Fast Food Review: XXL Chalupa from Taco Bell

I just consumed the XXL Chalupa from Taco bell and I’m not proud to admit that.  650 calories, an hour later, and I’m not feeling too great.  If only I was 15 again… The latest promotional item at Taco Bell is an extra large chalupa that mirrors a small taco salad, or a small boat.  The XXL Chalupa comes with a $2.99 price tag for the beef standard version.  I was offered the option of chicken or steak which probably ups the price some, but I went with what I see in all the print ads and T.V. spots.

While not a complete abomination, the XXL Chalupa can be just looked at as a novelty (which seems to be the trend at the Bell).  A regular sized chalupa is a decent Taco Bell creation. All that’s being done here with the XXL is exactly what you’d think… stuff a ton of Taco Bell standard ingredients into a bigger package.  The chalupa shell is indeed bigger, but unfortunately not thick enough to support lifting it out of it’s cardboard haven.  My XXL Chalupa fell apart after one bite. You can look at the shell falling apart as a good or bad thing… I’ll take one of each side.  The Good: There’s so much inside the shell.  The Bad: The poor shell can’t support the weight of it all.  Suggestion to avoid the shell crumble is grabbing a spork to start with some of the non-shell ingredients to lighten the load.

The XXL Chalupa is packed with ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese and nacho cheese sauce, red strips and it’s topped with reduced fat sour cream. I hear all the snickering and laughter over the “reduced fat” sour cream; What’s the point right?  Oh well, it is what it is.  I just see it as a decent component for the added cool/creamy factor.  Flavor-wise, the XXL Chalupa is just OK. There’s nothing special going on but all the typical ingredients you’ve come to expect.  Seasoned ground beef and a mix of cheeses dominate here and it would’ve been a bit more interesting if it came from my own mind.  When will places like Taco Bell take the Subway approach?  Subway and Taco Bell are pretty similar in that anything “new” is usually just a new combination of everything you’re already used to.  So why not be able to just pick and choose every ingredient going into your meal?  Anyway, I’m getting carried away.  The only thing “new” here is the bigger sized chalupa shell and cardboard packaging resembling a 7-11 Big Bite hot dog… that’s it and that’s all (I know you’re not surprised).

You know what the XXL Chalupa could really benefit from?  Something free.  Free as in the two new sauces available at Taco Bell.  The Fire-Roasted and the Salsa Verde are now available so why not play around with these new flavors and come up with something that fits your specific tastes? There’s my suggestion to all the readers who have a Taco Bell trip in their future, get whatever off the menu and experiment with new flavors from the new Border Salsas.  As for the XXL Chalupa, there really isn’t much of anything new and exciting going on.  It’s filling and messy and around $3 depending on your location.  I’d be happy sticking with a 99cent burrito, hooking it up with new salsa flavors and saving two bucks.

Pros: Tastes like a typical beef chalupa if you're in to chalupas. Filling. Decent packaging. New Border Salsas.

Cons: $2.99 will buy you 650cal, 39g of fat and 1300mg of sodium. Weak chalupa shell might make a mess of things.

Taste: 6.00/10
Value: 5.25/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 4.25/10
Price: 2.99 (beef)

Overall GrubGrade: 5.75/10

More Info: TacoBell.com
Nutrition Facts:
XXL Chalupa w beef
Calories: 650
Fat: 39 grams
Saturated Fat - 9 grams
Cholesterol - 55 millgrams
Sodium - 1300 milligrams
Carbs - 53 grams
Sugars - 6 grams
Dietary Fiber - 7 grams
Protein - 23 grams

29 comments on “Fast Food Review: XXL Chalupa from Taco Bell

  1. Justin says:

    That looks nasty.

  2. J.B. says:

    No thanks, I will not pay $3 for that dog food they call ground beef.
    Actually dog food is probably better than that stuff.

    On another note, the Verde sauce is excellent and the Fire Roasted so so.

  3. When I was in grade school, we had chalupas, and they were NOTHING like this monster. The commercials made it seem like you’d get a packed shell, the one pictured here seems sparce…sadly, such is fast food.

