The Truth About Pizza Hut's Stuffed Crust Pizza

Pizza is one of those go-to foods for everyone, with countless ways to customize it to your taste buds. From pineapple and ham to adding veggies, the options are seriously endless. And with so many options, we truly love the stuff. We love pizza so much that in the United States alone, Americans eat 100 acres of pizza every day, or 46 slices for every person in the country every year. 

But over the years, pizza chains have continued to grow, furthering the need to bring new and unique concepts to their consumers, and Pizza Hut has certainly been up to the task. Pizza Hut's stuffed crust pizza was hands down one of the biggest revelations in pizza. There's just something so beautiful about that soft, golden crust absolutely stuffed full of warm, gooey cheese. It's the ultimate pizza experience. But what else is there to stuffed crust? Aside from being ridiculously delicious, stuffed crust actually has a storied past, and we're ready to learn more. From the person who made it famous to the number of unique combinations that have come from it, this is the truth about Pizza Hut's stuffed crust pizza.

Pizza Hut's stuffed crust pizza has been around since 1995

Pizza Hut's stuffed crust has been a staple in households in the U.S. and across the globe for years. The genius pizza combination originally debuted in 1995, and it has since taken on a whole life of its own. Pizza Hut originally opened in 1958 in Wichita, Kansas, and up until the stuffed crust recipe was introduced, the chain hadn't introduced a new type of crust since Pan Pizza in 1980. Pizza Hut broke the pizza industry with its new addition. 

At the time, that new type of crust was life-changing for many, and according to FoodBeast, we all have Patty Scheibmeir, a former food scientist for Pizza Hut, to thank for that. Scheibmeir told FoodBeast that her bosses originally thought she was absolutely crazy when she first began talking about the new product, and it took three years for stuffed crust to come to fruition because of their skepticism. 

But once it finally debuted, it was an overnight success. According to Restaurant News, stuffed crust generated more than $300 million in sales in its first year, and it became the basis on which Pizza Hut's continuous innovations stood.

Pizza Hut's stuffed crust pizza doesn't add that many more calories

Pizza isn't really known for its healthy qualities. It's made up of carbs, carbs, and more carbs topped with sauce, meats, veggies, and cheese. So when you add even more cheese by literally stuffing it into the crust, one might think your calorie count will go way up. 

Well, stuffed crust lovers rejoice! As it turns out, stuffed crust doesn't actually add that many more calories to your meal. When it comes down to the nutritional content, a large hand-tossed Pizza Hut pizza with marinara, pepperoni, and cheese comes in at 300 calories per slice. Adding on the option of stuffed crust to your pepperoni pizza only actually increases your calorie count by 40 calories for each slice, topping each slice off at 340 calories. With a recommended calorie intake of 2000 calories daily, an extra 40 calories really isn't very many in the grand scheme of things. Maybe that means every pizza night should be stuffed crust night? We won't judge. 

President Trump was once a stuffed crust spokesperson for Pizza Hut

A lot has changed since Pizza Hut's stuffed crust was first introduced more than two decades ago. For one, Donald Trump, who was the first spokesperson for Pizza Hut's stuffed crust, is now the sitting U.S. President. But before Trump took the oval office, he became pretty well-known for his work on a stuffed crust pizza commercial, especially since he starred in it with his ex-wife, Ivana

According to Business Insider, the commercial debuted in 1995 after Pizza Hut had tried a number of marketing techniques for the new introduction. "They tried to sell it a million times, a million different ways, and it just wouldn't sell," Janet Lyons told Business Insider, who was one of the creative directors tasked with selling stuffed crust pizza.

Apparently, deciding to take the approach of having two stars who were gaining a lot of press traction following their divorce at the time and asking them to describe eating stuffed crust as doing it "the wrong way" was just the answer they were looking for. 

There's still some debate over who invented stuffed crust pizza

Pizza Hut has established a name for itself for inventing crazy menu items over the years, but stuffed crust was just the beginning of that trend. And even though Pizza Hut has been holding on to that stuffed crust crown for over two decades, there still seems to be some debate as to whether the chain was really the first to make stuffed crust. 

According to Business Insider, when the gooey, cheesy crust made its debut at Pizza Hut, inventors came forward claiming to have invented it themselves as far back as the 1940s. But a Brooklyn native named Anthony Mongiello came forward saying he invented the same type of pizza in 1987, with a patent in hand to prove his story. 

According to Paste Magazine the Mongiello family sued Pizza Hut for $1 billion, but ultimately lost. Essentially, the judge noted that owning the idea of cheese stuffed inside bread is impossible, leaving Pizza Hut to continue to make stuffed crust for pizza lovers for years to come.

The dough is frozen, but the cheese is added in-house to Pizza Hut's stuffed crust pizza

As you sit and think about stuffed crust and how it's made, the concept may be astonishing for some. But, it's really quite simple. 

According to one Pizza Hut employee on Reddit, it all starts with the proprietary frozen dough. "The dough comes frozen in boxes. It's prepared by spraying a pan/cooking sheet with non-stick spray and then laying the dough in it and putting it in the walk in freezer to thaw overnight," they said. Once the dough is thawed and ready in the morning, they can prep it for stuffed crust, hand tossed, or other varieties of pizza. 

