REVIEW: Pizza Hut Mozzarella Poppers Pizza

Pizza Hut Mozzarella Poppers Pizza

I once had a dream that Pizza Hut here in the U.S. offered a pizza with large crispy mozzarella sticks as the end crust. When I woke up and wiped away the drool from my mouth, which ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT happen all the time, I realized it was all a dream, and the bodily fluids stopped coming out of my mouth and started rolling down from my eyes.

Pizza Hut’s Mozzarella Poppers Pizza is not the pizza of my salty dream. Instead of edges that are entirely made of crispy, breaded cheese sticks, the large pizza has 16 1.5-inch mozzarella-filled squares plopped onto and baked with the regular crust, and spaced out so that there will be two of them on each of the eight slices. The menu item also comes with two containers of marinara sauce for dipping.

Pizza Hut Mozzarella Poppers Pizza Closeup

It doesn’t take much effort to pop off the poppers from the pizza, which doesn’t have the iron grip that’s shown in promotional photos. Their breaded exteriors are seasoned with garlic, onion, parmesan, parsley, basil, and oregano, and they have a subtle crispiness. Thanks to the seasonings, I could eat them without dipping them into the sauce, but they taste better with it.

Pizza Hut Mozzarella Poppers Pizza Popper Closeup

The cheese wasn’t gooey, and it tastes similar to what’s in the chain’s original Stuffed Crust. If you’ve had a mozzarella stick, you know what you’re getting here.

Now, you could eat the poppers and end crust separately, leave them attached and eat them with the rest of the crust, or, if you don’t eat that part of a pizza, remove the cheese-filled squares and let the remaining bread rot forever in the hell where all the other discarded pizza crusts go to burn into charred lumps that’ll never be eaten. Sorry, remembering another dream I had.

If you like to eat crusts, I’d recommend leaving the poppers on to make it a little more tolerable, because the bread directly underneath them gets a little moist, probably due to the heat between them.

I have to admit the dough the poppers are sitting on with my pizza looks a bit undercooked when compared with the golden brown mozzarella poppers, but its texture and taste was fine while eating. Okay, the taste was super dull, but thankfully the two marinara containers have enough for the poppers and most of the remaining end crust. But it would be less boring if the poppers are left on.

As for the non-crust side, I ordered a modified Supreme, and it tasted like a…Pizza Hut Supreme Pizza. SURPRISE!

Overall, Pizza Hut’s Mozzarella Poppers Pizza is a bit ho-hum. The poppers themselves are a nice appetizer when dipped in marinara, but if you do that to all of them, you’re left with a crust that’s more bland than usual.

Of course, that could’ve been avoided if the edges were only mozzarella sticks or if the poppers were a topping. Yes, poppers as a topping was from another dream.

Purchased Price: $21.99* (Supreme)
Size: Large
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 slice – Supreme) 460 calories, 23 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 990 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 20 grams of protein.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.

REVIEW: Great Value Dessert Pizzas (Apple Cinnamon, Pineapple, and S’mores)

Great Value Dessert Pizzas

Pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening – Walmart has pizza for all the times!

(That fits the tune, right? Did you sing along as you read it? Solid.) ??It’s true, Walmart has decided we, as a species, don’t have enough solutions to our 24-hour pizza needs and has launched both a breakfast and a dessert line of pizzas. I, for one, will always and forever hail the cold-leftover-slice-of-pizza-straight-out-of-the-fridge as one of the most satisfying breakfast foods out there (HOW is it so delicious hot and cold?), so I went out to find the dessert situation it’s created.??I was lucky enough to stumble upon all three flavors of the new Great Value (I’ll be the judge of that) dessert pizzas and immediately knew I had to try them all — Pineapple, Cinnamon Apple, and S’ mores.

Great Value Cinnamon Apple Dessert Pizza Raw

Apple Cinnamon straight out of the box had enormous apple pieces atop the pizza along with blobs splattered of what I assume was supposed to be the icing drizzle. The word “drizzle” in the product description and image on the box is an outright lie.

Great Value Pineapple Dessert Pizza Raw

Pineapple had bright, appetizing pineapple pieces, a visible cinnamon sauce, and like its apple brethren, icing blobs trying their best to meet expectations of a “drizzle” but failing miserably.

Great Value S mores Dessert Pizza Raw

S’ mores appeared to be the closest to the image on the front of the package and had a plethora of marshmallows, chocolate pieces, and graham crumble. ??The prep instructions are straightforward, and the pizzas even come pre-wrapped sitting in an ovenable (real word, I looked it up) tray. So all you had to do was pull off the plastic wrap and pop it straight into the oven!

