Corn, beans and squash are three of the earliest domesticated crops grown by Native Americans in the Sonoran region. For this recipe, prepared corn masa, which is usually used to make tortillas or gorditas, is pressed into a cast iron skillet for the crust. If you’ve never tried tepary beans, this recipe is an excellent way to experiment with them, but you can substitute black beans instead if you want.

Three Sisters Pizza With Corn Masa Crust

Serves 1-2 people


2 cups corn masa

2 cups warm water

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/4 cup prepared pizza sauce

1/4 cup sliced baby zucchini

1/4 cup roasted corn kernels, I used Trader Joe’s

1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles

Smoked garlic chipotle seasoning, or substitute garlic powder and dried chipotle powder, to taste

1/2 cup halved heirloom cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup prepared tepary beans

1 red onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon cilantro leaves 


Preheat the oven to 425.

Stir the salt into the warm water until dissolved. Measure the corn masa into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle. Pour half of the water into the well and kneed in the masa. Keep kneading and adding water until the dough is slightly sticky and has the consistency of pizza dough. Form into a ball and cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel. 

Rub a 9-10″ cast iron skillet with the olive oil. Press the masa dough into the pan and up the sides to form a thin layer. 

Bake for 15 minutes on the lower rack.

Remove from oven and top with the pizza sauce cheese, corn, and squash. Sprinkle with the garlic chipotle seasoning. Return to the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. 

To serve top pizza with cherry tomatoes, red onion, cilantro and tepary beans.  Slice and serve. 

This recipe was originally developed for and published in Tucson Lifestyle Magazine.

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