Mexican Pizza!

Hey what’s round and fried and red all over? An anthropomorphised beach ball who fell asleep in a tanning booth as if that were even possible? Wrong! It’s a Mexican Pizza, duh. What the fudge is a Mexican pizza, you ask? Oh my gawd. HAVE YOU EVEN HEARD OF TACO BELL???

A Mexican pizza is one of their most famous (and delicious) creations and if you have never allowed yourself the freedom to experiment with Taco Bell … actually, there’s really no need to bother at all now that I’ve got this all figured out for you. Proceed.



First you’ll want to make up a batch of my ground beef taco filling (I’ll wait).

Then get your refried beans ready (follow the link or open a can).

Prep some vegetables: diced tomatoes, green onion, shredded cheese, and sour cream (those last two aren’t technically vegetables but they aren’t fried and they aren’t meat so, just go with me here).

Finally, make your Taco Bell taco sauce knock-off. This is not the sauce that comes in the packets, BTW, this is the sauce that goes on their bean burritos and — obvs — their Mexican Pizzas. A prepared enchilada sauce of your choice would do as a fine replacement, but it’s not gonna be quite the same. While the sauce simmers, fry some flour tortillas and make your inner old white grandma proud.


Mexican Pizza

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4.4 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • Taco Bell Sauce:
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • Pizzas:
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups oil
  • Refried beans, beef taco filling, cheese, green onions, tomatoes, sour cream


  1. Combine all sauce ingredients in a small pot and bring to simmer.
  2. Simmer 10-15 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
  3. While it simmers, put your oil in a large skillet. Should be about 1/2″ deep. Begin heating it to 300ΒΊF.
  4. Stack the tortillas on a cutting board and use the tip of a knife to make 8-10 small (1/4″) slits in the tortillas. Stab them gently all over. This helps prevent tortilla balloons and they stay flatter and more stackable.
  5. When oil if hot, fry tortillas one at a time for just about 30 seconds on each side until golden. Drain on paper.
  6. Once all are fried, lay 4 out on a baking sheet. Spread each with a couple tablespoons of refried beans, 1/4 cup taco meat, a tablespoon or two of sauce, a tablespoon of cheese. Top with another shell. Spoon 2-3 more tablespoons of sauce and cheese on top.
  7. Broil on low heat for just a few seconds until the cheese is melted.
  8. Sprinkle with tomatoes, green onion, and a top with sour cream.
  9. Serve right away.

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Mexican Pizza Video!

Sometimes, things get kinda messy in here …


For more about my love affair with Taco Bell, read my crispy beef tacos post.


  1. Jewel on April 26, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Oh my, when my kids were all home I made these exact pizzas on Friday nights! Our broiler pan and rack held the exact amount we needed in our family: 4 girls and 2 parents = 6 two crust Mexican pizzas.
    I haven’t made them in ages.
    Thanks for the memory, Hilah!

    • Jewel on April 26, 2013 at 11:16 am

      In fact, it was the Taco Bell version I tried to mimic. I just used a chunky salsa, ground beef, refried beans, cheese and sour cream.

  2. Dave on April 28, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Going to make this tonight for my kids. Thanks!

    The original Taco Bell Mexican pizza had green onions and black olives, (and I think maybe diced onions, but I can’t swear to that) and was a bit bigger than what they serve now. I tried one a few weeks ago for the first time in probably 20 years (yeah, I’m real old) , and wow, what a huge disappointment. I guess if you want good food these days, ya gotta make it yourself.

    • Hilah on April 29, 2013 at 10:14 am

      Hey Dave!
      Hope the kids liked it! You’re right about the black olives. I’d totally forgotten about that until someone on YouTube pointed it out. I do remember that from when I was wee. This recipe tastes like what I remember TB tasting like back then, though I’m sure it never really was that good.

      • Jewel on April 29, 2013 at 12:18 pm

        Hi all. Dave, I think I only had one Taco Bell Mexican pizza that was good enough to make me want to copy it. Most of them were just big, soggy messes. You are right about food tasting better when you make it yourself. Our list of things we won’t eat in a restaurant includes the following: Eggplant parmesan, spaghetti and lasagna, tacos, enchiladas, burritos, black beans and rice, chili, pernil (a delicious Puertorican roasted pork marinated in Valencian orange juice, garlic and cilantro and pronounced “beneem” for some strange reason.)

        • Hilah on April 30, 2013 at 11:10 am

          Totally agreed on eggplant parmesan, spaghetti and lasagne. We have some good places here for the Mexican food though. I’ve never tried pernil, but it sounds similar to puerco pibil? Even the name is similar now that I think about it.

