Taco Bell is rolling out its very own plant-based meat alternative

Array of Taco Bell foods and sauces on wrappers
Photo: Rachel Murray / Stringer (Getty Images)

Taco Bell is arguably the best fast food option for plant-based customers, with quite a few tasty meatless options. (Spicy Potato Soft Taco, Fiesta Potatoes, Bean Burrito—the list goes on and on.) But now, CNBC reports that the chain has begun testing its very own meat alternative.

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CNBC explains that the chain is coming in a bit late to the plant-based meat game, citing its already tantalizing array of vegetarian options. But T-Bell changed its tune back in January, announcing that it would test a Beyond Meat product this year. But before that happens, customers can try Taco Bell’s proprietary plant-based option: the Cravetarian Taco, cooked up in the chain’s test kitchen. The taco is reportedly a vegetarian version of the Crunchy Taco Supreme and features a meat substitute made from a blend of peas and chickpeas. The taco also comes with shredded cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream in a crunchy shell, although plant-based eaters can surely order the taco sans dairy.

Unfortunately, the Cravetarian Taco is currently available at only one Taco Bell location in Tustin, California, just outside of Los Angeles. CNBC reports that the chain plans to test the item until April 29; during that time, customers can also swap the meat alternative into other menu items for no extra cost. If you live near the Tustin Taco Bell, do us a favor: swing by, try the new meat alternative, and see how it stacks up to the real thing.

Staff writer @ The Takeout, joke writer elsewhere. Wrangling dogs and pork shoulder in Chicago.

DISCUSSION

thesoymilkconspiracy
Baberaham Lincoln

Yoooooo I tried it today and IT’S REALLY FUCKING GOOD. Really flavorful and no weird soy aftertaste. A little wet (which I didn’t mind because the sauce was delicious), and a little salty, but no more salty than any other fake meat product or, let’s be honest, fast food in general. The other great thing is Taco Bell doesn’t charge you extra to sub it in any product — most fast food restaurants upcharge at least a few bucks for fake meat. No idea if that’s just for the trial period but it was a nice bonus.

It’s way better than Beyond Meat in my opinion. I do eat Del Taco’s Beyond tacos every once in a while, and overall prefer Del to TB by a wide margin (I usually just sub beans for meat at both places and it’s tasty as hell). But the W def goes to Taco Bell this time. I’m 100% going to go back and try it in other products this week. Cheesy Gordita Crunch here I come!

I haven’t eaten real meat in almost 20 years, so I can’t tell you how it stacks up to actual ground beef. But as far as plant-based meats go it is fucking awesome. IMO Taco Bell should ditch their Beyond Meat plans and just stick with this. Love that it’s chickpea and not soy-based too. A+ Taco Bell.