Oct 2, 2012

Review: Papa John's - Meatball and Pepperoni Pizza

Papa John's latest limited-time offer, the new Meatball and Pepperoni Pizza, features meatballs, pepperoni, a blend of four cheeses (Asiago, Fontina, provolone, and parmesan), and a generous sprinkle of Italian herb seasoning.

It's offered for a promotional price of $11.

The pizza gave off a pungent parmesan odor that lingered in my car despite a short drive home. They almost forgot to add the Italian herb seasoning (it's the same blend of herbs you can request from Papa John's in green packets), but remembered as they were showing me my pizza.

The meatballs are made with a blend of beef and pork, Romano cheese, and Italian herbs and spices. They were tender with a marked herby flavor and were about three times the size of Papa John's sausage. I counted 16 meatballs on my pizza (some were partially hidden under the cheese). I didn't notice the pepperoni so much, which was actually good because I was afraid that between the Italian seasoning, the pepperoni, and the meatballs, the pizza was going to be way too salty.

There was a generous amount of cheese on the pizza with very little sauce peeking through the coverage. It made for a nice, creamy counterbalance to the pepperoni and meatballs. It did mask the sauce a fair bit though and I'd like some mozzarella for that gooey stretch.

The Italian seasoning adds an extra dimension of taste to the pizza that you can't get at Domino's or Pizza Hut.

I requested the crust well-done and was glad for it. Papa John's has a fairly bready crust that reminds me of old Domino's maybe 15 years ago. The crust has a shell, but it typically isn't crisp. It's a little bit like warm store-bought bread. Getting it well done left the end crust with a thin crispiness that contrasts very nice with the warm, slightly chewy crumb. It's a tasty treat to dip into the provided garlic sauce.

Consider me duly impressed by Papa John's Meatball and Pepperoni Pizza (with well done crust of course!).

Nutritional Info - Papa John's Meatball and Pepperoni Pizza (Large Original Crust)
Serving Size - 1 slice (153g)
Calories - 310 (from Fat - 160)
Fat - 18g (Saturated Fat - 7g)
Sodium - 930mg
Carbs - 39g (Sugar - 5g)
Protein - 16g


  1. The pizza looks unusually cheesy, especially for a chain. They usually skimp on the cheese, but this pie looks completely covered and delicious. :O I'm assuming the meatballs are less salty than their sausage?

  2. Regarding the lack of "crispiness" of the bread/crust/whatever I wonder if pizzas are being cooked at shorter time periods than in the past to increase output?

    I would be ecstatic if a comparison could be made of an old-fashioned pizza baking style using an oven with the pizzas placed inside and cooked until manually removed.

    Have another pizza made as similarly as possible cooked via the modern automatic conveyor belt method where cooking time is for a set period.

  3. The pepperoni is actually hiding under the cheese. This is to not make their pizza look greasy.

    Would I buy Papa John's again? Yes. If you have never been to Papa John's before, go ahead and give it a try. Also there are special seasoning packets beside parmesan cheese and red pepper. Be sure to ask for a few special seasoning packets. It turns a pizza from "meh" to "awesome".


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