REVIEW: Tony’s Original Crust Macaroni & Cheese Pizza

Written by | June 22, 2012

Topics: 6 Rating, Frozen Food, Pizza, Tony's

Tony's Original Crust Macaroni & Cheese Pizza

You know how some items seem to be around for no reason except someone thought up a good commercial, then realized the product didn’t technically exist, so they had to quickly create it? It sort of feels like Tony’s Original Crust Macaroni & Cheese Pizza is one of those products.

I picture a smarmy ad executive (yes, he looks exactly like Don Draper), leaning contemplatively in his chair. He finishes his cigarette, stubs it out, steals a glance at Christina Hendricks’ cleavage. Satisfied, he stands and reaches for his hat… and stops. Stares straight ahead for a full 30 seconds, then grabs a sheet of paper and begins scribbling excitedly. When he finishes, he’s looking at a storyboard of a brother and sister standing face to face, scowling.

The girl yells “But I want macaroni and cheeeeese!” The boy retorts, “Too bad, Mom said we could have pizza!” Then the mother steps into frame, boasting a smile only achievable through extensive surgical work or pounds of medical-grade marijuana. “Kids, kids!” she says, laughing gently, “Who says we can’t have both?” Reaching behind her to retrieve the box she must have strapped to her back, she brings it out and shows us the label as the kids’ eyes light up: Macaroni & cheese pizza. And life makes sense once again.

Actually, jokes notwithstanding, I was eager to try this product. I’ve had baked ziti pizza from Italian restaurants before, when I’m in a particularly “Screw it, we’ve all gotta go sometime” mood. But I’ve never had mac n’ cheese pizza before, and frankly I wondered if Tony’s could get even close to the gooey, artery-hardening deliciosity that is freshly-made baked ziti pizza. (These are the things I think about since our favorite local pizza place closed for repairs after the neighboring deli suspiciously burned down. True story.)

Obviously you don’t expect it to be as thick as an actual pizzeria pie, but it must be said that this is a mighty thin pizza, even with the layer of mac n’ cheese. And that’s probably attributable to the fact that there’s no marinara sauce to be found. I probably should have surmised that from the box, but it came as an unpleasant surprise that didn’t fill me with confidence. It still looks pretty good, but it definitely feels more like you’re eating macaroni off of flatbread, rather than as a topping on pizza.

Tony's Original Crust Macaroni & Cheese Pizza Baked

You’ll note there are two cheeses visible in the photo — obviously mozzarella is the primary base, but there’s a reasonable, though not overly generous, helping of cheddar scattered throughout. They proudly advertise that the new square shape fills the box, which I think is meant to imply you’re getting more pizza for the same price. That’s probably true, although cutting it into quarters makes the slices a bitch to eat without smearing grease all over your face. Or maybe that’s just me and my refusal to eat the crust until every other bite is gone. Yeah, probably just me. Anyway, I appreciate the extra surface area.

But ultimately quantity is irrelevant if the taste isn’t up to par, so what’s the verdict? Well… serviceable. It’s not bad — the crust is crunchy but not hard, the two kinds of cheeses are distinct, and the macaroni has a soft but not slimy texture. Plus it’s pizza and beer on a Friday night, it’s impossible to completely screw that up.

That said, it also tastes like exactly what it is: artificial mac n’ cheese on a frozen pizza. There’s nothing bold or fresh about the flavor, no interesting spices you didn’t expect. It’s relatively pleasing in the moment and then immediately forgotten afterward, like a date with me. When all’s said and done, this is a decent option if you’re trying to save money or the best Italian restaurant in your town is Sbarro’s. But if you live anywhere near a decent pizza joint, it’s worth the trek for the real thing.

(Nutrition Facts — 1/4 pizza — 280 calories, 80 calories from fat, 9 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 500 milligrams of sodium, 100 milligrams of potassium, 40 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 8 grams of sugars, and 10 grams of protein.)

