Pizza Hut Cheez-It Pizza

The Pizza Hut Cheez-It Pizza ($6.49) features four toasted ravioli-like squares, a tub of marinara sauce, and a couple of pepperoni slices that may have accidentally fallen into the box. 

The first question that comes to mind when confronting a Pizza Hut Cheez-It Pizza is “What is it?”

The second question, of course, is “why?” But that can only truly be answered by Pizza Hut, Cheez-It's parent company Kellogg, and their god.

But seriously, what is it? Pictures of four brown squares in a box didn’t help. How big were they? Were they pizza-sized? Were they Cheez-It cracker-sized? What was inside the brown squares? Crushed Cheez-Its? More brown?

So of course I had to order some to find out. The price is $6.49, which was my first clue that the Cheez-It Pizza would be more of an appetizer than a full pizza. And indeed, the four brown squares turned out to be about the size of a deep-fried Rubik’s Cube.

Inside the squares is — and I probably should have seen this coming — melted mozzarella cheese, making the Cheez-It Pizza just an oddly shaped mozzarella stick. There’s a little tub of marinara sauce for dipping, even though the broad, flat dimensions of the Cheez-It make the logistics of the dip a challenge. 

Considered another way, the Cheez-It Pizza is four big toasted raviolis. The secret is that Pizza Hut mixes sharp cheddar flavor into the breading, so it does taste surprisingly a lot like a Cheez-It.

The downside, for me, was that that flavor was so piquant that I was pretty satisfied with one Cheez-It square, whiel I could drop a half dozen mozzarella sticks or a dozen fried cheese curds without thinking twice. Maybe that’s the upside?

Either way, I don’t think I’ll be ordering one again. I’m still mystified by the marketing. Why would you call it a “pizza” when it is clearly not a pizza? Does that mean everything sold by Pizza Hut is a considered to be a pizza, because it originates under the Hut? These are the existential questions one mulls while eating something that is, ultimately, undefinable. Or a variation on a toasted ravioli, take your pick. 

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Rob Thomas is the features editor and social media editor for the Capital Times, as well as its film critic. He joined the Cap Times in 1999 and has written about movies, music, food and books.