Review: Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich from McDonald’s

Change for the better is something we can all support and something we can all agree on.  I’ve never been too crazy about the grilled chicken sandwich offerings at McDonald’s, so when I saw that it received a makeover, I was eager to try it.  The latest facelift to the McDonald’s menu comes in the form of the new Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich.New Artisan Grilled Chicken McDonaldsMcDonald’s describes their new Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich like this:

100% grilled chicken breast filet seasoned to perfection with ingredients like salt, garlic and parsley – seared in our kitchens, no preservatives added. Crisp leaf lettuce, fresh tomato, and a vinaigrette dressing. All atop our delectable artisan roll.

Artisan is the buzzword du jour at McDonald’s.  You might recall the word “Premium” used in a previously offered grilled chicken sandwiches.  Mcds artisan chckThe bottomline here is you can throw out new descriptive words to title your sandwich, but you still need to prove yourself.  McDonald’s looks to be making a solid attempt at simplifying their ingredients to cut back on the glut of additives/preservatives that are hard to pronounce.  No more sodium phosphates or maltodextrin here. In previous years I recall most every grilled chicken sandwich at McDonald’s would always feature a thick glob of mayo.  It’s nice to see at least that’s gone and a couple of other tweaks have been made to really attempt a worthy update to a pretty boring, no-frills sandwich.  That glob of mayo has been replaced by a light smattering of vinaigrette dressing which gives the sandwich a mild zesty flavor.  You’re replacing the higher fat and calorie content of mayonaisse with the tastier vinaigrette dressing and keeping the necessary moisture… win win win.

Artisan grilled chicken mcdonaldOn appearances, the grilled chicken fillet isn’t the super pale, offwhite fillet we became accustomed to.  There’s some more natural color from the chicken with obvious signs of seasoning from the green specks of parsley.  The mention of salt and garlic in the description of the chicken seasoning shouldn’t surprise anyone since you’re likely to find that in everything.  I just had the Grilled Chicken Deluxe a few days ago and the Artisan Grilled Chicken is its replacement. There does seem to be less emphasis on salt with the new product and a little more on the herby side with a hint of lemon citrus. This is chicken prepped with a more natural approach.  The previous grilled chicken was cooked with liquid margarine where the new chicken is cooked with olive oil and canola oil. The texture was a little off on my chicken… reminiscent of grilled chicken I’ve prepared in the past where I let it sit in a marinade for far too long.  The result of that is an overly saturated piece of meat and it gets a bit too chewy/stringy in spots. This wasn’t a huge problem, but just something worth mentioning. Mcds Artisan Grilled ChickenThe Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich features one slice of tomato and leaf lettuce.  Both were bright, crisp and fresh.  I’ve found some pretty consistent quality with the produce at McDonald’s in the last couple of years.  Like the exceptional Bacon Clubhouse, the Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich uses the same artisan roll.  It’s not as shiny as the promo pic, but it does have nice sheen on top.  A little toasted, the bun is soft, but strong and built to hold a hearty sandwich.mcds artisan chickenAt a price of $4.59, the Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich holds a fair value.  It’s quite healthy too clocking in at just 360 calories, 6 grams of fat, and a filling 32 grams of protein.  The McDonald’s menu might be full of guilty pleasures, but this sandwich won’t be one to feel guilty about.

Pros: Less guilt at McDonald's. Herby grilled chicken. Light zesty vinaigrette replacing thick mayo. Fresh produce. Bun.

Cons: Chicken texture needs some work

Taste: 7.25/10
Value: 6.25/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.75/10
Price: $4.59

Overall GrubGrade: 7.00/10

More Info: mcdonalds.com
Nutrition Facts:
Serving Size - 7.2 oz
Calories - 360
Fat - 6 grams
Saturated Fat - 1.5 grams
Carbs - 43 grams
Cholesterol - 80 milligrams
Sodium - 930 milligrams
Fiber - 3 grams
Sugars - 11 grams
Protein - 32 grams

42 comments on “Review: Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich from McDonald’s

  1. Justin ST says:

    Annnnnd, it probably still tastes like chicken. Chipotle fans still are too smug to give you your business.

  2. Andrew S. says:

    Glad to hear that they are finally putting more flavor into the Grilled Chicken. That being said, am I the only one who misses the recipe they used until 2011?

  3. Page says:

    I just tried ordering the sandwich in Virginia and it came with mayo under the grilled chicken deluxe title. I don’t know if they messed up or what happened.

    • Ryan says:

      Yeah that’s the older version that says “new” in the description. Looks like the rollout isn’t everywhere just yet.

    • Natalie says:

      This happened to me yesterday also. I received the new bun, but it still had the old chicken patty and mayo. New title on the menu too.

    • BigBelly says:

      I was told they aren’t serving the artisan yet here, I did see the grilled chicken deluxe on the menu still.

    • Daniel Fletcher says:

      The McDonalds I stopped at tonight had both on the menu (They have the upgraded all digital displays.)

  4. Jody says:

    Tried it last night.
    I really liked it.
    And there was no texture issue with the chicken.

