I have been in a serious long-term relationship with Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizzas for decades now. Sadly, that relationship will be coming to an end on November 5th when Taco Bell permanently removes the Mexican Pizza from their menu. Luckily, I will still have this Indian-inspired Mexican Pizza recipe to keep me company.
I came up with this Desi twist on my Taco Bell go-to a couple of years ago when I was trying to think of something to make for a big family dinner. Everyone in my family loves Mexican Pizzas, and of course everyone loves samosas, so I paired the two for a fusion twist on our fast food favorite.
The Desi Mexican Pizzas replaces the beans filling with a samosa filling, and the pizza sauce with a spicy tikka masala sauce. It’s still topped off with lots of cheese and toppings to give it that Taco Bell feel! The pizzas basically taste like crunchy samosas if you topped the samosas with cheese and dipped them in tikka masala sauce. I promise you these pizzas will be devoured by kids and aunties/uncles alike.
This recipe is perfect for big gatherings, as both the sauce and the samosa filling can be made ahead of time and the pizzas are quite quick and easy to assemble before serving.
I make my tikka masala sauce with a blended roasted pepper to add creaminess and a bit more depth of flavor, however you can use a traditional makhani (cream-based) sauce as well if you’d like.
Desi Mexican Pizza
- 16 tostada shells
Tikka Masala Sauce
- 1 red bell pepper to be roasted
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tbsp cumin seeds
- ½ tbsp ginger paste or finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic paste or finely diced
- 1 large white onion diced
- ½ tbsp garam masala
- 2 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp red chili powder
- 2 large tomatoes diced
- salt to taste
- 2 potatoes boiled and mashed
- ¼ cup green peas
- 2 tbsp oil
- ½ tsp cumin seeds crushed
- ½ tsp fennel seeds crushed
- 1 tsp coriander seeds crushed
- 1 pinch asafoetida
- ½ tsp ginger paste or finely diced
- ½ green chili paste or finely diced
- ¼ tsp garam masala
- ¼ tsp amchur
- ¼ tsp cumin-coriander powder
- red chili powder to taste
- salt to taste
- 3 cups Mexican-Style Four Cheese Blend
- ½ red onion diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- ¼ cup scallions chopped
- 1 tomato diced
Tikka Masala Sauce
- Start your oven on the broil setting on high.
- Slice the red bell pepper in half and remove the stem and seeds.
- Rub the bell pepper with a little bit of oil on both sides and place with the skin side up on a baking tray.
- Place the bell pepper into the oven and let it roast for 15 minutes, or until the skin is almost completely blackened.
- Remove the bell pepper from the oven, put it in a bowl and cover the bowl to let them peppers steam through. This will make it easier to remove the skin.
- Once the red bell pepper is cool, peel and discard the blackened skin and set the pepper aside.
- Heat oil in a pot to make the tikka masala sauce.
- Once the oil is hot, add in the cumin seeds and bay leaf, and let them fry for about 30 seconds until the cumin seeds start to become fragrant.
- Add in the garlic, ginger, and onions, and sauté.
- Add in the garam masala powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, and a sprinkle of salt and continue to sauté until the onions are translucent.
- Add in the tomatoes and and continuously stir for 10 minutes until the tomatoes are cooked down and released about half of their water. Add salt to taste.
- Remove the bay leaf from the sauce and set it aside to cool. You can make the samosa filling while the sauce cools down.
- Once the sauce is cool, add it to a blender along with the roasted red pepper and blend until it's smooth. You should have about 2 cups of sauce. You can add more water if the sauce has become too thick.
- Boil and mash the potatoes. I like to boil them on my stovetop, however you can steam them in a pressure cooker/Instant Pot or even cook them in the microwave if you'd like. Set the potatoes aside.
- Boil your green peas until they are soft. I use frozen peas and generally boil them on the stovetop for about 3 minutes. Set the peas aside.
- Crush the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, and coriander seeds into a powder. You can do this using a mortar and pestle or a small spice grinder.
- Heat up oil in a large pan or pot. It should be large enough to fit all of the potatoes and peas.
- Add in the asafoetida, ginger, and green chilis. Fry them for about 30 seconds.
- Add in the cumin seed-fennel seed-coriander seed powder to the oil and fry for an additional 30 seconds.
- Add in the potatoes and peas and mix together.
- Add in the garam masala, amchur, cumin-coriander powder, and red chili powder to the potato mixture and mix through the spices thoroughly.
- Add in salt to taste. The potatoes will likely need a lot of salt to ensure they are properly seasoned. Taste and adjust any seasoning if necessary. The potato mixture is now ready!
Assembling the Desi Mexican Pizzas
- Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- Place a tostada on a plate or baking sheet. Spread a ½ inch layer of the samosa filling on the tostada.
- Place another tostada on top of the first tostada.
- Spread a layer of the tikka masala sauce on the second tostada. I use roughly 4 tbsp of sauce here.
- Sprinkle about ⅓ cup of cheese on the pizza.
- Sprinkle toppings of your choice. I love adding scallions, red onions, tomatoes, green bell peppers, and jalapeños, but you can add anything you'd like!
- Assemble all of your pizzas and bake them on baking sheets for 5 minutes or until the cheese melts. Cut the pizza into fourths when serving and enjoy!
- The recipe is by no means made to be followed exactly; you can use it for inspiration and feel free to use different Indian-inspired sauces or fillings! A dabeli filling would taste great as well, with dabeli chutneys as the sauce. Or, you can use the samosa filling but replace the tikka masala sauce with cilantro chutney and tamarind chutney and top the baked pizzas with yogurt and sev for a samosa-chaat inspired pizza. Basically, use your imagination with the sauces and fillings because loads of things will taste good with crispy tostadas and cheese!
Enjoy and please comment below with any thoughts or questions!
I would love to see your creations! If you try the recipe, please feel free to share it with me on my Instagram @jankipatel_ !