Review: Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza from Papa John’s

Some might say pizza is a perfect food.  OK… I say pizza is a perfect food.  In recent years Papa John’s has made attempts to create a bunch of hybrids out of this “perfect food” with pizza topping combinations made up of a lot of classic flavors .  We’ve seen Fritos Chili Pie made into a pizza, there was the Philly Cheesesteak Pizza, and one of my favorites, the Spicy Pulled Pork.  The list goes on and on and of course it also includes the iconic cheeseburger.  The latest is the Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza and let’s face it, it’s not hard to find fans of bacon cheeseburgers and pizza.

Bacon Cheeseburger PizzaPapa John’s describes their new Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza like this:

America’s favorites are better together.  Our New Bacon Cheeseburger pizza comes with 100% real beef and mozzarella cheese, fresh cut Roma tomatoes, hickory-smoked bacon, pickles and Papa’s signature burger sauce all on our fresh hand tossed crust.

The Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza is promo priced at $12 for a large, a standard price for new specialty pizzas.  I can usually decide my overall thumbs up or thumbs down feel for a pizza within a couple of slices.  Since I just reached for slice number four, it’s safe to say this pizza gets my approval.

Papa John's Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza 2There were a couple of concerns I had with the Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza before even tasting it.  One thing that came to mind was… were the tomatoes necessary and would they hurt the overall score?  I’ve had issues in past Papa John’s pizzas where those “fresh cut Roma tomatoes” really didn’t work for me.  I like tomatoes, it’s just that they haven’t been utilized appropriately on some PJ’s pizza combos.  The same issue with tomatoes is found with this pizza and I felt the juicy, wet texture has a sort of dull impact when you get a good sized chunk in a bite.  Another concern I had was pickles on a pizza.  Turns out they weren’t that bad after all and I think pickles on this pizza worked better for me than pickles on a bacon cheeseburger.  There wasn’t a big sour bite from the pickle slices, just enough to let you know they’re there.  The distribution was pretty even and I never felt like there were too many.

Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza 3 Although the morsels of beef and hickory-smoked bacon were decently salty and flavorful, there just wasn’t enough of it.  When I think about having a bacon cheeseburger style pizza, I expect the beef and bacon to have a big impact.  With not enough beef and bacon topping, my attention kept shifting to minor ingredients that deserve to be afterthoughts.  I’d say there was a slight disappointment that this wasn’t a meatier pizza, but it still somehow managed to come out quite decent.  The mildly tangy burger sauce provided for a delicately creamy base that made most of its impact around where the mozzarella meets the end crust.  As for that end crust, garlic butter bailed it out.

Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza Papa JohnThe sum of its parts might have a couple issues here and there, but the product still came out a minor success.  This was a pleasant surprise for me as I likely wouldn’t have considered this outside the realm of writing a review.

Pros: Combining a bacon cheeseburger with a pizza seems like a win by default. The pickles weren't so bad after all. Burger sauce base.

Cons: Could have been beefier, meatier. Sad to not see onions, but tomatoes somehow made the cut.

Taste: 7.50/10
Value: 6.25/10
Price: $12 for a large

Overall GrubGrade: 7.00/10

More Info:
Nutrition Facts:
1 large slice
380 calories
Total Fat - 20 grams
Saturated Fat - 7 grams
Carbs - 37 grams
Fiber - 2 grams
Sugar - 5 grams
Protein - 14 grams

15 comments on “Review: Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza from Papa John’s

  1. ruckus says:

    Great review! I have been curious about this pizza ever since I saw the commercials – I think I may give it a shot.

  2. Manavee says:

    I’m glad you liked it, as I thought I was one of the only ones who actually liked the previous version of this pizza (sans the bacon) earlier. Most everyone else on this site seemed to really, really hate it.

    Normally, pizza is great and burgers are great. However, pizza burgers usually suck, and burger-themed pizza also sucks. I found that this was one of the few exceptions to the rule.

    I loved the Thousand Island-like sauce. I thought the pickles worked great with the pizza. The rest of the ingredients were all decent as well. For me, this LTO was a success.

    • Sascha says:

      You’re off your rocker, pizza burgers are the best.

      • Raiders757 says:

        Agreed. They didn’t call it a pizza burger, but back in the day Bennigan’s(R.I.P.) served a burger with a huge disc of their fried cheese and marinara sauce. That thing was awesome! best pizza style burger I’ve ever had.

        Off topic and showing my age, but I remember when Bennigan’s was the only place that served fried cheese sticks. You couldn’t buy them in the store or get them anywhere else so it made going to our local Bennigan’s a special treat back when I was a kid.

        • Sascha says:

          YES! The Wheelhouse burger! That was indeed an awesome sandwich. I actually still have Bennigan’s locally, and while that burger is no longer on the menu, the chicken tenders still are, and in my opinion they are the best in the business.

  3. Roger C. says:

    How did you pan the last cheeseburger pizza, but not this one?

  4. Chef Paul Kirk says:

    I too liked the commercial and it looked good, so I ordered one last night. I was very disappointing evening, very little ground beef, with 1000 Island dressing on it which I never associated with a cheese burger, unless I had a Big Mac. I will not be ordering another Cheese Burger Pizza!

  5. Ryan says:

    The placement of the bacon can be difficult. While we do keep them in the cold line, when our warm human hands touch it, it causes the bacon to clump so it makes it harder for even distribution.

  6. Ric says:

    I didn’t like the tomatoes so i subbed them with onions. Made for more of a Big Mac taste and I guess that’s what they’re going for anyway with the thousand island dressing as a sauce.

  7. JJ says:

    Typical of pizza chains, way too much crust. Since the pizza gets smaller toward the center, each piece is about 50% crust.

  8. William says:

    Just ordered one for the office crew. That zesty burger sauce tastes like mayonnaise, and that for me was a put down. Next time I’ll order a plain sausage pizza.

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