Remember tacos in a bag? Well, this recipe is kind of like dumping the contents of a taco in a bag on top of a soft, chewy Neapolitan-style pizza crust. Instead of red sauce, it’s spread with savory refried beans and Gelson’s bright mild salsa. Cheese-wise, there’s shredded sharp cheddar in addition to the usual mozzarella, so you get more of that taco flavor along with double the melty deliciousness.
But what really makes this pizza taco-like is the toppings: shredded iceberg lettuce, diced tomatoes, crushed Nacho Cheese Doritos, and generous drizzles of both tangy crema and zesty taco sauce. We can’t get enough of all those textures — it’s crunchy, juicy, crispy, creamy, and more!
Taco pizza is a no-brainer for game day. But it also reminds us of the sort of thing we would eat in college while drinking cheap beer and watching “The OC” with a big group of friends. (Yes, instead of studying … shh!) Maybe we’ll relive that awesomeness this weekend by combining this pizza with a couple of craft pale ales, the S.O., and the new episode of “Somebody Somewhere.”
Our tip: we use mild salsa and taco sauce so as not to overpower the pizza-ness of this recipe, but feel free to use medium or spicy if you want more heat.
Yield: 2 12” pizzas
An hour before baking the pizza, preheat the oven and pizza stone to 550º with the rack in the second position from the top.
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and season it with the salt and black pepper, to taste. Cook until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Discard the excess fat and transfer the meat to a plate lined with paper towels.
In a medium bowl, using a rubber spatula, fold together the refried beans and salsa until combined. Set aside.
To make the pizza: Take the dough out of the fridge and let it rest for 30 minutes — letting it get up to room temperature will make it much easier to form. Divide the dough in half.
Turn 1 of the halves out onto a lightly floured work surface, and use your palms to press it into a 6” round.
Using your fingertips, press the dough outward, dimpling the dough and stopping about 1” from the edge — this thicker edge will become your crust.
After dimpling, pick up the dough and stretch it over the backs of your hands, moving it in a circle to create a larger round. Continue dimpling and stretching the dough until you have a 12” round, including the crust.
Transfer the dough to a pizza peel lightly dusted with semolina flour.
Spread the dough with half of the refried beans and salsa, leaving the 1” crust uncovered.
Scatter half the mozzarella, half the beef, and half the cheddar over the pizza.
Transfer the pizza to the preheated stone and bake for 5 minutes. Turn the oven to broil, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes more, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown and charred in spots.
Using the pizza peel, remove the pizza from the oven, and allow it to cool for 2 to 3 minutes.
Using a pizza cutter, slice the pizza into 6 slices. Garnish the pizza with half of the shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, Doritos, taco sauce, and crema. Serve hot.
Reduce the oven temperature to 550º and repeat steps 5 through 13 for the second pizza.