Great Value Cinnamon Apple Dessert Pizza Baked

With the Apple Cinnamon one, I didn’t realize when I got excited about the giant apple pieces that it takes longer than 18 minutes to heat those pieces of frozen apple. They were thawed but STILL COLD. They also had no added cinnamon/sugar flavor. When I bit into the pizza, I got a mix of decently-toasty sweet crust, lukewarm flavorless sugar goo icing, and a cold mass of apple that filled my mouth with cold liquid when I bit into it and didn’t taste like anything. It. Was. Horrible.

Great Value S mores Dessert Pizza Baked

The s’ mores pizza looked and smelled the most appetizing of the three. I mean, are we surprised? The crust was perfectly baked, solidly crispy on the bottom, but very soft (and thicker than I thought it would be) throughout. Honestly, this tasted like a big open-face chocolate babka with marshmallows, and I wasn’t mad at it. But I do wish the graham crumble and marshmallows had a strong enough flavor to compete with the chocolate. It was definitely the best of the three but didn’t quite live up to the s’ mores hype.

Great Value S mores Dessert Pizza Closeup

Sidebar about the crust – all three dessert pizzas say they’re made on a waffle crust. I tried really hard to believe what I was eating was a waffle base, but it wasn’t. It was still delightful, but more of a sweetened dessert focaccia than a waffle. There weren’t even any square indents.

Great Value Pineapple Dessert Pizza Baked

I realize that when I say this, many of you will roll your eyes so loud that I’ll be able to hear it — I like pineapple and ham pizza.

(Please stay calm)

Once baked, the Great Value Pineapple Dessert Pizza has a flavor that I imagine a pineapple upside-down cake on cinnamon toast would have. The crust was fine. It was sweet and definitely not a waffle. The cinnamon sauce could have had more of the warm spice, and the fruit chunks were delightful. Though, I’d still pick the cake version if forced to choose. For those of you who hate the golden fruit on pizza, this probably isn’t good enough to make a turncoat out of you.

Great Value S mores Dessert Pizza Slices

Overall, there’s a LOT of food for less than $5 with these pizzas, but the s’ mores one is the only one worth buying.

Purchased Price: $4.74 each
Size: 23.95 oz. (Apple Cinnamon), 23.55 oz. (Pineapple), 20.7 oz. (S’mores)
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 2 out of 10 (Apple Cinnamon), 5 out of 10 (Pineapple), 6 out of 10 (S’mores)
Nutrition Facts: (1/5 pizza) Cinnamon Apple – 320 calories, 11 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 370 milligrams of sodium, 51 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 19 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein. Pineapple – 310 calories, 10 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 330 milligrams of sodium, 49 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein. (1/4 pizza) S’mores – 420 calories, 12 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 430 milligrams of sodium, 74 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 30 grams of sugar, and 8 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Pizza Hut Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza

Pizza Hut Stuffed Cheez It Pizza Box

When I learned about Pizza Hut’s Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza, my jaw dropped. My mouth was so agape with astonishment that an entire Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza square could’ve fit into it.

Visually, it’s impressive. It has a Cheez-It cracker crust. It comes in a sweet Cheez-It themed box that I’m going to add to my collection of fast food packaging that my wife will ask me to throw away a month from now. And, the pieces are shaped like GIANT Cheez-It crackers. Pizza Hut did a great job at making them look like the beloved snack, even doing the rigid edges and hole in the middle. And, might I say, they look extra toasty.

Pizza Hut Stuffed Cheez It Pizza Box Inside

Pizza Hut Stuffed Cheez It Pizza Shape

Each pizza comes with four pieces that measure around three inches. It’s available with either cheese or pepperoni and cheese, and comes with a marinara dipping sauce. I went with the meat and cheese option.

When I pulled back the lid, a Cheez-It aroma plume rose from the packaging and shot up my nostrils as if I was huffing a box of the crackers. As for the flavor, the cheesy goodness that we all know and love, unless you love Cheese Nips, comes through in the crust. However, that Cheez-It taste is more prevalent along the edges, but much less so towards the middle. The edges also provide the most crunch. It’s not as mouth vibrating as the actual crackers, but it’s a pleasing chomp.

Pizza Hut Stuffed Cheez It Pizza Filling

The cheese and pepperoni filling isn’t bold enough to take away the spotlight from the Cheez-It crust. To be honest, I’m not sure it enhances the flavor in any way. Plus, its texture was not what I was expecting. I thought the cheese would ooze out somewhat. The filling is so dense that there’s no oozing or stringy cheese; it’s a congealed combination of cheese and pepperoni, which is a little weird when looking at a cross section of it. It looks like fatty raw meat.

Pizza Hut Stuffed Cheez It Pizza Sauce

At first, I questioned the addition of marinara because I didn’t think the cracker’s flavor would come through with the sauce. Thankfully, it still does, and it surprisingly tastes okay with the crust’s flavor, but it’s not tasty enough that I’m going start replacing spaghetti noodles with Cheez-It crackers.

