Trader Joe’s has done it again! They’ve provided us with just what we need, exactly when we need it: a Mexican-style pizza to fill the void left by the wildly popular but currently unavailable Taco Bell Mexican Pizza. God, Trader Joe’s, you really are a catch!
As you may have heard, Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza was discontinued in November of 2020 as an attempt to be eco-friendly and stick to items that use less packaging. People were outraged, because the food item was pretty universally beloved. After endless tweets and posts and tags, Taco Bell finally brought the item back on May 19 of this year, only to run out almost immediately. After all that commotion and hullabaloo, the prized pizza won’t be back on the menus again until the fall. But this week, Trader Joe’s has given us hope… in the form of their new Layered Beef Tostada.
At first glance, this new frozen item is the spitting image of the much-beloved Taco Bell Mexican Pizza. When you look a little closer, however, there are a few key differences. The Trader Joe’s Tostada contains ground beef, pinto beans, and cheese, layered between crispy tortillas and topped with tomatoes, black olives, and green onions. While the original Taco Bell version contains “seasoned beef and refried beans between two Mexican Pizza shells with Mexican Pizza sauce, three-cheese blend, and tomatoes on top.” It would seem that these two crispy, crunchy Mexican-inspired offerings are, like eyebrows and boobs, sisters and not twins.
So far, reviews of the Trader Joe’s product are mixed. One comment on Instagram claims that Taco Bell’s version has more beef and crunch factor. Another wrote, “I give it an 8 out of 10. I added avocado, and sour cream.” But whether or not it lives up to the OG, it still seems this would make a great temporary substitute while we await the return of the Italian/Mexican/American wonder that is Taco Bell’s Mexican pizza.
One more fun factoid before I let you go: Taco Bell was actually in the process of composing and putting on “Mexican Pizza: the Musical” (really!) before they ran out of Mexican Pizza way too quickly. According to Taco Bell’s website, they are postponing the musical, but “hope to reschedule to a later date, complete with the joy and celebratory spirit in which it was originally created.” And if that’s not something to look forward to, I don’t know what is!