Although pizza dough is considered a permanent resident in our house, there really are times when the craving for pizza hits before I have a chance to get some dough made up.  But in these moments fraught with potential distress and grief, I am not deterred.  No, if it's pizza we are wanting, it is pizza we will have.  Which is to say, I make pizzadilla.  Which probably isn't technically considered an actual pizza.  Is it?  No matter, it's a remarkably good stand-in when you want pizza and your dough coffers are empty.

So what the heck is a pizzadilla, you ask?  It's probably pretty much what you're imagining, because yes, there are flour tortillas involved.  Specifically, according to Mr. Lopez-Alt over at Serious Eats, a pizzadilla is "what happens when a pizza and a quesadilla meet down in the van by the river for a little late night action: Cheesy, greasy, crisp-edged glory."  :-)  And it's a perfectly apt description of our proxy pizza.  

I know you're wondering what the heck we're talking about, so here's how to make your very own pizzadilla.  We start with a large cast iron skillet that we'll heat up and then set over a low flame. (I have a round cast iron griddle that works great for this too).  Into that we'll place a large flour tortilla.  Then we're going to schmear a little pizza sauce on top...

... and then sprinkle that with some grated mozzarella cheese and a little parmesan, then place another flour tortilla on top (thus the quesadilla reference).  After that cooks for a minute, it gets flipped and basically, there's your pizza crust.  Stuffed with cheese and sauce.  I know.

To that we're going to add a little more sauce, cheese, and the toppings of your choice and stick the whole thing under the broiler to get all bubbly, brown and melty...

Then just slide it out, sprinkle with a little more parmesan (I forgot that part in the photo), slice, and prepare to be amazed by how good our not-pizza is.  Here's our sausage and olive one...

Of course, a traditional, dough-laden pizza is and always will be our first choice, but in a pinch, consider yourselves armed and ready to make pizza at a moment's notice.   Which is a very good reason to keep those flour tortillas on hand.  Here's the recipe...


Click here for a printable recipe

Recipe courtesy of Serious Eats

Pizzadillas are a fun, easy and delicious way to create a pizza on the fly.  A cross between a quesadilla and a pizza, it requires no dough and can be made in minutes.  The downside is that if it sits too long after cooking, the bottom will lose it’s crispness, but a few minutes on a hot griddle will crisp it right up again.  Actually, we didn’t mind the soft crust one bit.

For each pizza:

1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large flour tortillas that just fit inside your cast iron skillet
3/4 cup store-bought or homemade pizza sauce
5 ounces shredded whole milk low moisture mozzarella cheese
2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Additional toppings, as desired

Adjust oven rack to 6 to 8 inches below broiler element and preheat broiler to high. Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over high heat until shimmering. Reduce heat to low and wipe out excess oil with a paper towel.

Place tortilla in skillet with the rougher textured-side facing down. Spread half of sauce evenly over tortilla all the way to the edges. Spread half of mozzarella evenly over tortilla all the way to the edges. Place second tortilla on top. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until crisp on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip with a large spatula.

Spread remaining sauce evenly over tortilla all the way to the edges. Spread remaining mozzarella and half of Parmesan evenly over tortilla all the way to the edges. Scatter with basil, if you like, and add toppings as desired.

Place skillet under broiler and broil until cheese is melted and starting to brown in spots, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. 

Using a small metal spatula, gently pry edges of pizza, releasing the cheese from the skillet. Peek under bottom. If more crispness is desired, place skillet over medium-heat and cook, swirling pizza and peeking occasionally, until desired crispness is achieved. Slide pizza out onto a cutting board. Cut and serve immediately.

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