Taco Bell is letting Toledo decide if the new Quesalupa cheesy invention will hit Taco Bell menus nationwide
It’s like stuffed-crust pizza, but with a taco shell instead.
The Quesalupa may be fun to say, but is it as fun to eat? The fate of Taco Bell’s newest innovation, a cheesier version of the classic chalupa with a Monterey Jack cheese-stuffed shell, rests in the hungry hands of Toledo, Ohio residents.
Taco Bell revealed this new cheese-lover’s menu item at an investor’s meeting last year, and is described by Brand Eating thus: “Rather than melted cheese sandwiched between a Chalupa shell and grilled flour tortilla like I had earlier speculated, each Quesalupa comes with a Chalupa shell that is stuffed with melted Pepper Jack cheese! The cheese looks to be baked into the shell’s interior and fried onsite.”
Taco Bell is looking to amp up anticipation of the Quesalupa on Twitter:
Toledo has the Quesalupa. If they don’t like it, America won’t get it. Tweet w/ #Quesalupa if u want it in your town. pic.twitter.com/AF1BE5m1VK
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) February 2, 2015
As expected, the Quesalupa has garnered quite the reaction from non-Toledo residents:
All I want in my life it to taste the #Quesalupa and to pass my classes this semester pls help @tacobell
— Tori (@ithinkimtori) February 2, 2015
The #quesalupa is proof that God exists and wants us to have nice things.
— Allison Adams (@allison_rie) February 2, 2015
Toledo better not screw this up... #Quesalupa
— G-Lav (@grant_laverty) February 3, 2015
Do you want the Quesalupa in your town?
The Quesalupa has returned to Taco Bell: let us rejoice and be glad
Six years ago, in a secret laboratory deep within the bowels of Taco Bell HQ, a team of mad scientists successfully mated a chalupa with a quesadilla. After months of tinkering with its genetic code and flavorful toppings, the Quesalupa was introduced to the world, and the people rejoiced. Alas, its stint in the public eye was always intended to be a short one, so in spite of its insane popularity and the cries of an inconsolable public, Taco Bell returned the Quesalupa to its underground vault in late 2016, and the world plunged into darkness.
Today is March 10, 2021, and times have been bleak. But lo, there are signs of hope! Outside my window the sun is shining, the weather is warm, the flowers are starting to bloom anew. There are vaccines ahoy, and with them the promise of days to be spent with friends, living, laughing, loving. But, lo, what is that I spy upon the horizon, glowing as brightly as a thousand suns, filling our hearts with joy and peace, beckoning us into a new age? The Quesalupa has returned, with 50% more cheese!
Behold its cheese-stuffed deep-fried chalupa shell, stuffed edge-to-edge with molten pepper jack and mozzarella! Gaze upon its glistening seasoned beef, crispy lettuce, diced tomatoes, and reduced-fat sour cream. Marvel at the shredded cheddar, boldly declaring that there’s no such thing as “too much cheese!” Oh but today is the most glorious of days for those who have downloaded Taco Bell’s app , which grants them “early access” to the revived Quesalupa. If you don’t have the app you’ll have to patiently wait til tomorrow to start celebrating. Alas, once again, the Quesalupa is available for a limited time only, so gather your queso while ye may.
Everything You Need to Know About Taco Bell’s New Quesalupa
Did Taco Bell’s Super Bowl ad for its new limited-time offering, the quesalupa, have you drooling like Homer Simpson at the thought of doughnuts? Craving that some cheesy goodness like Joey Tribbiani yearns for sandwiches? Leave you more than a little confused about what it is and why it’s going to be #BiggerThanEverything?
Yeah, Us too, which is why we decided to dig into this brand new concoction — available nationwide Monday, February 8 — to learn what it’s all about.
So what is it, exactly? According to the fast-food chain’s fact sheet about this mysterious culinary creation, the quesalupa is “the first time in Taco Bell history that a quesadilla and chalupa are coming together.” OK, so that explains the name.
PHOTOS: Celebrities in the Kitchen
Let’s break down the basics some more:
Shell: A ton of pepper jack cheese stuffed between two soft tortillas and then deep fried into the shape of a taco.
Filling: Lettuce, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, seasoned beef and reduced-fat sour cream —because hey, every gram of fat counts!. (Does this sound like the chalupa supreme to anyone else? Taco Bell Corp. tells Us that the main difference is in the shells. The chalupa shell is more of a flat bread.)
Nutritional info: For the traditional quesalupa (read: beefy, cheesy goodness), you’re looking at 460 calories, 26 grams of fat. Better walk to that Taco Bell if you want to live mas …
PHOTOS: Celebrity Foodies
But hey, if the quesalupa as Taco Bell intended it isn’t quite your style, that’s OK. Like many of the chain’s menu items, you can customize it to fit your needs. For example, you can get this concoction with chicken or steak instead, which means 20 fewer calories and 3 fewer grams of fat.