  4. Hassan says:

    i’m eating it as i type (yes, i am a fat bastard…even at the computer). it’s not bad, but it’s a little hard to eat. not sure how long this will stick around, but i’d say chalupa lovers should at least try it once while they can.

    i also asked for the new sauces and they’re pretty good. i’m surprised it took TB this long to add new sauce options

    • DerangedHermit says:

      They used to have the Salsa Verde in a big packet, but it was rare. I don’t care for the Fire-Roasted one though.

  5. skippymom says:

    In comparison to their advert pic’ this does look a little sparse — I have to agree. In fact for the price it looks downright anemic -fill the bad boy up. For $3 I would stick with a bean burrito and a soft taco with beans and a pepsi. And be full.

    Someone said on the last post that it looks as tho’ it would make a good taco salad [although with a chalupa shell] I can see that if it is too messy to pick up.

  6. maxchain says:

    Oh hey, you reminded me of the new sauces! Thanks for that!

    This thing doesn’t look like something I need immediately–at that size, it’s a poor man’s taco salad. Those tomatoes look suspiciously like the stuff they put on their Fresco-style foods, though, which I am an absolute sucker for. I might bite the bullet eventually, but I’m gettin’ it without that nasty nacho cheese sauce.

    • maxchain says:

      Follow-up: I don’t feel terribly good about myself for eating that, and neither does my stomach. On the plus side, the shell didn’t fall apart.

      The Border Salsa Verde, though… Hell yes. That’s going on everything I get there. No exceptions.

  7. Scott says:

    I absolutely love Taco Bell, and it has seen me through many late night work hours and college. I thought those who disliked the XXL Chalupa were just sick of Taco Bell and were just haters, but I had the opportunity to try it today, and was very disappointed; not because of the size, the amount and type of ingredients, or the presentation, rather, the taste (or lack thereof).

    Although it “looked” VERY promising (very well put together with ingredients I usually love), it was as flavorless and bland as any other TB item. Usually, I pour about twenty packets or more of their hot sauce per burrito, and it makes it delicious. The XXL Chalupa needed something, so I added the new Fire Roasted sauce to it. That did absolutely nothing for it (and, for the record, I did not care for the sauce much), so I added some leftover “Red Burrito” (Hardees) Jalapeno hot salsa/sauce to it, and it still did nothing for my senses. I should have just done what I usually do and added about 15 packets of TB regular hot sauce to it, or doused it in some El Yucateco Chile Habanero sauce.

    It may have just been the two McDoubles and the McChicken I had just beforehand (yes, I eat a lot), but the McChicken and McDoubles were more enjoyable than the XXL Chalupa, without any extra condiments. The McDouble had the right combination of meat, cheese, bun, and condiments. The McChicken had the right amount of mayo, lettuce, bun, and “chicken” (sorry for the double quotes around “chicken”–you know what I mean). The XXL Chalupa….needed something…maybe I just needed to be A LOT hungrier to appreciate it.

    Is it worth the price? Maybe, but someone needs a way to add some flavor to it. I’d much rather spend an extra dollar and get a “Red Burrito” from a Hardees/Red Burrito, and be completely full for the rest of the day. The $2.79 XXL Chalupa needed to be augmented by three other “dollar” sandwiches to make me feel as full as one delicious $4 Red Burrito.

  8. Jessica Leigh says:

    I’d rather order 2 chalupas than eat this, but the trouble is, I feel sick after eating one chalupa. I think it’s the fried bread that does it to me. I also don’t really like Taco Bell’s chicken. I love the new pork cantina tacos, please don’t tell me they were only short-term. I am REALLY REALLY excited about the salsa verde!

  9. ft says:

    So, I must be easy to please- I loved it. I typically go for the cheesy gordita crunch or nacho cheese chalupa, so this monstrosity is right up my alley. The salsa verde is addition is primo. I will be putting this on everything going forward.

  10. ric says:

    nacho cheese chicken without the sour cream is the way to go for me. had it like that w. the xxl and its pretty darn good. only thing for me tho is that id rather just get my usual #6 nacho cheese chicken which is 2 regular sized chalupas. chicken is def better than the beef imo

  11. JPD says:

    That XXL is way understuffed. When I make one at work it looks a lot like the commercial, sans the food porn makeover products get for the camera. Whoever made that one was obviously paranoid about portioning.

