Taco Bell has always been different in how it approaches new items. Sometimes it takes huge swings with things like the Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco. Other times, it finds a way to remix a few ingredients and package it as a new item. The Chipotle Cheddar Chalupa falls squarely into the latter.
It consists of a deep fried flatbread shell, seasoned beef, tomato, lettuce, creamy chipotle sauce, and shredded cheddar cheese. To be entirely honest, I was a little underwhelmed when I first ordered it. A change of cheese and substituting sour cream with chipotle sauce didn’t seem like it would make much of a difference. After the first bite, I was eating my words.
The creamy chipotle sauce is the same one used in the Spicy Potato Soft Taco. It’s creamy, smokey, and offers just a little bit of heat without being painfully spicy. It was a pleasant surprise when I took a bite of the chalupa and realized it was the same sauce. Using shredded cheddar cheese instead of the shredded three cheese blend added a little more sharpness, but it didn’t stand out like the chipotle sauce. The chalupa shell will always be one of the best food items Taco Bell has ever added to not only its lineup, but the fast food landscape.
I honestly don’t know why I thought I would be underwhelmed with the item considering my deep love for the long discontinued Baja Beef Chalupa. The simple swap was absolutely delicious and made me want to get it again or, at the very least, remember the customization for next time. Although, when this item eventually is no longer offered, the cost to customize a chalupa to this recipe will run me a dollar more.
I would love to see Taco Bell bring back a few variations to standard menu items on a more permanent basis (like the Baja or Nacho Chalupas were). At the very least, it should be a 1 for 1 swap that doesn’t cost more to remove a sauce and add another.
The Chipotle Cheddar Chalupa isn’t going to change the world, but it does an excellent job of adding a new twist to a standard product and to shake me out of my Taco Bell rut. I tend to stick with the same three items when I go to Taco Bell, so it was a nice reminder to explore outside the norm. Even if it’s as simple as swapping sauces.
Purchased Price: $3.99
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 420 calories, 28 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 610 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 12 grams of protein.