October 4, 2022

Offersmalta

A Day with Food

Mexican Pizzas – Taste And See

7 min read

These Mexican Pizzas are so delicious, easy to assemble, and a quick weeknight dinner!  And if you’re wondering – yes, it’s a copycat of the Taco Bell classic from many years ago.  With crispy tostadas, homemade refried beans, you’re favorite Mexican flavored meat like Beef Barbacoa, Shredded Mexican Chicken, ground beef or chicken with taco seasoning, and cheese of course.  Plus, any other Mexican food toppings you love.

Crunchy Mexican Pizza with refried beans, sour cream, chopped jalapeño, chopped tomatoes, and cheese

When I was away at college a few decades ago, a girlfriend introduced me to Mexican Pizzas from none other than…Yo quiero Taco Bell!  I remember that cheesy, beany crunchy disc of goodness so well.  

My only complaint was that there was only one in the box.

And then it happened… those yummy layered tostadas disappeared from the face of the earth.  Yo no quiero Taco Bell!!  It was a very sad day.

Crunchy Mexican Pizza layered with refried beans, cheese and Mexican toppings

When Is The Mexican Pizza Coming Back?

Because I was not alone and tons of people loved these amazing Mexican Pizzas, Taco Bell decided to bring them back earlier this year.  Woohoo!

But then another sad moment in history… they ran out.  Whaaaa!?

Apparently, they will be returning as a permanent menu item in mid-September but I think we’ve waited long enough… Am I Right?

So no more waiting… you can enjoy Mexican Pizza whenever you want, with your favorite Mexican toppings, in the comfort of your own home.  

Wait for it – I give you Mexican Pizzas à la Holly Belle (that’s me)!  Do you hear the angels singing?

Crunchy Mexican Pizza layered with refried beans, cheese and Mexican toppings

In my opinion, the combination of the crunchy tostada and the creamy refried beans was what made these so tasty.

Let’s talk about these key elements that make these loaded tostadas so amazing.  

I know all my Taco Bell Mexican Pizza fans would agree that refried beans are an absolute must.

How To Make Refried Beans

So I went to work and perfected the best refried bean recipe.

But I can’t take all the credit… many years ago, when I lived in Virginia, my hair stylist introduced me to her family’s Homemade “Refried” Beans.  Words cannot accurately describe these beans – you must experience them – trust me!

Cheesy Homemade Refried Beans in Mexican pottery

I don’t mean to brag but I have mastered this creamy cheesy refried bean recipe in a couple of different cooking methods…  refried beans recipe in the Instant Pot, and a quicker version made from canned pinto beans on the stovetop.

The Instant Pot version takes about an hour with dried pinto beans.  And the method made on the stovetop with canned pinto beans and only takes 30-40 minutes.

So that is the recipe I’ll be sharing with you today.

First, drain and rinse 4 cans of pinto beans.  Add some olive oil to a saucepot on medium-high heat on the stove.

Sauté some chopped onions for 6 minutes, stir in some minced garlic and cook for another minute.  

Add in your beans, 2 cups of chicken stock, and salt and pepper.  Put the lid on and let it come up to a simmer, now turn it down to medium-low for about 30 minutes.  Be sure to stir them every 8-10 minutes.  If they are getting too thick a bit more chicken stock.

Canned Pinto Beans cooking in a large pot with chicken stock, onion and garlic

Take off the lid and if there is too much liquid bring the beans back up to medium or medium-high heat and cook off some of the liquid for a few minutes.  Make sure you keep stirring them regularly so they don’t burn on the bottom.  

Now turn off the heat and mash them with a potato masher.

Canned Pinto Beans cooked in a large pot with chicken stock, onion and garlic and mashed.

Add a bit of the evaporated milk, keep mashing, and continue to add more milk until they are creamy and the consistency you like.

Toss in chunks of cheddar cheese, wait a few minutes until the cheese has started to melt, and then stir gently.

Homemade Refried Beans with evaporated milk and cheddar cheese mixed into them

The cheese won’t melt completely which is what you want.  You should see some nice cheesy ribbons of the cheese throughout the mashed beans.

And there you have it… ooey-gooey creamy cheesy homemade non-fried refried beans!

Cheesy Homemade Refried Beans

The other main element of these pizzas is the crispy tostadas.

You’ll need some store-bought crispy tostadas (or you can make your own out of flat corn tortillas but why – hit the easy button my friend and grab some from the grocery store.)

What Is A Tostada?

In Spanish, the word “tostada” can be translated to “toasted”.  It’s basically a tortilla that has been deep fried or baked to create a golden, crunchy base vessel for whatever toppings you like or they can also be consumed alone.  

You can find them being served at Mexican restaurants and the tostada shells can be found in most grocery stores.

Crunchy Tostadas with refried beans, cheese, and Mexican toppings.

