It all started with one little tweet in Aug. 2019. That’s right; I’m talking about the tweet from Popeyes that sparked the chicken sandwich wars. Since then, it seems like everyone has been jumping in the fight.
Now joining them are McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Zaxby’s and even Taco Bell. Keep reading to learn about the latest fast-food spots battling for the number one spot in the chicken sandwich wars.
8. McDonald’s Crispy Chicken Sandwiches
On Feb. 15, 2021, McDonald’s announced that it would be rolling out its new chicken sandwiches on Feb. 24. “We know our customers are craving really great chicken sandwiches.
And to deliver an elevated experience, we took the time to get our new Crispy, Spicy and Deluxe Crispy Chicken Sandwiches right,” Lauren Schultz, McDonald’s senior director of brand and menu strategy told, “Good Morning America.”
The Crispy version is very similar to the Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich. It consists of a southern-style fried chicken filet with crinkle-cut pickles and a buttered, toasted potato roll. The Spicy version comes with a creamy, spicy sauce, and the Deluxe version comes with lettuce, Roma tomatoes and mayonnaise.
7. Taco Bell’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco
In February, Taco Bell announced that it would be rolling out its own version of a crispy chicken sandwich. The Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco consists of all-white chicken marinated in jalapeño buttermilk and fried with a tortilla chip coating, along with a creamy chipotle sauce and bread that’s shaped like a taco. The spicy version of this sandwich includes slices of jalapeño peppers.
The sandwich-taco hybrid made its debut in Nashville, Tennessee and Charlotte, North Carolina, on March 11. It will roll out to the rest of the nation sometime later this year. Unfortunately, some customers are not too thrilled with the new sandwich.
According to an article published by Eat This, Not That!, some say that the bun can’t hold up, noting that it splits at the bottom if you hold it too tightly. That isn’t stopping Taco Bell, however. The company has already announced that it will be testing other fried chicken items this year.
6. KFC Chicken Sandwich
Chicken sandwiches on KFC’s menu are nothing new. The chicken chain has been selling them for decades now. That being said, KFC announced that just days after McDonald’s announced its new chicken sandwiches, it would roll out a new and improved chicken sandwich — known as the KFC Chicken Sandwich — to replace The Crispy Colonel Sandwich.
According to an article published by Eat This, Not That!, the company decided to get rid of The Crispy Colonel Sandwich because it wasn’t “living up to our legacy as experts in fried chicken.”
So, how does the new and improved sandwich differ from the old one? Well, for one thing, the chicken filet is bigger — 25% larger, to be exact. It’s also double-breaded and served on a new, buttered brioche bun. The pickles are crinkle-cut and thicker, and the sandwich is topped off with either mayo or a spicy sauce.
5. Wendy’s Jalapeño Popper Chicken Sandwich
According to the company’s website, Wendy’s new chicken sandwich is a jalapeño popper in sandwich form.
“We took your favorite appetizer and made it your new favorite sandwich,” the company wrote.
So, what’s this sandwich like? It’s a juicy chicken breast with jalapeño cream cheese, shredded pepper jack cheese, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese sauce, and jalapeños.
FUN FACT: The new Jalapeño Popper Chicken Sandwich builds on the chain’s Classic Chicken Sandwich, which replaced the Homestyle Chicken Sandwich that had been on the menu for more than a decade.
4. Zaxby’s Signature Sandwich
In October 2020, Zaxby’s declared that the chicken sandwich war wasn’t over just yet. In fact, it was just getting started, with newcomers like Zaxby’s joining the battle.
Enter Zaxby’s Signature Sandwich — a freshly prepared, double hand-breaded, premium chicken breast fillet that’s topped with three thick-sliced pickle chips and your choice of Zax Sauce or the new Spicy Zax Sauce. The whole thing is nestled between a buttery toasted potato bun.
According to an article published by Thrillist, the restaurant chain’s chief marketing officer said in a statement that the new Signature Sandwich had been 30 years in the making.
And, by the way: Zaxby’s really wants you to try their new chicken sandwich right away. That’s why they are offering a free Signature Sandwich in their mobile app to all new members of the Zax Fanz Club.
“We’re also confident that once you try it, there’s no going back,” chief marketing officer Joel Bulger said.
3. Shake Shack’s Korean-Style Fried Chick’n Sandwich
Shake Shack has taken a different approach to the beloved chicken sandwich. For a limited time, the burger chain is offering the Korean-style Fried Chick’n Sandwich.
Inspired by the fried chicken scene in Seoul, South Korea, this sandwich consists of a crispy chicken breast, Gochujang sauce (a spicy-sweet fermented chili paste), white kimchi slaw that’s made with Choi’s Kimchi and toasted sesame seeds.
Shake Shack first tested the sandwich at its South Korean locations last year. It was a major hit, so naturally, the company wanted to bring the sandwich to its customers in America also. It will be available here until April 5. Get yours now while you can!
2. Burger King’s Hand-Breaded Original Crispy Chicken Sandwich
Chicken sandwiches aren’t anything new to Burger King. In fact, they’ve been offering them for years. There’s a special chicken sandwich the chain has been working on since 2019 and openly testing since September 2020. It’s called the Hand-Breaded Original Crispy Chicken Sandwich.
It won’t officially launch until later this year, so we don’t know a lot about it right now except that it will consist of a thick cut of freshly hand-breaded white meat chicken breast, deli pickles and a savory signature sauce. It’ll all be served on a potato bun. Original and spicy versions will be available, and lettuce and tomato are optional.
Here’s what else we know: Burger King shares a parent company with Popeyes, whose sales spiked over 40% virtually overnight when it launched its chicken sandwich in 2019. This might give Burger King an advantage in the chicken sandwich wars, Forbes speculated on its website.
1. Jack in the Box’s Cluck Sandwich
Jack in the Box launched a limited-time chicken sandwich back in December. As it is called, the Cluck Sandwich is a crispy chicken fillet with pickles, mystery sauce and a warm brioche bun. The deluxe version comes with bacon, cheddar cheese and guacamole.
The Cluck Sandwich is available as a la carte or as a combo meal with a small fry and small drink.
FUN FACT: An internet debate has spawned over the ingredients of the mystery sauce. Some people think it’s a blend of ketchup, mustard, mayo, steak sauce, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce.