Taco Bell, as you’ve surely heard by now, has decided to do a massive housecleaning of its menu, ruthlessly throwing out everything that doesn’t bring it joy. But joy is a subjective experience, and there are a few things that customers aren’t ready to throw away just yet, namely the 7-Layer Burrito and the Mexican Pizza.
Both dishes were beloved by vegetarians. As Rima Parikh explained in an essay for The Takeout earlier this year, “For South Asians who are vegetarian or keep halal, fast food options can be pretty restrictive.... Taco Bell is still Taco Bell when you swap out the meat for beans. It is still going to destroy your organs, and it is still delicious.” The Mexican Pizza was especially beloved because of its mix of textures, whether you got it with beans or beef: crispy tortillas, melty cheese, drippy enchilada sauce. (Parikh preferred it with Fritos and potatoes, an excellent adaptation, now sadly unavailable because both those things are also victims of Taco Bell’s menu cleanup.)
Taco Bell, however, has ignored the pleas of its fans so far. “While we know fans may be understandably sad to see some of their favorites go, this evolution of our menu truly paves the way for fresh new ideas,” Taco Bell president and global CEO Mike Grams told Salon. “The creativity and innovation in our kitchen hasn’t slowed down at all, and we look forward to rolling out new fan favorites.”
That’s not good enough, Mike! They’re not the Mexican Pizza! (Or potatoes.)
Fortunately, Salon has been kind enough to give us a recipe so we can make our own Mexican Pizza at home after it disappears from the Taco Bell menu for good in November. “It’s essentially a double-decker tostada topped with bubbling cheese,” writer Ashlie D. Stevens explains. It’s not quite the same as strolling into a Taco Bell late at night and drunk—it requires quite a bit more effort—but it’s something. Now if someone could figure out a variation with beans and fried potatoes...