Item: Tony’s Original Crust Macaroni & Cheese Pizza
Purchased Price: $2.49
Size: 17.00 oz
Purchased at: Wegman’s
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Square to fill the entire box. Satisfies two demographics. Visually appealing. For what it is, not ridiculously unhealthy. Pretty good taste. Which came first, the ad or the product?
Cons: Nothing remotely surprising. No marinara sauce. Thin. A little more cheddar would’ve been nice. Suspicious fires that take out your favorite pizza place as collateral damage.






21 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Kelley says:

    Man, I thought that would wind up being way more disturbing than it turned out. While kind of stupid, I guess I should have realized it’s just crappy mac and cheese on a pizza crust. I usually drown my crappy mac and cheese in Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning and Tapatio sauce, so maybe I have no room to talk.

  2. Carly says:

    Oof. Mac and cheese pizza is one of those things I’ve only seen on tv (all of those random shows that just take you around and show you junk food with really dramatic narration, commercials for “CiCi’s Pizza Buffet” which is one of those places I sort of suspect doesn’t really exist because I’ve never seen one or heard anyone ever so much as mention it outside of the ads, etc.), and I secretly like the idea and always want it to look good, but it never does. Probably because no one who actually makes a good pizza would consider it? Maybe it’s for the best.

  3. Kelley says:

    I live in AZ also, and while I’ve never actually seen a Cici’s (I’m sure I’ve just turned a blind eye), I’ve seen their commercials, and the idea of a pizza buffet intrigues me, while at the same time, I know in my heart it’s just quantity over quality. Which does, occasionally, appeal to me. “Oh, I WILL eat my money’s worth. Now someone roll me home.”

    • Drew says:

      I assume it’s probably the same quality as like cafeteria pizza from back in school. Which would still be worth $4 for as much as you can eat, I think.

      I might draw the line at hospital pizza, though. Had that when both kids were born, and it was a mistake both times.

  4. cagseg says:

    I’ve seen this in the store and wondered about it. Now I know to give it a try, if just for the novelty of Mac-n-cheese pizza.

  5. Zachary Jacob Zblewski says:

    I have had many a Mac n cheese pizza in my life, and none of them had pizza sauce on them. I don’t think such a thing exists. Also, cut the pizza in quarters and then cut each quarter in half diagonally from corner to corner. Tada, triangles!

    • Drew says:

      I would, but I did a puzzle once as a kid that made me create six equal pieces using only two cuts, and I just assume that rule is still in effect.

  6. stevenp says:

    Haven’t had mac&cheese pizza, but seevral places around here serve up ziti pizza–has sauce and mozzarella. Not quite the same, but good! As for Cici’s, been to one in Florida and it was surprisingly good and ridiculously cheap. Pizzas come out fresh-baked pretty regularly, and are not bad at all–lots of variety. Plus soup and salad–can’t beat it!

  7. James says:

    I saw this while walking through my local Hy-Vee and it pretty much stopped me in my tracks. It is such a horrifying creation, but there was no way I was leaving the store without it.

    As for the quality… Well, it is a frozen pizza from one of the cheaper lines out there, so I wasn’t expecting much. I have never been much of a fan of Tony’s pizza, I would much rather take a step down in price and go for a Totino’s or just pay a bit more for a Red Baron or something, but this one was actually decent. Certainly different.

  8. podunkboy says:

    I haven’t tried this pizza, although when I make pizza at home I’ve considered dumping some leftover mac and cheese on a crust and seeing how that would work.
    Cici’s ‘mac and cheese’ pizza actually uses cavatappi noodles (hollow corkscrews) and has a decent cheese flavor but the pasta’s overcooked to start so it’s mushy my the time it clears the oven. Kids seem to like it, I think it’s a waste of plate space. The best thing about Cici’s is their hot fresh cinnamon rolls and bavarian cream dessert pizzas, and their spinach alfredo pizza. Their large carry-out pizzas are ridiculously cheap ($5-$6) so you can feed a crowd of teenagers for $20 and change.

