We don’t go out to eat very often.
So we really weren’t anticipating the stay at home orders and social distancing to be all that difficult as far as meals went.
But I’ll be completely honest: by this, approximately week 5 of exclusively home cooked meals, I’m really missing that special occasion break from the kitchen that comes with going out to a restaurant!
Taco Pizza!!! Restaurant Quality at Home
There’s one meal in particular we’ve begun to crave, and that’s the Tostada Pizza at California Pizza Kitchen.
If you aren’t familiar with this Mexican-inspired pizza, it’s basically like a taco. But it’s a pizza—beans, salsa, shredded iceberg lettuce, tortilla strips…it’s pretty amazing!
Luckily, it’s a pizza that can easily inspire a home-cooked version. I may not get to enjoy the break from cooking that going out to eat brings, but I don’t mind it so much when the meal is as delicious as my Taco Pizza.
The only thing better than tacos or pizza is taco pizza. THIS taco pizza. Loaded with creamy black beans, my rice/veggie ground beef mix, cheese, and fresh salsa, this is a pizza the whole family will enjoy.
Getting the Perfect Pizza Crust for Taco Pizza
I like to make my own pizza dough, and I’ve included my super Fast & Easy Pizza Dough recipe below, but feel free to use store-bought dough/crust to save a little bit of time.
Regardless of the crust you use—homemade or store-bought—I highly recommend baking this pizza, and all pizzas you ever make at home again ever, on a pizza stone.
Have you made pizza with a pizza stone before?
My Favorite Pizza Stone
It’s no exaggeration when I tell you that this amazing kitchen tool will transform homemade pizzas into restaurant quality. Baking pizza on a pizza stone will give you that stone oven, restaurant-style crust at home: just place the pizza stone on top of your oven rack, let it preheat in the oven, then bake the pizza as directly on the stone as possible. (I put a sheet of parchment paper between the pizza and the stone for easy clean up.)
The pizza stone will imitate the environment of a stone oven like restaurants have, and make your homemade pizza exceptional.
If you’re a pizza lover/home baker, and you don’t have a stone oven in your house (if you do, I envy you!!) a pizza stone is an absolute must.
Here is my favorite pizza stone on Amazon [aff. link]. A good pizza stone will literally last you a lifetime. And while you’re at it, grab my favorite pizza peel to make getting that pizza in and out of the oven super easy. My favorite pizza peel [aff. link] is just as much of a necessity to me as my pizza stone.
Enjoy Perfect Pizza at Home!
So enjoy a restaurant quality pizza at home, and make my Taco Pizza! We may not be able to completely replicate the restaurant experience at home, but this is certainly a restaurant worthy pizza!
For the Fast & Easy Pizza Dough:
- ¼ cup warm water
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
- ¼ cup good olive oil
- 2 ¼ cups flour
For the rice/veggie meat mixture:
- 4-6 oz group beef substitute, such as Beyond Meat, Gardein, or Morning Star
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1½-2 cups rice, cooked
- ¼ scant tsp sea salt
- ¼ scant tsp garlic powder
- ¼ scant tsp onion powder
For the creamy black beans:
- 15 oz can black beans
- 1 Tbsp Vegenaise, or mayonnaise
- ¼ scant tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
For the salsa:
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 2 Tbsp onion, chopped (about ¼ of a small onion)
- 2 Tbsp cilantro, minced
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp lime juice
- 1-2 cups Cheddar cheese, freshly grated, use vegan cheddar to keep the pizza vegan
Make the dough
- In a small bowl, add the warm water, salt, brown sugar, and active dry yeast. Whisk with a fork, and let sit for about five minutes, or until the yeast has activated. (The mixture will get foamy/bubbly.)
- To a large mixing bowl, add the olive oil and two cups of flour. Now add the activated yeast mixture, and stir until the dough starts to come together. It will look a little shaggy at this point.
Add the last of the flour and water
- Now add the remaining ¼ cup flour to the mixing bowl, and keep mixing with a spoon or your hand. The dough will be a little dry at this point, so start adding the final ½ cup water. Go slowly, you may not need to use the whole ½ cup.
- Keep adding the water and incorporating it into the dough with your hand or stirring utensil until a nice, slightly sticky dough has formed. It should stick to your hands slightly when touched.
- If it is sticking more than slightly to your hands, add a little more flour. If it is too dry and not sticking to your hands at all, add more water until you reach the slightly sticky consistency.
Let the dough rise
- Leave the dough in the mixing bowl, cover with a towel, and let rise for at least 10 minutes, or while you make the other components of the pizza. (Putting the bowl on top of a warm oven will help the dough rise more quickly.)
Make the rice/veggie meat mixture
- Start by cooking the rice in your rice cooker, or over the stovetop.
Make the ground beef substitute
- While the rice cooks, prepare the ground beef substitute.
- In a medium size skillet, add the ground beef substitute and the olive oil.
- Note: if using Beyond Meat, I recommend adding a little bit sea salt to the skillet, just to taste. Beyond Meat ground beef always needs a little seasoning in my book!
