Toasted cornmeal embedded in a perfectly crispy, chewy pizza crust is one of the joys of life. In this recipe, I tweaked the pizza crust so it’s filled with wholesome Hodgson Mill Yellow Corn Meal, and topped it with handy pantry staples to make a dinnertime veggie extravaganza – and a fun twist on chips and salsa!
Salsa is a fun secret shortcut for this pizza’s sauce, since it comes already seasoned. I used medium salsa for just a touch of heat, and I like chunky salsa the best. Roasted or chipotle flavors add a nice smoky flavor. Keep in mind your salsa will be slightly less spicy than usual once you mix in a little tomato paste to thicken it, so consider going one “shade” hotter than you usually do. (Maybe two shades, if you’re feeling daring?)
Mix together the dough, and tip it onto a lightly floured surface to knead. This dough is also made with Hodgson Mill White Whole Wheat Flour for extra whole grain goodness. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know I always try to make anything I bake at least half whole wheat. It’s a good habit to get into!
Work the dough until it feels smooth and stretchy. I love kneading by hand so I can monitor my dough’s progress, and enjoy it with all my senses. I love how it feels slightly pebbly from the stone-ground corn meal, and smells fresh and yeasty from the combination of flours. It just feels like it’s going to be satisfying.
The dough needs to rise until doubled, about an hour. Then it’s a hop, skip, and a jump to the oven. I split my dough in half to have two smaller pizzas.
Press the air out of the dough, and shape it—I make a flattened ball, and then spread a teaspoon of olive oil over the dough, gently pressing and stretching it out until it’s the right thickness. I made sure to cover my pan with some more corn meal, so it would add an extra toasted crunch I love to the bottom crust.
Mix up salsa, tomato paste, and cooked black beans in a small bowl, and then spread the mixture on your shaped dough.
Top it with chopped roasted red peppers, red onion, and cheese. I had some extra cooked black beans, and I threw a few more on for good measure. The oven should be screamingly hot, so that the crust will puff and the toppings will be slightly roasted. Slide your pizza inside, and a few minutes later--
Yum! Top it with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime, and cut into it to enjoy as soon as you’re sure you won’t burn the roof of your mouth.
Vegetarians look away -- I had some leftover pork roast in my fridge, and it made an amazing savory addition to this pizza. Cooked sliced chicken or browned ground beef would also be terrific if you are feeding non-vegetarians who think black beans aren’t enough.
What do you think? Too crazy to be called pizza? Or just crazy enough? Are there any must-have taco ingredients you think should be added?
If you’re interested in more “experimental” pizza toppings, check out my Hawaiian BBQ Turkey Pizza on Whole Wheat Crust, or my Peach Prosciutto Pizza on No-Knead Whole Wheat Semolina Crust.
Easy Taco Pizza with Corn Meal Crust
Corn Meal Crust
- 1 cup salsa, preferably chunky
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1/2 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, sliced and chopped
- 1/2 cup red onion, sliced and chopped
- 6 oz. mozzarella cheese
- fresh cilantro, for serving (optional)
- lime juice, for serving (optional)
Proof yeast in a measuring cup with warm water and sugar. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until foamy. Mix together dry ingredients, and make a well in the center. Add yeast and oil, and stir until combined. Knead on lightly floured surface 7-10 minutes until dough starts feeling smooth and stretchy. Shape into a ball. Pour 1 tsp. olive oil into the bowl, and roll dough until both dough and bowl are lightly coated. Cover and allow to rise in a warm location until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450° F. Press air out of dough, divide in half, and shape each half into a flattened ball. Set each disc on baking sheet sprinkled with corn meal. Pour 1 tsp. olive oil on dough and spread evenly around, gently pressing and stretching dough until it is about ½ inch thick.
Mix salsa, tomato paste, and cooked black beans together and spread evenly on shaped dough to the edge. Add rest of toppings, and bake for 11-13 minutes, until cheese is melted and toppings are lightly roasted. Serve warm with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice, if desired.
Add ½ - 1 cup cooked sliced chicken, cooked shredded pork, or cooked ground beef if desired. Dough can also be made ahead - just refrigerate after rising, and when ready to bake, let it sit out 30 minutes to come back to room temp. You can also freeze the dough in sealed plastic bags lightly coated with olive oil. Let it thaw completely in the fridge, and then let it warm to room temp for 30 minutes before baking.
Makes 2 10-inch pizzas, serves 3-4
You can find Easy Taco Pizza with Corn Meal Crust and other recipes from Hodgson Mill by visiting the Recipes page.