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Playing Use Up Leftover Chicken + Veggies in This Easy Taco Pizza

This quick and easy taco-inspired pizza from Pamela Salzman, a cooking instructor and the author of Quicker than Quick (Hachette Go, 2020), is a great way to use up leftover chicken and grilled vegetables. Depending on how much you have to work with, you can supplement with more refried beans or cooked canned beans.  

Pro Tip from Pamela: Preparing your own taco seasoning is easy. Simply stir together 1 tablespoon chili powder, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, ¾ to 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, ½ teaspoon paprika and ¼ teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano and ground turmeric (optional). That yields enough for one pound of meat or meat alternative.  

Note: You can also use whatever type of frozen pizza crust you like. Just follow the package directions for baking. 

This recipe was created as an idea for using up leftovers from Pamela's Chicken Souvlaki, but can be made with leftovers from any meal. For another easy idea for using leftover chicken, check out Ayesha Curry's Mom's Chicken Soup


  • ½ cup salsa
  • 1 cup refried beans
  • Olive oil, for greasing pan
  • 1 pound pizza dough (see Note), at room temperature
  • About 1 cup shredded cheese
  • Cooked leftover chicken, chopped and tossed with taco seasoning (see Tip) or ground cumin and chili powder
  • Cooked leftover grilled veggies, chopped
Optional Toppings (use what you have or what you like):
  • Queso
  • Sliced jalapenos or pickled jalapenos
  • Guacamole, diced avocado or avocado crema
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Shredded lettuce or cabbage
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Sliced scallions or pickled onions


Serves: 6


Preheat the oven to 425°F. 

Combine the salsa and refried beans in a small bowl. (By combining them, the crust won't get soggy as opposed to using the salsa on its own.) 

Lightly grease a jelly roll pan or quarter sheet pan with oil. Roll the dough to fit and then stretch it to reach all four corners. Evenly spread the salsa-bean mixture on top of the dough, then top with the cheese, chicken and vegetables. 

Bake the pizza for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the crust is crispy and golden brown. Drizzle with queso (if using), then top with whatever else you like. Serve immediately.