Taco Za!

Supposedly, taco pizza is a thing in Iowa: refried beans topped with taco seasoned meat and cheese.

Well… we like tacos, and we like pizza, so of course we were gonna be having this! It might have helped that folk around about here seem to be treating tortillas like toilet paper, in that you can never count on either of them being in stock any more.

Irregardless, we gave taco za a try, and it was wicked good!

Refried Beans:
•1 can refried black beans
•1/4 cup salsa
•1/4 cup Red Pepper Pesto
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*

Taco Meat:
•2 tbsp olive oil
•1-1/2 lb meatloaf mix (or ground beef)
•1 cup diced onion
•1 cup shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix)
•2 cloves garlic, minced
•1 packet taco seasoning
•1 cup beer (or water)
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•1/4 cup Arby’s Sauce (optional)

My Shredded Cheese Blend:
•White Cheddar

•1 pizza crust
•Refried bean/salsa mixture
•Taco meat
•Thinly sliced sweet onion (optional)
•2 cups shredded cheese blend

To Serve:
•Diced tomatoes
•Shredded lettuce
•Crushed tortilla chips
•Sour cream or ranch dressing

*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.

Combine the refried beans (we prefer refried black beans, but if you like regular, go for it) with the salsa, pesto, and Sherry Peppers Sauce together in a ‘wave-safe bowl and ‘wave for about 90 seconds, until the beans have loosened up and you can easily stir everything together. Set aside.

Note: if you don’t have, or do not want to make, the red pepper pesto, simply replace it with another 1/4 cup of salsa.

Warm some olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, then add the onion, shredded cabbage, and garlic.

Stir in the Sherry Peppers Sauce, toss to combine, and cook for about eight minutes, until the onion and cabbage are tender.

Add the ground meat and continue to cook, stirring and breaking the meat up, until the meat has browned.

Whisk the taco seasoning mix together with the beer, Sherry Peppers sauce, and Arby’s Sauce (if using) and add to the pan with the meat and veggies.

Stir to combine, then continue to cook, stirring often, until the liquid has been mostly cooked off.

Note: you will have more than enough taco meat and refried beans for one pizza, so, either save any leftover for something else (that I am gonna tell you about tomorrow), or shred more cheese and make two pizzas.

Now, on the the za!

Heat your oven for whatever your pizza crust of choice calls for – my store bought thin crust whole grain crust called for 425º.

Place your crust on your pizza stone or pan (I use a cast iron pizza ‘stone’ that we love), and lightly brush it with olive oil or ranch dressing.

Spoon some of the refried beans ontop of the crust and spread to within about 1/2 inch of the edge.

Scatter some of the taco meat evenly over the beans (you will have extra) and then, if you are using it, top with the thinly sliced sweet onion.

Top with the shredded cheese blend and bake according to the directions for your pizza crust of choice.

Note: I really like my blend of Provolone, Swiss, and White Cheddar cheeses for ‘za; but feel free to use all Cheddar, or mebbe Cheddar/Jack, or even Pepper Jack cheese.

Once the cheese is golden brown and melted and the za has cooked long enough, according to your crust of choice’s directions, remove the ‘za from the oven and transfer to a cutting board.

Let the za rest for five or ten minutes before slicing and serving.

I topped ours with shredded lettuce and a drizzle of ranch dressing; my husband went with sour cream and taco sauce.

Authentic, Iowa taco pizza is served with tortilla chips, but I thought that a bit much.

All in all, wicked tasty, pretty simple, and, most of all right now, different.

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