14 Taco Bell Secret Menu Items You Need To Try

It seems that everyone across America must be living mas since the pandemic because Taco Bell's sales are up 25% over the last two years. And, growing with the number of consumers cruising through their drive-thru daily, is the list of "menu hacks" Taco Bell devotees have invented to personalize their items. The secret menu item phenomenon is no stranger to the American chain restaurant — it's a trend that's spread from In-N-Out's crimson doors to Starbucks' forest green gates.  Basically, if there's a fast food chain, chances are there's a groundswell of people riffing on their "off menu" items. Like fan-fiction for fast food, the secret menu exists in between the recognizable and the novel. 

Taco Bell now openly encourages tweaking or personalizing your item(s) and sets its tables with little signs that read "customize uniquely, get it early, be rewarded," referring to their app and touch-screen kiosks. These stations not only help alleviate the national shortage of quick-service employees, but they allow us to order (most) of our tricky "secret menu" items in peace and without the prying judgment of a (rightfully) annoyed employee. Here, we've compiled a list of both the most buzzed about Taco Bell menu hacks and a couple of other more subdued alterations to Taco Bell's menu that we believe will serve you best on your next trip there. 

Double Grilled Quesadilla

Possibly the most reasonable of all of the menu hacks, the double grilled quesadilla requires you to simply ask the Taco Bell employee taking your order to grill your quesadilla twice so that the exterior will be delivered to you with darker grill marks and considerably stiffer. This amendment to the menu is handiest when you're traveling over ten minutes to the destination you plan on consuming your cheesy indulgence or for anyone who finds Taco Bell's original quesadilla too floppy in the first place. 

However, this option is not available on the Taco Bell app if you're ordering remotely or at their kiosks where you place your order on a screen. So you will have to ask for this iteration directly from a Taco Bell employee since no screen offers an "extra grilled" or even a "grilled option." This hack is available for all of the quesadilla offerings (chicken, cheese, and steak), and we highly recommend it for the meatless versions of the dish as it adds a little texture that the cheese-on-cheese lacks.


Like a lot of the Taco Bell secret menu items, the Cheesarito is an attempt by fans to resurrect a discontinued, official Taco Bell menu item. It's also the only Taco Bell secret menu item we were able to find that the employees all seemed to be familiar with by name alone. Consisting of a soft tortilla swaddling melted cheese, Taco Bell's taco sauce, and scallions, the Cheesarito functions as an un-grilled alternative to the quesadillas — especially for those who are craving an indulgent, cheesy treat but want to skip the meat section of Taco Bell's menu. A perfect little snack to eat while driving or just before you go to a fancy meal you suspect won't actually fill you up, the Cheesarito is the kind of sly trick that has made fast food secret menus a cult favorite. 

We tried the classic Cheesarito, ordering a soft taco with only cheese, taco sauce, and scallions, plus another invention that added jalapeños to the classic concoction. Guess what? We weren't disappointed. The acidic, hot punch of jalapeño balanced out an otherwise purely salty item.


After we tried the commendable Cheesarito, we let our hopes soar a little too high for the similarly named Quesorito. That might have something to do with the fact that the Quesarito's origin story did not begin at Taco Bell but at another fast-casual food competitor: Chipotle. Chipotle's Quesarito consists of a quesadilla in place of an ordinary cheeseless tortilla, wrapped around the other contents of the classic Chipotle burrito (beans, rice, lettuce, salsa, sour cream, and cheese). Admittedly, Chipotle's version looks good (perhaps thanks to their corn salsa), but Taco Bell's rendition of the Quesarito is scaled back in contents and overwhelmed with rice — never Taco Bell's strength. Like Chipotle's Quesarito, Taco Bell's hyped-up quesadilla consists of a quesadilla shell wrapped up around meat, sauce, rice, and sour cream. 

