There is a good chance that Taco Bell is one of your top go-to fast food joints for lunch or dinner. Who doesn’t love Mexican food, or err – the drive thru version of it? Well, fried tortillas, processed meat, refried beans, (and let’s not even get into the new giant meal boxes) aren’t good for a healthy diet. And truth be told, you could probably whip up a much healthier meal that’s just as inexpensive (or even more with gas prices these days) in as much time as it takes going there, ordering, and driving back home.
I’m no chef, but I’ve got a few good recipes up my sleeve, and this is one of my favorites. My quick & healthy mexican pizzas are inspired by Taco Bell’s version, and they are super simple, fun to make, and really delicious! So ditch the fried and processed drive thru food. My version will give you whole grains, protein, fiber, and a whole lotta’ yum!
What You’ll Need
- 1-2 cans of whole black beans (The already mashed kind are usually refried and much fattier! One can usually makes about 5 pizzas. )
- 1 packet of taco seasoning
- 1-2 boxes of tostada shells (Look for the “Made with whole grain” symbol on front of the box.)
- 1 block of 2% or non fat Colby Jack or Monterrey Jack cheese
- 1 Beefsteak tomato
- 1 bunch of green onion
- 1 small tub of light sour cream (If you prefer, but tastes just as good without!)
- 1 bottle of Taco Bell sauce in your preferred “heat level” (This really ties it together! You can get it in the grocery store, or raid your kitchen drawers for leftover packets you have.)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Open can of beans and drain the liquid. Put the beans in the microwave for about 30 seconds to warm them up or in a medium sauce pan on low heat.
- Add about 1-2 tbsp. of taco seasoning per can of beans, (taco seasoning can have a lot of sodium in it, so you don’t want to go overboard – just adding some flavor!) and mash to the consistency you like and can spread them.
- Spread foil paper onto a baking sheet, and lay out 2 tostada shells for every 1 pizza. (Ex: 2 pizzas per person equals 4 shells). Put them in the oven for 7-10 min. They’re ready when you can see them slightly glistening from their natural oil.
- While the shells toast up, shred the cheese and take out the sour cream. (You want it to lose a little chill so it can spread easier.)
- Take out the tostada shells, but leave the oven on because you’ll be popping them back in for the cheese to melt! Spread a couple of spoonfuls of the black beans on 1 tostada shell so it’s covered, and place another on top so it makes a little sandwich. Cover the top with cheese, and repeat with the rest in the same way.
- Once you have them all made, put them back in the oven for another 7-10 min or until cheese is melted thoroughly.
- Finely chop the green onions and dice the tomato and set aside.
- Once your cheese is melted, take out the mexican pizzas and serve with sour cream, green onion, tomato, and the signature Taco Bell sauce! (Try spreading the sour cream on first so it melts onto the cheese, then the sauce, and your toppings last.)
Voila! In less than 10 simple steps and about 20 minutes, you can make this meal from start to finish and it’s absolutely delicious and filling. I don’t even bother eating Taco Bell mexican pizzas anymore, and if you didn’t notice where you cut all the calories – I’ll tell you so you feel even better when you eat:
- Taco Bell mexican pizzas contain processed beef and refried beans. Yours will have whole black means which are packed with fiber and protein and flavored with a punch by adding just a bit of taco seasoning.
- Taco Bell mexican pizzas use fried white tortillas for their shells which already have little to no nutritional value to begin with. Yours are made of whole grain corn and not only have much less fat, but give you nutritional value.
- Taco Bell will give you regular sour cream if you ask for it on top (it’s a small extra charge). You can choose a low-calorie sour cream and control your portion.
- Taco Bell mexican pizzas will be covered in whole fat cheese. Yours will be 2% or even non fat cheese that, again, you can control your portion with.
- Taco Bell’s veggies may have been sitting in a icky container all day. Yours definitely won’t be!
- Taco Bell uses its own sauce. You will be using their sauce too! (Looks like the joke’s on them!)
- And finally, Taco Bell is fast food that’s not good food. Yours will be fast food that is GREAT food!