Pizza Hut’s Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza is something I’m happy I tried, but I wouldn’t purchase it again. Pizza is in its name, but to me, they seem more like super fancy cheesy breadsticks. Also, because the filling is so dense, it got a little too rich for me while in the middle of eating a second piece. But, if you love Cheez-It crackers, it’s something you should get one time because it’ll be neat to experience the snack in an unusual form.

Purchased Price: $7.99
Size: N/A
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 square) 240 calories, 15 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 430 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 9 grams of protein.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.

REVIEW: Pizza Hut Original Pan Pizza (2019)

Pizza Hut Original Pan Pizza  2019

It was a surprise to me when I heard Pizza Hut was “repairing” its Pan Pizza recipe, changing the type of cheese and, more important, utilizing a new baking method meant to “enhance” the crust’s flavor. I really didn’t know people even had a problem with it.

Recently, I went to the neighborhood Pizza Hut down the street from my house and ordered, for myself, a Personal Pan Pizza, making sure from the pizza-barista that they utilize this new process at about a fourth the size, just like they do their full-size. Confirmed and comfortable, I ordered one with pepperoni. The smell of the baking pizza floated about the small building, enticing me in a way the Hut never had before.

Brought to my table — that was fully emblazoned with Wing Street logos, natch — I opened up the adorable miniature pizza box and, after snapping a couple of pictures, gently pulled a small slice from the somewhat larger pie, the new cheese stringing across the box like it was being filmed for a recent commercial campaign.

Pizza Hut Original Pan Pizza  2019 Slice

Full steam ahead, I bit into the pan pizza; the cheese was notably different right from the start — a bit more heavy than usual and with somewhat more of a fuller bite — it was definitely an improvement on the old recipe. Using a part-skim mozzarella cheese, there seems to be far more of it, making it a wonderfully cheesy mess. The tomato sauce, additionally, melded very well to the cheese, pairing together like some well-worn partners in pizza-esque crime.

But, and this was what made it for me, the crust tasted absolutely new and improved. The buttery richness of the baked dough made me want a loaf of this as a crispy bread, with maybe the aforementioned melted cheese as a cruel dipping sauce of sorts. Can we get on this idea, Pizza Hut?

While the calorie count, even for a Personal, is quite loaded at 610 calories, it might be worth it on a special cheat day just to desperately try these modern improvements in the pizza-making abilities of Pizza Hut, no matter how long you’ve been away from or how often you likely go to the Hut. Cómpralo ya!

Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: Personal Pan Pizza
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 610 calories, 26 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1260 milligrams of sodium, 69 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 25 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Pizza Hut Pepperoni P’Zone (2019)

Pizza Hut Pepperoni P Zone

When it comes to junk food nostalgia most of my flashbacks are of the sweet variety. Dunkaroos, Surge, and WWF’s Hulk Hogan cereal always pull me back to the simpler days, but there are a few savory items that I look back on with glowing glee as well. 3D Doritos tend to be at the top of most older millennial’s junk food wishlists, and I personally loved the Taco Doritos that seemed to vanish sometime in the early 2000s.

But recently, very recently, in fact, I was wondering what the hell happened to Pizza Hut’s P’Zone. For a company aligned with Taco Bell and known for making zany limited time items, I couldn’t understand why the company’s financially friendly twist on the calzone disappeared years ago without a proper farewell.

Suffer no more, the giant Hot Pocket of meat and cheese that I fell in love with as a stoned teenager in smoky basements is back, and it got a bit of a facelift.

Pizza Hut Pepperoni P Zone 2

The most immediate difference is in the appearance of the outer crust. While the 2019 P’Zone has the same shape and general size of the original, it’s covered in a toasted orange Parmesan that immediately evokes an asiago bagel. The original P’Zone was garnished with traditional pizzeria-style parmesan sprinkles and parsley, which sat nicely atop of golden brown dough. The new iteration still looks good, but it’s not the same as the one I fell in love with, and I just have to learn to let go.

The bagel experience doesn’t end with appearance. When I bite in, I wonder if I’m sitting inside of a Noah’s at 8 a.m. or on my couch with remote in hand at 8 p.m. The parmesan’s funky intensity stands out, but almost to a fault as I find it to be a bit distracting. When you pair the distinct sharp cheesiness with the bread’s pretty prominent fluffiness, the 2019 P’Zone does feel a bit more like a bagel than a pizza.

Pizza Hut Pepperoni P Zone Innards

The P’Zone was never as loaded as a true calzone, which tends to be thicker and taller and oftentimes a knife-and-fork situation; whereas Pizza Hut’s take is much more of a finger food with a flatter profile. The toppings inside, although not extremely dense, are good and present enough to bring the pizza pizazz I’m looking for.

