Taco Pizza

Normally we always credit the original source for the recipes that we share. This time, though, the original source left us with a mess, so Marie started again from scratch.

Sometimes when a cheese packet comes with a recipe on it you actually want to give it a try. Not necessarily use the brand of cheese that recommended it, of course, because you clipped the recipe off and have no idea what brand it was – oh, yes. There it is, inserted by the marketing department. The ingredients list includes the brand name. No fear, you’ve already purchased Randomly Chosen Brand ™ and will forge ahead.

I’m being a little silly here because I rolled a critical failure on my skill check for cooking on my first attempt at this recipe (that’s gaming slang for “I flopped”), and my pride is hurt. I’ve known for a while that the oven in our new place runs a bit hot, and I’ve causally tweaked the temp down a bit on other recipes which, for the most part, had okay results. In the case of my first attempt at this recipe, however, I wound up with a thick layer of char stuck to the foil instead of a delicious meal, and we had to throw the whole thing out and rush out for a quick dinner from the nearby Sonic instead.

Therefore, Original Brand Name ™ isn’t going to get a shout out. It may not be their fault, but I’ll go ahead and put down the times and temps I actually used, and let the readers tweak as needed for their own ovens. Also, I put refried beans in mainly because I have a picky 5-year-old who was going to need the equivalent of a bean-and-cheese-no-sauce burrito pizza, but I liked the results of adding beans well enough to say they should have been in the original recipe (feel free to leave them out if you disagree). You’ll see the results in the visible line across the surface of the pizza where the flavor leaves off. However, I assume you don’t possess a 5-or-under yourself, and wrote out the instructions below accordingly.

1 can refrigerated pizza crust (look at the directions on the packet for the preheat times; I used 375 for 6 minutes to accommodate for the hot oven, reduced from the original recommendation of 400 for 8 minutes).
3/4 lb. ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
Water per seasoning packet (1/2 cup most likely)
Enough chunky salsa – at least a cup, up to two, depending on how much you like it.
2 cups of shredded 4 cheese Mexican blend
1/2 can refried beans with green chiles
If you happen to have some coarse corn flour, you could dust your pizza pan, cookie sheet or pizza stone to prevent sticking.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Place the crust on the cooking surface (pre-dusted with corn flour if desired) and push the edges to create a bit of a lip all around. Prebake per packet instructions, then remove from the oven.
While the crust is baking, cook the ground beef, drain, and mix in the seasoning per the packet instructions and heat the refried beans.
Mix a spoonful or two of the seasoned meat into the refried beans if you so desire.
Mix a handful of the cheese into the seasoned meat.
Spread the beans thinly across the prebaked crust, not pressing too hard.
Spread the seasoned meat and cheese mixture over the beans.
Spread as much salsa as you like (avoid picking the watery kind).
Top with the remaining cheese.
Bake at 375 for approximately 7-8 minutes.
Add sliced avocado, sour cream, sliced jalapenos, or whatever else suits your mood.

Slice, serve, and enjoy! Or, if you are five, lick all the toppings off the bread and complain that the crust has some brown parts, which are apparently proof that the pizza burned again. Well, Grant and I enjoyed it, so he’ll likely be afflicted with this recipe again. One of these days he will grow out of the blandness phase. I hope…

Do you enjoy classic television? I’m reliving some great shows from my own childhood with my five year-old son. Come join the fun at Fire-Breathing Dimetrodon Time!