Taco Pizza might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Independence Day, but isn’t freedom what America’s birthday is all about? We like to think so. July 4th has always been my favorite holiday, and this pizza is now one of my new favorite meals. I’m not sure what it is I love most about the 4th — fireworks and sparklers, neighborhood get-togethers, meeting new friends, barbeque and picnic food; or maybe that it marks the halfway point of summer, with the promise of several more weeks of fun, sun and good times. Whatever it is, I think of the Fourth of July as a magical wonderland, and I look forward to it every year. Happy Birthday America!
One of the best things about this pizza is that you can put on whatever toppings you like. We decided to go with refried beans, ground beef, cheese, enchilada sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, green onions, black olives and a drizzle of sour cream spiked with Cholula hot sauce. We made our own dough (as seen here), but you can also use pre-made dough from your local pizza place or a Boboli crust from the grocery store.
Season the ground beef with cumin, dried oregano, chili powder, granulated garlic and salt & pepper, then cook it over medium-high heat until it is browned — about 10 minutes. Break the beef up into small pieces while it cooks.
Dice the onion and add it to the pan when the beef is about halfway done.
Once the beef is browned and the onions are soft, take the pan off the heat and set it aside.
Spread a thin layer of refried beans on the pizza dough.
Then add a thin layer of ground beef.
Drizzle the pizza with enchilada sauce.
Then sprinkle with grated cheese. We used a colby / monterey jack mixture, but plain old cheddar would work well too. Bake the pizza (preferably on a hot pizza stone) in the oven preheated to 450 degrees until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is done to your liking — about 10-15 minutes.
While the pizza cooks, prepare your “cold” toppings to add when the pizza comes out of the oven.
We like our crust thin and a little bit crispy.
Add the toppings.
Instead of plain sour cream, we spiced ours up with a little Cholula hot sauce.
Mix the hot sauce into the sour cream…
…then spoon it into a plastic baggie…
…snip off the end corner…
…and gently squeeze the bag to pipe the cream out over the finished pizza.
Slice and serve. Bonus — with the lettuce and other veggie toppings, there’s no need for a side salad.
We tried something new this year in terms of fireworks-viewing. There is a nearby town that puts on a pretty big display with related holiday-type festivities, most of which equal horrible parking situations and traffic nightmares. Not ideal for a magical wonderland Fourth of July. But wait. There is also a sports park even closer to our house, close enough to walk. So we packed up a little picnic with salami, cheese, crackers, a homemade baguette, olives, a nice bottle of red wine and our golf/camping chairs and walked over to the fields to see if we could see any fireworks.
Success! We weren’t super close to the action, but plenty close enough to see the sparks, colors, lights and sparkles, and to hear each firework boom. It was perfect. Even better — once it was over, we just packed up and walked home. Traffic Schmaffic.
Hope that you and yours have a magical and wonderful Fourth, and enjoy the rest of the summer!
- pre-made or store-bought pizza dough
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- ½ an onion, diced
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2-3 tablespoons enchilada sauce
- 2-3 tablespoons refried beans
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- ½ cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup shredded lettuce
- 2-3 green onions, chopped
- 1 small can sliced black olives
- 2-3 tablespoons sour cream mixed with 2-3 dashes of Cholula hot sauce
- Pre-heat the oven (and the pizza stone if you’re using one) to 450 degrees.
- Add the cumin, oregano, garlic, chili powder and salt & pepper to the ground beef and cook the beef over medium-high heat until the beef is browned – about 10 minutes. Break up the beef into small pieces while it cooks. When the beef is about halfway done, add the diced onion to the pan and cook until the onion is soft. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Spread a thin layer of refried beans over the pizza dough, leaving about an inch of dough bare around the outer edge of the pizza. Spread the ground beef and onion mixture on top of the beans, drizzle with enchilada sauce, then add the grated cheese. Bake the pizza until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is browned to your liking — about 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the pizza from the oven and add the remaining toppings. To apply the sour cream & hot sauce mixture, place the mixture in a plastic baggie. Cut off one corner of the bag and gently squeeze to pipe out the sour cream over the pizza.