Review: Zinger from KFC

Your guess is as good as mine as to why it took so long for a chicken sandwich (beyond Chicken Littles) from KFC to be given some attention in the United States.  The Zinger chicken sandwich has been a hit product in other parts of the world and you’d think that with the growth of Chick-fil-A over the last 15 years, KFC would have been quicker to take on the competition.  Now that KFC’s Zinger is available stateside, I’ll just say better late than never and hope this is a hint of what’s to come. KFC describes the new Zinger chicken sandwich like this:

If you’re looking for a spicy, crispy chicken sandwich worthy of the name Zinger, then look no further, because it’s right here on the menu in the good ole US of A. Try one today in a $5 Fill Up with wedges, a cookie, and a drink.

The Zinger is made with a 100% chicken breast filet, double hand-breaded, fried, and topped with lettuce and the Colonel’s mayonnaise on a toasted sesame seed bun.  Looks good doesn’t it?

This may sound weird, but I couldn’t help but notice how much the KFC Zinger smelled like a McChicken from McDonald’s.  In my world, that’s not a good thing.  What does a McChicken smell like?  It smells like hot lettuce and mayonnaise.  This wouldn’t normally bother me if it wasn’t for developing an aversion for the McChicken when I ate way too many of them at an earlier time in my life.  I think individually, the problem is more in the lettuce than the mayo.  The mayo mixed with the lettuce just makes it worse. I’m painting a sad picture now so I’ll stop and say that’s about where the major negatives end with the Zinger.  It actually turned out to be a pretty good chicken sandwich.The Zinger comes equipped with a very generous hunk of chicken so it’s a relief to finally have a filling chicken sandwich at KFC.  I found the chicken breast filet to be thick and juicy with a crispy crust that didn’t go overboard. and didn’t suffer any overly dry spots.  As a reminder, KFC’s chicken is prepared and fried daily in its restaurants so the quality shines a lot brighter than the frozen and refried variety.  The ratio of breading to chicken was just right for a satisfying chicken sandwich.The flavor of the Zinger chicken sandwich is a mix of peppery spices and tanginess.  If you’re looking for some major heat, look elsewhere.  I’ve had two Zinger chicken sandwiches from two different KFC locations just to make sure my first taste wasn’t a mistake.  I guess it could be labeled as a spicy chicken sandwich, but I don’t think it should.  I’m not looking for major heat so I was OK with it… just be warned chili heads.  If you’d label the burn, consider it a slow one.A huge plus for the KFC Zinger is the price.  At $3.99 for the sandwich alone, it’s a pretty good value considering that super meaty piece of chicken.  Getting the $5 Fill Up with potato wedges, chocolate chip cookie and medium drink is an absolute steal.  The value options ($5 Fill Ups and Go Cups) at KFC are very underrated in my opinion.
It may not be Chick-fil-A, but KFC’s Zinger chicken sandwich is a worthy buy (especially on a Sunday).  I know a lot of the focus at KFC seems to be on family combo meals of their regular bone-in fried chicken, but chicken sandwiches are a huge opportunity to take advantage of.  The recent flavor options that were made available to Chicken Littles shows that expansion into full-sized sandwiches like the Zinger is worth exploring.

Pros: Good-sized piece of chicken. Crispy. Great value, especially the $5 Fill Up option.

Cons: Hot lettuce mixed with mayo. Might be too mild to be described as spicy.

Taste: 7.00/10
Value: 8.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.25/10
Price: $3.99

Overall GrubGrade: 7.50/10

More Info: kfc.com
Nutrition Facts:
not available

37 comments on “Review: Zinger from KFC

  1. ruckus says:

    Great review! This sandwich has been on my radar since is came out – esp since I’m really enjoy CFA’s sandwiches. I’ll have to try one.

  2. CulinaryZerg says:

    Above average sandwich, but mine was a little dry. The boring bun also overwhelmed the chicken. Needs smaller softer bun like Chick Fil A or Shake Shack.

