REVIEW: Papa Johns Garlic Epic Stuffed Crust Pizza

Papa Johns Garlic Epic Stuffed Crust Pizza Whole

When Papa Johns showed up fashionably late to the stuffed crust pizza party in December of 2020, it may not have been timely, but it certainly arrived with a splash. The somewhat silly-titled “Epic Stuffed Crust” was no different than what Pizza Hut innovated in 1995, and yet, in my humble but experienced opinion, the Papa beat the Hut at its own game.

As a child of the 90s, the stuffed crust is an ever-shining beacon of culinary genius and one that will keep Pizza Hut in my heart forever. But its quality has gone so downhill in recent years that I never go there unless it’s to try a new unique item, unlike Papa Johns, which I keep on speed dial. For its third iteration of the Epic Stuffed Crust, Papa makes the pizza even more Papa-ified by incorporating the signature garlic sauce that makes it stand out amongst the other chains. It’s an Epic Stuffed Crust Pizza with a garlic parmesan seasoned and drizzled crust, original pizza sauce, melty cheese, and your choice of one topping, which comes standard as pepperoni.

Papa Johns Garlic Epic Stuffed Crust Pizza Crust

This review is pretty straightforward – if you like Papa John’s Stuffed Crust and its Special Garlic Dipping Sauce, you’ll like this pie. In fact, I only have two gripes with this pizza.

  1. I just moved to a denser and crazier part of the city where, for some reason, the one topping promotion is $20.99 instead of $13.99, so it cost more than I expected.
  2. I wish there was more garlic.

Papa Johns Garlic Epic Stuffed Crust Pizza Cheese

This is a cheesy, indulgent, downright delicious, and addictive pizza that very well might be my favorite iteration of Papa John’s best-in-class stuffed crust, but it isn’t all that garlicky. The seasoning on the crust is excellent and does very well to elevate the epic-ness of having tons of perfectly ooey gooey cheese in the crust, but it leans much more into the parmesan than the garlic for a nice crunchy umami bite that’s wonderful, but not garlicky.

Papa Johns Garlic Epic Stuffed Crust Pizza Slice

The toppings at Papa Johns have always seemed like the freshest and most abundant of all the mainstream chains, which is why it has been my favorite for over a decade. The sauce is sweet yet robust, the cheese has a nice dense flavor, and the pepperoni brings a nice crispiness and a hint of spice. Speaking of which, any time you’re ordering a pizza from a chain like this, make sure to get it well done. You’re very rarely, if ever, going to get a burnt pie, but these places crank out so many pizzas at such a fast rate they may pull it when it’s a touch underdone, and requesting well done, like I did, will ensure you get a properly cooked and delicious pizza.

While this could use some actual diced garlic like you’d find on garlic knots to really bring the concept home, it’s still an absolutely delicious pie that’s, without a doubt, my favorite new fast food item this year. Plus, if you’re getting this for $14 instead of $21 like my unfortunate metropolitan-dwelling self, it’s a helluva deal, and I’d grab it while you can.

Purchased Price: $20.99 (but should be $13.99 in your area)
Size: Large 1 Topping
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 slice) 420 calories, 16 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 990 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 16 grams of protein.

17 thoughts to “REVIEW: Papa Johns Garlic Epic Stuffed Crust Pizza”

    1. I have read online that this is in the works and they’re just waiting to get a bigger container of the spicy sauce! ?

  1. I used to get Pizza Hut Stuffed Crust all the time in college, and then…. something changed. I actually contacted them about it because it was such a weird shift in quality, but they insisted that it was the exact same recipe as always. Needless to say I haven’t ordered from Pizza Hut again in years, so maybe this one’s worth a shot.

    1. Pizza Hut styles have changed dramatically over the years. Today’s Pan, Hand Tossed, and Big New Yorker styles are nothing like the Pan, Hand Tossed and Big New Yorker styles of my youth. Hell, even when they brought back the P’Zone a couple years ago it was completely different.

      I place the blame on Yum! Brand’s insane drive for min-max’ing their chains’ profit margins and so no recipe is off-limits if they can tinker it in some way to make it cheaper to produce. The annoying thing is that Pizza Hut’s prices keep going up while the quality goes down. Out here their pizzas cost as much or more as the non-chain pizza places, which is just wacky. It would be like if McDonald’s had the most expensive burgers in town.

    1. in my experience, pizza restaurants usually have plates & napkins to distribute upon request in a delivery app or in person – sometimes at an additional fee, but often at no cost.

    2. The employee offered them to me for free! Was very nice of him, and since I just moved the week before it meant not dishes – double win! 🙂

    1. It truly is the ultimate simple and FREE hack! It’s especially convenient if you’re using an app like Papa Johns or Dominoes and the option is right there 🙂

  2. Like the writer of the post, I was not impressed with the lack of garlic flavor, although the dipping cup of garlic sauce definitely satisfied that need. I think the default crust on pizzas from Domino’s includes a bit of garlic flavor, so for me the only difference between this Papa John’s pizza and a standard Domino’s pizza is the stuffed crust.

  3. I’ve had it 2x and love it! Both I paid special price. Great bargains. Love Asia w/ pepperoni but added garlic I could go for too. Delicious.

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