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How to Make Tlayudas

Tlayudas are a traditional Oaxacan dish, often considered a type of Mexican pizza due to their large size and flat, crispy tortilla base.

Texture-wise, Tlayudas start with a large, thin, and crispy tortilla made from corn masa, similar to a large tostada. This tortilla is typically toasted or grilled until it becomes crispy and sturdy, providing a crunchy base for the toppings.

The toppings for Tlayudas usually include refried beans spread over the tortilla as a base. Then, ingredients such as Oaxaca cheese (or another melting cheese), shredded meats (like chicken, pork, or beef), sliced avocado, chorizo, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, and sometimes cilantro are added.

The dish is often cooked on a grill or comal (a flat griddle) to melt the cheese and warm the toppings, allowing the flavors to meld together. This process gives the Tlayuda a combination of textures—the crispy base with the melted cheese and the array of toppings offer a mix of crunchiness, creaminess, and juiciness.

Tlayudas are served whole or sliced into portions, similar to a pizza, and are meant to be shared. They are a beloved street food in Oaxaca, Mexico, offering a satisfying and hearty meal packed with various flavors and textures in every bite.

Key Takeaways

  • Who these Tlayudas appeal to: Food enthusiasts, those eager to explore authentic Oaxacan flavors, anyone looking for a substantial and satisfying meal.
  • Estimated duration: A delightful cooking experience that takes approximately 30-40 minutes.
  • Nutrition facts: A hearty and balanced dish combining proteins, vegetables, and flavorful toppings.

About this Recipe

Tlayudas are a hallmark of Oaxacan street food, offering a delightful blend of textures and tastes. This recipe guides you through creating these unique tortillas, ensuring that each bite is a celebration of Oaxacan culinary tradition.



  • 4 large tortillas (preferably corn-based)
  • 1 cup black bean paste or refried black beans
  • 1 cup Oaxacan cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Lime wedges for serving

Optional Additions:

  • Sliced chorizo or grilled chicken for protein
  • Salsa verde or your favorite hot sauce


Tlayuda Assembly:

  1. Preheat the Grill or Oven:
  • If using a grill, preheat to medium-high. If using an oven, preheat to 375°F (190°C).
  1. Prepare the Tlayudas:
  • Place the tortillas on the grill or in the oven for a few minutes, flipping them occasionally until they become slightly crisp but still pliable.
  1. Spread Bean Paste:
  • On each tortilla, spread a generous layer of black bean paste or refried black beans, leaving a border around the edges.
  1. Add Cheese:
  • Sprinkle a layer of shredded Oaxacan cheese evenly over the beans.
  1. Grill or Bake:
  • Return the topped tortillas to the grill or oven just until the cheese melts and the edges become crispy.


  1. Layer Vegetables:
  • Once off the heat, quickly layer the shredded cabbage, sliced avocado, tomato, and radishes over the melted cheese.
  1. Finish with Cilantro:
  • Sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro over the toppings for a burst of freshness.
  1. Optional Protein:
  • If desired, add slices of chorizo or grilled chicken for an extra protein boost.
  1. Serve with Lime:
  • Serve the Tlayudas immediately with lime wedges on the side.

Side Suggestions

  • Guacamole or salsa for dipping
  • Mexican crema or sour cream for added richness

Storage Options

Tlayudas are best enjoyed fresh off the grill or from the oven to maintain their crispiness. If you have leftovers, store the components separately, reheating the tortillas and assembling just before serving.

Ingredient Substitutes

  • Oaxacan Cheese: Substitute with mozzarella or a mild, melting cheese.
  • Black Bean Paste: Use refried black beans or pinto beans as an alternative.

Alternatives to this Dish

Experiment with different toppings like pickled red onions, sliced jalapeños, or crumbled queso fresco for a personalized twist on the classic Tlayudas.


Tlayudas offer a culinary journey to the streets of Oaxaca, combining the crunch of thin tortillas with a flavorful medley of toppings. Whether enjoyed with traditional toppings or personalized additions, this dish promises to transport you to the heart of Oaxacan street food. ¡Buen provecho!