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Mexican Pizza

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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

Mexican Pizza

The most popular recipe I ever developed is so flavorful with a crisp cornmeal crust, refined beans in the spicy sauce, and tons of melty cheese.

  • Serves 8
  • Medium

About This Recipe

Looking for a great recipe for Cinco de Mayo? Look no further! This fabulous recipe for Mexican Pizza is perfect. It’s crisp, creamy, chewy, tender, and crunchy, with the most fabulous spicy flavor. Everyone who eats it loves it. You will too!

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.

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 remains my favorite recipe after more than 30 years.

I got the idea for this recipe from a professional kitchen. 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 my recipe for Mexican Pizza did.

Secret Ingredients

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. (If you just cannot face making a scratch crust, two Boboli pizza crusts will work. But do NOT use pizza dough from a can. Trust me.)

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 for Mexican Pizza. And make Fudgy Peppermint Bonbon Dessert for, well, dessert!

Tips for the best Mexican Pizza

  • You can make the dough ahead of time. Let it rise in the refrigerator overnight, or make the dough, roll out the crusts, then prebake for 10 minutes. Wrap them up and store for a day or two.
  • To knead the dough, put it onto a floured surface. Flatten the dough slightly, then fold it in half and push the dough away from you. Turn the dough 1/4 turn and repeat. Knead until the dough feels smooth and springy, bout 5 to 7 minutes.
  • When rolling out the dough, sprinkle the top with cornmeal. Roll out from the center to the edges. The dough should just about cover a regular size cookie sheet.
  • When the filling is assembled, all you have to do is spread it evenly on the prebaked crust and top with the cheese and bake.

Why this recipe for The Best Mexican Pizza works

  • The Mexican Pizza crust is crunchy and flavorful with cornmeal right in the dough.
  • Prebaking the crust means the crust stays crisp even with the thick layer of filling and cheese.
  • The refried beans add fabulous richness to the filling, along with the sautéed onion and garlic.
  • Yes, there is tons of cheese on this Mexican Pizza. That’s okay. You aren’t eating this every day (although I would like to).

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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


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


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.


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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