If your love for spicy foods is anywhere on the spectrum between having a favorite Ghost Pepper sauce and tattooing flames on your tongue, Pizza Hut’s Spicy Lover’s Pizza might disappoint you.
The latest from the pizza chain gets its heat from spicy marinara, sliced red chilis, and fiery flakes. It’s advertised with three varieties — Spicy Double Pepperoni, Spicy Hawaiian Chicken, and Spicy Veggie. As you can see in the photos, I went with the first one that comes with standard pepperoni slices and the newer crispy cupped pepperoni that made their debut with the chain’s Detroit-style pizza.
Even before trying it, I thought this would taste like a standard Pizza Hut pepperoni pizza, but, you know, spicy. For the most part, it does. However, there’s a nuance or two. The red chili slices give some bites a slight red bell pepper-like flavor, and it almost tricks my brain into thinking I’m biting into a supreme pizza. And then there’s the added flavor of those crispy cupped pepperoni that have a meatier and less greasy taste than the standard stuff.
With my first bite, I intentionally took one that had just the cheese, sauce, and bottom crust because I wanted to know how much heat the spicy marinara had. It burns, but the cheese and sauce’s sweetness make it a mild experience. The fiery flakes are a combination of herbs and crushed red pepper flakes. When I learned that, I was surprised because when I sprinkle the crushed red pepper flakes from the packets Pizza Hut provides, they give the slice a noticeable kick that I didn’t get with this pizza. It makes me wonder if I even got the seasoning.
Oh, if you’re wondering what those white-ish pieces are in the chili slices that look like they could be the fiery flakes, they appear to be pepper seeds because they show up only within the peppers. Even with those seeds, the chilis aren’t as spicy as the sauce.
Overall, the pizza I purchased had what I’d consider a low-medium heat. I’m typing this sentence 10 minutes since my last bite, and while there’s some spiciness lingering in my mouth, there hasn’t been any sweating, nose running, mad dashes to my fridge’s beverage shelf, or saying, “I can take it” as an internal mantra.
Pizza Hut’s Spicy Lover’s Double Pepperoni was a nice deviation from the standard pepperoni. Like most Pizza Hut offerings I’ve had, I found it enjoyable and filling. However, if you love spicy foods and are looking for something that pops a bunch of capsaicin into your mouth, you’ll probably be disappointed that this packs less heat than Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
(Day After Update: I had the pizza the next day for dinner and it was spicier to me. I’d say it was on par with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and my nose did start to run a little after eating the leftovers.)
Purchased Price: $16.99*
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 Hand Tossed Slice) 300 calories, 12 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 680 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 13 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.