The Quesarito is still available in some cities on Taco Bell's official website, after being discontinued from their national offerings back in April of 2020, according to People. But if you live in a zip-code lucky enough to enjoy this amped-up wrap, you'll likely have to order it on their website or on their app. Otherwise, the closest you'll get to a Quesorito is by adding extra items to your quesadilla order and rolling the concoction up yourself in a less visually alluring version of the beloved treat.

Lava Sauce

Unsurprisingly, Taco Bell's reliance on liquid-like cheese props up several of their classic items, like the Quesadilla, Cheesy Gordita Crunch, and the unparalleled CrunchWrap Supreme. But a decade ago, a spicy variation of the squeezable sauce existed on the menu under a formidable title: Lava Sauce. As cited on Salvation Taco, the Lava Sauce once laced the (also discontinued) Volcano Burrito — a ground beef burrito with rice, crimson tortilla chip pieces, and the aforementioned Lava Sauce. 

Thanks to YouTube's commitment to archiving even the most minuscule moments in pop culture, we know that the Volcano Burrito (and its famed Lava Sauce) apparently dates back to 1995 as a promotional tie-in for the Frank Marshall critical bomb, "Congo." Somehow, the Volcano Burrito endured all the way up to 2012 (17 years after Congo's release) and the Lava Sauce was offered up until 2013, according to Medium. But you can easily recreate this beloved, fiery topping by simply stirring in the Taco Bell hot sauce of your choosing (mild, red, fire, and diablo) to an order of Taco Bell's nacho cheese and viola — you're living la vida lava once again.

DIY 7 Layer Burrito

Another discontinued item from Taco Bell's official menu board, the 7-Layer Burrito  — which consisted of beans, rice, lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, cheese, and sour cream — was once a favorite amongst vegetarian Taco Bell lovers, according to Vox. To achieve this meatless meal today, you'll have to resort to tactics like TikTok user @damntastyvegan and customize an approximation of the much-missed classic. To do this, she starts by ordering a simple bean and cheese burrito, asks for it to be served Fresco Style (which is code for vegan), and then adds potatoes and guacamole. 

While this is a clever trick, the result is somewhat lacking; the potatoes are a distraction from the texture of the burrito and are a constant reminder that you're eating a "vegetarian dish" instead of a dish that just happens to be vegetarian. We suspect we would much prefer the classic that included both sour cream and lettuce to break up the texture and salty monotony of the overloaded burrito. Like many TikTok users preoccupied with "hacking" fast food menus, @damntastyvegan also points out that the customized item is half the price of the actual 7-Layer Burrito, but we'd skip the savings for the taste of the original any day.

Tie-Dye Freeze

What we judged as the most obvious, ostentatious, and senseless secret menu item, might be one of our very favorites. The Tie-Dye Freeze is basically just a "graveyard" of every Freeze flavor your local Taco Bell has to offer. To make one, each flavor is simply stacked on top of one another in an icy heap of slow melting (and blending flavors). We should mention that the quality of your Tie-Dye Freeze will vary; after being shut down by one Taco Bell location only offering mango as their sole Freeze option, we booked it to another Taco Bell that was thankfully pouring three flavors.

Ours was a frozen mass of Baja Blast, Mango, and Cherry and it was the hot-day darling we didn't know we needed in our lives. Though we were skeptical about whether or not our taste buds would appreciate being assaulted by a triptych of artificial flavorings, to our surprise, we welcomed the thawing crawl of changing flavors. We should mention here that your Tie-Dye Freeze and its quality are impacted by two key crucial factors: the Freeze flavors your Taco Bell offers and how the employee decides to layer them. Ours was built from the lightest and most vibrant (Baja Blast) to the heaviest, weightiest flavor (Cherry — with Mango in the center). And while you can specify the lineup of your Freeze, asking for a favor (on top of a favor) is too over the top for us. We rather wait for the surprise.

