Tlayuda (Oaxacan Pizza) Recipe

A Must-Try Oaxacan Street Food

tlayuda open face
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 65 mins
Total: 85 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Yield: 2 tlayudas
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
2351 Calories
151g Fat
180g Carbs
68g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 2351
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 151g 193%
Saturated Fat 46g 231%
Cholesterol 216mg 72%
Sodium 2859mg 124%
Total Carbohydrate 180g 65%
Dietary Fiber 14g 50%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 68g
Vitamin C 24mg 121%
Calcium 498mg 38%
Iron 13mg 72%
Potassium 1116mg 24%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A tlayuda (pronounced ("tla-u-da") is an iconic street food from Oaxaca, Mexico. It's made with a giant tortilla (which is also referred to as a tlayuda) topped with asiento, refried beans, and ribbons of quesillo.

Asiento is an uniquely Oaxacan ingredient. It is made from the bits of meat and fat leftover from making chicharrón (fried pork belly or rinds). Similarly, quesillo is a distinctively Oaxacan stretchy, mild cheese comparable to mozzarella. Ingredients like shredded cabbage, sliced avocado, and tomato are optional, but the cabbage is a must since it adds a nice crunch. Additionally, you can add steak, Mexican chorizo, beef, chicken, or pile on the veggies.

This recipe is an adaptation from a popular dish made by Chef Mica Ruiz of Luz de Luna in Huayapam, Oaxaca. We developed this to fit the ingredients and tools available to most people in the U.S., maintaining the authentic flavors of a tlayuda. Typically it is made with corn tortillas but for this recipe we use flour tortillas to give more structure to the dish; however, you can make large corn tortillas if you have time on your hands. We use mozzarella for the quesillo as it is more readily available in stores, but if you can easily swap in quesillo if you have it on hand.

You can make the asiento ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. To serve, we suggest a red salsa like Oaxacan Pasilla Salsa, but you could use adobo sauce, salsa verde, salsa ranchera, or any other salsa you love.

Ingredients

For the Asiento:

  • 8 ounces falda de costilla (pork rib skirt), cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1/4 cup neutral oil

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Tlayuda

  • 2 (10-inch) flour tortilla

  • 8 tablespoons asiento

  • 3/4 cup refried beans

  • 2/3 cup shredded green cabbage, finely chopped

  • 2/3 cup fresh mozzarella, pulled into ribbons

To Serve:

  • 2/3 cup salsa, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

  2. Place the pork in a heavy-bottomed pan, then saute over low heat until the fat is completely rendered and the pork is crispy, about 1 hour. Remove the pan from the heat, then allow the meat and rendered fat to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

  3. Separate the meat from any bone (you can freeze or save the bones and make a stock), then transfer the rib meat along with the rendered fat to a high-speed blender. Add the salt along with 2 tablespoons of neutral oil, then blend until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons of oil as needed until the mixture is a smooth paste. You should have about 1/2 cup of asiento.

  4. Divide the asiento between the tortillas, spreading into an even layer.

  5. Spread the refried beans between the tortillas. Make sure the texture is a thin, spreadable paste. If too chunky, you can blend the refried beans with your choice of liquid, like water or stock.

  6. Layer the tortillas with the finely chopped cabbage and shredded mozzarella.

  7. If you would like to add any additional toppings like protein or veggies, you can do so now. Fold the tlayuda in half and place on a pizza stone or baking sheet. Bake until the tortilla is crispy, about 5 minutes. Place on a cutting board.

    (Alternatively, cook over medium heat on the stove using a skillet or sauté pan.)

  8. Slice the tlayudas in half crosswise and serve with salsa, if desired.

Recipe Variations

  • You can top your tlayuda with ingredients, including lime and cilantro, white onion, avocado, tomato, and more.
  • Flank steak can either be cooked, chopped, and served on the tlayuda or served on the side. If using chorizo, cook and crumble it on the tlayuda.

Can I Replace the Asiento?

You can use pork lard instead of making your own asiento, but asiento packs much more flavor and is worth the effort, in my opinion. It's also what is traditionally used in Oaxaca, so if you're curious to get as close to an authentic tlayuda as you can, choose asiento over pork lard.

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