First Impressions: NEW! Chicken Flatbreads from McDonald’s

Fresh off the national release of its Angus Snack Wraps (read our review here), McDonald’s seems to be testing a new line of products in the Baltimore market. The “deliciously unexpected” Chicken Flatbreads come in four flavors: Tuscan Tomato Basil, BBQ Bacon Ranch, Southwest, and Four Cheese. My local McDonald’s is running a promo on the flatbreads for a price of $1.89 each. On a recent trip to Micky D’s, my hermana and I chose the later option, going with the Tuscan Tomato Basil Flatbread and the Southwest Chicken Flatbread. Have a gander at the “official” description:

Get ready to enter a brand new flavor zone with McDonald’s Chicken Flabreads. Our new juicy grilled chicken is served on a warm flatbread with a roasted garlic spread, deliciously melted Fontina, Mozzarella, Monterey Jack and White Cheddar cheeses and unexpected ingredients such as the Southwest’s tangy Pico de Gallo and creamy guacamole. Give your appetite some tasty options!

At first I was somewhat disappointed with the size of the flatbreads, which come in their own containers and aren’t much bigger than the length of a person’s hand. My concerns, however, were misplaced. There was not only a good amount of chicken in the flatbread, but the interior showed a nice helping of chicken and pesto, as well as perfectly melted mozzarella cheese. Biting into the Tuscan Tomato Basil Flatbread was unlike any previous McDonald’s experience I have ever had. The flatbread was warm, moist and chewy, with a strong precense of roasted garlic and olive oil. It was subtly sweet and didn’t have any of those “off” mutligrain flavors that you some times get in a flatbread. The chicken was moist and extremely tender, with a solid grill flavor.

While salty, it was offset by the pesto, which was extremely flavorful in a way that you wouldn’t expect. In some ways it tasted like a panini with the sweet flavor of roasted tomatoes, red pepper and onions, and didn’t strike me as something you’d find in a fast food restaurant. It was just too good! There was great earthy and rich sweetness to the pesto, which really did taste “roasted,” while the basil flavor was pronounced but not overpowering. I don’t know if real, honest-to-God olive oil was used, but the richness of the oil wasn’t overly fake or buttery, and complimented the salty, gooey melted cheese quite nicely. The pesto and melted cheese made the flatbread quite oily, but it wasn’t heavy because of its relative size.

As for the Southwest Flatbread, it too came in warm, garlic and oil flavored flatbread, but was much more defined in terms of the amount of ingredients. A nice sized, cut-up grilled chicken breast was flavored with hints of cumin and paprika. The pico was fresh and had a good amount of spice and tomato flavor, while the guacamole was liberally applied and added a great cooling effect and creaminess. I liked how I could taste the cilantro in the pico but it wasn’t overpowering. Because there was no melted cheese this flatbread was not as oily as the Tuscan Tomato, and would really make a nice light lunch if combined with a side. It too earned high marks from both my sister and I. This former assertion is especially remarkable, since my sister usually will not eat anything at Micky D’s which is not fried and slathered with ketchup.

I enjoyed both flatbreads, and have only the highest praise for them. I really think McDonald’s has come out with an outstanding and innovative product. The pushing of an Italian flavor profile which is more fast casual than fast food is groundbreaking, and once more, the execution of the end product delivers. My only complaint is that there might be too much going on in each flatbread. If balanced correctly and made properly, I think the combinations workas out well, but I worry that local franchises might screw up the proportions of ingredients. This likely led to oily nature of my Tuscan Tomato Flatbread, came across as very oily due to the nature of the melted cheese, pesto and roasted garlic spread. Nevertheless, it’s a minor complaint, and at a very reasonable price these are a MUST TRY if you run across them.