Are you a vegetarian? No problem. Replace the meat with beans! Craving it before it’s even lunch or dinner time? Order it for breakfast with bacon or sausage (though be warned, this will up the calories to 560 and 600 respectively, and 34 grams and 39 grams of fat, depending on your meat of choice).
Sound good? Taco Bell patrons seem pretty into the new menu item so far:
The #quesalupa is everything I imagined and then some. Thank you @tacobell ?
— Charles Visser (@CharlesVisser) February 8, 2016
The #Quesalupa was everything I hoped it would be & more but unfortunately I just ate 2 of them & I fear I’m not long for this world
— D.R. Pena II (@RegularDonnie) February 8, 2016
Wait, what’s this? A tweet from Saturday, February 6, reviewing the quesalupa? Yes, yes indeed. Taco Bell made its latest offering available for a two-hour window that day in its first-ever blind pre-order.
PHOTOS: Celebs Stuffing Their Faces
But those lucky eaters weren’t even the first to try it. Taco Bell actually did a 36-restaurant test in Toledo, Ohio, last year that the company declared “one of the most successful” in its history.
As for when the quesalupa’s menu-life is expected to run out? No word yet, so better get ’em while they’re hot.
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!
- You can use your setup to make multiple quesalupas, depending on how many people you’re cooking for. Just whatever you do, whateeeever you do, do not try to cook more than one at once in a large frying pan. It won’t work.
- If you’re hankering for other toppings in the same style as Taco Bell, try spreading some chile con queso or nacho cheese on the bottom, or help yourself to some of Taco Bell’s very own ‘Border sauce’.
- The cheese you use inside the shell can actually be pretty interchangeable. For a stronger cheese flavor, use cheddar. If you want the chewy cheesy goodness but don’t want the flavor, use mozzarella. If you wanna be really out-there, try shredding something fancy like gouda or Drunken Goat or swiss! If it melts, it’ll work.
- It’s entirely possible to make just the shells of these ahead of time, to use for a later date. Just freeze them in a container to protect from breaking, and simply heat them up in the oven when it’s time to make one!
So hear that Taco Bell? Anything you can do, we can all do at home. Until the day comes where you find a way to fit an entire plate of nachos inside of a burrito or create gordita that cures cancer, I got your number. Maybe you should change that ad campaign for the quesalupa from “The rest of America can’t have it” to “The rest of America can’t have it unless they spend $3 on pitas and cheese.” I encourage everyone out there to try your hand at making your own homemade versions of your favorite chain foods. It’s healthier and cheaper in the long run! Now get out there and make some damn quesalupas.
Can’t stop thinking about Taco Bell creations? Check out our recipe for the Quesarito! If you can’t buy ’em anymore, just make it at home!
This Beloved Cheesy Item From Taco Bell Is Back After Five Years
One of Taco Bell's most popular limited-time offers in history is making a comeback! The Quesalupa, a cheese-stuffed chalupa, is hitting nationwide menus on March 11, further demonstrating that the chain has had cheese on the brain lately. What's more, according to the announcement, this new menu item going to be cheesier than ever.
The last time we've seen the Quesalupa on Taco Bell's menu was in 2016 when it exploded in popularity overnight. But the fast-food chain isn't simply just bringing it back—it's also upped the ante with the addition of extra cheese. That's right, the 2021 Quesalupa's cheese ratio has been increased by 50%, making the stuffed crispy shell heftier than before. The chain uses a combo of melted pepper jack and mozzarella, so you can expect the perfect cheese pull.
The Quesalupa's insides are staying the same, and feature the tried-and-true blend of signature Taco Bell flavors: Seasoned beef, crispy lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, fresh diced tomatoes, and sour cream.
"Behind the scenes in our Test Kitchen, my team is constantly hard at work ideating on how to enhance the food experience for our guests," said Liz Matthews, Taco Bell's Global Chief Food Innovation Officer, in a press release. "Our customers raved about the cheese-filled Chalupa shell in its first debut, so when the Quesalupa began its return journey back to our nationwide menus, we knew we needed to perfect that cheesy experience—one that will be consistent for every guest and every bite."
Another thing that isn't changing is the price. The Quesalupa will cost you exactly what it did back in 2016: $2.99 on its own, or $6.99 in a combo with two Crunchy Tacos and a large drink. As always, Taco Bell app users get first dibs, and will be able to order the chalupa starting today, a day ahead of its nationwide launch. And while this definitely isn't a healthy fast-food order, it may be worth the calorie splurge for the die-hard cheese fans.
For more news on Taco Bell, check out 5 Major Changes You’ll See on Taco Bell's Menu, and don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.