Pizza Hut Pepperoni P Zone Dipped

Taken as it is the P’Zone is good but a bit underwhelming. However, when dunked into the generously sized cup of marinara sauce, it’s damn good. The pizza sauce brings some poppin’ acidity and moisture that makes the ‘zone taste much more fresh, engaging, and something I want more bites of.

While it isn’t quite as sensational as I remembered as a stoned teenager, I can’t help but be excited about the return of the budget-friendly and filling option at Pizza Hut. In the scope of chain pizza restaurants Pizza Hut isn’t really on my radar unless I’m craving its stuffed crust, but even then Little Caesars does an admirable job at a lower cost.

That being said, the P’Zone being back, as an apparent permanent addition to the menu, ensures I’ll be back at The Hut before the end of the year, and the buzz of its return is sure to lure many other early 2000s nostalgia hunters through its greasy shop doors in no time.

Purchased Price: $5.99
Size: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/2 P’Zone) 460 calories, 16 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1170 milligrams of sodium, 60 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 19 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Pizza Hut Hot Sriracha Chicken Pizza (Canada)

Pizza Hut Hot Sriracha Chicken Pizza

I like Pizza Hut. It might be my favourite of the big pizza chains. Not that I even think the pizzas are that great, but I appreciate that they know exactly what they are: a purveyor of junky fast food.

They don’t have the delusions of grandeur like some other chains; there’s no “rustic” this or “artisan” that. What they will do, however, is cram cheese, hot dogs, and whatever else they can think of into a crust so oil-laden that it will leave your hands slick with grease if you handle it for even just a second or two. They’ll top the pizza with stuff like poutine or butter chicken.

They know exactly what they are, and they’re not ashamed of it. I like that.

Which is to say that replacing the tomato sauce in a pizza with sriracha is a distinctively Pizza Huttian creation. But is it actually good? The short answer: better than you’d think! The long answer: read on, my friend.

The base of the pizza is the standard Pizza Hut Pan Pizza. It is what it is; you either like it or you don’t, and personally, I like it (and I’m a little bit in awe of how they’re able to cram so much grease into the thing). It’s not something you’d want to eat every day, but when you’re in the mood for that crispy, greasy goodness, it satisfies.

Pizza Hut Hot Sriracha Chicken Pizza Closeup

It’s topped with sriracha, green peppers, banana peppers, grilled chicken strips, and, of course, mozzarella. And they’re definitely not kidding around with the sriracha: when I was driving the pizza home, it so thoroughly filled the car with that very distinctive sriracha aroma that the spice vapours actually tickled my nose a bit.

Sadly, it’s not quite as spicy as I might have hoped. It’s hot, don’t get me wrong, but on the mild-medium-hot scale, it falls squarely in the middle. It’s certainly not as spicy as any variety of sriracha that I’ve tried — and sriracha isn’t even close to the hottest hot sauce out there. Clearly, they’re using a very mild sriracha, or they’re diluting it with something.

Pizza Hut Hot Sriracha Chicken Pizza Slice

The flavour is certainly there, however — it’s got that satisfyingly sweet, slightly garlicky flavour that’s made sriracha so hot over the last couple of years (Get it? Hot?? World Pun Championships, here I come!).

The banana peppers are banana peppers. Personally I’m not a fan, and this pizza did nothing to change my mind. I don’t mind them in theory, but every time I get them on a pizza — without fail — I wind up chomping down on a rock-hard stem. I’m convinced that banana peppers are at least 50 percent borderline-inedible stems. And they’re not even that hot, so what’s the point? Banana peppers are the spicy pizza topping for people who don’t actually like spice.

The other toppings were fine. The green peppers added some crunch and a bit of flavour, which worked well with the other elements of the pizza. The chicken is, I’m pretty sure, of the processed variety rather than actual pieces of chicken. It’s a bit rubbery, but it’s okay. It’s not egregious, and there’s enough else going on here that you can’t really tell either way.

The cheese, like the crust, is standard Pizza Hut. Gooey, slightly salty, and abundant.

All in all, it’s not a bad pizza. Subbing out tomato sauce for sriracha could have been a disaster, but somehow, it works. It certainly earns its name, as that distinctive condiment is very much the dominant flavour here. I wish it were spicier, but if you like Sriracha and don’t mind pizzas of the bastardized variety, I’d give this one a shot.

(Nutrition Facts – Not available on Pizza Hut Canada website.)

Item: Pizza Hut Hot Sriracha Chicken Pizza
Purchased Price: $18.00 CAN
Size: Large
Purchased at: Pizza Hut
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Serious sriracha flavour. The toppings (mostly) work pretty well together. Pizza Hut Pan Pizza crust continues to be a junky classic.
Cons: Not as spicy as you’d think. Banana peppers are the worst. Slightly chewy chicken. Realizing that the “hot” pun is not nearly good enough to get me to the World Pun Championships.