REVIEW: Taco Bell Cheesy Chicken Crispanada

While others were gearing up for the Super Bowl, I was busy with my own personal Super Bowl, the Taco Bell Live Más LIVE event, which featured a whole lot of product news, including the announcement of the limited-time-only Cheesy Chicken Crispanada, a delightful bit of wordplay whose combination of “crispy” and “empanada” lives gamely up to the legacy of such hero portmanteaus as the “quesarito.” But is its taste equally impressive?

As a quick, handheld, Mexican-inspired comfort food packed with carbs, meat, and cheese, this offering fits perfectly into Taco Bell’s menu, but that familiarity has the downside of rendering it not particularly exciting.

Though this is a savory snack (unlike Taco Bell’s previous empanada, the no-longer-available Caramel Apple variant—RIP), the fried dough coating glistened in a way that reminded me of sweet treats like zeppole or beignets. My first bite of the crispy corner had a surprisingly deep, almost nutty flavor. I had expected the outer shell to be little more than a vessel for what was within, so I was intrigued that it had such a distinctive character. And that snap when I bit into it certainly lived up to the crispiness promised by the name!

Of course, I couldn’t get the whole picture without tasting the inner contents. Unfortunately, I also couldn’t taste the inner contents without burning the heck out of my tongue (and my hand when I accidentally allowed some of the molten filling to leak out, but that can probably be chalked up to user error).

This delicacy was fittingly, as the kids would say, pretty fire. (For my fellow olds, that means it was good!) The seasoned shredded chicken swims in a sea of cheeses, of which my discerning palate could pick out two different types: orange and white. Taco Bell’s press release, helpfully, is a bit more specific—the blend contains cheddar, mozzarella, and “Monterey pepper jack.” (I thought “Monterey Jack” and “Pepper Jack” were two separate things, but eh, I’ll bite my already-burnt tongue.) The press release also sings the praises of the presence of garlic, tomato, and onion, but honestly, I didn’t notice those at all. Oh, and if you want to add some additional hot flavoring to that hot temperature, the Crispanada comes with a side of Spicy Ranch sauce.

This all tastes pretty yummy, so perhaps my biggest complaint is that the filling didn’t, well, fill the entire empanada. It was primarily slathered onto one side, leaving most of the meal hollow. That airiness, combined with a portion on the more diminutive side, means that if you’re trying to make a meal of this, you’ll probably want to order two. You could also just opt for the Cheesy Chicken Crispanada Deluxe Box, which, in addition to its namesake, nets you a Chalupa Supreme, Beefy 5-Layer Burrito, medium fountain drink, and an order of Cinnamon Twists.

Ultimately, this item isn’t revolutionary, but it doesn’t really need to be. Those who generally like Taco Bell’s cheesy, chicken-y confections will enjoy it, and those who don’t… well, at least they can look forward to everything else announced at Live Más LIVE, like Baja Blast gelato!

Purchased Price: $4.49
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 280 calories, 15 grams of fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 520 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 11 grams of protein.

3 thoughts to “REVIEW: Taco Bell Cheesy Chicken Crispanada”

  1. Thankfully I only paid 3.79 for one last night, but even that was far to much. The “crimp” was much more pronounced on mine, and was very hard, I ended up cutting it off. Taste wise, I found it lacking, it was just blah.
    I won’t be ordering this again, and hope it disappears soon

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