It’s Getting Hot in Here! Recipe Redux

Back in my days of my culinary externship I learned all about something called “family meal.” It sounds so nice, doesn’t it? Actually, it was. The concept was that the kitchen staff was to make the meal (usually from leftovers or food on it’s way out in regards to freshness) for all of the employees. I had the fortunate luck of being in a kitchen with a super-talented chef who hailed from Mexico. Every day he made something amazing out of absolutely nothing. I enjoyed every mouthful and learned so much about the Mexican culture. One day he made a dish with dried chiles, and when I asked him what it was called, he told me it was chilaquiles. Well, that meal changed my life. How could just a few simple ingredients make such a delicious plate of food? First, he made a sauce; he washed and seeded some dried chiles and toasted them in a hot pan. Once lightly toasted he transferred them to a bowl and covered them with hot water to soften them. Then he pureed them up with some sauteed onion and garlic and cooked it with a little chicken broth. To that he added strips of corn tortilla and it was amazing! I cleaned my plate and felt inspired. 

Guajillo and Ancho chiles!

Guajillo and Ancho chiles!

This month’s Recipe Redux challenged us to spice things up. Immediately I thought of that yummy chilaquiles dish, but I wanted to do something to make it my own. Since Mexican food (any of it!) and pizza are my favorite foods, I figured why not use them both!? And that’s how I came up with this riff on a Mexican pizza. It’s full of flavor and by chance, also loaded with good-for-you nutrition. 

Enjoy and be sure to keep a glass of water nearby!

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Red Chile Mexican Pizza

  • Author: Sara Haas


Hearty whole grain pizza dough topped with a spicy red chile sauce, black beans and fresh vegetables.


  • 2 dried ancho chiles, washed, stems and seeds removed
  • 2 dried Guajillo chiles, washed, stems and seeds removed
  • 1 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 pound whole wheat or whole grain pizza dough or 1 large pre-made whole wheat pizza crust
  • 1 cup black beans (canned or cooked from dry)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded, sliced thin
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and seeded, sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 jalapeno, sliced thinly into rounds
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced


To Make the Red Chile Sauce

  1. Set a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chiles to the pan and toast until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer the toasted chiles to a bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the chiles sit until softened, about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Remove the chiles from the water and tear into pieces. Place the torn chiles in a blender along with 1 cup of the soaking liquid. Puree until mixture is smooth.
  3. Set the skillet (you can use the same one that you used to toast the chiles) over medium-low heat. Add the oil and once hot, add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pureed chile sauce and cook an additional 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with lime juice and salt. Note: If a smoother consistency is desired, transfer mixture back to the blender and process until smooth. Use caution with hot liquids.

To Make the Pizza

  1. Preheat the oven to 425’F.
  2. Shape the pizza dough into a circle between 14 and 16-inches in diameter and place on a large sheet of parchment paper. Spread a 1/2 cup of the chile mixture over the crust in an even layer. Top the pizza with the black beans, bell peppers and cheese. Arrange jalapeño slices on top of the cheese. Place in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese bubbly and lightly browned.
  3. Remove pizza from the oven and garnish with chopped cilantro and green onions. Slice and serve.


  • This recipe makes more sauce than you will need. That’s ok, because it freezes well or you can use to as a topping for your next batch of tacos or enchiladas.


  • Serving Size: 6
  • Calories: 479
  • Sugar: 2
  • Sodium: 351
  • Fat: 13
  • Saturated Fat: 6
  • Unsaturated Fat: 6
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 71
  • Protein: 19
  • Cholesterol: 30