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Taco Braid

Taco Braid

Taco Braid: A Fun and Flavorful Twist on Taco Night

Calling all taco lovers! This Taco Braid recipe takes your favorite Mexican flavors and transforms them into a visually stunning and delicious main course. It features a golden brown, flaky pizza crust encasing a savory ground beef filling seasoned with homemade taco spices. Topped with melted cheese and fresh diced tomatoes, it's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, perfect for weeknight dinners, potlucks, or even game days.

The Beauty of the Braid:

The braided design of this recipe not only adds a touch of fun and visual appeal but also ensures even distribution of the flavorful filling throughout the crust. It's a creative way to elevate your taco night routine and impress your guests.

Ingredients:

  • The Crust:

    • 1 canister refrigerated pizza crust (your favorite brand)
  • The Savory Filling:

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • ½ cup chopped onion
    • 1 lb. lean ground beef (93/7 is recommended)
    • 3 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning (or your favorite store-bought variety)
    • ½ cup water
  • The Cheesy and Fresh Toppings:

    • 1 cup Fiesta Blend shredded cheese, divided
    • 1 tomato, diced (with additional for topping, if desired)
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • The Classic Taco Fixings (Optional):

    • 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
    • Sour cream
    • Taco sauce

Instructions:

  1. Preparing the Stage: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. This ensures the braid bakes evenly and doesn't stick to the pan.

  2. Sautéing the Onion: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 3-5 minutes. This adds a sweet and savory base to the filling.

  3. Browning the Beef: Increase the heat to medium-high and add the ground beef to the skillet. Cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned throughout. This forms the heart of your delicious taco filling.

  4. Spicing it Up: Add the homemade taco seasoning and water to the browned beef. Stir well to combine and let simmer for 5-7 minutes. This allows the flavors to meld and create a flavorful taco filling.

  5. Rolling Out the Dough: While the beef mixture simmers, unroll the refrigerated pizza dough onto the prepared parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to gently roll out the dough to a rectangle measuring approximately 10 x 15 inches. This creates the base for your braided masterpiece.

  6. Creating the Braid Design: Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to make diagonal cuts along both long sides of the dough, about 1 ½ inches thick and 3 inches long. These cuts will form the base of the braid.

  7. Filling the Braid: Spoon the seasoned ground beef mixture down the center of the rolled-out dough, leaving some space on the ends. This ensures the filling doesn't spill out while braiding.

  8. Adding Cheese and Tomatoes: Sprinkle ¾ cup of the shredded cheese over the ground beef filling. Top it with the diced tomatoes. Save some cheese for later!

  9. The Braiding Fun Begins! Begin at one end of the dough and fold the dough end upwards over the filling. Gently fold the first two dough strips on one side over the filling to secure it. Repeat this process with the remaining dough strips, alternating sides, until you reach the other end. Pinch the last two ends together to seal the braid.

  10. Baking to Golden Perfection: Brush the top of the braided dough with melted butter. This adds a beautiful golden brown color and a touch of crispness. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of shredded cheese over the top of the braid.

  11. Baking Time! Place the baking sheet with the Taco Braid in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

  12. Serving Suggestions: Once baked, remove the Taco Braid from the oven and let it cool slightly before slicing. Serve it alongside chopped romaine lettuce, sour cream, and taco sauce for a complete taco experience. Let everyone assemble their tacos with their favorite toppings!

Tips:

  • You can customize the taco filling with your favorite ingredients. Add chopped bell peppers, olives, or even cooked black beans for extra flavor and texture.
  • Leftover Taco Braid can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator

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