Pros: Innovative Flavor Profiles. Perfectly melted cheese. Roasted Garlic spread has unmatched flavor in the fast food world, while the tomato basil-pesto brims with rich oil and basil sweetness that makes the perfect compliment for Mozzarella. High quality ingredients. Flavorful condiments that approach "fast casual" status. Warm, moist flatbread is perfectly vehicle for flavors. Portable. Not too messy. Flavorful while still not being heavy. Very affordable

Cons: Tuscan Tomato was a bit skimpy on ingredients. Too much oil in proportion to other fillings. My sister said the flatbread was a little too "dense" for her tastes. Limited time only in test markets, so please, GrubGraders, I'm begging you to LIKE THIS.

Taste: 9.50/10
Value: 9.25/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 8.75/10
Price: 1.89 each, $5.78 in a meal: check regional availability

Overall GrubGrade: 9.25/10

More Info: McDonalds.com
Nutrition Facts:
McDonald's Chicken Flatbreads
Tuscan Basil Pesto: 260 calories, 11g fat (3.5g sat, 0g trans), 580mg sodium, 26g carbs, 1g fiber, 2g sugar, 14g protein)
Southwest: 260 calories, 11g fat (3g sat, 0g trans), 630mg sodium, 28g carbs, 2g fiber, 3g sugar, 14g protein)
BBQ Bacon Ranch: 290 calories, 13g fat (4 sat, 0g trans), 720mg sodium, 26g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 2g sugar, 16g protein)
4-Cheese: 240 calories, 9g fat (3 sat, 0g trans), 500mg sodium, 26g carbs, 1g fiber, 2g sugar, 14g protein)

46 comments on “First Impressions: NEW! Chicken Flatbreads from McDonald’s

  1. Jessica Leigh says:

    I am so excited about these and I hope to have them in my McDonald’s VERY soon! I can’t wait to try the southwest and the tomato basil! What a great idea!

  2. Darwin G says:

    I hope it comes to New York. Right now, nothing on the McDonald’s menu interests me.

  3. Justin says:

    OMG, this looks too good to be true. Release this ASAP nationwide.

  4. skippymom says:

    The calories on these are schweeeeet – I can see them being big sellers – and as far as some McD’s fair – the sodium is pretty darn low, especially for the cheese one.

    Yes, definitely release them soon. :) Thanks for the heads up.

  5. maxchain says:

    Those look pretty exotic for a $2 McDonald’s item! If I happen across them, count me in.

  6. TheWarden says:

    Huh. Well, they look like a winner so far. Good, cheap… fairly exotic / interesting for a fast food joint. Sounds like a winner.

    Any plans to review the rest of the line? (Four cheese…. uh… American, Swiss, Cheddar….Goat? Heh. I kid.)

  7. Tracy says:

    Can’t believe how low the calories and sodium are for a fast food item especially on flatbread which usually hides a good deal of sodium and calories. Should be interesting to see if they come our way soon. My son said McRib is coming back next month so they are really boosting the menu to add different products.

  8. J.B. says:

    I love my Angus wraps and now these look good too.
    McDonalds is doing a great job keeping that number one spot.
    Good specialty coffees and wraps.
    Hopefully out McDonalds will get these soon.

  9. Jen says:

    These look and sound really good. I think the wrap/flatbread concept usually works better with chicken instead of beef (Angus and Big Mac snack wraps = ick; chicken snack wraps = not too bad). I really want to try the Southwest one. I hope these come to my town soon!

  10. Rodzilla says:

    I’m definitely intrigued. I’d like to see reviews on the other two flavors as well

  11. Rachel says:

    Huh … are you sure those are pictures of McDonald’s food and not Taco Bell’s? All three of those look appetizing to me. Fingers crossed that they have them in my market, because they would be a nice, “different” option when I find myself at Mickey D’s. I like the plastic case too, a nice departure from paper wrapping.

  12. Ryan says:

    I can’t imagine that guacamole was any good. I have yet to encounter a fast food joint that knows what they’re doing in that department.

    I wish McD’s would whip something together with onion straws.

    • J.B. says:

      I agree, everything is better with onion straws.

    • Stacy says:

      I actually just had the southwest chicken flatbread and it was delicious ! Especially the guacamole ! I was pleasantly surprised at the great flavor it had.