Taco Bell Is Bringing Back The Quesalupa For The First Time Since 2016 And It's Better Than Ever
Let's be honest: You probably don't need Taco Bell to release anything new. Truly! Between the perfect creation that is the Crunchwrap Supreme and the fact that the chain will be reuniting us with our beloved potatoes later this week, you're probably all set. HOWEVER, each thing Taco Bell releases seems to be even more delicious than the last. Quite the pickle, you see! Trust us, you're going to want to get your hands on the chain's latest addition&mdashthe Quesalupa.
This creation may sound familiar to you, as Taco Bell previously released it as a limited-time offering all the way back in 2016. It was apparently one of its most-popular LTOs ever!! We first got word of its possible return last year, when Taco Bell began testing it in Knoxville, TN, but now it's OFFICIALLY back nationwide.
The dream dish is made with a chalupa shell which is then stuffed with a blend of melted pepper jack and mozzarella cheeses. This time, there is even 50 percent more cheese in there!! The shell is then stuffed with all the fixings like seasoned beef, lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, and reduced-fat sour cream. We got a chance to try it already and it's beyond good! Think of it like the chalupa version of one of our favorite recent Taco Bell offerings, the Grilled Cheese Burrito (or maybe that was the burrito version of this? Since the chalupa came first? Anyway!).
If you want to try it, you're in luck! Taco Bell Rewards Beta members will be able to get the Quesalupa starting TODAY, March 10. Everyone else will have to wait until tomorrow! You can expect to pay $2.99 for it, which was the same price as when it debuted in 2016. For $6.99 you can get a combo meal, which includes a Quesalupa, two Crunchy Tacos, and a large fountain drink. Happy eating!
Taco Bell tests cheese-stuffed shell
The Quesalupa is a cheese-lover's dream featuring melted pepper jack cheese stuffed inside a flaky, crispy, warm chalupa shell. It's layered with premium seasoned beef, crisp lettuce, cheddar cheese, reduced-fat sour cream and diced tomatoes. (Photo: Taco Bell)
Taco Bell figures if the pizza guys can stuff cheese into pizza crust, it, too, can stuff cheese into a crispy shell.
The Mexican fast-food giant is testing that out right now in 36 Toledo, Ohio, locations, with a product it's dubbed the Quesalupa.
Quesalupa is for serious cheese-heads. Not only is melted pepper jack cheese stuffed inside the flaky chalupa shell, but it's also layered with cheddar cheese, not to mention beef, lettuce, reduced-fat sour cream and diced tomatoes. Test price: $2.99.
Executives at Taco Bell are hoping that lightening can strike twice. It was Toledo where the chain first-tested the Doritos Locos Taco back in 2011. That taco has since emerged as one of the fast-food industry's most successful new product introductions.
These is no national roll-out date for the Quesalupa. At least, not yet. "If Toledo doesn't love it first, the rest of the country can't have it," spokesman Rob Poetsch said in an e-mail,
During the four-week test, Taco Bell is nudging fans of the Quesalupa to tweet #Quesalupa. Some of those tweets will be selected to be featured on two electronic billboards in Toledo of Interstate 475.
New products are the lifeblood of fast-food chains like Taco Bell. Millennials, in particular, keep demanding unusual new products with more flavor and unconventional ingredients. That leaves Millennial-worshiping chains like Taco Bell rolling out products like this cheese-stuffed shell.
This is the same chain that introduced the breakfast world to the Waffle Taco — a warm waffle wrapped around sausage or bacon, scrambled eggs, cheese and syrup.
Taco Bell kills Quesalupa again, is just trolling us at this point
I believe Alfred Lord Tennyson was referring to Taco Bell when he said “’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” Still, today’s T-Bell news really stings: after making its long-awaited return earlier just two months ago, Taco Bell announced that the Quesalupa is leaving the menu once more, Entrepreneur has the story .
Half quesadilla, half chalupa, the cult favorite menu item consists of seasoned beef, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and cheddar cheese, all encased in a chalupa shell stuffed with more cheese. The Quesalupa’s storied history began in Toledo, Ohio, the 2015 test market it made its nationwide debut shortly thereafter. It was eventually removed from menus—until T-Bell re-released it in March “with 50 percent more cheese inside its famous double-layered shell.” Unfortunately, Entrepreneur reports, the crunchy entree has already disappeared from the menu at some Taco Bell locations across the country.
Alas, we knew this one wouldn’t last. When Taco Bell dropped the new Quesalupa, it was billed as a “limited-time item” per Restaurant Business Online . How long do we have to say our cheesy, gooey, beefy goodbyes? That remains unclear, as the brand hasn’t released a firm end date. The short-lived menu item is most likely a hype-building ploy to sell more Quesalupas still, I do wish that fast food giants would quit playing with our hearts and just leave well enough alone . My only hope is that the mighty Mexican Pizza avoids a similar fate. It’s just undignified.
