Taco Bell's Crunchwrap Kit Vs The Restaurant Version: Which Is Better?

Taco Bell is a key innovator in the world of Mexican-inspired fast food, and the Crunchwrap Supreme is one of its most successful product releases. Since its debut in 2005, this half-burrito-half-tostada has remained an absolute mainstay of the Taco Bell menu. And the fact that no other food item so perfectly combines a pillowy tortilla and crunchy tostada shell has fans everywhere concocting copycat versions at home on a regular basis. This includes Mashed writer Jake Vigliotti, whose imitation Crunchwrap recipe is remarkably close to the original.

Now, thanks to this Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme Meal Kit from Kraft Heinz Foods that's being sold exclusively at Walmart, making a DIY Crunchwrap Supreme at home has never been easier. The kit includes four 12-inch flour tortillas, cheese sauce, four crunchy tostada shells, and taco seasoning. Simply add your choice of protein and toppings, and you'll have a quick and delicious weeknight indulgence without having to hit the drive-thru. But how does it compare to the real deal?

That's exactly the question we will tackle in this direct comparison between the Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme Meal Kit and the restaurant version of the Crunchwrap Supreme. We will break down the flavor and texture similarities ingredient by ingredient and then judge each option based on price value, convenience, and nutrition. Without further ado, let's unwrap this comparison.

Flour tortilla

A proper tortilla is crucial to the success of the Crunchwrap Supreme. Not only does this fluffy flatbread keep the massive heap of ingredients contained inside, but it also provides that crucial textural contrast to the crunchy tostada shell within. The 12-inch flour tortillas included in the Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme Meal Kit feel thicker and fluffier than the one included in the restaurant version, which makes them the winner in terms of quality. As for the taste? That's a trickier subject.

The tortillas used in the kit version and the restaurant version are nearly identical in terms of flavor. You would have to be a pretty serious tortilla enthusiast to be able to tell them apart in a blind taste test. The place where these two options truly differ is in the quality of fold you can expect. The restaurant-made Crunchwrap always comes in a perfectly folded hexagon with the ideal amount of browning on each side. Conversely, it takes a bit of kitchen competence to accurately recreate this aspect at home. It took us two tries to get anywhere close to the perfect seal. Your mileage may vary. On the plus side, you can toast the tortillas to your ideal level of crispiness at home.

Tostada shell

When it comes to the texture and flavor of the tostada shell, the store-bought kit version of the Crunchwrap wins handily. The shells that come with the kit are much thicker than those in the restaurant version. Consequently, the toasted corn flavor comes through much clearer, adding a mild and nutty sweetness to every bite. They are incredibly salty, but in a satisfying way rather than an overpowering way. The shells have a uniform golden color and a rough, crunchy texture that far exceeds that of the original Crunchwrap.

Because the whole wrap is heated simultaneously when you order the Crunchwrap Supreme directly from Taco Bell, the tostada shell in the restaurant version simply can't deliver the same level of crunch. In fact, the only reason the OG Crunchwrap is recognized as a "crunchy" food is because of its name and marketing. As we've reported in a past review of the Crunchwrap, the layers of filling aren't as distinct as they are portrayed in Taco Bell's promotional material. Plus, a lighter crunch is the best-case scenario. If you order a Crunchwrap to go, it can easily be totally soggy by the time you get it home. The Crunchwrap Supreme Meal Kit rectifies this, creating a far more harmonious texture combination.

Cheese sauce

Unfortunately, the cheese sauce used in the Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme Meal Kit will be quite disappointing to classic Crunchwrap fans. It isn't really close in flavor or texture to the restaurant version, and that's bad news because we actually prefer the restaurant version in this case. The cheese sauce you'll find in this kit includes Velveeta, which is not real cheese but rather a "pasteurized recipe cheese product," according to the Velveeta label. This decision was obviously made to extend the shelf life of the Crunchwrap kit rather than to enhance the flavor of the meal, so this a major shortcoming of the store-bought product. On the plus side, its gooeyness helps hold the different layers together during construction, which is useful for first-timers learning to make the six folds of a Crunchwrap.

Taco Bell restaurants, on the other hand, use nacho cheese sauce in the classic Crunchwrap Supreme. This makes for a stronger, tangier cheese flavor with a more firm texture. If you also prefer the flavor and texture of real shredded cheddar, you can easily substitute this into your DIY Crunchwrap recipe. But that will further erode the already questionable price value of the meal kit box. Then again, if you like the flavor of Velveeta, then there's no reason to complain. After all, it's your Crunchwrap.

Taco seasoning

While the Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme Meal Kit does not include any proteins in the box, it does include a 1-ounce seasoning packet so you can turn your protein of choice into a fairly accurate recreation of Taco Bell's meat. The seasoning contains garlic, chili peppers, spice (whatever that means), onions, paprika, and sugar. It is portioned to season 1 pound of protein and can also be purchased à la carte at Walmart.

It tastes quite similar to the seasoning used in the restaurant, with a mild Tex-Mex kick. It adds a nice rich color to the meat and does not taste overly salty (even though it kind of is). While we used the seasoning on 90% lean ground beef to try and match the original Crunchwrap, the flavor profile of the seasoning should also work well for other proteins like chicken, pork, or tofu. It may not be mind-blowingly flavorful, but it adds some serious convenience to the overall package of this meal kit. And it's not too far off from our favorite homemade taco seasoning recipe either.


