Here’s the thing – if you don’t live in the Midwest, and more specifically the Quad Cities, you don’t know what you’re missing.
Namely – Happy Joe’s taco pizza.
The lore of the area is that Happy Joe’s invented the taco pizza. If you disagree, don’t tell me. Cause we would have to fight to the death. And I just don’t think you wanna go there.
This pizza is so delicious it should be illegal. And while I could run down the street and pick up a pizza anytime we want, it’s a bit pricey to get takeout too often. So, I set out on a mission to recreate it. With my favorite pizza dough (courtesy of Miss Effie).
And, I think we’ve done it. I started with this recipe, courtesy of Sweety Peteeti. Then I made a few adjustments and came up with the yummiest pizzas ever. They are so good, we made them twice in the past week. And since there’s only two of us, we like to make them very generous individual sized.
Try it. You will not regret bringing this deliciousness into your life.
Happy Joe’s-inspired taco pizza
(Recipe adapted from Sweeti Peteeti)
Pizza dough of your choice (I prefer this recipe. Each serving makes about 4 small individual-sized pizzas. I usually double it and freeze the extras for the next time.)
1/2 c. refried beans (I made the beans in the slow cooker with this simple recipe at Budget Bytes and froze the extra for next time.)
1/2 c. taco sauce (I bought Ortega, which tastes identical to the sauce on the pizza at the restaurant.)
1/2 c. pizza sauce (Any kind is fine. I love the Happy Joe’s brand.)
1 pound ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Mexican-style cheese, shredded
Taco Doritos (or Happy Joe’s brand chips, if you can find them)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Brown the ground beef, drain fat. Add taco seasoning with 3/4 cup water. When it is cooked through, remove from heat and let cool slightly. (I only used about 1/4 of the meat for two individual pizzas. I like to refrigerate the extra and eat tacos or burritos the next day.)
Stretch your crust until they are the desired thinness. I find that a pizza stone is imperative for a crisp pizza.
Mix taco sauce, beans and pizza sauce together. I used about 1/2 cup each of the beans, taco sauce and pizza sauce. You can alter it to your own taste. Spread this over the crusts.
Top with shredded mozzarella, then ground beef, then Mexican blend. (For the last pizza, I didn’t have mozzarella so I only used the Mexican blend. It was still awesome.)
Bake until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden, about 20 minutes for us. Let sit for a few minutes to allow cheese to set.
Then cover the pie with lettuce, tomatoes and Old-School Taco Doritos (crush them up). Serve with additional taco sauce and sour cream.
In other cooking news. You should really try this recipe for pizza casserole. I made it sans-ham due to my ham aversion. But, it was so yummy and even better as leftovers. (It makes a lot.)
What’s your favorite kind of pizza?