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Taco Braid

A taco braid is pizza dough stuffed with cheesy saucy taco filling which makes for a quick and easy crowd-pleasing way to satisfy everyone’s pizza and taco cravings in one go!

sliced taco braid with tomatoes and lettuce
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Simple Stuffed Taco Braid

Italy meets Mexico in this easy taco braid recipe! It’s made with pizza dough that gets stuffed with taco meat, homemade taco seasoning (or store-bought), salsa, and cream cheese! It’s the perfect shareable appetizer and easy dinner idea especially if you’re using leftover taco meat.

We’re taking a shortcut by using premade pizza dough, but if you’re up to making homemade pizza dough, by all means. I love this version just the way it is but you can switch up the filling ingredients to add some extras! Once baked and golden brown, this taco braid with pizza dough makes for a simple and impressive way to switch up Taco Tuesday!

wrapping dough around taco meat to make taco braid

How to Make the Taco Braid

  1. Cook meat: Brown the meat in a skillet, drain the grease, then add the taco seasoning and salsa. Using lean ground beef makes for less excess grease.
  2. Roll dough: Line a rimmed baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper and roll out the pizza dough into a rectangle. Press it out with your fingers. You want it about 15 x 10 inches.
  3. Cut strips: Along the long sides of the dough using a pizza cutter to cut 1/2″ strips along the entire length. Do not go right to the middle.
  4. Spread: Spread cream cheese and salsa combo along the middle of the dough and top with meat mixture and cheese.
  5. Fold: Start at one end of the braid and fold over the two end strips to meet each other, overlapping. You might find they naturally fold at an angle, which is great. Then, pinch together to secure.
  6. Pinch: Continue wrapping the braid alternating strips as you move down the long side of the braid. Pinch the remaining end together to secure it. That way it’ll hold in all of the fillings as it bakes.
  7. Brush: Brush the outside of the braid with melted butter then sprinkle with garlic salt.
  8. Bake: Bake until golden brown. This should be about 15-20 minutes. Allow it to cool on the pan before slicing into about 6 slices.

Enjoy with your favorite toppings!

taco braid on baking sheet

Yummy Variations

  • Add 1/2 cup of pinto beans or black beans in with the taco meat.
  • You can completely omit the cream cheese and salsa base if preferred, or replace it with refried beans.
  • For a cheesy top, sprinkle 1/2 cup of cheese on top of the braid halfway through the baking time.
  • You can use taco sauce instead of or in addition to the taco seasoning.
  • Swap the melted butter for brushing of olive oil instead.
  • If you can’t find garlic salt, coarse sea salt is also great.
taco braid on white plate with tomatoes

Favorite Toppings

Storing, Freezing, & Reheating

To store: Any remaining slices of the braid can be stored but best to do it without any toppings. Keep stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

To freeze: Transfer any leftovers to a freezer-friendly container or Ziploc bag and keep frozen for up to 1 month.

Reheat: In the oven at 350 until heated through.

sliced taco braid with tomatoes and lettuce

More Mexican Favorites

sliced taco braid with tomatoes and lettuce

Taco Braid

5 from 2 votes
A taco braid is pizza dough stuffed with cheesy saucy taco filling which makes for a quick and easy crowd-pleasing way to satisfy everyone's pizza and taco cravings in one go!
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

Ground Beef

Braid

  • 1 pound pizza dough , 1 can or homemade dough
  • 2 ounces cream cheese , softened
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese , more if desired
  • 2 Tablespoons butter , melted
  • garlic salt

Optional toppings: Shredded lettuce, tomatoes or pico de gallo, olives, sour cream, guacamole

    Instructions

    • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
      Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and onion and cook until browned, stirring occasionally breaking up any large pieces. 
      cooking ground beef in pan
    • Once browned, drain off any extra grease. Then add in the taco seasoning, salsa and 2 Tablespoons of water. Bring to a light simmer and then turn off the heat.
      how to make taco meat
    • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then press the pizza dough into a rectangle about 15×10 inches. Then cut 1 1/2" wide strips about 3 inches long down both sides of the pizza dough.
      cutting strips in pizza dough on baking sheet
    • Mix together the cream cheese and salsa in a bowl. Then spread on the center of the dough. Add the meat and cheese on top.
      meet and cheese on top of dough
    • Beginning on one side, fold the end up and wrap the two end strips over top to secure the braid. Pinch the seams together. Alternate folding in strips, all the way across. Pinch the end seams together to secure the taco braid.
      wrapping dough around taco meat
    • Brush the melted butter over top and sprinkle with garlic salt.
      brushing butter on taco braid
    • Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through the center.
      taco braid on baking sheet
    • Allow the taco braid to cool on the pan for a few minutes. Then slice into 6 large slices or 10 small slices. Top with desired toppings.
      sliced taco braid with tomatoes and lettuce

    Notes

    Variations:
    • Add a 1/2 cup black or pinto beans in wit the taco meat.
    • You can omit the cream cheese and salsa base or you could spread refried beans instead on the base. 
    • Sprinkle an extra 1/2 cup of cheese across the top half way through baking for a cheesy top. 

    Calories: 322kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 744mg | Potassium: 226mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 481IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 3mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Appetizer, Main Dish
    Cuisine: Mexican
    Author: Jamielyn Nye

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

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