  13. Adam says:

    As far as additional reviews go…none from my end. I’m back in the SLC market because of school, and have not seen them in our McDonalds’ out here.

  14. chasity says:

    My Mcdonalds recently got these and I have been back twice to re-order. Im currently enjoying one now. I must say that southwestern flatbread is amazinggggg. And while they dont look to big, eat 2 and your stuffed!! Ive tried the tuscan tomato basil which was good. I tried the four cheese. It was ok. Kind of tasted like a grilled cheese sandwhich with a hint of chicken. But my heart is totally in that southwestern. MmmmMmmmMmmm. I hope to never see them go!

  15. chasity says:

    O, and I almost forgot. To those who assume McDonalds cant do guacamole? Think again. I normally do not like guacamole. But this was box licking good. Creamy and tangy and perfect.

  16. Steve says:

    Where in Baltimore?

  17. Carrie says:

    Just had one today and I think it was the best thing McDonalds has come up with in a while. At first I thought it was a bit small but after eating it I found it to be not only incredably tasty but very filling. THIS IS A KEEPER!!

  18. Remingtonh says:

    I’m not believing these calorie figures.

  19. TomHandy says:

    Didn’t McDonald’s have some flatbread sandwiches a few years ago? I remember thinking their chicken caesar flatbread sandwich was pretty good and was disappointed when it disappeared from the menu.

    Those were more like full size sandwiches though, compared to these.

  20. I tried the southwest and bbq ranch in North Platte, NE. The southwest was made perfectly. I could not believe what I was eating came from a fast food restaurant in a Loves truck stop. This was by far the freshest tasting thing in fast food I have ever had. The BBQ ranch was ok…. but not as sophisticated as the southwest. cant wait to try the others… You can imagine my disappointment when I found that not all mcdonalds have these… :( Micky D– this is something to keep!!!! also– the flatbread was amazingly light… not tough or heavy…

  21. Maya says:

    Oh man, I hope these hurry up and come to Las Vegas! I want to try that BBQ Bacon Ranch so bad!

    • MitchHellman says:

      They DO have them in Las Vegas– Las Vegas, New Mexico (which is about 700 miles from the one in Nevada). :)

  22. Sarah Lynn says:

    McDonalds and other places to eat need to offer more vegetarian options!!!!!!

    They would get so much more business!

  23. John says:

    I found this article Googling for nutrition facts on the McDonald’s Chicken Flatbread. My wife and I are doing the “Carb Lovers Diet” which has worked very well for both of us, but today is my daughter’s birthday and her lunch request was McDonalds which, quite honestly, I really hate. Actually that’s not entirely true – I like a number of the breakfast items and the frappes are good, but on our diet, no frappe today. Our McDonalds has the chicken flatbread sandwiches and they looked like a decent compromise for lunch today so we each got a Tuscan Basil Pesto. One word (again from a McDonalds hater) – WOW! Really good, and I was pleased with the relatively healthy nutrition facts as well. Not technically a diet food, but a really great compromise when necessary.

  24. Shari says:

    We have them here in Omaha, NE and I just LOVE the Southwestern one! It is surprisingly great! They also just don’t seem as unhealthy as other menu items. I’ll have to try the pesto one soon! :)

  25. MitchHellman says:

    We received coupons in the mail today for the flatbreads, and the coupons indicate that they are good at participating restaurants in the following towns in New Mexico: Albuquerque, Ruidoso, Gallup, Grants, Acoma, Hobbs, Lovington, Deming, Lordsburg, Silver City, Artesia, Carlsbad, Belen, Los Lunas, Bosque Farms, Edgewood, Moriarty, Rio Rancho, Bernalillo, Cuba, Espanola, Taos, Santa Fe, Raton, Alamogordo, Roswell, Shiprock, Los Alamos, Las Vegas, Farmington, Aztec, Santa Rosa, Socorro, and Truth or Consequences. Oddly enough, Las Cruces , the second largest city in the state, is NOT included.