  9. Cathy says:

    Read everyone’s comments, so will be commenting on both, the pizza and comments. When my boys were little, we ate Tony’s all the time, but then they changed their sauce to be spicier, and “I” couldn’t handle it. The oldest son still loves it. The youngest is still at home, and I buy Red Baron (also gotten spicier). Anyway, he asked for Tony’s today when I was going to the store, and as usual, I didn’t stand and read the entire package, I thought I was picking up a cheese pizza. Nah, it was mac and cheese pizza. Now I love mac and cheese, but the idea of it on pizza didn’t sound good. He thought it was ok to try(meaning I don’t think he wants it again). I took one bite and left the rest. Didn’t like it at all. Also found out, like was mentioned, there was no sauce. It was mac and cheese on flatbread. I won’t be buying it again. We have Cici’s here in Southern OH and I’ve had them before as well, probably 6 years ago. It is a great deal, but I wasn’t overly impressed with the taste, so haven’t gone back.

  10. Laily says:

    I like all pizza, as long as it has decent flavor & texture, but i have to say that Tony’s frozen pizza is just BAD. It’s the worst, doesn’t matter if it’s cheap, it should at least be edible. Even Totino’s “party pizza” is better than Tony’s, & it’s even CHEAPER. I’ve tried their original cheese & deep dish singles, but both were disgusting. Really spicy sauce, fake cheese & barely any of it, & bland cardboard crust. ‘Cause of your review, I will give their Mac & Cheese pizza a try just for the heck of it, but I just won’t expect much. I so wish we had a CiCi’s in the Bay Area, it seems like such an awesome deal for unlimited pizza, soup, salad, dessert. As long as the quality is better than Tony’s pizza, it’s worth the $4-5 bucks.

  11. Jon says:

    TASTELESS… I dunno why my grocery store stocks so much of this… probably because it never sells.

    AVOID

  12. The square doesn't compare says:

    I used to really love Tony’s pizzas. At one time they were my favorite of all frozen pizzas. I want to know what happened to the design when they changed from round to square. Apparently sauce doesn’t need to be used anymore to make a pizza, and in it’s place it needs to be substituted with three times the amount of cheese. Nothing like a pound of cheese per square inch to really drown out the flavor of what was once a great frozen slice of Italy. I never buy Tony’s pizzas anymore, and never will again because of their new horrid recipe. They lost a lifetime customer and and will continue to lose more until they stop trying to reinvent the wheel. There’s a reason why wheels went from square to round.

  13. The square doesn't compare says:

    I used to really love Tony’s pizzas. At one time they were my favorite of all frozen pizzas. I want to know what happened to the design when they changed from round to square. Apparently sauce doesn’t need to be used anymore to make a pizza, and in it’s place it needs to be substituted with three times the amount of cheese. Nothing like a pound of cheese per square inch to really drown out the flavor of what was once a great frozen slice of Italy. I never buy Tony’s pizzas anymore, and I never will again because of their new horrid recipe. They lost a lifetime customer and and will continue to lose more until they stop trying to reinvent the wheel. There’s a reason why wheels went from square to round.

  14. Kelly R. says:

    My family totally loves this product. We tried it on a whim not expecting much but when we had it we found the macaroni had very good mouth “feelability” The cheese tasted very good (there is no room or reason for marinara sauce on mac and cheese pizza so for those of you who don’t like the absence of sauce, get over it!) The crust came out just right, not crunchy and not too chewy. We also prefer the new square design as we don’t have any round pizza pans and these fit on our cookie sheets. So this has become our new favorite snack and sometimes dinner item.

  15. jutmart says:

    I have been eating mac ‘n cheese pizza for years now, partly because I thought I’d had the idea first. Then I was out at an incredible restaurant in NH and they actually had it on the menu! This was almost 10 years ago now, so clearly mac ‘n cheese pizza is not a new idea. In fact, I’ve had mac ‘n cheese on pizza everywhere from NYC to LA, but this is the first frozen pizza manufacturer to market this pizza type. Obviously it can’t compare to gourmet pizza, what do you expect? I have not tried it, but I will if I can find some just to satisfy my suspicions. I find it far tastier to cook it up homemade, but if it’s a quick late night snack you want (and can’t decide between pizza or mac ‘n cheese) this sounds like an ok choice.



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