  5. Caitlin says:

    I haven’t had a chance to try the new chicken yet, but I’d just like to say I’m disappointed that the new chicken brings up the calorie and sodium content of their southwestern grilled chicken salad! 🙁

  6. Dee says:

    I literally just had one and it was so good I came online to check the calories. I must say the chicken was so tender and juicy I almost felt shocked it was from McDonald’s. Anything without mayo is good for me but I’m happiest about the calories. I don’t cook often and am trying to find healthier options at quick service places that don’t taste like cardboard. This fits the bill at McDonald’s.

  7. Handjobskis says:

    My Crapdonalds said they didn’t have this sandwich, but the sandwich was on the menu above the registers. I was so disappointed.

  8. T says:

    Guess this is a regional thing. Went to my local Mickey D’s and they had no clue what i was talking about. All they had was the “new” grilled chicken deluxe on their menu.

  9. Raiders75 says:

    Nice to see somebody finally created a new chicken sandwich without relying on another predictable and horrible mayo/”creamy” based condiment. Shocking, is that when places use a tasty vinaigrette, they still feel the need to add mayo, which is nothing but pointless. Especially when it comes to subs. Way to go Ronald!

  10. CulinaryZerg says:

    Yes! Artisan chicken on an Artisan bun. I can pretend I’m eating like the Queen of England!

    But seriously, I’ll have to try. Looks healthy.

  11. TJ says:

    Based on the review and comments I’m definitely looking forward to trying this, sounds like they made some smart improvements, hope it sells well.

  12. Jonathan Wayne says:

    I just ate this sandwich and it was very disappointing. If you have ever had Chick Fil A, you will be pretty angry after eating this. If it did not have a copious amount of butter smeared on the top of the bun, it would have been really bad. The bun was plain, unappealing and definitely not fresh, the chicken was thin and kind of dry and there was not much vinaigrette. For almost $5 this was not good and definitely not better than some of their chicken sandwiches from the past.

    From rolling around their headquarters the other day it dawned on me why their are getting their butts kicked, their upper management. The median price of a homes where they are located is about $700,000 plus which means they have to be paying these guys extremely high salaries so they can live out there. As a result they can’t put the money back into the company to be competitive whether it be by lowering the prices, or giving more food or fresher food and they are bleeding out.

    • Mary says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more….the artisan sandwich was a huge disappointment for me. The grilled chicken that I received was tough and chewy, and was about half the size of the bun that it came on. I did really like the buttery toasted artisan bun as well as the viniagrette (which is creamy – looked very much like mayo but the store mgr. confirmed that it was not). The lettuce and tomato were very fresh, definitely a step up from what I am accustomed to.

      Although there were some good adjustments made in terms of the bun, dressing, and veggies, the chicken itself which is supposed to be the star of the sandwich was horrible. It is not worth paying the extra $0.80 compared to CFA’s or Zaxby’s grilled chicken sandwich.

  13. Jennifer says:

    so I’m the only person who liked that glob of mayo on their chicken sandwiches?… Frankly these days I want everything to taste like the seasoning on the ButteryJack , that garlic butter is the bomb if I can have something like that on every sandwich I eat I would be happy very happy

  14. Daniel Fletcher says:

    Stopped and tried one tonight. Was a tad dry but granted I was going in on Easter Sunday… I noticed on a sign in the back that the soft-sell date for “sirloin burgers” started 4/27. Couldn’t find any info on the internet about it though.

  15. scram says:

    McDonalds sales may be declining, but even if they are, their sales are way above their competitors. This is cyclical. A bump in the road. McDonalds is never truly “down for the count”.
    I think the reason McDonalds is losing business is due to the fact that more people have money in their pockets nowadays. The economy is good, gas is cheap, so people are choosing fast-casual restaurants over fast food. McDonald’s thrived during the past 10-15 years due to their Dollar Menu and cheaper prices. Now people have more money, and are eating at more expensive places. McDonald’s is testing self order kiosks, which allow the diner to choose premium toppings, premium buns, etc. I think it’s a good move. One thing McDonalds needs is a high end premiere burger. They tried that with The Angus Burgers, but they tasted like flavorless meatloaf, and people didn’t like them too much. While I don’t think of Wendy’s too much as a go to for my burger fix, I do admire their use of different buns (brioche, pretzel), fresh and crunchy vegetables (pickles, red onion, etc), and bacon that ACTUALLY TASTES LIKE BACON. Is it too much to ask McDonalds to finally get rid those awful pickles and terrible bacon. Bacon makes everything better, except at McDonalds. Put bacon on a McDonalds burger, and you’ve ruined that burger. I’m not bashing McDonalds, I like them. I just want them to fix some things that I think a lot of people have issues with.

    • Jonathan Wayne says:

      McDonald’s keeps giving that whole premium song and dance number, but they are not premium and will never be the way they are set up. I will give some examples. Chick Fil A, their chicken sandwich is plump and fresh and costs $1.50 less than MCD’s so called new premium chicken sandwich above. Raising Caine’s chicken tenders, so fresh and good they will make you cry, and inexpensive. In-N-Out burgers, fresh, meat grilled in front of you, very inexpensive. Five Guys, super fresh, meat grilled in front of you and a crazy amount of toppings and stacks of fresh hot fries when you order them.

