Review: Popcorn Nuggets from KFC

I’m still not completely sure if Popcorn Nuggets from KFC are new.  I know this style of chicken has been available off and on throughout the years and there have been some subtle changes.  The latest offering is called Popcorn Nuggets, not to be confused with Popcorn Chicken or KFC Bites.  I read a customer question earlier in the week via social media that went like this, “Are these sort of like the old popcorn chicken you guys had?”…”Yes ma’am. We like to think they’re even better.”  That clears it up.

KFC Popcorn Nuggets 1KFC describes their Popcorn Nuggets like this:

KFC Popcorn Nuggets are 100% white meat, extra crispy, and made from the world’s best chicken. Grab them on the go or add them as a side to your next meal. Either way, you won’t look at nuggets the same ever again.

What was clear to me right away was that Popcorn Nuggets definitely can’t be confused with the much larger KFC Bites.  The large size Popcorn Nuggets cost me $3.99 for about what felt like closing in on a half-pound or so of chicken.

KFC Popcorn Nuggets 2When going back many years in my memory bank, the old Popcorn Chicken had a flaky, more delicate crust where Popcorn Nuggets clearly had a more substantial breading presence.  Popcorn Nuggets are made with cuts of white meat chicken and come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.  The sizes ranged from tiny morsels of pure extra crispy crust with barely a hint of chicken to a nice hefty chunk reminiscent of a good-sized Chick-fil-A Chicken Nugget.

KFC Popcorn Nuggets 3Out of around twenty Popcorn Nuggets in my large order, a dozen were meaty like a chicken nugget. The breading on the juicier, meatier pieces was a lot lighter and the true crunch of the “extra crunchy” description came from nuggets that were more of a dried build-up of breading than a nice morsel of chicken.  With that said, out of the twenty or so Popcorn Nuggets, only three pieces turned out to be pure fried breading runoff.  Flavor-wise, the crust is the familiar KFC herbs and spices (salt/pepper/paprika/garlic powder) and works pretty well without assistance from dipping sauces.  I did ask for Honey BBQ and Honey Mustard when placing my drive-thru order and unfortunately ended up sauceless.  Shame on me for not checking the bag before driving off.  For your reference, KFC’s Signature Sauces also include Creamy Ranch,  Sweet & Sour, and Creamy Buffalo.  The box for the large order is shaped smaller at the bottom and able to fit in certain vehicle’s cup holders.  The $2.99 KFC Go Cup option includes potato wedges and is made specifically for cup holders and grubbing on the go.  I applaud the packaging and it’s not a bad value either.  There’s also a $5 Fill-Up meal option which includes mashed potatoes and gravy, a biscuit, chocolate chip cookie, and medium drink.

KFC Popcorn Nuggets 4Popcorn Nuggets are a style of product that deserves a permanent spot on the menu.  Kids love them and they’re a great portable snack option.  I love the prices and combo choices too.  As far as fast food goes, KFC Popcorn Nuggets get most everything right.  Now if someone could just come up with a really smart, portable dipping sauce holder… your move car companies.

Pros: Good value. Great grubbing on the go option. Five Signature Sauce choices (but make sure to check your bag before you drive away).

Cons: The "extra crispy" breading was only extra crispy on the pieces with less chicken.

Taste: 6.75/10
Value: 8.50/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 9.25/10
Price: $2.99 Go Cup, $3.99 large, $5 Fill Up combo

Overall GrubGrade: 7.75/10

More Info:
Nutrition Facts:
Large size Popcorn Nuggets:
Calories - 570
Fat - 33 grams
Saturated Fat - 4 grams
Carbs - 37 grams
Sodium - 1890 milligrams
Protein - 30 grams

15 comments on “Review: Popcorn Nuggets from KFC

  1. Mike N. says:

    Definitely seems like it’s worth spending the extra buck for the meal deal!

    • alek says:

      It would be awesome if they had gravy as a dipping sauce choice. I love to dunk the chicken into the gravy.

      • Roger says:

        Had these Friday, usually get the tenders and dip them in the gravy/potatoes. With these, just dropped a few on the gravy at a time and sporked away. I think I get more chicken with the tenders though. The popcorn chicken spice is the usual KFC, but kept retasting the nuggets all afternoon.

    • Jay Joseph says:

      Very much worth it! They used to offer a lot more sizes of popcorn chicken but now it seems the Large and the kids size are the only options. Besides the gocups that is.

      The other night I ordered the $5 combo and a large popcorn chicken. Both came in the same size containers. Spend that extra buck and you get a side, biscuit, cookie, and a drink.

  2. scram says:

    “…the crust is the familiar KFC herbs and spices (salt/pepper/paprika/garlic powder)…”

    Sorry, but it tastes nothing like the “familiar KFC herbs and spices”. I taste salt…that’s about it. I don’t understand why they can’t get their Original Recipe spice blend flavor into their Extra Crispy breading. Their Extra Crispy (bone-in, tenders, popcorn) tastes like Mrs. Winners or grocery deli fried chicken–edible, but with just a salty, one-note flavor.

    • CulinaryZerg says:

      Ain’t that the truth. Their Original Recipe has really good flavor, but is soggy as heck. Their Extra Crispy is just that, but generic.

      If they ever had a way of getting the two together…watch out!

  3. James says:

    Not bad but nothing great. Your right on one thing. They have had different variations of these over the years. Just used different names. I’d really like to see good chicken nuggets or better yet, the REAL chicken littles.

  4. Snackeroo says:

    I had these over the weekend and they were alright. Reminded me of KFC’s popcorn chicken but with a bit thicker breading. Nothing really new though.

  5. Raiders757 says:

    For some reason I have never had any luck with popcorn chicken no matter where I get it from. Seems like I always get nothing but a package full of crispy grizzle with only a hint of chicken. Even though I have little faith in Kentucky Fried Chicken, I do want to try these, but I know with my luck that I will not get anything that resembles the pictures above.

  6. Tony says:

    KFC really nailed the packaging aspect to this product. A slice of Americana. I really want to purchase this and go to the movies.

  7. CulinaryZerg says:

    I hope these are better than Sonic’s heavily breaded jumbo popcorn chicken. They just remind me of a frozen grocery store product.

  8. Shannon says:

    I figured these were pretty good.

  9. Nancy says:

    Just came back from KFC – took FOREVER to order at the Drive Thru. Then, at the window itself…………there was no one there. ONE person must have been handling the Order Drive Thru, the Window AND the

    Finally someone shows up. Have never order the Popcorn Chicken before. Sure seemed a bit high. The Popcorn Chix & a Drink was $8.73 This was just the box of Chicken – No Meal Deal.

  10. Chemme says:

    Why is the only size for popcorn nuggets a large? If there is a large, should’nt there be a small and medium? and by the way, I only got 10 nuggets for $4.00. I love the bone- in chicken, but every time I get any nugget or tender or whatever, they are dry, cold and hard. Managers, where are you? Can you here me?

  11. Rodobe says:

    I had these and they were delicious but the last 3 or 4 times I’ve had them they were mostly quarter inch to half inch pieces and hard! Maybe I’m coming at the wrong time of day? I won’t be getting these again and wasting my money for 3 or 4 good pieces!!!

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