Doritos Shell Anything

It might be blasphemous to state, but we're sorry — the Doritos Shell is the new money of the Taco Bell menu. We'll sheepishly admit that when Taco Bell first released their Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco, the flavor fiend in us was curious enough to try one. And, even alit with excitement, the Doritos Locos Taco fell flat. Hardcore (or should we say "hardshell") Taco Bell enthusiasts love this orange vehicle for taco toppings and suggest subbing it out for the classic, hardshell taco. 

But thanks to the nacho cheese dust coating the Doritos Taco Shell, the end result of 90% of the combinations that can reasonably fill its shell is a combatively salty affair with too many competing cheese elements vying for the spotlight. Also, the cheese powder on the Doritos Shell leaves a spray-painted orange mess on your fingers. At the end of the day, we won't deny throwing in a couple of Doritos Shell tacos when we're placing a large order for a group — adding some traffic-cone orange shells in the mix is the junk food version of asking for shaved truffles on an already savory pasta. But by taste alone, the Doritos Shell leaves us cold.

Fresco-Style Anything

Joining the ranks of chain food nomenclature that makes no sense when translated (see: the Starbucks macchiato versus a cafe macchiato via Craft Sense), Taco Bell's "Fresco" (which translates "fresh" or "not frozen" in Spanish) means replacing "items typically higher in calories and fat, like mayo-based sauces, cheeses, and reduced-fat sour cream with freshly prepared diced tomatoes. With this quick customization tool, you can reduce calories and fat by up to 25%." 

In layman's terms, Fresco-style is the quick and easy way to morph your ground beef-laden burrito into a vegetarian (if not vegan) item. Unsurprisingly though, most of the narcotic joy we experience while spoiling ourselves with a meal from Taco Bell derives from the many creamy, oozy, cheesy, and therefore very fatty sauces and toppings we've come to associate with eating there. Omitting sauce and replacing it with guacamole or sliced tomatoes ends up tasting like someone's attempting to make you food from what's left in their fridge. But we'll admit that the "Fresco-style" headline does make it easy when a member of your group insists on a healthier item from the menu.

The Hulk/Incredible Hulk

Though we were initially thrown off by the name, both The Hulk and The Incredible Hulk are fierce secret menu hacks that anyone rolling up to Taco Bell late at night will love. Why "The Hulk"? Look to the soft, green hue of the guacamole — a key ingredient to either Hulk burrito. While we're not sure if it can claim to be "one of Taco Bell's healthy menu items" as Hack the Menu states, we are certain that it's every ounce as enjoyable as the Bean and Cheese Burrito it builds off of. 

For The Hulk, ask for the classic Bean and Cheese Burrito with the addition of a heap of guacamole. The Incredible Hulk, however, is slightly more complicated; it's a classic 5-Layer Burrito with the nacho cheese sauce, inner tortilla, and sour cream omitted. Instead, they're replaced by guacamole. The Incredible Hulk's more involved order does not result in a better burrito and, like a sequel to a superhero movie, feels a bit lost and repetitive. Stick with The Hulk, which passes on the meat and tastes most like a sanctioned Taco Bell menu item.

Cloudy Skies

A secret menu item that was brought to the public eye thanks to TikTok, the Cloudy Skies is a crafty creation from TikToker and Taco Bell employee @ceotacobellhacks — and we hope he received an employee of the month plaque because the Cloudy Skies truly breaks through the glass ceiling of what we expected the Taco Bell secret menu items to contain. Simple to request, restrained, and composed, the Cloudy Skies is just half an order of Baja Blast topped off with a swirl of pink lemonade. 

Cloudy Skies is like the Katy Perry of Arnold Palmers — unapologetically garish, nearly too sweet, and made for the masses. On the tongue, the Cloudy Skies borrows the best elements of the Baja Blast — a flavor Soda Pop Craft describes as having "lime, and tropical fruit flavors, as well as mango, pineapple, and citrus" — and blends it with the familiar, citrus briskness of Taco Bell's sweet, but watery, strawberry lemonade. If you want to brag about your drinkable menu hack, you're going to have to snap a photo before you pull out of the Taco Bell parking lot because its layered colors (aquamarine and cotton candy pink) do swiftly blend into a not entirely off-putting fuchsia hue.

