Loaded Taco Pie Recipe

When it's time to mix up Taco Tuesday and offer something similar to, but different from, your standard ground beef tacos, you'll want to make this loaded taco pie recipe. All the expected ingredients are there — the taco shell, refried beans, ground beef, cheese, and lots of fresh toppings — but it comes sliceable so you can eat it with a fork. "I personally like how it's a work of art making all the layers into a pie," says recipe developer Jessica Case. "You can get creative with this recipe and do your own layers like adding sour cream in one layer, crushed tortilla chips, or adobo sauce." 

And while it takes about an hour to prep and bake, if you plan ahead, you can significantly cut down on future preps by making a couple of the pies at the same time. "The pie can be frozen before toppings are added. It can be kept in the freezer for up to two months," Case says. So go ahead and make two or three pies at once — load up one with toppings to enjoy tonight, and freeze the others for a future Taco Tuesday. You won't regret the decision. 

Gather the ingredients for loaded taco pie

You'll need quite a few ingredients for this loaded taco pie, but most of them are pretty standard for homemade tacos. But there's one ingredient you can't skip or replace: the masarepa. "Masarepa is an instant corn flour made from precooked corn that has not been nixtamalized. It is close to a cornmeal, but not replaceable," Case says. If you can't find it in your local grocery store's baking or international section, try picking it up at a Hispanic grocery or online. 

You'll need masarepa, salt, cumin, onion powder, butter, and water for the pie crust. 

For the filling, you'll need olive oil, a jalapeño and an onion, ground beef, chili powder, more cumin, kosher salt, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, oregano, corn starch, tomato paste, beef broth, refried beans, salsa, and shredded cheddar cheese. 

Finally, for the topping, you'll want shredded lettuce, sliced cherry tomatoes, sliced jalapeños, black olives, and diced red onions.

Mix the taco pie crust dough

First things first, go ahead and preheat your oven to 400 F and bring a small pot of water to a boil. 

Grab a medium size bowl and stir together the masarepa, salt, cumin, and onion powder. Add the butter to the bowl, then begin mixing the ingredients as you slowly pour in the hot water. Continue stirring until you form a dough that's not too wet or sticky. If you find the dough is too wet, add additional tablespoons of masarepa one at a time until the consistency is right. 

Make and bake the taco pie crust

Place your ball of dough inside a 9-inch pie pan and spread it evenly across the pan and up onto the edges to form a crust. "The pie holds together great ... It's like a lay dough texture. I [crimped] the crust which was easy to do. I just used my thumb and finger to make the crimp pattern," Case instructs. "Another idea to crimple the pie is [to use] the back of a fork and press it down onto the crust." 

When the crust is the right shape and style for your liking, poke holes with a fork across the bottom of the pan. Case says that this prevents the crust from puffing up while baking because the steam has a way to escape. 

Place the pan in the oven and bake the pie for 20 minutes. When it's done baking, remove it from the oven and set it aside to cool before filling it with toppings.

Cook the ground beef filling

While the pie crust is baking, you can start making your taco filling. Place olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeño to the pan and cook until they're soft. THen, add the ground beef until it's browned and crumbly — an additional 5-7 minutes. 

Place all of the filling spices, cornstarch, and tomato paste in the pan with the meat and stir well, cooking for an additional minute. But if you're looking for ways to cut down on prep work, Case says you can skip adding individual spices and just use 2 tablespoons of pre-packaged taco seasoning, instead. 

Finally, add the beef broth to the pan and cook it all for about four more minutes as the beef broth reduces. The final consistency should be gravy-like. 

Assemble the pie layers

With the pie crust cooked and the beef mixture ready-to-go, you can now assemble your taco pies. Use a spatula to spread the refried beans across the bottom of the cooled crust. Pour and spread the beef mixture across the refried beens, then do the same with the salsa and the shredded cheddar cheese.

Bake your taco pie

Return the pie to the oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes. You'll know it's ready when the cheese has melted and is turning golden-brown on top. 

Add taco toppings to the pie before serving

The last step is to load your taco pie with toppings. Case used shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced jalapeños, diced onion, and black olives, but this step can be adjusted to your personal preferences. Case also says guacamole, sour cream, pickled red onion, more cheese, pico de gallo,  sauteed red or yellow peppers, or a spritz of lime would all be delicious. 

And if you're looking for pairing ideas, pretty much anything you'd typically enjoy on Taco Tuesday will work. "A margarita would pair nicely with this meal or lemonade. Also adding some guacamole or pico de gallo on the side would give it a nice touch with some tortilla chips," Case suggests.

One other reason you might want to enjoy this pie instead of standard tacos is it keeps well for up to three days — as delicious as typical tacos taste, their shells don't usually hold up for days on end. 

Loaded Taco Pie Recipe
4.9 from 30 ratings
Switch it up next Taco Tuesday by making this pie filled with all the toppings and fixings you love.
Prep Time
Cook Time
loaded taco pie sliced
Total time: 1 hour
  • For the crust
  • 1 ¼ cup masarepa (instant corn flour)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups boiling hot water
  • For the filling
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 jalapeño, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1½ tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ cup beef broth
  • ½ cup refried beans, canned
  • ¼ cup salsa, mild or medium
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • For the topping
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • ½ cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small sliced jalapeño
  • ¼ cup black olives
  • ¼ cup red onions, diced
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F. To start the crust, use a medium size bowl, stir the masarepa, salt, cumin, onion powder until it's mixed well.
  2. Add the butter to the bowl then slowly pour in the hot water. Mix together until it's the consistency of dough. If the dough is too wet, add in 1 tablespoon of masarepa at a time, until it's not wet or sticky.
  3. Use a 9-inch pan and pat the dough into an even layer. Pinch the edges of the dough, then poke some holes in the bottom. This allows the steam to escape so that the pie crust doesn't puff up in the oven.
  4. Bake the pie crust in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  5. To start the filling, using a large skillet add 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. Add diced onion and jalapeño and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Then add the ground beef and cook until browned, crumbly, and no longer pink for 5 to 7 minutes.
  6. Add all the spices, cornstarch, and tomato paste and cook until it's combined well for about 1 minute.
  7. Pour the pan with beef broth and cook for another 4 minutes, or until the beef mixture becomes thick, gravy-like consistency.
  8. To assemble the pie, using a spatula spread the refried beans on the bottom of the cooled baked crust. Then spread the beef on top of the refried beans, followed by the salsa. Finish with shredded cheddar cheese.
  9. Bake the pie for 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted and has turned into a golden brown color.
  10. Garnish the pie with the taco toppings and serve warm.
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