Fast Food

Taco Bell’s Naked Chicken Chalupa Returns After 2-Year Hiatus

Photo courtesy of Taco Bell

After an attempt to get into the fried chicken sandwich competition went haywire for Taco Bell, the fast food titan is switching to one of its more hypeworthy items as an answer to the ongoing “Chicken Sandwich Wars.”

Following a two-year absence from menus, the coveted Naked Chicken Chalupa is making a reappearance on menus nationwide starting on May 20th. (Taco Bell Rewards members can get it a day early on their app).

Taco Bell is spinning the chalupa as an answer to the “Chicken Sandwich Wars” this time around, using ad campaigns to say that all of the chicken sandwiches (which may include their own) are pretty identical, and that their unique taco creation stands out.

The fried chicken taco shell was one of the wildest innovations to come from Taco Bell, and appears to be the first of more fried chicken items to come later in the year. Taco Bell did also test chicken wings in 2020, so there’s a chance we could see those popping up nationwide in the near future as well.

For those who haven’t tried it, the Naked Chicken Chalupa is a taco-shaped cutlet of white chicken meat. It gets fried and filled with lettuce, cheddar, diced tomatoes, and an avocado ranch sauce.

Like all other Naked Chicken Chalupa appearances, this will be a limited time offering.

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Taco Bell’s Naked Chicken Chalupa Returns Nationwide, But For Just A Few Weeks

Taco Bell’s Naked Chicken Chalupa was the talk of the fast food world when it debuted over a year ago. Gracing menus for six short weeks, it was one of the most successful launches the chain has had to date. Building on that success, Taco Bell is now finally ready to release their creation to the world once more.

naked chicken chalupa returns

Photo courtesy of Taco Bell

This time around, there’s a couple of flavor additions that can be added onto the Chalupa. You’ve got the standard “Mild” version, which comes with the hype fried chicken shell, lettuce, tomatoes, cheddar, and avocado ranch sauce. However, there’s also a “Wild” variant on the official menu, which swaps the avocado ranch for a cayenne and brown sugar-based “Wild Sauce.” The OG and the new Chalupas hit menus nationwide starting Thursday, May 10th.

Additionally, Taco Bell is also testing a nacho cheese version of their Naked Chicken Chalupa. While that test is limited to Cleveland, Ohio, anybody nationwide can get their own version by swapping out the avocado ranch for nacho cheese on the regular Chalupa.

While it’s dope that we’re finally getting the fried chicken taco shell back on the menu, it will only be for a short run. Taco Bell representatives have confirmed to Foodbeast that all of the options will only be around through mid-July. They’ll be looking at this release, though, to see if the Chalupa performs well enough to merit consideration for a permanent menu spot.

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Taco Bell’s Naked Chicken Is Back In Three New Versions, Here’s Where to Get Them

Fans were definitely disappointed when Taco Bell’s Naked Chicken Chalupa lasted for just a few weeks on the menu earlier this year. Fortunately, the fast food chain has decided to give the people what they want and unleashed a trio of brand new items, all incorporating the crispy, spicy “naked” bird in some way or another.

naked chicken

Photo courtesy of Taco Bell

The Naked Chicken Chalupa itself is returning, but in a brand new version. This fried chicken taco shell encases lettuce, tomato, cheese, bacon, and a spicy Ranch dressing. Testing starting TODAY in Knoxville, Tennessee, it’s available on its own for $3.49 or in a combo box for $5.

Photo courtesy of Taco Bell.

Another new test item that features the chicken is Taco Bell’s new Chicken & Biscuits. Featuring a half dozen triangle-shaped biscuits to pair with six Naked Chicken Chips, the novel breakfast item comes with your choice of Jalapeno Honey or Nacho Cheese sauce. You can get it starting today in Indianapolis, Indiana, for $1.99 per set.

Photo courtesy of Taco Bell

Finally, Taco Bell is bringing their Naked Chicken nationwide once again with a Crispy Chicken Quesadilla. Filled with chicken chips, a three-cheese blend, and a creamy jalapeno sauce, the quesadilla is priced the same as the Chalupa, at $3.49 by itself or as part of a $5 combo box.

Photo courtesy of Taco Bell

Naked Chicken Chips, one of the other ways Taco Bell innovated with this hit item, is also making a brief return to the menu. You can get a pack of six with nacho cheese for $1.99 in locations nationwide.

All of these selections will only be around until roughly mid-November, so we’re only going to get a short reunion with Taco Bell’s Naked Chicken before it’s off the menu once again. Hopefully, the test items do well enough to warrant nationwide launches in the future, as other Taco Bell items have done in the past.

Fast Food What's New

Taco Bell Exposes Themselves With New Fried Chicken Shell Chalupa


A while back, we discovered that Taco Bell was testing a Naked Chicken Shell  that replaced the traditional hard corn husk with a piece of fried chicken. Pretty dope concept, if you’re trying to cultivate that protein.

Taco Bell has now announced that they’ll be releasing their new Naked Chicken Chalupa nationwide at the end of the month featuring that very same fried chicken shell.

The shell boasts four ounces of marinated, all-white meat antibiotic free chicken that’s breaded and crisped. Inside the shell, the Chalupa features shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and a creamy avocado ranch.

You can find the Naked Chicken Chalupa at all participating Taco Bell locations on Jan. 26 for $2.99. The new item will also be featured in a $5 Box that comes with a Doritos Locos Taco, a Crunchy Taco, and a medium drink.