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Taco Bell's spin on an empanada is finally available everywhere, and it's one of the chain's best new items this year

Taco Bell's spin on an empanada is finally available everywhere, and it's one of the chain's best new items this year
  • I tried Taco Bell's delicious new take on an empanada, the Cheesy Chicken Crispanada.

  • It features shredded chicken and a blend of melted cheddar and mozzarella cheeses.

  • The shell had a satisfying crispiness, and it gave way to a warm cheesy middle full of flavor.

All the way back in March 2023, I went to Taco Bell's headquarters in Irvine, California, and got to try the chain's new spin on an empanada.

It was crispy, it was cheesy, and it was oh so delicious. There was just one issue — it was only being tested in Knoxville, Tennessee.

But now the Cheesy Chicken Crispanada is finally available everywhere, and I can confidently say it's one of the best new menu items Taco Bell is releasing this year.

The Cheesy Chicken Crispanada's nationwide release was announced during Live Más LIVE, Taco Bell's first superfan convention.

Taco Bell Live Mas Live 2024
Taylor Montgomery, Taco Bell's chief marketing officer, unveiling the chain's 2024 menu.Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

I had a front row seat to Live Más LIVE, which was held in Las Vegas during the Super Bowl weekend, as the chain revealed a dozen new menu items coming this year.

There will be everything from a Tajín taco to a Baja Blast pie, but I yelped for joy when I saw that the Cheesy Chicken Crispanada would finally be available nationwide.

Taco Bell's Cheesy Chicken Crispanada is the chain's new take on a classic empanada.

Taco Bell Cheesy Chicken Crispanada
Taco Bell's new Cheesy Chicken Crispanada.Taco Bell

The $3.49 Cheesy Chicken Crispanada consists of 50% shredded white chicken meat and 50% shredded dark chicken meat, a spokesperson for the chain told me during the tasting.

Also stuffed inside is a blend of melted cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, and the shell is made from phyllo dough — a deviation from the corn dough traditionally used for empanadas.

This isn't the first time Taco Bell has released its own spin on the classic treat. The chain previously had a sweet Caramel Apple Empanada, which was discontinued in 2019.

The Cheesy Chicken Crispanada looks similar to an empanada, but it has an unexpected twist.

Taco Bell Cheesy Chicken Crispanada
The Cheesy Chicken Crispanada features a phyllo dough shell and shredded chicken.Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

I've devoured many empanadas in my life but had never tried one that was made from phyllo dough. And as a Greek-American who grew up watching my parents carefully handle cold sheets of phyllo to make their homemade baklava and spanakopitas, I was really intrigued.

The Cheesy Chicken Crispanada doesn't have the soft and tender base of a traditional empanada, nor is it super flaky like a spinach pie. The fried shell was hard and firm, and it looked crispy.

The Cheesy Chicken Crispanada is served hot with a side of spicy ranch.

Taco Bell Cheesy Chicken Crispanada
The Cheesy Chicken Crispanada is paired with spicy ranch dip.Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

I gave my empanada a good dunk in the spicy ranch, which had a lovely light and bright flavor that served as a nice contrast to the filling.

I like things pretty spicy and found the ranch to be milder than expected, but I thought it still paired well with all that cheesiness.

After my first bite, I knew I was going to be a Cheesy Chicken Crispanada fan for life.

Taco Bell Cheesy Chicken Crispanada
The Cheesy Chicken Crispanada's filling was packed with so much flavor.Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

Balance is the perfect word to describe why the Cheesy Chicken Crispanada is such a success. From the texture to the flavor, everything just works perfectly together in a really delicious and creative way.

The shell has a really satisfying crispiness that gives way to this deliciously warm, creamy, and cheesy middle, and the combination of white and dark chicken added so much flavor.

Overall, it was such a savory and comforting snack. I could easily eat like five of these in one sitting.

Read the original article on Business Insider