REVIEW: Papa John’s Epic Stuffed Crust Pizza

Papa John s Epic Stuffed Crust Pizza Whole

The year is 1995. Coolio is busy living in a gangsta’s paradise. Alicia Silverstone — as Cher Horowitz or Hamilton (they accidentally gave her two last names) — was falling in love with her stepbrother, but no one cared because hey, it was Paul Rudd. And, an innovation that would change the junk food world forever, Pizza Hut was stuffing cheese in its crust. The chain also attempted to convince the American people that “eating your pizza backwards” was a thing everyone would start doing.

(Spoiler alert: no one actually did this.)

Fast forward 25 years. Coolio is living…man, who knows where Coolio is living these days. Paul Rudd has eclipsed his stepsister’s fame by a wide margin. Pizza Hut is still slinging cheese-stuffed crusts, and has even been known to occasionally put other things in there, too. (Hot dogs, bacon, shrimp and mayo, Marmite.)

Meanwhile, competitor, Papa John’s? In all these years, they’ve never stuffed anything into a crust.

So, if you were in Product Development for Papa John’s, what would you do? Why you’d introduce your own version of the stuffed crust pizza to capitalize on an idea Pizza Hut begat a quarter-century ago.

It’s 2020, so sure, why not?

Here’s the absolutely bizarre thing about this pizza: the pizza body is no different than a normal Papa John’s body, but the hat? Tastes exactly like Pizza Hut’s Stuffed Crust. It’s almost like a Frankensteinian operation that involves surgically grafting the two pizzas together.

Papa John s Epic Stuffed Crust Pizza Slice

From the slice’s point up to the crust, it is distinctly Papa — the sweet sauce, the cheese that doesn’t do much stretching (and sadly, wasn’t even melted uniformly on mine), and whatever toppings you choose to make it your own. (For the sake of the review, I went with pepperoni.) The point being, you’ve had this pizza. And you are either fine with it or don’t like it; this particular incarnation won’t do anything to change that.

Papa John s Epic Stuffed Crust Pizza Cheese

Then you get to the crust. And, like I said, you’ve probably had this, too, just not from Papa John’s. The thing I find most unusual is that the dough used to make this crust is probably Papa’s regular hand-tossed, or “original” dough, just, you know, stretched. It’s the same way Pizza Hut does it. But Pizza Hut’s hand-tossed dough is decidedly different than Papa John’s, wouldn’t you agree? They’re distinct until they’re stretched and stuffed with cheese around the perimeter! Something about that act makes the two crusts indiscernible.

Papa John s Epic Stuffed Crust Pizza Flyover

Overall the cheese in the crust is warm and appropriately stretchy and a nice way to end a slice. With Pizza Hut’s version, you can add some flavor to the crust, like a garlic buttery blend or toasted parmesan, which elevates things. Papa John’s crust didn’t have butter, but it would’ve added a little something. Not to be a broken record, but if you like Hut’s stuffed crust, you’ll like this, too.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go see if I can find out how Coolio is doing.

Purchased Price: $12
Size: Large
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Unavailable at time of publication.

Click here for our previous fast food reviews.

11 thoughts to “REVIEW: Papa John’s Epic Stuffed Crust Pizza”

  1. Not a big Pappa John’s fan, but this pizza was really good. The one I bought had a ton of cheese in the crust. It was a very heavy pizza. I enjoyed it.

  2. I’m a fan of Papa John’s if I want cheaper, pick-up pie in 15-20 minutes, or delivered. Stuffed crust isn’t my style, thin crust is. That said, this looks tasty. If I had a side of marinara, I could destroy a few slices before being very full from all of the dough.

  3. I’m actually picturing an evil scientist yelling “It’s alive!” over a pizza, so thanks for that extremely stupid mental image. 😛

  4. I could not disagree more with the reviewer thinking this is similar to Pizza Hut’s stuffed crust. Pizza Hut’s hand tossed dough is unbearingly sweet. Papa’s dough is a bit more “bready.” Also, every time (only a couple in my whole life) that I remember getting Pizza Hut stuffed crust, the crust never seemed quite as stuffed as this Papa Johns one was when I tried it. So overall I quite liked it. I’d recommend pairing the stuffed crust with their spicy garlic sauce!

  5. I’m not a fan of stuffed crust in general but my hub wanted try it the other night, and I gotta tell you it was very good. Garlic sauce really elevates it and they don’t put too much cheese in the crust so it’s actually not overly cheesetastic. I’d order it again.

  6. This pizza is AWESOME! It takes the crown of stuffed crust! I liked how the pizza slices themselves had really thin dough compared to the crust, kinda balanced the whole thing out and there was HELLA cheese stuffed in there. And free garlic butter as always? Amazing.

  7. Pizza hut is still the Stuffed crust king, papa john’s can’t re invent the wheel, but it comes close. Definitely not something I’d try or order again but it was a darn good looking pie, saucy, cheesy, flavorful toppings, and the crust was extras stuffed but it wasn’t like original we all know and love.

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