Pizza “Tlayuda”

This famously delicious Oaxacan street food is often called “Mexican Pizza,” which is culinarily inaccurate and borderline disrespectful. One could argue this variation is still both of those things, but at least I’m baking it and topping it with the cheese before it’s cooked. This not only makes it much more like “pizza,” but also provides a valuable opportunity to sneak some more vegetables into the diet. 

How to Make Tlayuda

 The detailed suya recipe is below, but here are some chef’s notes: 

  • As I mention in the video, a real tlayuda is done with a very large, thin corn tortilla, which is cooked crisp, before being topped with refried beans, shredded Oaxacan cheese, along with all sorts of meat, and vegetable garnishes. It is a magical thing indeed, but I wanted to make a baked version that would shine using the much easier to find flour tortillas. I really love how this comes out.
  • Regarding the “sneaking in vegetables” thing, I think this is a perfect delivery system for enjoying all sorts of thinly sliced fresh produce. People who don’t normally eat vegetables like peppers, mushrooms, or spinach usually have no problem wolfing them down on a pizza, and this crispy disc can serve the same purpose. I’m never craving Brussels sprouts, but kind of do if they’re going to be on this. 

No matter how you top yours, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy! 

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Pizza “Tlayuda”

This crust Mexican pizza garnished with radish and cilantro
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
6 tortilla pizzas


Refried Black Beans:

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onion, white parts only

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder or paprika

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 can (15-oz) black beans, drained

  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

  • 2 tablespoons pork lard, bacon fat, or “asiento” (see note below)

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Pizza "Tlayuda":

  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil

  • 6 large flour tortillas

  • 12 ounces grated Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, or Oaxacan cheese

  • 12 whole Brussels sprouts, cored and separated into leaves

  • 2/3 cup sliced green onions, green parts only

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • salt to taste

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes

  • 1/2 cup red chili sauce or salsa

  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves


Refried Black Beans:

  1. Combine avocado oil, green onions, minced garlic, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Once garlic starts to sizzle, cook and stir for 1 minute. Add cumin, black pepper, and ancho chili powder, and cook stirring for 30 seconds.

  2. Add water, drained black beans, remaining salt, oregano, cayenne, and asiento (crispy pork butter, see Cook's Note). Stir together and simmer for 5 minutes. Use a potato masher to mash beans until smooth. Simmer for 5 minutes more. Turn off heat and taste to adjust seasoning if necessary.

Pizza “Tlayuda”

  1. Heat some of the avocado oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 large flour tortilla at a time and cook until golden brown and almost crispy, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

  3. Spread toasted tortilla with refried black beans and sprinkle with cheese. Top with Brussels sprouts leaves and green onions. Drizzle top lightly with olive oil, and season with a pinch of salt.

  4. Bake in the preheated oven until pizza is crispy and well browned,  cheese is melted, and Brussels sprouts leaves are nicely charred on the edges, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack, and let sit for 5 minutes.

  5. While resting, top with radishes, hot sauce or salsa, and cilantro leaves.

    This crust Mexican pizza garnished with radish and cilantro

    Chef John

    Cook's Notes:

    To make your own “asiento,” cook cubed pork shoulder over low heat, stirring occasionally, until very well browned, and starting to get crispy. Transfer meat and all rendered fat into a bowl and allow to cool before chopping or blending into a paste. Add as much lard, or soft butter as you’d like to make a spread. Season with salt and pepper and keep refrigerated until needed. “Asiento” can be spread directly onto the crust, or added to the refried beans.

    These Pizza “Tlayudas” can be topped with any of your favorite meat and/or vegetable toppings.

    Once baked, other popular toppings are shredded cabbage, onions, tomatoes, pickled peppers or vegetables.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

947 Calories
46g Fat
100g Carbs
36g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 947
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 46g 58%
Saturated Fat 17g 83%
Cholesterol 55mg 18%
Sodium 1607mg 70%
Total Carbohydrate 100g 37%
Dietary Fiber 14g 50%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 36g 72%
Vitamin C 33mg 36%
Calcium 554mg 43%
Iron 8mg 45%
Potassium 790mg 17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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