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Taco Pizza and other taco recipes

When I heard that October 4th is National Taco Day (a Tuesday, of course!) I thought it is about time to bring out my Taco Pizza recipe! If you’re from Iowa, taco pizza is nothing new or novel, but other parts of the country are sometimes surprised by the concept. And then also, surprised by the deliciousness that they have previously lived without. But even fewer are those who realize that they can make their own Taco Pizza at home!

view of the right side of the entire pizza

About Taco Pizza

A Midwest pizza chain, Happy Joe’s, is credited with the original taco pizza. Now there are several Midwest eateries who have this delightful pizza on their menu, including Pizza Ranch and Casey’s.

Because I’m budget-minded and don’t mind cooking up something at home, I decided to try my hand at taco pizza. I’m always making pizza myself, and it was fun to create this recipe that my family has been enjoying for years. My mother-in-law has voted my recipe her favorite Taco Pizza.

To bean or not to bean

Different restaurants prepare their taco pizza differently. And the biggest question (dare I say argument?) out there is whether or not a taco pizza should include refried beans? Well, let me answer that for you – yes, it should. So mine relies on a whole can of refried beans. Although I have never tried it, I’m pretty sure you could skip the beans in my recipe if you wanted to. Or even cut the refried bean quantity in half if you’re undecided.

sliced taco pizza, one slice missing

Why Taco Pizza?

If you’re asking this question, friend, I don’t blame you. There are many other good pizzas in the world. But to truly embrace Midwestern philosophy, you must turn the question around and ask, “Why not?” And then you have your answer. There is no good reason not to put tacos on pizza.

So let me explain this masterpiece. You start with a basic pizza crust. You can find my recipe here. Then layer it with refried beans (optional), taco sauce, meat and cheese. I like to throw some olives in here. Sorta like a pizza.

You bake this ’til it’s hot and sassy. Pull it out of the oven and top it with crispy, broken nacho chips that adher to the melted cheese. This makes a great base for the shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes which go next. Serve with additional taco sauce as desired.

Is this messy?

Yes, yes it is. Tacos are messy. No apologies.

How spicy is Taco Pizza?

As spicy or as mild as you would like to make it. The key is the taco sauce you choose which is commonly available in mild, original or hot. Serve with hot sauce or additional taco sauce if you like!

looking down on lower edge of a taco pizza

Taco Pizza

Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

You have to try Taco Pizza! This version is made with refried beans and taco sauce, then layered with taco meat, cheese, nacho chips and more. One bite and you'll be amazed.


  • pizza dough for one crust (1 - 1 1/2lb)
  • ½ lb ground beef
  • 3 Tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • ½ pkg taco seasoning mix
  • 1 cup refried beans
  • 8oz taco sauce
  • ½ cup sliced ripe olives
  • 8 oz shredded Colby Jack cheese
  • 3 cups broken nacho-style chips (I use Doritos)
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1 small tomato
  • olive oil for brushing


  1. Roll out pizza crust 14-16 inch diameter. *Be sure that your crust is large enough or adjust recipe as needed.
  2. Prick with a fork and then bake in a 400 degree oven for 4-5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, fry ground beef and onion together until the meat is browned. Drain excess grease. Return to skillet and add taco seasoning and 1/3 cup of water. Simmer for a few minutes until thickened.
  4. Remove crust from oven and brush lightly with olive oil all the way over the edges. Spread the refried beans leaving a little edge. Layer with taco sauce, meat, olives and shredded cheese. Bake for about 10 minutes.
  5. Cover hot pizza with broken chips and gently press into the cheese. Top with lettuce and tomato and serve.


*14-16" is a very large pizza, but that is how these measurements work best. For a smaller pizza, reduce the amounts, especially of the refried beans and taco sauce.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 2 slices
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 608Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 1298mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 36g

Other Taco Favorites

Too many tacos, too little time. Maybe you want to try a few of these and celebrate National Taco Day every day of the week.

My favorite Fish Tacos from Martha Stewart.

And this recipe is pretty similar to my Layered Taco Dip. I guess I’ll need to get my recipe posted next time football season rolls around.

And you can find my easy Taco and Fajita recipes in Help! Company’s Coming, a free ebook for subscribers. Be sure to check that out. Already a subscriber and missed out on the ebook? Be sure to send me a message from the About Me page or comment below and I can send that out to you.

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