      The only reason MCD’s is not completely dead is a combination of name recognition, massive amounts of prime real estate and the incompetence/inability of their competitors to open more locations faster, I’m looking at you Five Guys.

      As long as you deliver meat and buns in a truck, it will never be truly fresh or premium.

      A Five Guys restaurant does half the business of an MCD’s, costs a quarter to open up and is open for half the time and the menu has a quarter the items of an MCD, do the math, which would you rather own?

      • Mary says:

        I agree – tried it a few days ago, took three bites and threw the sandwich out. The texture of the chicken itself was so tough and chewy that I could barely bite into it.

        I will not repurchase, which is a shame because I loved the viniagrette dressing, the buttery toasted artisan bun, and veggies were very fresh. I wish I could put CFA’s quality grilled chicken breast on McDonald’s new sandwich, which would make it outstanding!!!

    • Justin ST says:

      The economy is good? Really dude?

      • scram says:

        Better than it has been, and gas being at record lows for the first time in years means people have more money in their pocket.

  16. Gary T says:

    Had 1 today. Was very good. People like to knock McDonalds but I really like some of their offerings. Their Southwest Chicken Salad is in my opinion tastier than any of its competitors even the upscale ones. Really like thier egg white delight and double bacon cheeseburgers. The Artisan Chicken sandwich is a winner.

  17. Josh says:

    Ordered an Artisan Chicken last night. Big improvement over their Classic Grilled Chicken, which I substituted mustard for mayo. Is it the best grilled chicken sandwich in the world? No. Its McDonalds. Its decent and enjoyable at a low calorie count.

  18. Lisa says:

    I tried this tonight and did not like it at all. The chicken texture was horrible, a weird combination of tough, slimy, spongy, and stringy. It seemed like it had skin on it. No vinaigrette flavor or presence to speak of. I didn’t even know it was supposed to have it until I read your review. The bun was good. Lettuce was limp and old and half off the bun, but that didn’t even bother me that much, it was the gross chicken. I got two coupons in the mail to get the sandwich for free, no purchase necessary, and I don’t think I will even use the other one, it was that bad (and I love freebies).

  19. Larry W says:

    I have had 2 of these. Not bad but both were very dry. Needed to drink all of my drink and some extra water to get it down.

  20. Penny says:

    Oh,so disappointing! The “chicken patty” was more than an inch smaller in diameter than the bun, was an eighth of an inch thick, dry, unappealing and had an unpleasant texture. The tomato was okay, but the lettuce had the mouthfeel of kale (another topic) and the sauce had a taste similar to papaya or mango…very musky. Hopefully, that wasn’t a sign of bacterial contamination. Why can’t fast food restaurants just cater to the American palate? The First Lady needs to concentrate on her own family (and figure) and allow the rest of us to eat what we please. It is not the federal government’s place to babysit the American people. I applaud Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. for providing the products that some Americans want. The Nanny-State mentality of the Progressive movement is overeaching and disgraceful. We as voters and as consumers must demand and settle for no less than respect for our ability to make our own decisions regarding what we consume. What else will Washington force us to ďo?. Today burgers, next week…what? I did not like the sandwich for the previously stated reasons. There is my opinion.

  21. Paula says:

    Bf and I had these the other night. The sauce and bun were great, but the chicken was undersized and had hardly any flavor to it. I wish they still used the old marinade. It was not a good value for the money.

  22. Steve says:

    Just had one. If they can correct not over cooking the chicken, it’d be perfect. Only con I had was the price for a meal oh and the breast could be a tad bigger.

    My favorite was the complexity of the flavors and the taste of the bun.

    In the end, I will get it again. Although BK’s does theirs really good, this one tasted better.

    Now they need to fix their chicken wrap meat. What happened to it; tastes like straight up chemicals.

  23. Deanna says:

    Ordered the artian chicken sandwich today for lunch. Had to share
    some with my dog too. We both will order it again . Thought it was
    the best lunch ever.

  24. jennaz says:

    This sandwich is a rubber chicken patty, the fat itself can be peeled off. I have nothing to say of the bun or the tangy gone-sour-tasting sauce. Never again. Still love those darn fries though!

  25. Jerome Scott says:

    I really like it. I just really wish the sodium levels were lower. It has 910mg sodium per sandwich.

  26. Balmohan says:

    At $ 4.59 price it’s bit more expensive but with my McDonald’s App of Buy one get one free it’s a deal. They no longer give a sauce pack for free and charge $ .72 or something for a Ranch style pack -sucks! I, however think that at $ 5.00 for 2 Big Macks or QPC sandwiches for daily deal without the App has been the best value and taste too that can’t be beat.

  27. Lisa Coffey says:

    I just ate one. The chicken patty was a good size, but it had WAY too Much salt. Felt like I just took a bite of a salt-lick. Bun was nice and fresh and the veggies were fresh as well. Will order again!

  28. Cathee says:

    Had one today in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. I was totally surprised in that it was delicious! I finally found something at McDonalds I can enjoy without feeling calorie guilt as I eat it….and it’s most tasty! Nice going McDonalds!!

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