only this crust will stand up to it.

I usually make the crust in the morning and let it rise all day, then it’s pretty easy to put together the rest of the pizza before dinner.

And I really prefer the taste of dried refried beans you rehydrate yourself. They have a much richer and fresher taste. If you can’t find them, or if you don’t want to use them, substitute a 16 ounce can of refried beans.

Enjoy every bite of this fabulous recipe.

Steps

1
Done

For the crust, combine the flour, cornmeal, and yeast in a large bowl and mix. Stir in the olive oil and warm water.

2
Done

This should be enough for a dough to form. If not, add more flour or water to make a firm but workable dough. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, then put into a greased bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover and let rise.

3
Done

When you're ready to make the pizza, punch down the dough. Spray two large cookie sheets with nonstick baking spray with flour and sprinkle with some more cornmeal.

4
Done

Divide the dough in half and roll out, right on the cookie sheets, to a thin layer. Set aside. Place two oven racks in the center positions of the oven, then preheat the oven to 400°F.

5
Done

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef with the onions and garlic until the beef is cooked, stirring to break it up. Drain this mixture well.

6
Done

Rehydrate the beans according to the package directions. When done, stir into the beef mixture.

7
Done

Add the taco sauce, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, and green chiles, if using, to the meat mixture and simmer for 10 minutes.

8
Done

Now prebake the crusts. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove.

9
Done

Divide the ground beef mixture among the two prebaked pizza crusts. Top with a mixture of the cheeses.

10
Done

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the crust is deep golden brown and the cheese is melted and light golden brown. Cut into squares to serve.

lindaBest

Linda Larsen has a B.A. in Biology from St. Olaf College, and a B.S. in Food Science and Nutrition with High Distinction from the University of Minnesota. She has worked for the Pillsbury Company on the Bake-Off and in their test kitchens since 1988. Linda has written 37 cookbooks (and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005.

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