Yes, there are several pizza chains and brands that offer stuffed crust pizza. Some of the most popular options include:
Pizza Hut first introduced their Original Stuffed Crust Pizza in 1995. It features a ring of cheese baked into the outer edge of the crust. Pizza Hut uses mozzarella cheese for their stuffed crusts. Their pizzas can be customized with a variety of toppings and crust styles, including thin crust, hand-tossed, pan pizza, and gluten-free.
Domino’s launched their own version of stuffed crust pizza in 1995 as well, shortly after Pizza Hut introduced theirs. Domino’s Stuff Crust has mozzarella and cheddar cheeses rolled into the outer edge of the crust. Their stuffed crust can be added to any of their pizza offerings.
Little Caesars calls their version the Crazy Calzony. It’s made by rolling and pressing their Detroit-style deep dish dough around a ribbon of pepperoni and cheese. The cheese is a blend of mozzarella and Muenster. It’s available on select deep dish pizzas.
Papa John’s offers an Epic Stuffed Crust pizza, with a buttery seasoned crust filled with a blend of mozzarella and Muenster cheeses. It was introduced in 2020 as a limited time offering but has since become a permanent menu item due to popularity.
California Pizza Kitchen
California Pizza Kitchen features a spinach and artichoke dip-stuffed crust on their Original BBQ Chicken Pizza. The tangy, creamy dip fills the outer edge of the hand-tossed crust. It’s one of their signature offerings.
In addition to the major pizza chains, some smaller regional chains and local pizzerias offer their own takes on stuffed crust pizza. For example, Hungry Howie’s stuffs their crust with a combination of mozzarella, Asiago, Parmesan, and Romano cheeses. Many grocery stores even sell frozen stuffed crust pizzas that you can bake at home.
How Stuffed Crust Pizza is Made
There are a few different techniques used for making stuffed crust pizzas:
- Rolling the dough out flat, then adding a layer of cheese around the edges before folding the dough over itself and sealing it closed.
- Stretching the dough and tucking cheese into a groove cut around the edges.
- Encasing a wire or wooden form with dough and cheese around it, then removing the form after baking.
Thecheese provides a barrier that separates the inner crust from the outer edge as it melts and cooks. This leaves the signature pocket in the crust filled with melted cheese.
Popularity of Stuffed Crust Pizza
Ever since Pizza Hut launched the original stuffed crust pizza in 1995, it has remained popular on menus. Some reasons it has become a fan favorite include:
- The melted cheese in the crust adds an extra dimension of flavor.
- It provides a fun, interactive eating experience as diners can pull apart and dip the crust in sauce or cheese.
- The melted cheese adds extra texture and richness to the crust.
- It feels like an over-the-top, indulgent treat.
Many pizza restaurants see higher sales and order counts on stuffed crust offerings compared to regular pizzas. Its appeal crosses all age groups as both kids and adults enjoy the novelty.
The nutrition content of stuffed crust pizza can vary depending on the size, toppings, type of crust, and cheese used in the stuffing. However, in general stuffed crust pizzas tend to be higher in calories, fat, and sodium compared to non-stuffed crust pizzas.
For example, one slice of a large 14″ Pizza Hut Original Stuffed Crust Pepperoni Pizza contains:
The extra cheese adds additional calories, fat, and sodium. However, stuffed crust can be a good option for increasing calories if trying to gain weight. Those limiting sodium, fat, or overall calories may want to avoid stuffed crust or customize their pizza to reduce these factors.
Stuffed crust pizza does come at a premium price compared to regular crust. For example:
- At Pizza Hut, stuffed crust costs $2-$3 more per pizza than regular hand-tossed crust.
- Domino’s charges $1 more to add stuffed crust to a pizza order.
- The upgrade ranges from $2-$5 extra at most other pizza places offering it.
The extra labor involved in preparing stuffed crust drives the price up. Restaurants also market it as an indulgent, specialty option and price it higher than basic crusts. Overall, customers seem willing to pay extra given its continued popularity on menus.
Preparing Stuffed Crust at Home
While it requires some effort, it is possible to make stuffed crust pizza at home from scratch. Here is an overview of the process:
- Make or purchase pizza dough and roll it out to desired shape and thickness.
- Spread an even layer of cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, etc) around the outer 1-2 inches of the dough.
- Fold the edge of dough over the cheese and seal it by pinching together or using water to create a seal.
- Top as desired and bake until the crust and cheese are golden brown.
Tips for best results:
- Use store-bought dough or proven pizza dough recipes for great results.
- Chill dough before rolling to make it easier to handle and shape.
- Use shredded low-moisture mozzarella or a cheese blend for the filling.
- Make sure the dough is well-sealed over the cheese to prevent leaks.
- Bake on a pizza stone or pan at 475°F-500°F for the crispiest crust.
Stuffed crust pizza has become a popular indulgence that many major pizza chains now offer. The melted cheese in the crust provides added flavor, texture, and fun. While premium pricing and higher calorie counts may deter some, its uniqueness keeps fans coming back for more. Thankfully, the option to DIY stuffed crust pizza at home makes this treat more accessible to all pizza lovers.