Vegetarian Taco Pizza

Vegetarians like tacos and pizza too! So you can bet your bottom dollar that we love taco pizza as well. But HOW can there be a vegetarian taco pizza, you might ask? Don’t you need ground beef?! And my answer to you is…

No! You really don’t! One of my favorite things to do is use finely chopped white mushrooms in place of ground beef. It becomes a very similar texture when cooked and they are a blank canvas, ready to absorb all of the seasonings you put on them.

One of my favorite ways to use this mushroom substitute is in stuffed shells and manicotti. Simply cook up your chopped mushrooms with the tomato sauce and pop those suckers into your noodles with some ricotta. Perfetto!

The other way I like to use it is in tacos, and thus taco pizza. We all love a taco night for dinner; some tortillas, seasoned ground beef, salsa, lettuce and cheese. Just build your own and enjoy! Well I think vegetarians should be able to enjoy taco nights too! This mushroom hack makes it easy.

So I’ve put together the Mexican and Italian today with this vegetarian taco pizza. Give it a try for your next taco night dinner!

Ingredients 
1 tube of refrigerated thin crust pizza dough
4 ounces of cream cheese, softened by leaving at room temperature for an hour OR microwave 45 seconds
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 lb white mushrooms, chopped into very small pieces
homemade taco seasoning (adjust amounts to your taste):
-2 teaspoons chili powder
-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
-1/4 teaspoon onion powder
-1/4 teaspoon oregano
-1/2 teaspoon paprika
-1 teaspoon cumin
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup water
1 medium tomato, chopped into bite-sized chunks
1 cup shredded mozzarella OR 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
1/2 cup shredded purple cabbage
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Grillet™
6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Directions
1. Plug in the Grillet™, place the lid on top and turn the dial to set for 375 degrees. Let it sit with the lid on for 5 minutes to preheat.
2. While preheating, open the tube of pizza dough and unroll it. If needed, trim the edges so it will fit inside the Grillet™.
3. Once preheated, remove the lid. Gently and carefully place the dough into the center of the Grillet™ pan.
4. Let it cook for about 5 minutes with the lid off, then using a heat safe non-metal spatula, carefully flip the pizza dough over so the raw side is touching the pan.
5. Let cook for an additional 5 minutes with the lid off until the dough is done and you can see grill marks on both sides. Carefully remove from the Grillet™ with your spatula and set it aside.
6. Keeping the lid off and Grillet™ set to 375, add the chopped mushrooms to the pan. Cook them while stirring frequently with the same spatula for 10 minutes; they should almost resemble the texture of cooked ground beef.
7. Add all of the taco seasoning ingredients and the 1/2 cup of water. Stir again then replace the lid and let simmer for 5 minutes.
8. While the mushroom mixture is simmering, in a separate small bowl mix the cream cheese and sour cream.
9. Carefully spread the cream cheese mixture over the cooked pizza dough with a spoon or rubber spatula.
10. Remove the lid from the Grillet™ and give the mushrooms one last, good stir with the heat safe non-metal spatula. Turn the knob on the Grillet™ to the OFF position.
11. Carefully scoop the mushroom out of the pan and directly scatter onto the cream cheese and sour cream topped pizza. You can use either your spatula or a long-handled wooden spoon for this.
12. Scatter the tomato chunks, shredded cheese, cabbage, and cilantro over the top of the mushroom layer.
13. While on a cutting board, slice the pizza into 6 pieces with a knife or pizza cutter.
14. Serve on plates and clean the Grillet™ according to manual instructions when it is fully cooled.

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