Get Ready to Add Melty Food Mashups to Your Regular Dinner Menu In 2024

Croissant pizza crust and lobster roll pasta—creativity is the name of the game with this exciting trend.

Whole veggie banh mi pizza

Matt Armendariz

Should you have pizza for dinner or maybe Chinese food? Is it a Taco Tuesday, or do you want to try some Thai? The latest culinary craze says you don’t have to choose. Meet the new menu makeover: the mashup.

Intuitively named, food mashups mix and match familiar favorites into something new. Sometimes, that means a combination of two different dishes from the same genre of food, like using breaded eggplant as a “noodle” to make eggplant parm lasagna. Other times, it means finding a common flavor between seemingly unrelated cuisines and creating a fusion dish, like a Mexican pizza using tortillas as a base (hat tip to Taco Bell for that one).

According to the 2024 Pinterest Predicts report, "melty mashups," creatively-indulgent recipes are topping searches: from "pizza pot pie" (+55%) and "carbonara ramen" (+165%) to "cheeseburger tacos" (+255%) and "burger quesadilla" (+80%).

"This trend takes two ooey-gooey, treat-yourself favorites and marries them to make mouth-watering, melty mashups like 'burger quesadillas' and 'pizza pot pies.' Gen X and Boomers will feast on this all-new food fusion in 2024," the report reads.

Because this is a newer trend with almost endless possibilities, it can feel overwhelming to try out. We reached out to a chef to get their take on how to get started with this food fad, and they gave us tons of tips for home cooks. The best news? She shared it works with any food, so however you choose to try this tasty trend, you’re bound to have fun.

Pasta Chips in metal serving dish
Hannah Bigot

Why are we seeing so many food mashups now?

Popular culture has fueled a generation of foodies. Shows like Diners Drive-ins and Dives show some creative meals you probably wouldn't come up with on your own. Competitions like Top Chef popularized trying new and exciting dishes, while shows with home cooks and fun social media hacks have made creating culinary masterpieces feel more accessible. All these factors lead to people being more open to eating—and making—their own unique food mashups.

“I think wacky mashups are popular because two familiar things mixed together with a twist of creativity is appealing," says Jamie Bisioulis, chef and owner of Fire Thyme + Bar. After all, it's the best of both worlds.

Another reason they’re so popular? There’s no wrong way to go about it.

“I don’t think you can put a limit on the types of cuisines used for mashups," Bisioulis says. "Everyone’s comfort food is different. What you are familiar with, plus a new style, equals a perfect mashup.”

Ramen Meat Loaf
Jason Donnelly

How to Try a Mashup of Your Own

If you want to cook up your own mashups, we’ve got the recipe for success. To get started, Bisioulis suggests you work with something you’re familiar with.

“The best tip I have is to go with is using one cuisine you are super comfortable with and adding a different technique that could work," she says.

For example, Bisioulis took her signature lobster roll and turned it into a pasta dish. By combining two familiar meals, she created a new, unique twist.

Think about foods that make easy bases for flavors (pizza crusts, taco shells, bread) that can easily be customized by whatever you decide to top them with. This gives you an excellent jumping-off point for experimentation, layering in unique flavors to spice up your food. This tip isn’t just for home chefs but professionals, too.

“Not only are we mixing things up by using croissant dough in lieu of pizza crust, we're making the topping combos that are familiar outside of a pizza setting—Philly cheesesteak, pepperoni pan, and BLT are the go-tos of the menu," she says.

baked beef taco pie

BHG / Abbey Littlejohn

For additional inspiration, Bisioulis recommends looking to some of your family favorites for a recipe renovation.

“The most exciting mashup I’m using at my restaurant is our chicken Kyiv meatballs," she says. "My mom made the best chicken Kyiv. Our twist, however, will be incorporating flavors like Boursin cheese, fresh chives, some butter, and a freshly baked ciabatta roll to soak up all the goodness.”

When in doubt, make sure you have your basics down so you’re giving your mashup the best chance of success. As Bisioulis says, “You can’t go wrong with a tried-and-true technique.”

If you don't feel like doing any food mashing yourself but still want to experience the trend, you can always explore a few local restaurants—you're likely to find these new menu matchups at your favorite spot this year.

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