A Healthier Version: Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza

mexican pizza in johnna's kitchen

Oh, Taco Bell.  How I used to love Taco Bell.  We had a long-standing love affair that only ended with my need to eliminate gluten.

Me and Taco Bell, we went way back.  In high school, a group of us went there for dinner before a formal dance.  In college, it was my late night favorite food.  It was usually the cheapest option for a vegetarian drive-thru meal.  And even as a calorie-counter in more recent years, I ate there pretty often.  Is it wrong that I miss it even though I now know it’s not how I want to nourish my body?  I do, I miss it.

One night recently while scrounging for something to put together for a late dinner, I commented that I’d like to just once be able to pull through a drive-thru and have someone hand dinner out the window to me.  My favorite fella asked what that dinner would be and I immediately said, “Taco Bell!”  When I thought back to my favorite foods there, Mexican Pizza minus meat was at the top of the list.

So I re-created it at home.  While not exactly a healthy dish, it’s a healthier version for me.  No gluten, no dairy and foods I feel good about eating.  This isn’t becoming part of our weekly menu rotation, but I’m looking forward to the next time we have it when I feel like having a junk food-ish indulgence without the bad food hangover the next day.

A Healthier Version: Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza


  • 4 gluten-free flour tortillas
  • 1 cup refried beans (either homemade or storebought is fine)
  • 1 cup non-dairy cheese (I use Daiya)
  • 1/4 cup salsa (I use homemade canned, but whatever you like is great!)
  • chopped green onions OR red onions, finely diced
  • finely diced tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes
  • oil for frying


  • In a large, deep skillet add enough oil to fry the tortillas. Heat to 350 degrees. Fry one tortilla at a time, flipping when the underside is browned. Fry just until crispy. (I also tried baking and couldn't get the tortillas crispy enough for my liking.)
  • Once tortillas are crispy, drain on a paper-towel lined plate.
  • Turn the broiler on high in your oven to be heating while you assemble.
  • Place one tortilla on a baking sheet. You may wish to line your baking sheet with parchment or foil. Spread with 1/4 cup of refried beans.
  • Place second tortilla on top. Spread a thin layer of salsa.
  • Top with 1/4 cup of cheese. Top with onions and diced tomatoes.
  • Place under broiler. Leaving door open a bit, keep an eye on this and remove once cheese is melted.
  • Repeat to make second pizza.
  • Slice each into quarters.




    • says

      I’ve made it with both Rudi’s and Udi’s tortillas. Those seem to be the only ones available in my area. I’m working on a homemade version but think that kinda defeats the purpose of quasi-fast food remakes. 😉

  1. says

    I think that’s a pretty good substitution. looks and sounds quite yummy to me! Next time you come, I’ll make it and hand it to you while you’re in your car. 😉 It would make a good photo op at least! I know what you mean though. Pre gf, simple meals on the run could be so enjoyable and very welcome at times. Hey, whatever happened to that business group that was going to do healthy (as in really healthy not pseudo healthy) fast food? I think you and I talked about it …


    • says

      I think that group opening the healthy fast food spots had a formed McDs exec on board maybe? I can’t remember what it was called, but I’d love to have it as an option once in awhile. I would love for you to hand food out the window to me, that would make my day. 😉

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