To be perfectly clear, the Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme Meal Kit does not include any toppings or protein in the box, so there is no comparison to be made here. However, we should briefly discuss the toppings Taco Bell uses and what you can expect when trying to substitute them with grocery store items. To make a classic Crunchwrap, add 90% lean ground beef, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and light sour cream. That's what we did, and the flavors and textures were virtually indiscernible from the restaurant version. But that's probably because Taco Bell is usually pretty stingy with the vegetables.

The nice part about a DIY Crunchwrap is that you can experiment with the portions. We went extra generous with the lettuce and tomato to amp up that textural blend. The instructions also encourage you to get creative and add whatever proteins and toppings you like. We built a classic Crunchwrap for comparison's sake, but who knows? Maybe an even more delicious topping and protein combination exists.

Regarding the quality difference between store-bought groceries and Taco Bell's restaurant ingredients, you will almost certainly get fresher and more natural ingredients from a grocery store. Yes, this depends on factors like your location and the time of year, but Taco Bell doesn't set the bar very high to begin with. Considering that Taco Bell's ground beef has come under fire several times in recent years, you will likely have a higher-quality protein when using this meal kit.

Price value

For many hardcore Crunchwrap Supreme enthusiasts, trying the meal kit once is already worth the cost of admission based on pure novelty alone. But does the Crunchwrap Supreme Meal Kit have the price value to warrant a second purchase? Kind of. At the time of this writing, a Crunchwrap Supreme costs $6.19, and the Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme Meal Kit costs $6.98. Once you add in the other required ingredients, making four Crunchwrap Supremes at home costs about $18, or $4.50 per Crunchwrap. So, yes, it is cheaper to make a Crunchwrap Supreme at home.

However, these kinds of calculations are a slippery slope. Once you start really crunching the numbers, it will become apparent that the kit is an unnecessary expense when you can buy your own tortillas, tostada shells, taco seasoning, and (much better) cheese. And you could save even more yet by mixing your own taco seasoning. But at this point, the DIY Crunchwrap has gone from a fun and easy weeknight meal to a full-on passion project. So, a key factor of this kit's price value is what you consider your time to be worth.


Speaking of how much you value your time, there is an interesting discussion to be had about whether or not it is easier to procure a store-made Crunchwrap Supreme or a DIY one. On paper, a store-bought Crunchwrap seems like the obvious answer. After all, the Taco Bell drive-thru window offered the fastest service time of any U.S. fast food restaurant in 2022 (via Statista). But is that Taco Bell on your normal route home? And how is traffic looking?

Meanwhile, the Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme Meal Kit and all the requisite ingredients are conveniently available through Walmart, the go-to shopping mecca for millions of Americans. Assuming you had other life necessities on your shopping list, that trip to Walmart is a negligible use of your time compared to going out of your way to stop at Taco Bell. In terms of cooking time, a Crunchwrap Supreme comes together faster than a box of Hamburger Helper. All you have to do is cook and season the beef, cut and wash the vegetables, assemble the ingredients, and then toast the tortilla.

For those who hate doing dishes or have a Taco Bell close by their home, going to the restaurant is still the clear winner. However, there are plenty of scenarios where the store-bought kit is the smarter choice. There's no clear winner to be crowned here since both options are viable.


Considering that the Crunchwrap Supreme is one of the unhealthiest items on Taco Bell's menu, it is tempting to say that there are no winners in the nutrition department. However, because of its generally smaller portion size, the restaurant version barely ekes out a win in this category. One meal kit Crunchwrap prepared according to the package directions with 90% lean ground beef and sour cream contains 710 calories, 9 grams of saturated fat, and 1,670 milligrams of sodium. That's 47% of the recommended daily maximum of saturated fat and a staggering 73% of the recommended daily maximum of sodium. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eating too much sodium may contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

Again, the restaurant version isn't much better, but it is technically an improvement. It contains 540 calories, 7 grams of saturated fat, and 1,210 milligrams of sodium. That's still about 35% of the daily recommended saturated fat intake and 53% of the recommended sodium intake. Unfortunately, opting for a leaner protein in your DIY Crunchwrap won't save you from the high saturated fat and sodium levels either, as almost all of those amounts come from ingredients in the kit. If you care at all about your nutritional intake, it's best to skip the Crunchwraps altogether.

That's a wrap

Considering that both the DIY Crunchwrap and the restaurant Crunchwrap have their pros and cons, it's hard to declare a clear winner in a head-to-head showdown. However, some recognition is due to the original burrito-tostada hybrid, so we're giving the crown to the restaurant version. As quick and easy as the kit is, there is still something to be said for the consistency and convenience of a fast food meal. Plus, the Crunchwrap is ranked third in our roundup of the best Taco Bell menu items ever, and you don't beat out heavy hitters like the Quesarito and the Cheesy Gordita Crunch without something special going on.

All this said, the meal kit version of the Crunchwrap is still a serviceable imitation. Even if you can make one bigger, fresher, and cheaper at home, it doesn't have to be all of those things to impress us. It doesn't help that the DIY version is somehow more unhealthy than the original. Furthermore, when it comes to cooking at home, there are plenty of tastier options, even if you confine yourself to the meal-in-a-box space. Taco Bell fanatics should definitely try this DIY Crunchwrap Supreme Meal Kit once for the novelty, but otherwise, this indulgent treat should be saved for a dedicated visit to the promised land.