- Let the meat substitute cook in the olive oil until it’s warmed through and slightly browned on the outside, about 10-12 minutes.
Put it all together
- Once the rice and ground beef have finished cooking, add them both to a large mixing bowl.
- Now add in the salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Mix everything together until combined and everything is evenly distributed. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
Make the salsa and creamy black beans
- You can make the salsa and creamy black beans while the rice cooks if you want to make this a quick meal!
- For the salsa, simply chop the tomato and onion, mince the cilantro, add them all to a small bowl, and squeeze in the lime juice. Add the salt, and the salsa is done!
Make the creamy black beans
- In a medium-sized bowl, add the drained black beans, salt, garlic powder, and Vegenaise (or mayonnaise).
- With a fork, just start mashing it all together! Keep mashing until most of the beans are, well, mashed, and creamy. You still want some texture, kind of like refried beans, so don’t mash too much!
Finish the pizza dough
- Back to the pizza dough. Once the dough has had a chance to rise for at least 10 minutes, punch the dough down with your fist. At this point, decide how many pizzas you wish to make, and how thick you would like your crust to be.
- For a thinner crust, divide the dough in half, and put one half of the dough in the fridge for up to three days, or in the freezer for up to three months.
Roll out the dough
- With the dough you will use today, roll the dough out (or just stretch it out with your hands, but know that it won’t cook as evenly) on an oiled cookie sheet, or a piece of parchment paper if you will cook the pizza on a pizza stone.
- Flour the top of the dough before rolling to keep the dough from sticking to your rolling pin.
Build the pizza
- Once you have rolled (or stretched) your dough out to the desired size, begin building your pizza.
- Start by spreading the black bean mixture over the dough with an offset spatula. Then sprinkle the rice/veggie meat mixture on top of the creamy black beans. Use as much or as little of the rice/veggie meat mixture as desired.
- Now sprinkle the cheese over the rice/veggie meat mixture, followed by the salsa. Use as much or as little of the salsa as desired.
Bake the pizza
- Bake the pizza at 425 degrees for 8-12 minutes, until the crust is golden brown, and the cheese is melted and beginning to brown.
Serve and enjoy!
- Top the pizza with avocado, sour cream, or additional salsa if desired.
- Slice, and serve alone or with a nice green salad. Enjoy!
Ah pizza! We absolutely love pizza around here, and we often make a homemade pizza 2-3x a month. In fact, it had been a while since we made one (not sure how that happened!), and we had a pizza night last weekend. It was awesome! 🙂 Now as far as toppings, I am absolutely with you 100%. Taco toppings on pizza are delicious! Have you ever tried diced jalapenos on pizza? We often do jalapenos and pepperoni. Trust me! (Just be careful as some jalapenos are hotter than others – and make sure to deseed them!)
Like you, I didn’t think we’d miss the going out to eat part since we like to cook. However, we’re in the middle of week 7 here, and we’re going bonkers! More than anything, the going out to eat is a nice break from the routine. Different foods, different settings. Hopefully we can get this thing under control soon so we can get back out and about. In the meantime, stay safe, my friend!
You are so right David, it really is the break from routine that makes going out to eat so enjoyable. How I miss it! Hopefully soon we’ll be able to enjoy restaurants again very soon. Ohhhh I have never tried jalapeños as a pizza topping that sounds AMAZING!!!! Totally doing that, thanks for the recommendation. 😃👍😋
I’ve never made pizza at home, but of course I love it. I haven’t had one in quite some time, but I love all sorts and your sounds really interesting.
Thanks Jeff! I’m telling you, make homemade pizza once, and you’ll be completely addicted! It’s SO GOOD. 😃
We love going to California Pizza Kitchen when we’re travelling in the US! We’ve never ordered this little beauty but never mind, now I can make it at home. What a fabulous idea, really. And thanks for the pizza stone recommendation, Shannon, we have been making more homemade pizza lately too so I have been considering buying one. It’s good to have that feedback from someone I trust. PS: Love that gif!
Thank you so much Katerina! Definitely one of my favorite SNL skits. 😆 Oh for sure, this is such an amazing pizza stone, we get so much use out of ours. You seriously won’t believe the difference a pizza stone makes, so so good! (And hopefully a meal at CPK is in both of our near futures! 😃)
I’ve always wanted to. I’m an experienced bread baker, so I’m sure I’d have no issues making a pizza crust … and I love pizza! So what’s stopping me? Probably all the great pizzas shops in town that I love to visit. Or should I say used to love to visit, before the pandemic! Maybe I’d better start making my own!
Oh for sure, you have so many amazing bread recipes on your site Jeff, you could make pizza dough in your sleep I’m sure! Definitely one of the easier yeasted doughs to make. You are so right, now is the perfect time to experiment since our eating out options are so limited. (And who can go longer than a few months–or in my case, a few weeks–without pizza?? 😆)
Wow… this looks yummy… thanks for sharing the recipe dear 🙂
Thank you so much Rashmi! Hope you have a lovely weekend! ❤️