Tlayudas [clae-yoo-das] are wonderfully messy open pizzas, sold at night on the streets of Oaxaca. Try them grilled, fried or baked in the oven.


  • 1 large bag of baby spinach

  • small knob of butter

  • sea salt and black pepper

  • olive oil

  • 4 large flat breads (large Middle Eastern pittas, Turkish or Italian flat breads)

  • 4 heaped tablespoons

  • Guacamole or the flesh of a ripe avocado

  • 2 balls of mozzarella, grated

  • 80g Pecorino or mature

  • Cheddar cheese, grated

  • 300g leftover chicken or 2 chicken breasts, poached and shredded (see page 140)

  • 8 sun blushed tomatoes or very ripe fresh tomatoes, sliced

  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped herbs (basil, tarragon, chervil or coriander)

  • 2 handfuls of rocket


  • 1.

    Wash the spinach and shake dry. Heat a large pan, add the butter to it, then add the spinach and cook for a few minutes until the spinach has wilted down. Remove from the pan, squeeze dry and season with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

  • 2.

    Heat a large frying pan big enough to hold the flat breads or a flat griddle pan. Put one flat bread in the pan and sprinkle with a tiny bit of water to gently heat it.

  • 3.

    Once slightly crisp, turn it over. Spread a layer of guacamole on first, followed by some grated mozzarella and a quarter of the rest of the ingredients. When the outer side of the bread is crisp and the mozzarella has begun to melt, fold the pizza over so it looks a little like an open calzone. Slide on to a plate and slice into pieces.

  • 4.

    Serve the tlayuda with the habanaro salsa or a roast tomato sauce, with or without chipotles.



You can fill these Oaxacan pizzas with anything you like, from grilled chorizo and strips of skirt steak to fish and grilled seasonal vegetables.

Copyright ‘Mexican Food Made Simple’ by Thomasina Miers published by Hodder & Stoughton RRP $45.00

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