All I can say is move over Taco Bell cause Holly Belle’s stepping up her Mexican food game!

Is Mexican Pizza Actually Mexican?

I must tell you that Mexican Pizzas are not really authentic Mexican food.

They are really an American invention that has been adopted into menus across the US.  And probably being made most popular by Taco Bell.

Crunchy Mexican corn tostadas layered with refried beans, Beef Barbacoa, green onions and cheese

Regardless of its authenticity, it is amazingly delicious.

Allow me to enlighten you…

How To Make Taco Bell Mexican Pizza

Aka Holly Belle’s Mexican Pizza recipe masterpiece!

You’ll need store-bought crispy tostadas (or you can make your own out of flat corn tortillas but why – hit the easy button my friend and grab some from the grocery store.)

Put the tostadas in the toaster oven for 1½ minutes.  (Or skip this step if you’re in a hurry.)

Then slather on some homemade refried beans, and whatever other toppings make you happy…

Crunchy Mexican corn tostadas layered with refried beans, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes and green onions

Mexican Pizza Toppings

  • shredded cheese
  • sour cream
  • green onions
  • diced tomatoes
  • salsa
  • jalapenos
  • diced or sliced avocados or guacamole
  • AND whatever meat you choose.  There are so many options, like seasoned ground beef/ chicken or turkey, pork carnitas (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker), beef barbacoa (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker), Shredded Mexican Chicken, and grilled chicken or streak.
  • Also, you can really take it up a notch and add a runny fried egg.

Yessss – gimme all the yummy Mexican toppings!

 Stacked Mexican corn tostadas with homemade refried beans, chopped onions and tomatoes, shredded cheese and a fried egg on top

There’s nothing quite like the combination of the crispy shell layered with creamy cheesy beans.

You can even make the beans and meat ahead of time and then warm them when you are ready to enjoy.  Which would be great for meal prep during the week or even serving a crowd for get-togethers or parties.

How fun would it be to have a Mexican Pizza Night… maybe with some chip, salsa, and Queso Fundido on the side?   Just heat up your beans and meat, put out all the fixin’s and let your guest go at it.

Mexican Pizza with refried beans and Beef Barbacoa, chopped onions and cilantro

And bonus,  the kiddos will absolutely LOVE them!  

I think Taco Tuesday just became Tostada Tuesday or maybe it’s Mexican Pizza Monday – or in my all of the above!

Yo quiero pizzas Mexicanos!

Mexican Pizzas (Tostadas) layered with homemade refried beans, chopped onions and tomatoes, shredded cheese and a runny fried egg on top

More Delicious Mexican Recipes

 Crunchy Mexican corn tostadas layered with refried beans, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes and green onions

  

Yield: 12 servings

Mexican Pizzas With Homemade “Refried” Beans

Hand holding Mexican pizza with refried beans and toppings

Mexican Pizzas: Crunchy corn tostadas with refried beans, shredded cheese, and any toppings you want!

Prep Time
10 minutes

Cook Time
40 minutes

Total Time
50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 60 ounces canned Pinto beans (four 14.5 ounce cans)
  • 2-4 tablespoons salt
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • salt and pepper
  • 10-20 corn tostadas
  • Shredded cheese
  • Optional toppings: sour cream, salsa, avocados, guacamole, green onions, jalapenos, chopped cilantro, diced tomatoes, runny egg, and any protein desired.

Instructions

For The Refried Beans:

  1. Drain and rinse 4 cans of pinto beans.
  2. Add some olive oil to a large sauce pot on medium-high heat, and sauté the chopped onion for 6 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir in minced garlic and cook for another minute.
  3. Add in your beans, 2 cups of chicken stock, and ½ teaspoon of both salt and pepper. Put the lid on and let it come up to a boil, then turn it down to medium-low for about 30 minutes.
  4. Take off the lid and bring it back up to medium or medium-high to cook off some of the liquid, for about 10 minutes. Stir regularly so the beans don’t burn on the bottom.
  5. Turn off the heat, and let the beans cool for about 5 minutes. Then mash the beans with a potato masher.
  6. Add half of the evaporated milk and continue mashing until the beans are creamy. Toss in the cheddar cheese, do not stir, and let the beans rest for 5 minutes. Add in the rest of the evaporated milk and stir gently. Ideally, leave some of the melted cheese in small chunks or ribbons. Serve warm.

For The Mexican Pizzas:

  1. Heat tostadas in a toaster oven for one and a half minutes, or on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven for one and a half minutes.
  2. To assemble, start with a layer of the refried beans.
  3. Next layer on any toppings you choose… meat of your choice, cheese, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, green onions, jalapenos, and cilantro.

Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

1 pizza (tostada with toppings)

Amount Per Serving

Calories 365Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 5gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 22mgSodium 1404mgCarbohydrates 48gFiber 13gSugar 2gProtein 19g