Nacho Fries

Listen, nothing will ever take the place of Taco Bell's long, lost potato dish, the Mexi-Nugget. And this active Reddit community agrees — the tater tot-like dish from yesteryear is the potato achievement we're still craving from Taco Bell. However, we've been willing to settle for their Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes since the untimely Mexi-Nuggets exit. 

But if you want to upgrade to the unauthorized (but easy-to-order) Nacho Fries, all you have to ask for is the Cheesy Fiesta Fries and add on the three cheese blend, tomatoes, and a meat option (we prefer grilled chicken). The result reminds us of a Midwestern potluck casserole made up of anything we can find in the freezer plus cheese. It's unassailably delicious and worth the paltry price of any add-on charge. Plus, instead of one plastic ramekin of Nacho Fries, we were delivered two packed containers of gooey goodness, making it one of the most bang-for-your-buck items on the unofficial Taco Bell secret menu.

Mexican Calzone

Riffing on the on-again-off-again Taco Bell cult classic, the Mexican Pizza, the user-friendly Mexican Calzone is a menu hack for those trying to outsmart the shifting priorities of the official and often unpredictable Taco Bell menu, as shown on USA Today. The Mexican Calzone builds on the CrunchWrap Supreme, a sturdy item on the Taco Bell menu that isn't likely to ever leave. 

To create the Mexican Calzone, first, ask for the CrunchWrap of your choice (we picked chicken), then, hold the lettuce and nacho cheese but ask for beans (we prefer the toothsome black bean here). Finally, add the three cheese blend Taco Bell uses on most of their classic items, including the Mexican Pizza. Overall, it falls short of a classic CrunchWrap but is honestly a little better than the over-hyped, and often sold-out Mexican Pizza. Consuming it while it's still intact in its tortilla is a race against time, as the filing threatens to spill out of its center crease from the second you open the wrap.

Real Nachos

Taco Bell's current nacho offering, the Nacho Bell Grande, resembles more of a concession you'd come across while rolling skating or dining at a multiplex. But this hack nudges the Taco Bell nachos a little closer to the dish they took their inspiration from, as seen on Nacho Hippo

To start, order the Nacho Bell Grande and remove both the seasoned beef and nacho cheese from the dish. In their place, add a less controversial meat (again we chose chicken, but steak is also an option), guacamole, jalapeños, and extra three cheese blend. The result is delivered in a sizable to-go container, and we were sincerely struck by how proper the Taco Bell nachos looked. What was once an oozy mess fit only for the last row of a dark theater transformed into a somewhat sensible dish we'd order anytime we're craving Taco Bell but not quite in the mood to go full throttle with some of their more excessive dishes (we're looking at you, Toasted Cheddar Chalupa). Shockingly, the three cheese blend even melted just the right amount, making each bite even. And, with all the add-ons, we didn't suffer through one dry or underdressed tortilla chip. Real Nachos, while perhaps lacking a cool-sounding name, rank in the upper-tier of Taco Bell menu hacks.

Grilled Anything

Much like how you can ask for anything Fresco-style or replace a perfectly fine crunchy taco with a cursed Doritos Cheese Shell, Taco Bell will grill any of their burritos for you. Perfect for if you don't trust the structural integrity of what Taco Bell asks its tortillas to bear (like the Spicy Cheesy Double Beef Burrito's seven toppings) or if you have more than a ten-minute drive to your destination, grilling the exterior of your Taco Bell burrito will slightly elevate the dish.

Out of respect for the folks working the Taco Bell grill station, we probably wouldn't be bold enough to ask for every item we're ordering to kiss the griddle, but if we're ordering modestly, we will be grilling our burritos from here on out. The grilling option allows you to hold the burritos vertically with less frightening results (i.e. beans and cheese all over your jeans). Plus, the slight char is the perfect crispy marriage to the chunky and gooey fillings Taco Bell's burritos are known for.