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.