          • Jewel on April 30, 2013 at 12:21 pm

            I grew up in central Washington state where there is a large Mexican population (seasonal workers, apple pickers, mostly). My two best friends’ grandmother made tamales every Saturday. We were welcome in her home as though we were her own grandkids. I absolutely love Mexican cuisine. It is far more complex than it is given credit for being. Living here in Lancaster county (PA Dutch food is the world’s most bland.) I miss good Mexican food. Fortunately, we are starting to see some small mami and papi cafes that serve something other than burritos. We have a fine Peruvian restaurant that has a tapas bar and cantina. We aren’t doomed to just eating chicken corn soup and shoo-fly pie. Thankfully.

  3. Luz on August 3, 2013 at 12:13 am

    By tomato sauce, do you mean just plain pureed tomatoes like what you can get in the can, or do you mean seasoned tomato sauce, like pasta sauce from a jar?

    • Hilah on August 3, 2013 at 10:12 am

      Hi Luz! I mean the canned pureed sauce, the first one. Hope you try it!

      • Luz on August 3, 2013 at 7:41 pm

        Thanks for the reply! I had been looking for a good and simple enchilada sauce recipe, and when you said yours tastes like Taco Bell’s, I was sold! I’ll make this but with whole grain corn tortillas, baked instead of fried, so I can call it healthy. πŸ™‚

        • Hilah on August 4, 2013 at 9:02 pm

          Perfect! πŸ™‚

      • Sandra on June 29, 2018 at 2:34 am

        Thank you for clarifying the sauce. I was wondering

  4. Rick on September 5, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Hi Hilah,

    Sounds like the Tostada Pizza I’ve been making for years only I use a basic frozen cheese pizza for the base. Bake that according to directions the let it sit a minute or two to firm up.

    Meanwhile, heat some refried beans with a little Salsa Casera to thin them up a bit. Spread the beans all over the pizza (use a spatula to smooth them out) then top with cooked & crumbled chorizo, if desired, shredded lettuce and shredded cheddar and Monterrey cheese. Top that with chopped tomatoes, dollops of sour cream then with sliced green onions and sliced black olives. Add some of your favorite hot salsa and enjoy!!!

    My kids demanded this for every birthday party.

    • Hilah on September 5, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      Oh boy! This sounds so good and easy! Thank you, Rick!

  5. Mexican Pizza Boy on January 6, 2014 at 12:06 am

    Hi, I normally dont post anything but I just had to let you know this recipe was awesome! Scrambled eggs (usually hit or miss) is a big deal for me so this was a double awesome. I am now Chef Boyardee of the house! Thanks Hilah.

    • Hilah on January 6, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      Yay! That is great to hear!

      • Rebecca Callahan on February 17, 2020 at 8:12 am

        When tested side by side- This needs a bit of a fix- 1tea vinegar , 1 tablespoon is too much. .5 teaspoon garlic, 1 teaspoon is too much garlic flavor to be the same as TacoBells. With this adjustments it’s just about the same.

  6. Chelsea on August 8, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Made this for my family last night and they loved it! I would have liked to have some extra sauce, but maybe I just let it simmer for too long. I also noticed the ground bee got a little greasy, would like to try it with ground turkey! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Hilah on August 9, 2014 at 5:45 pm

      Wonderful! Glad you liked them, Chelsea! πŸ™‚

  7. Kevin on September 2, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    Hilah, I watched a video .. veggie pizza with garbanzo flour. I can’t find the recipe. Can you direct me please? Most interested in the crust. Must. Make. Pizza.

    Thank You!


  8. Chris on January 29, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    I just made this recipe tonight for my family, everyone loved them. It looked like Taco Bell but didn’t taste like it (that’s a good thing by the way). My wife loved the sauce and said that’s our new smothered burrito sauce. Thanks for the wonderful meal.

    • Hilah on February 2, 2015 at 9:28 am

      Ha! Better than Taco Bell is a good compliment πŸ™‚ And great idea to use the sauce for burritos. Yum! Man, I love burritos.

  9. Ed on April 3, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    Let me give you the old school recipe for the pizza sauce. I worked as a manager there in the early 90’s.

    Red enchilada sauce, salsa (I used chi-chi’s, which is close to the canned salsa they used to get then), and here’s the catch… a little marinara pasta sauce, preferably not chunky. Mix together and try. This is the same sauce they used on chicken burritos back then too!

  10. Sandra on June 29, 2018 at 2:39 am

    Rated 5 srar because its sounds great and i want to make it. You dont seem to mention how much minced beef is added to the taco sauce and whether its prefried. I hope ill have your answer soon as i would like to have a go today.

    • Hilah on July 2, 2018 at 1:53 pm

      Hi Sandra,
      There is no beef in the sauce. It’s cooked separately and used in between the layers of fried tortillas. Hope that helps!

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