Vegan Copycat Taco Bell Mexican Pizza

Vegan Copycat Taco Bell Mexican Pizza

If you’ve ever ordered this classic, then you know this dish is neither authentic Mexican food, nor pizza … but that really doesn’t matter. After one bite of this veganized version from the Vegan Fast Food cookbook, you’ll agree this recipe is nothing short of a masterpiece.

What you need:

For the beef: 
1 tablespoon canola oil 
1 pound vegan ground beef 
¼ cup pickled jalapeños, chopped
3 tablespoons taco seasoning
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper 
1 cup water
1 tablespoon lime juice

For the beans:
2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup plain, unsweetened vegan milk
3 tablespoons taco seasoning 
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons diced chipotles in adobo
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

For the red sauce: 
2 tablespoons vegan butter 
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup vegetable stock
1 can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons pickled jalapeño brine
2 tablespoons diced chipotles in adobo
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

For assembly: 
Canola oil, for frying
8 flour tortillas (large soft taco size)
8 ounces shredded vegan cheese
1 large tomato, diced
¼ cup chopped green onions 
2 tablespoons black olives
¼ cup shredded iceberg lettuce

What you do:

  1. For the beef, in a large skillet over medium heat, warm oil. Add meat, crumble, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until beef starts to brown. Add jalapeños, taco seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Add water and lime juice. Stir to combine, then reduce heat and simmer until a scant amount of liquid remains.
  2. For the beans, to a large saucepan over medium heat, add beans. Add milk and mash with beans to desired consistency. Add taco seasoning, lime juice, chipotles, salt, and pepper, and stir to incorporate. Keep warm on low heat.
  3. For the red sauce, in a saucepan over medium heat, warm butter. Once melted, add 1 tablespoon of flour, and whisk to combine. Repeat with remaining flour. Slowly add stock, whisking entire time. Once stock is whisked in, add tomato sauce, brine, chipotles, lime juice, taco season, cinnamon, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine. Reduce heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until consistency is a thick sauce. Cover and keep warm over low heat.
  4. To assemble, to a wide skillet, add 1-inch of oil and heat until 350 degrees. Fry one tortilla at a time until crispy and golden brown. Let rest on a wire rack.
  5. On a baking sheet, place one fried tortilla and top with beans and ground beef. Add another fried tortilla and spread a layer of red sauce on top. Top with 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese.
  6. Place in oven under broiler setting and set to high. Broil just until cheese is melted, but keep an eye on it to avoid burning tortilla. Once cheese has melted, remove from oven, top with diced tomatoes, green onions, olives, and lettuce, and serve.
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