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Aug 22, 2022

Taco Bell Tests New, Seasoned, Plant-Based Protein in Crispy Melt Taco

Taco Bell tests the new, seasoned, plant-based protein in the Crispy Melt Taco for a limited time at participating restaurants in the Birmingham, AL area.

Taco Bel's new, seasoned, plant-based protein is basically a plant-based/vegan take on their seasoned ground beef. The chain describes it as a "brand-new, boldly seasoned plant-based protein" that made with a "soy and pea protein proprietary blend" (a previous test saw a blend of pea and chickpea being used) and is "inspired by classic Taco Bell flavors." The new protein is certified vegan by the American Vegetarian Association (AVA) although cross-contamination could occur in the kitchen.

During the Birmingham, AL test, it's featured in the Crispy Melt Taco as well as in Nachos Bell Grande but is also available to be substituted or added to any menu item.

Taco Bell's Crispy Melt Taco features a fresh-fried white corn taco shell layered inside with a melted blend of shredded cheddar, mozzarella, and Monterey pepper jack cheeses, plus warm nacho cheese sauce. The taco shell is then filled with a choice of protein, shredded lettuce, more cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, and reduced-fat sour cream. It sounds the same as the Cantina Crispy Melt Taco that they offered for a limited time last year so maybe they're looking into bringing it back (with a shorter name).

During the test, the Crispy Melt Taco carries a suggested price of $2.49 with either seasoned beef or the new, seasoned, plant-based protein.

Despite the test, Taco Bell's Beyond Meat product partnership is still set to launch before the end of 2022.

Photo via Taco Bell.