tortilla pizza


graphic by Eleanor Kaestner

Sometimes all you want for lunch is pizza. But especially on those days, if you are restricted to eating in a cafeteria or are on some sort of campus, it is either not on the menu or the sight of their greasy pizzas are far from appetizing.

If you think about it, pizza is pretty simple to make. Vegetables? Tortillas or flatbread? Cheese? These staple ingredients in most pizzas are often found around salad bars or a deli section within a standard cafeteria. The only tricky part may be finding that perfect coal oven to bake it with…

While most school or campus dining halls do not offer this luxury, most places have a panini press nearby the deli area, which if you think about it, serves just the purpose you need to bake your makeshift pizza. Even if the cafeteria you are in is so deprived, a waffle iron could even work (if you’re feeling especially crafty that day).

For my pizzas, I first pick out either a flatbread pita pocket and separate it to be flat, or I just grab a standard corn tortilla. I then add a dash of olive oil to the tortilla to help melt the cheese. I sprinkle shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese on top of the oiled flatbread and start to gather vegetables from the salad bar. I choose anything from locally grown tomato slices to sliced green peppers, mushrooms, onions, and artichokes. I toss these into a bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper to pull out the various flavors.

Here’s my favorite trick. I throw the vegetables onto the panini grill part before I add them to the tortilla. This way they are not raw going onto the tortilla and have time to get those makeshift “grill marks.” After they cook I put all the ingredients together on the tortilla and place my pizza on the panini press, leaving the top open in order to prevent a huge mess.

And it’s that simple! This version of a pizza is a much healthier option with fresh vegetables, a low carb base, and way less grease! Plus, it allows you to choose your favorite ingredients and make creative combinations.

If you are cooking from home, the Hamilton Beach 25460 Panini Press (pictured) is a great tool to use for this. Some of my favorite recipes for flatbread pizza are Carrie Underwood’s No Guilt Veggie Pizza, Wallflower Kitchen’s Vegan Tortilla Pizza, and Cookie+Kate’s Greek Flatbread.




4 responses to “tortilla pizza

  1. Eleanor,
    I think this is a very well constructed post. Creative eating in the cafeteria is something I think everyone could use some advice on. My favorite part is the graphic you created and included. It allowed me as a reader to get the gist of your post in just one glance. This made me want to read more of your post. I like how you kept the paragraph lengths short and shaped them into the “golden rectangle” that Lance Hosey mentioned in “Why We Love Beautiful Things.” I also like how you linked to some of your favorite recipes for flatbread pizza. This allowed me to further explore more great recipes. Keep up the good work, I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future!


  2. This is a great idea! As an athlete, when I go to the caf or other dining option, I always try to go for the healthier option. Sometimes it is hard to put together a good meal when the caf is only so-so that day, and in the end, I always seem to put together some form of a salad. After a while that gets boring – and I want something different. I can’t wait to try some of your recipes!


  3. I really like the conversational tone you use in this post. The language you used made me feel like I was there walking with you through the caf! You did a great job of connecting with your audience which is a very important aspect as we discussed in class after reading Jen Rajchel’s work. I think you could make this blog come to life even more if you added some original pictures. Maybe take some as you’re actually making these dishes in the caf and insert them as the post progresses? In Lanham’s article he talked about appealing to different senses and I think that could really enhance the blog!


  4. Omg! This is such a good idea! I’m definitely going to try that out.
    I often struggle with finding healthy options in the caf, and when I’m craving pizza theirs isn’t that good… so I really enjoyed this post. I really like the voice you used to write this post, I felt like I was reading food network or something. I also really appreciated your tip about the veggies, it’s really nice that you threw that in there, it creates a more personal connection between yourself and the readers. Great job!


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