  26. Ricky says:

    I was visiting friends and family in the Baltimore area this weekend and I had the Tuscan and the Four Cheese, I was amazed. It was so good that I had to call my family back home to tell them about it. I agreed 100 % with Adam when he said, “Biting into the Tuscan Tomato Basil Flatbread was unlike any previous McDonald’s experience I have ever had.” You have to try these, unfortunately I didn’t try the Southwest now I’m wishing I did. I too am stunned by these calorie numbers if they are correct. McDonald’s has really found something with this I just need it to be released nationwide like the smoothies.

  27. Skinny Minny says:

    Just tried these in Baltimore today. Not bad. Not bad at all. My mom and I shared the Tusan and the Southwest. Tuscan was good, but we liked the Southwest best. Glad Micky D’s is bringing something new, fresh and delish to the menu. We also LOVE the new fruit smoothies!!!!

  28. Drew C. says:

    OMG I had the Southwest for lunch yesterday and it was DELICIOUS. It was so good that I actually went back and got another one today. I was expecting to bite into it and realize the one that I had on yesterday was just a fluke…but to my surprise, it was just as good. I’ll try the Tuscan next!

  29. Lindsey G. says:

    I live in Albuquerque and am loving them. If the nutrition info is correct, they are 4 weight watchers points each, which is really nice. I don’t feel like I need to have fries with them, I’m pleasantly full after having two (moreso than the salads) and I don’t have the greasy stomach feeling a lot of McD’s gives.

    Where did you find the nutrition information? I’ve scoured their website with no luck.

  30. willie says:

    I really like these. and one will be enough for a light lunch with fruit

  31. Adam says:

    I gt the nutrition via phone from a very friendly operator :)

  32. Kris says:

    The calories and fat content are incorrect (I wish it wasn’t so). Check out the following links for contradicting info …
    http://www.shapefit.com/mcdonalds.html
    http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/foods-from-mcdonalds/6229/2
    I was wondering how these were on par with the grilled honey mustard snack wrap (they’re not).

  33. Jenn says:

    @Kris – I think the nutritional information you posted was for the previous grilled flatbread sandwich which had pepperjack cheese and a creamy sauce (shapefit lists the calorie content as is, without cheese, without sauce and without sauce and cheese). These are much smaller and still in test markets

  34. brent says:

    at first look it almost looks like something that you get at taco bell but they present it so well i have to say it looks clean and some healthy and something i want to eat. its weird how mcd has a certain feel to their food and i can not describe it other than saying i feel safe with it.

  35. Jarrod says:

    I ate one of the Chicken basil and a part of the insides of the Southwest Chicken, and then threw up after four hours of constant nausea since eating them. I felt better almost immediately after. These were right in line with the rest of the disgusting crap that McDonalds makes and is why I only eat there on road trips when little else if available. I have only myself to blame as I knew I should have gotten the kids their food there and then gone to the Subway across the street, but I figured, “how bad can chicken wrapped in bread really be?” Well, I guess pretty bad is the obvious answer. Then again, if you go to a McDonalds and are surprised when the food is disgusting, you (I) have only yourself (myself) to blame.

    • Lauren says:

      Why would you give your kids food that is not good enough for you. What an oximoron.

  36. Jody says:

    I hope mcdonalds in MD keep these delicious sandwiches! I can finally eat at mcdonalds occasionally without guilt! I only wish they’d let me substitute the fries for a side salad!

  37. Larissa says:

    I tried the BBQ ranch one the other day and I loved it. Perfect snack or lunch. I am trying the tuscan today!

  38. Linda says:

    I tried these flatbread wraps in NM, the chicken basil and the southwest were fantastic. Hope we will soon see them in CO.

  39. Lauren says:

    OMG, I absolutely love the SW and Tuscan flatbreads. It was a marvelous sensation to my tastebuds. My only regret is that I have to travel far away from home to get them because they are only being featured in the Baltimore market. Hurry and release the flatbread menu in all areas of Maryland.

  40. Juan says:

    I miss the old Chicken Flat breads, the goodtimes