To make the stuffed crust, the Pizza Hut Employee on Reddit says it all starts with the hand tossed dough. Employees pull the edges past the cooking tray, adding string cheese along the edge, and then folding it back over. Just like that you have that magically golden crust stuffed with gooey mozzarella!

Little Caesars tried to mimic Pizza Hut's stuffed crust pizza

Pizza Hut definitely took the market by storm with their stuffed crust pizza introduction in 1995, and as far as major pizza chains go, they were the only one in the industry dishing out that type of pie for years to follow. Oddly enough, Domino's, Pizza Hut's main competitor, has never introduced a stuffed crust pizza because of the way they make their dough, and that left Pizza Hut with a lead in the game.

But that all changed once Little Caesars brought their stuffed crust on the market. In 2016, Little Caesars debuted their Stuffed Crust DEEP!DEEP! Dish pizza featuring a pepperoni pizza with a crunchy crust loaded with cheese inside. Following that debut, Little Caesars followed suit with their xtraMostBestest Stuffed Crust Pizza in 2018, offering up a pizza with over three-feet of cheese stuffed in the crust, and now they're even on to a stuffed pretzel crust pizza to follow. 

Pizza Hut has packed as much cheese as possible in some varieties of stuffed crust pizza

Anyone who has tried stuffed crust pizza knows that it's packed with a ton of beautiful, gooey cheese. But over the years, Pizza Hut has continued to test the limits, adding more and more. Truly though, who's complaining? 

After the debut of stuffed crust, Pizza Hut introduced the first new permanent menu pizza they had debuted in years. The first stuffed crust was first made with mozzarella, but in 2013, Pizza Hut introduced a 3-cheese stuffed crust pizza with mozzarella, white cheddar, and provolone... and cheese lovers went crazy. 

But the cheesiness certainly didn't stop there. In 2017, Pizza Hut took things a whole level further with their Ultimate Cheese Crust Pizza. The stuffed crust debuted with 16 cheese-filled pockets that could be pulled apart from the pizza, serving as the crust. It offered up a mixture of mozzarella, provolone, white cheddar, Asiago, and fontina cheeses. This was a limited time item for Pizza Hut, but rest assured, the number of cheesy inventions and things they can stuff into their crust will continue on.

Pizza Hut has introduced multiple meat stuffed crust pizzas over the years

As if stuffing a ton of cheese into their pizza crust wasn't enough, Pizza Hut had to continue on to figure out ways to reinvent stuffed crust and keep things interesting. One way they've done that is by adding meat to the crust. 

According to Business Insider, Pizza Hut introduced a hot-dog-stuffed crust pizza in 2015, making its debut in the UK and Canada, and eventually moving into the states. The one-topping pizza featured 28 hot dog bites baked into the crust, offering the mixture of everyone's favorite American foods — hot dogs and pizza. 

But that was just the beginning. In 2016, Pizza Hut decided everything would be better with bacon, especially their stuffed crust. According to Business Insider, the company had debuted a version of bacon and cheese stuffed crust in 2014, but this was an updated recipe with three types of cheese and Applewood smoked bacon, providing the ultimate pizza for the bacon lover. 

Other countries have taken stuffed crust to a whole new level

For the number of things Pizza Hut has stuffed into crust in the U.S. and Canada, the crazy recipes introduced around the rest of the world don't even compare. 

In 2017, Pizza Hut debuted a Marmite stuffed crust pizza in New Zealand. Marmite is a popular yeast-based spread found in the UK and New Zealand, and Pizza Hut felt it necessary to combine it into a crust. But the unique combos don't stop there. In Australia, the company paired up with a famed meat pie maker to debut their meat pie crust. They served it up with eight little meat pies as the crust, with some customers choosing to add ketchup as a topper. 

But perhaps the most delicious crust option is in Taiwan, where Pizza Hut introduced a Pineapple Bun Crust Pizza. The crust was based off the love for Pineapple Buns in Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong, and it's made by serving up a crispy shell with a soft, sweet crumb stuffed with cheese. Talk about the perfect sweet and savory combo.

Pizza Hut wants you to eat stuffed crust pizza backwards

Much as President Trump and Ivana instructed in their 1995 commercial that people should eat pizza "the wrong way" by eating stuffed crust backwards, Pizza Hut has continued to maintain that marketing technique for years and years to follow. Because of the success of that commercial, Pizza Hut maintained their stance on eating pizza backwards, making it the stuffed crust tagline, and some of the new stuffed crust products they've developed has certainly followed suit. 

On Pizza Hut's website, it describes stuffed crust as the playful pizza we eat backwards, but the backwards pizza eating movement doesn't stop there. In 2006, Pizza Hut debuted its Cheesy Bites Pizzas, and it's been brought back on a regular basis. Each pocket surrounding the crust is filled with gooey cheese, offering customers something truly innovative while eating what's presented to them as the crust, and then eating the main portion of the pizza slice, all in the spirit of continuing to eat their pizza backwards.