The meat-free option will be available for a limited run this month.

By Adam Campbell-Schmitt
November 10, 2020
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It may still be premature to say plant-based meat is "here to stay," but it's certainly here. From Impossible's ground beef replacement popping up everywhere from grocery stores to White Castle, KFC testing poultry-free products, and even the biggest name in burgers, McDonald's, just announcing its own McPlant patty this week. Now another major milestone has been reached in the fake meat race: A national pizza chain putting substitute sausage on its pies.

Credit: Pizza Hut

Announced today, Pizza Hut has teamed with Beyond Meat to debut a sausage topping which hits restaurants today. I tried the new product a couple of weeks ago and must admit that Beyond Italian Sausage is tailor-made to stand in for its pork counterpart. It has the same crumbly nugget-like texture, a similar spice blend, and even bits of fennel peppered throughout. The one drawback for me—though a fan of crispy bits and edges on my pizza—was that, unlike fattier sausage, the Beyond option tended to dry out when it was right on top, losing its springy meat-like texture. Other than that, if I had been served this in a Folger's Challenge scenario, I doubt I would have noticed the difference.

Beyond Italian Sausage is being introduced on two Original Pan pizza options, though the item will be available on any pizza. Here's how Pizza Hut suggests you try it, with descriptions from the announcement:

  • Beyond Italian Sausage Pizza: Pizza Hut’s classic cheese pizza topped with plant-based Beyond Italian Sausage crumbles that feature an authentic blend of Italian seasonings, bringing a taste that’s Beyond Belief.
  • The Great Beyond Pizza: A specialty pizza crafted with fresh veggie toppings that include tomatoes, sliced red onions and tangy banana peppers, served up on Pizza Hut’s classic Original Pan crust paired perfectly alongside the savory Beyond Italian Sausage.

And because I know you're already wondering about plant-based pepperoni, I asked the same question and was met with a diplomatic pivot back to focusing on the new sausage. But Pizza Hut has also tried its hand at other meatless toppings, including a vegan jackfruit pizza in the U.K. Similarly, Little Caesar's has experimented with an Impossible Foods sausage, but only in a few test markets.

Pizza Hut's Beyond Italian Sausage will be available "for a limited time while supplies last," according to the brand. Though if items like Burger King's Impossible Whoppers are any indication, it could make a permanent comeback.