One of our favorite meals at home is tacos. It’s something that usually makes its way onto our weekly menu board every few weeks or so. We all like soft shell tacos in our house too which makes it easier for shopping and left overs. I can just buy a pack and have them for the tacos but also handy to have the extra shells in the pantry for other things such as wraps (instead of bread for sandwiches). Our favorite kind of tortilla shells for tacos are the Guerrero flour tortillas. They are a bit thicker of tortilla, so if you are watching calories, these are a bit on the higher end, but they are sturdier as well, which is good for a taco, at least in my opinion.
Recently I had planned to make tacos at our cottage for family coming over and then just the way it worked out with meals over that weekend, I didn’t end up needing to make them. However, that meant I had lots of tortillas in the cupboard still from a week or so ago and I wanted to make sure to try to get through at least some of them before they got tough.
Last Friday when I was meal planning, I was trying to think of ways to use them up, besides tacos or chicken bacon wraps (another simple dinner that we love!). I started looking through my saved recipes and nothing jumped out at me. Then searching Pinterest I saw a few options for Taco Pizzas or Taco bakes or Mexican Pizzas, lots of different names for similar outcomes. Looking through those, I decided to spinoff and create my own. Most of the time there are some kind of ingredients in other people’s recipes that my picky eaters just won’t eat (chunks of onions or peppers are just a big no around here). So nothing with chunky salsa or picante sauce, etc...
What I ended up putting together had a little kick to it. But it would be easy to dial that down with a medium or mild enchilada sauce. Also, the refried beans I used were the black beans, but traditional would work as well I’m sure. Our favorite brand for refried beans are Old El Paso (for the black bean or traditional). You could even skip them all together if you wanted, but if you like refried beans, I would suggest it because it worked well as a binder to hold the meat to the tortilla shells and made the layers sturdier.
If you give it a try, I hope you enjoy! Let me know if you do try it and/or if you mixed it up at all to put your own spin to it. Feel free to send me any questions you have about the recipe and how I put it together.
3 Layer Taco Pizza
1 pound lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 packet of taco seasoning
2/3 cup of water
½ cup of enchilada sauce (spiciness to your liking – I used Hot!)
16 oz. can refried beans (I used about half of the can)
Shredded cheese of your choice (I used a spicy cheddar/taco mix)
3 tortillas (8 or 10” in size)
Optional toppings: sour cream, taco sauce, tomatoes.
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large skillet, brown and break up the ground beef (or turkey) with the onion powder sprinkled on top until the meat is no longer pink and grease is cooked down. Drain grease if necessary (not usually required if using lean ground turkey or beef). Stir in the taco seasoning packet and 2/3 cup of water and simmer for a couple of minutes. Add the ½ cup of enchilada sauce and simmer a couple of minutes more until heated through and thickened up. Divide into three parts in the pan.
Heat up the refried beans (I did it for about 2 minutes in a microwave safe dish) to soften them up to make them easier to spread in the next step.
Prepare the pan to start building the pizza layers. I used a round pizza pan and sprayed it with cooking spray. Place the first tortilla on the pan. Spread a layer of the refried beans on the tortilla (you are spreading this out on each layer so I used enough each time to have about a 1/8 inch layer and had leftover to spare – you could split the can in three amounts for more beans on each layer). Spread 1/3 of meat mixture on top of the beans and then a sprinkle cheese on top. Repeat this two more times to get three layers, ending with the cheese on top.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Then turn on the broiler and broil (watching closely) to brown the cheese a bit on top. (You don’t need to do the broiler step – but I did it because I like the browned/crispness of the cheese when you do that step.)
Remove from oven and let cool for a couple minutes before cutting up in desired size slices (We sliced it into 8 pieces). Top with any additional taco toppings you like! I used sour cream and my husband used his favorite taco sauce.