Papa John's review: How veganising a guilty pleasure took away the guilt, and some of the pleasure | Totally Vegan Buzz

Papa John’s review: How veganising a guilty pleasure took away the guilt, and some of the pleasure

Papa John’s vegan pizza Review
Image: Papa John’s

After much public pressure, including a petition of 30,000 signatures, Papa John’s finally introduced not one, not two, but three new vegan cheese pizzas to their UK menu on Monday (28 Jan).

The vegan options are topped with a mix of Bute Island’s Sheese Cheddar and Mozzarella and are available to collect or be delivered (take note Pizza Hut). Naturally the Totally Vegan Buzz HQ had to try some.

The pizza

Image courtesy of Papa John’s

The office ordered half a Garden Party and half with plain Sheese and Tomato to compare a pizza loaded with veggie with an unadulterated vegan cheese experience.

It came with Special Garlic dip which in the past has been merely used as a vegan hack to add to a cheeseless Papa John’s, but now it enhances the vegan experience further.

First up was the Sheese and tomato. The cheese had a good, smooth melted texture and was not too strong to taste.

Papa John’s is renowned for its guilty-pleasure pizzas, but the vegan version has removed much of the guilt, and perhaps some of the pleasure too.

I’m not talking about the dairy this time, but instead the volume of Sheese used was significantly less than the volume of cheese you might expect.

That’s where the garlic dip came in handy, but without it (some people have complained about not being sent one) it would have been far too dry.

The vegetables from the Garden Party added some much needed moisture, making this half more well-rounded. However, if possible, it arrived with even less Sheese.

Perhaps we were unlucky as there were reports across the country of the company running low on vegan cheese. Maybe the pizzas will up their game in future.

Rating: 6/10 – with the addition of more Sheese, this could have risen to a 7 or even an 8.

Marmite and Sheese Scrolls

Image courtesy of @AnimlaAid on Twitter

Now, I’ve heard some people saying these had too much Marmite on them, and to that I say there is no such thing.

However, like the pizza, the problem was simply the lack of Sheese to dough and Marmite ratio. Bung some Marmite on anything and you’ve got a winner for me, so obviously it was hard to go wrong with these upgraded dough balls.

Ratio aside, these little scrolls were pretty much exactly how I anticipated they would be – by that I mean they were fantastic!

The mini treats were bursting with salty, doughy, Sheesey flavour and were incredibly moreish.

Dunk in the garlic dip and watch all eight scrolls vanish from under your nose.

Rating: 9/10 – more Sheese would merit a perfect 10

Totally Vegan Buzz’s Head of Food Inspection, Ziggy, stares longingly at the last two slices

Other options at Papa John’s for vegans include:

  • Vegan Sheese Garden Party
  • Vegan Sheese Hot Pepper Passion
  • Vegan Sheese and Tomato
  • Sheese and Marmite scrolls
  • Special Garlic Dip (NOT Garlic and Herb)
  • Sweet Chilli Dip
  • BBQ Dip


While I probably won’t be ordering these pizzas every week, I predict they will be miracle workers for hungover days – provided I order extra dip for dousing over the pizza to quench any dryness.

The Marmite scrolls however, I think I could devour every day. It’s great to see more and more large companies responding to consumer demand and providing vegan equivalents to normal options.

Have you tried a vegan Papa John’s pizza yet? What do you think? Tell us in the comments below!

Published by Samhita Foria

Samhita Foria is a journalist at Totally Vegan Buzz with a penchant for novelty socks, veganising any recipe that comes her way and the colour yellow. As much as she tries she cannot stop writing about vegan food and her greatest talent is spending all her money on the latest vegan treats. Follow her on Twitter @samhitaforia or for the best samosas in Brighton follow @btn_samosa_sagas on Instagram.



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