Monday, March 05, 2012

Secret Recipe Club: Taco Pizza

It's the March Madness Edition of the Secret Recipe Club!  In this group, each member is secretly assigned the recipe blog of another member.  The recipe is then prepared and taste-tested, photographed for cyber-posterity and posted.  It's fun to try new recipes, and I'm lucky to have a family that's generally good-natured about such experiments.

Of course, if I left the choosing to the kids, they'd pick cookies every time.  While cookies are fun, I like finding new main-dish recipes too.  So even though my assigned blog for March is really heavy on cookies, I focused on the non-dessert offerings at Sweetie Pettiti.  But that doesn't mean I didn't find a "fun" recipe!

Susie worked hard to duplicate her childhood favorite, Happy Joe's Taco Pizza.  She had to find a recipe that lived up to her high nostalgic expectations.  I had no such expectations, since I never ate at Happy Joe's.  The idea of Taco Pizza was appealing, though--and I figured my family would love it.  And salad on a pizza sounded fun, different, and even (imagine that) good for you!

Changes I made:
Instead of one huge pizza, I made individual ones.  This allowed each family member to customize their Taco Pizza.  If your kids like to help in the kitchen, this is an ideal recipe.  Once the ingredients are all assembled, kids can spread their favorite toppings on their pizza, then the grownups can bake it until done.
I also added sauteed onions as a topping.  (YUM!)
I had no tomatoes in the house, so I skipped those.  This is not the time of year for tomatoes.  In the summer, though, I'd have to add them!
I made my own pizza dough based on the recipe at Once a Month Mom rather than using premade dough.
Finally, I made a meatless pizza for my daughter, at her request.

Survey Says:
This is a yummy dish!  It would be a fun meal to have while you're watching a little March Madness--just be sure to have plenty of napkins handy, because (as Susie pointed out in the original recipe) the toppings fall all over the place.  It was easy to customize to individual tastes.  My daughter had a meatless pizza.  My husband ate his salad separately and spread sour cream on top.  It's also frugal:  I used up some pizza sauce and refried beans that were already in the refrigerator, so it's a good way to reinvent some leftovers.  I found that it was easier to "fold" this pizza like a huge taco and eat it that way rather than slicing and lifting little pieces of it.

Here's how to make this at home:

Taco Pizza
Makes 8 individual pizzas

1 batch pizza dough, divided in 8 portions, rolled and par-baked for 5 minutes at 425
1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
1/2 onion, finely chopped and cooked until onions are soft
2 TBL taco seasoning
1/4 cup water
1 can refried beans
1/4 cup taco sauce
1/4 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups cheddar-jack cheese, shredded
Lettuce, shredded
Tortilla chips, broken into small pieces 
Additional taco sauce, optional
Sour cream, optional

Season cooked ground beef with taco seasoning.  Add water and simmer until water cooks off.  Meanwhile, mix refried beans, taco sauce and pizza sauce.  (I found that heating the beans in the microwave for about a minute made them easier to mix up with the other ingredients).  Spread bean mixture on your par-baked pizza crusts.  

Top with mozzarella cheese, then with seasoned taco meat.

Add onions, then cheddar-jack.  Bake at 450 for 8 to 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown on the edges.

Allow pizza to sit a few minutes before you try to slice or eat it.  Then top with salad and chips.

Grab a napkin or three, and dig in!

Don't miss the other recipes in today's Secret Recipe Club big reveal.  I always find a whole bunch that I want to taste-test!


  1. Great idea combining pizza and tacos - bet it tastes really delicious! And so much fun to do individual ones. :)

  2. those individual pizzas are so cute! great choice for SRC.

  3. My husband would love this. I need to make it soon!

  4. I love finding new pizza recipes and this one looks delicious! I'd love for you to share this at Mix it up Monday:

    I hope to see you soon :)

  5. Glad you enjoyed this. The original is a Midwest favorite, and that post is probably in my top 3 hits. People are so excited that I duplicated that childhood treat!

  6. I love this idea, such a great kid friendly recipe too!

  7. Great idea combining two things I love: tacos and pizza. It would be fun to make them appetizer-size for a party.

  8. Looks like a super fun recipe. Great to make with kids!

  9. Looks Yummy! I love me some Taco Pizza!

  10. Wow! That sounds amazing. I think my family would be all about those mini pizzas!

  11. What a fun recipe. My son would live to have one of your pizzas!

  12. Visiting from Group D. :) I haven't had taco pizza in ages. Me and my mom loved a version of this that our neighborhood pizza joint carried in the 80's. What great memories this brought back.

  13. Such a cute idea :-) What a great pick for SRC!

  14. I"m visiting from SRC group B, and I love love love Happy Joe's taco pizza. I grew up on that pizza place. It really is just amazing and your version of it looks great. We make it at our house as well, and it is always a hit.

  15. I think it is great to make individual ones - it makes the meal really interactive :)

  16. Looks like one very tasty idea.

  17. Great recipe to pick and I love the individual serving idea-Pizza Party!

  18. Thank you so much for sharing at Mix it up Monday and I hope you'll stop back soon :)

  19. I'm intrigued. It's pizza meets tostada. I'm pretty sure I'd love it.

  20. What a fun idea. Taco Pizza. Two favs in one!!!

  21. Taco pizza is one of my favorites. This looks like a great variation!

  22. Love that idea! I always wanted to make but my wife Rachel doesn't want to mess with success of good plain pizza.

  23. Taco pizza sounds wonderful and I love the idea of making them individual so everyone gets what they like and want.

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my SRC entry: Broiled Sushi.

    Cook Lisa Cook



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