Pizza Hut and Cheez-It have teamed up for a first-of-its-kind creation, The Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza, and the reviews from online tastemakers are mostly positive.
Now available on Pizza Hut menus nationwide, the limited-time-only Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza, which is really more like an appetizer or snack, features four baked jumbo squares topped with that distinctly sharp taste from Cheez-It. Each crispy square is stuffed with either cheese or pepperoni and cheese and served up with a side of marinara dipping sauce.
“We pride ourselves on being the go-to for unexpected pizza innovations, and I can’t think of a more badass partner than Cheez-It to bring our next original menu item to life,” said Marianne Radley, the chief brand officer at Pizza Hut. “Not to mention, this collab is the perfect way to kick off football season, combining America’s go-to gameday cravings into one next-level snack.”
Cheez-It is a popular snack among one of Pizza Hut’s largest fan bases: college students. Armed with that insight, the Pizza Hut culinary team worked with Cheez-It to create a product that ties the best of both pizza and Cheez-It worlds into one new innovation that delivers exactly what those customers want.
“Kellogg’s iconic Cheez-It brand brings a whole new dining experience to Pizza Hut lovers and will not disappoint,” said Wendy Davidson, president of Kellogg’s U.S. specialty channels. “The Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza is an example of two great companies leveraging their strengths to delight guests with a new experience on a classic favorite.”
But the new menu item has its detractors. Business Insider called the Stuffed Cheez-It “just plain bad,” adding, “We tried the Cheez-It Pizza, and we were horrified to discover that it tasted neither like Cheez-It or pizza.”
But The Takeout disagreed. “The good news is that the exterior crust does taste like a Cheez-It,” Aimee Levitt’s review stated. “It has that same sharp, artificial cheddar flavor that we know and are so strangely addicted to. The interior tastes like Pizza Hut cheese and pepperoni: slightly plastic, very salty, a little spicy from the pepperoni.” In Levitt’s view, dipping the square in marinara sauce “somehow … balanced the whole bite. It was the sort of moment that restores my faith in fast food. They know what kind of monsters we are and know how to satisfy our basest urges.”
Meanwhile, Kat Thompson of Thrillist was taken aback by the app. “Honestly, it’s startling how Cheez-It-like this stuffed ‘pizza’ tasted,” she wrote. Although she thought the pepperoni version was too salty, the plain cheese was “dreamy.” She added, “It was gooey and melty and every other positive adjective you could use to describe cheese.”
Delish gave the Stuffed Cheez-It squares a thumbs-up, too: “They’re just a bit salty and come with a side of marinara to dip ’em in – honestly, we enjoyed them with and without the sauce, but since there’s no sauce inside (the squares), dipping does give them a little more of a pizza taste.”
The Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza is available exclusively at Pizza Hut at the regular menu price of $6.49. On September 24, it will be added to Pizza Hut’s $5 N’ Up Line-up for just $6 when customers buy two or more $5 N’ Up Line-up menu items.