Presentation has been huge in the recent Taco Bell LTOs and this is no exception. Wrapped up in a golden foil fit for a king and then cradled in a cardboard holder similar to the ones used in the DLT’s, Taco Bell delivered in making it seem like you’re eating something really special.
Upon initial glances, the Quesalupa has a similar appearance to a standard Chalupa, but the shell looks like it really let itself go after a bad break up. Slightly puffier and more rotund than a regular Chalupa, the Quesalupa shell is all about comfort. While it certainly isn’t oozing cheese out of the shell, like some promo photos, there’s definitely a vibrant cheese taste bursting with each bite. The shell is warm, flaky, and maybe even soothing.
Taco Bell’s Quesalupa is stuffed with traditional tastes of a premium taco, with a fine layer of Taco Bell’s premium beef, shredded lettuce, sour cream, diced tomatoes, and shredded cheddar. These ingredients are identical to the Chalupa Supreme, other than the upgraded shell. Everything is better with more cheese and everything melds together here to create a great savory treat. I threw on some of the Taco Bell Fire sauce and came away very satisfied with the results. This is comfort food at its finest, with the shell stepping into the spotlight. The fried, crispy shell is decadent, yet still retains a soft, pita like feel. Add in the cheese and I really think this is destined for Full Time Menu Status. I’m also going out on a limb and predicting multiple variations in the future, maybe even with some bacon stuffed in the shell as well.
Posted February 6th, 2016 | 3:40pm by Ryan
We got our first look at the Quesalupa a little over a year ago when Conan O’Brien tried one on a visit to the Taco Bell headquarters. Since then we saw its test market campaign in Toledo, Ohio and then even a breakfast version months later. The Quesalupa is a highly anticipated item for Taco Bell fans and the national release is finally upon us. I got my Quesalupa two days before the wide release via Taco Bell’s pre-order promo.Taco Bell’s Quesalupa is described like this:
The Quesalupa has melted pepper jack cheese stuffed inside a flaky, crispy shell. It’s layered with premium seasoned beef, crisp lettuce, real cheddar cheese, reduced-fat sour cream and diced ripe tomatoes.
Rearranging familiar ingredients is something that we’re used to from Taco Bell. With the Quesalupa, we are introduced to a new cheese stuffed shell, but what’s inside is everything you’ll find in a typical Crunchy Taco Supreme. So right off the bat we know that the Quesalupa opens up a lot of new ideas for consumers to customize something truly unique using the new shell stuffed with pepper jack cheese. On the inside you’ve got the seasoned beef, lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and diced tomatoes. Why go into the details of these individual components again and again? I guess to showcase this new shell, Taco Bell decided it was best to just use the most basic stuff on the inside in order to keep the real focus on the outside.I’m sad to say I found the Quesalupa’s shell to be lacking in both taste and texture. The texture is not exactly Chalupa-like… I’d say it’s surprisingly thinner than a Chalupa because it lacks that crisp, bubbled-fried puffed quality. It’s close to a Chalupa on the surface, but flattened and pressed. The cheese inside the shell lays towards the center and taste-wise I found it to be more Monterey Jack than pepper jack so that was a disappointment. Having this semi-Chalupa type of shell comes with some oily areas and adding in melted cheese impacted it even more. The chew of the shell was a little off too because of the pressed layers involved. To throw out one minor positive, there was a nice stretch of melted cheese when I pulled the Quesalupa apart in some areas. Even though it lacked impact in most areas, knowing you’re working with a cheese-stuffed shell has its novelty.At a suggested price of $2.99, the Quesalupa is a so-so value that might work alright featured around some Dollar Cravings Menu selections. Make a complete meal out of the Quesalupa and a couple of a la carte selections for a buck and you’ve got a filling fast food fix for five dollars.Was all the hype worth it? Nope, not for me. Honestly, even as a fast food fan and a fan of Taco Bell LTO’s, it’s almost never worth all the build up. I feel the best Taco Bell products are able to combine crunchy, chewy, cheesy textures and the Quesalupa was more chewy than anything else. The Cheesy Gordita Crunch is a great thing… the Doritos version too… even the standard Chalupa shell is better than the Quesalupa shell. My experience with the Quesalupa was underwhelming and I’m disappointed about that. I really wanted the Quesalupa to be the next great thing at Taco Bell and it just fell short.
Pros: Golden wrapper and Quesalupa carrier. The ability to customize so easily at Taco Bell will still make me want to revisit the Quesalupa shell again.
Cons: Texture issues. too chewy. Cheese didn't have much flavor impact.
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.25/10