Mexican pizza, also known as Taco pizza or Fiesta pizza, is a popular take on pizza that typically combines traditional pizza ingredients with Mexican-inspired flavors and toppings. With its fusion of Tex-Mex and Italian cuisines, this hearty and flavorful pizza has become a menu staple at many pizzerias and Mexican restaurants across the United States.
But like any pizza, the calorie content can vary greatly depending on the size of the slice, type of crust, and what toppings are used. When trying to monitor your calorie intake, it’s important to understand how many calories are actually in a slice of Mexican pizza.
What is Mexican Pizza?
Mexican pizza starts with a basic pizza crust which is then topped with traditional taco fillings and garnishes. Some key ingredients commonly found on Mexican pizza include:
- Refried beans or black beans as the sauce base
- Seasoned ground beef or shredded chicken
- Onions, tomatoes, jalapeños
- Shredded lettuce
- Shredded Mexican-style cheeses like cheddar, queso fresco, or Oaxaca
- Sour cream
- Crushed tortilla chips
The flavors blend together for a pizza experience that is both comforting and filled with the bold, spicy taste of Mexico. It’s an ideal fusion food for those who love both pizza and Mexican food!
Calories in Mexican Pizza
There are a few main factors that contribute to the calorie content in a slice of Mexican pizza:
Size of the Slice
Larger slices will have more calories, while smaller, thin crust slices may have slightly fewer calories. Most pizzerias cut their pizzas into 6-8 slices.
Type of Crust
Thin crust has fewer calories and carbs than thick, bready crusts per slice. Hand-tossed or deep dish crusts tend to be the highest in calories.
Here are some estimates for calories in different pizza crusts:
- Thin crust pizza (1/8 of 14” pizza): 150 calories
- Hand-tossed crust (1/8 of 14” pizza): 210 calories
- Deep dish crust (1/6 of 14” pizza): 250 calories
- Cauliflower crust (1/8 slice): around 80 calories
Using a sauce like refried or black beans as the base instead of tomato sauce reduces the calories in Mexican pizza. A 1/4 cup of beans has around 110-130 calories, versus around 60-80 calories for a 1/4 cup of tomato pizza sauce.
Cheese is often one of the main sources of calories, with around 100 calories per 1/4 cup of shredded cheese. Using multiple kinds of full-fat cheeses like cheddar, queso fresco, and Oaxaca can add up quickly.
Fatty meats like pepperoni, sausage, bacon, and ground beef can significantly increase the calorie content per slice. Here are some estimates for calories in 1/4 cup of cooked meat toppings:
- Pepperoni: 130 calories
- Sausage: 140 calories
- Bacon: 120 calories
- Ground beef: 115 calories
- Shredded chicken: 110 calories
Onions, tomatoes, peppers, and other veggies add great flavor for very minimal calories. Loading up your pizza with extra veggies instead of fatty meats can help lower the calorie content per slice.
Ingredients like guacamole, sour cream, tortilla strips, etc. can quickly drive up the calories. Even salsa and salad dressing can have around 20-50 calories per tablespoon.
Calorie Ranges for Mexican Pizza
Taking all of these factors into account, here are some general estimates for calories in one slice of Mexican pizza:
- Thin crust with veggies: 150-200 calories
- Hand-tossed crust with veggies: 250-300 calories
- Deep dish crust with meat: 350-450 calories
- Thin crust supreme (meat + veggies): 300-350 calories
As you can see, calories can range widely from around 150 calories for a basic thin crust veggie slice up to 450+ calories for a deep dish slice loaded with cheese and fatty meats.
Lower Calorie Options
Here are some tips for lightening up your Mexican pizza:
- Choose thin crust
- Load up on veggies instead of fatty meats
- Use just one type of cheese and go easy on the amount
- Use tomato sauce instead of beans for the sauce
- Avoid extras like tortilla chips, sour cream, etc.
- Order a small personal-sized pizza instead of a large slice
- Stick to 1-2 slices and take the rest home
Highest Calorie Options
Here are some ways that can ramp up the calories in your Mexican pizza:
- Deep dish crust
- Extra cheese like cheddar, queso fresco, Oaxaca, etc.
- Meat lovers topping combos
- Add-ons like guacamole, sour cream, tortilla chips
- Large oversized slices
- Eating more than 2-3 slices
Calories for Popular Mexican Pizza Chains
To give you an idea of real-world calorie counts, here is the nutrition information for a slice of Mexican pizza from some popular restaurants:
Taco Bell Mexican Pizza
- 1 slice (1/6 of pizza): 320 calories
El Torito Mexican Pizza
- 1 slice (1/8 of pizza): 490 calories
Chevys Fresh Mex Mexican Pizza
- 1 slice (1/6 of pizza): 430 calories
Baja Fresh Mexican Pizza
- 1 slice (1/6 of pizza): 370 calories
California Pizza Kitchen Mexican Pizza
- 1 slice (1/6 of pizza): 350 calories
As you can see, the calories can vary quite a bit depending on the restaurant. Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza made with a thinner crust has around 320 calories per slice, while El Torito’s deeper dish Mexican Pizza has a hefty 490 calories per slice.
Healthy Mexican Pizza Options
If you want the delicious flavors of Mexican pizza in a healthier package, you have some options. Here are some ideas for lightening it up:
Using a cauliflower crust instead of regular flour crust can significantly reduce the calories and carbs. Most cauliflower crusts have around 1/4 the calories of a regular pizza crust. Top it with your favorite Mexican pizza toppings and you have a lighter pizza option.
Veggie Mexican Pizza
Load your pizza up with extra veggies like onions, peppers, tomatoes, and mushrooms instead of fatty meats and extra cheese. This can cut significant calories from your slice.
Chicken Mexican Pizza
Use shredded chicken breast rather than higher-fat meats like sausage, pepperoni, or ground beef. Chicken breast will give you plenty of protein with less saturated fat.
Black Bean Mexican Pizza
Swap out refried beans for nutrient-rich black beans, which are naturally lower in fat and calories. Beans offer plenty of fiber, protein, and nutrients.
For a lower carb option, build your Mexican pizza toppings on top of crunchy baked tostadas shells instead of pizza crust. Just top with beans, meat, cheese, lettuce, salsa, etc. for the Mexican pizza taste you love.
Mexican pizza can range quite a bit in its calorie content depending on the size, crust, toppings, and ingredients used. A reasonable estimate is between 150-500 calories per slice. Choosing thin crust with lots of veggie toppings and limiting high-fat meats, cheese, and extras can help keep your Mexican pizza relatively low in calories. Or you can switch to healthier bases like cauliflower crust or tostadas to cut the carbs and calories. Whatever you choose, Mexican pizza makes for a delicious fusion feast!