    The XXL isn’t a bad menu item, but it isn’t spectacular either. I do like the shell, but they’re annoying to fry up. And people might not realize it, but for the price that is a LOT of food. A XXL costs as much as a mexican pizza and is comparatively bigger with more ingredients.

    As for the sauces, the salsa verde is amazing. I normally hate the border sauces with a bloody passion, but that’s a winner.

  12. Steveo says:

    i just had my first xxl chalupa experience and i must admit it was quite chronic. Espercially the verde sauce. Muy bien. Everyone should give the xxl try and load that ish up with verde sauce. Halla

  13. Bobby says:

    Better and MORE MEAT PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. wibia says:

    The baja beef chalupa is my favorite menu item from TB so i might have to give this a try.

  15. Matrix says:

    In the commercials, the shell is filled with meat. I guess the real thing has 1/2 of it

  16. Someguy says:

    So, the reduced-fat sour cream… is that the only type they have these days? Or can you ask for it instead of full-fat sour cream?

    Maybe it’s just a way to get rid of the reduced-fat stuff since nobody I know would even think to ask for it. :P

  17. Waingro says:

    Chalupas are my favorite thing at TB, so I couldn’t wait to try this. Well, it finally came to Hawaii at a price of $3.59. Mine was stuffed carefully and nicely; I was actually able to pick it up and eat it without making a huge mess, but they didn’t get cheap on me with the fillings either. The XXL is essentially all three chalupa variations in one: the sour cream of the Supreme, the nacho cheese of the Nacho, the salsa of the Baja. I added two packets of the new Salsa Verde, and it was delicious. I would get it again, even at this price.

  18. Kevin says:

    I had to “take one for the team”. I saw so many ads for it during the NCLS and World Series, that I got one to support my Giants, who by the way humiliated Texas in game 2.

    I liked it. I was surprised the shell was more chewy than the crunchy regular Chalupa. All the usual Taco Bell ingredients. At 650 calories, it is 230 calories LESS than Trader Joe’s spinach bacon egg SALAD.

  19. Eddie says:

    Got one of these the other day. It looked nothing like that thing you photographed. Mine was filled to the rim and didn’t break apart on me.

  20. brent says:

    i begin to think that these tacos are just a form of marketing.
    lets put a Burrito together and call it something catchy and charge $3 bucks for it. and i have to say this thing does not look like the one in the commercial.

  21. Phil says:

    Just had one, mine was pretty empty looking as well – similar to the pictures above. Shell held up initially but by about half way through it collapsed and I had to revert to the supplied spork.
    It was very stodgy, the shell was probably the part that fill you up the most and provides most of the calories, soft and deep fried so absorbed quite a bit of oil.
    I’m always up or trying new items at least once but I think I’ll avoid this one in future.

  22. LISA says:

    I tried the Steak XXL Chalupa and it was stuffed past the top with the ingredients. I thought it was by far the best thing Taco Bell has on it’s menu!! I hope they don’t get rid of it!!

  23. I have gotten many of these and I have fast matobolism but I know this has to have some kinda effect on my health. I crave fast food and this is allot better then getting a wopper or classic double. These reviews helped me out and I still want one. Unhealthy food everywere!

  24. E. Rosenbeck says:

    I’ve noticed that if you go inside and order, the chalupa is a lot bigger, than if you go thru the drivr-thru.

  25. Mr.crunchNmunch says:

    I would still eat it its awesome i make them at home but would rather eat them from taco bell, and anyone complaining get on a bike or start working out and stop complaining about it you don’t have to eat it and If it makes you fat then that’s your problem you know it’s bad but you put it to your mouth anyway!!!
    Bring that monster food back i love it.

  26. CastIronStomach says:

    I always thought a chalupa always sounded like something that exited your body after eating Taco Bell. This monstrosity is calorie overkill (simply for the sake of packing as many calories into that boxed, gloopy mess as possible).