    • Brian says:

      I agree. The bun was horrible, and made the sandwich very dry. Good sandwich, but not even close to as good as Chick-fil-A.

      • Scram says:

        It’s a better spicy chicken sandwich than ChickFilA. I think ChickFilA has the best regular chicken sandwich, but their spicy chicken sandwich sucks. It’s all heat, no flavor.

        • BBB says:

          No way Scram! I think the CFA spicy chicken is way better than this sandwich. Everything about it except maybe the crunch on the Zinger.

          • Scram says:

            I would’ve thought ChickFilA had the best spucy chicken sandwich, since they have tge best regular chivken sandwich, but their spicy chicken breading sycks. All heat, no flavor. The only thing that made their apucy chicken edible was when they offered ii in their buscuit sandwich, because the butteriness of the biscuit actually added flavor. Spicy doesn’t mean massive amounts of heat; ChickFilA missed the mark on the apicy sandwich; they need to go back to the drawing board on it.

        • Brian says:

          The KFC sandwich has no heat at all. Chick-fil-A’s has way more heat & flavor than this bland sandwich from KFC! Even Wendy’s has more heat.

      • alan rodriguez says:

        dont get y u cant just add ur own sauce paste to make it better.. mayo ketchup wih galric works wonders and then some cayenne pepepr on the actual meat thing.. u wont regret it..

  3. mike says:

    I had it 2 times at 5 for the box its great.

  4. Richard Ginn says:

    I tried this and wanted a much spicier chicken filet here. The 5 buck box is great a value, but this sandwich was lacking heat.

  5. Robert says:

    I’ve had two of these now and each time I wish there was more crispiness. There’s no way they’re being double-breaded. I’m sure it’s healthier how I’m getting them, but I like more crunch to my sandwiches.

  6. Morgan says:

    The lettuce was bad, not sure why they use that oddly chopped romaine. It really should have been pickles, and it isn’t like they don’t have them. Having lettuce around for only one item will ensure it will be pretty bad quality.

    That said the chicken really was good. I hope they bring back their twister wrap, at least at the shared Taco Bell locations. That was my favorite major chain fast food item (or maybe a tie with the spicy variants of the grilled stuft nacho) big filling, and not messy so great for the car.

  7. Malcolm says:

    I wrote about this the same day you did, and came to many of the same conclusions: Awsome chicken, lame everything else. I was a little put off by the size, for the price…somewhere in between a snack and a meal. Great review, as always!

  8. monkeyrotica says:

    Definitely a good deal at $5. The filet was okay, not as spicy as what I’d get at Popeyes, but not offensive. But since I have three Roy Rogers near me, I’m still going to rely on the Gold Rush Chicken Sandwich to fill that chicken sandwich hole in me.

  9. lz says:

    So it’s not the same Zinger sandwich/wrap as the one they had around 17 years ago. I don’t see the pale orange zinger sauce. Too bad.

    • monkeyrotica says:

      LOL what’s the same as it was 17 years ago? WE aren’t what we were 17 years ago. You want that out of a sandwich?

    • Acela says:

      In college we had a kfc express on campus and I used to get that zinger sauce on all the sandwich’s i got. First thing I asked was if the sauce was that zinger sauce and the cashier said no just mayo. Major disappointment as the mayo makes the sandwich even less spicy than CFA.

    • Nicole says:

      yaaaaaas the Zinger sauce back then was EVERYTHING!! I got all hopeful when I saw they brought the “Zinger” back but low and behold, not the original. I’m not sure why they ever got rid of it…it was the best thing on the menu.

  10. alan rodriguez says:

    things change and i hate change.. defeats the purpose of what made it so great and back then i wasnt even born so good to know ..plp and their over for lil amounts of small meats. i seriously donrtg et y theseds brands make small burgers and stuff without any meat so plp can hog and go to the e r wih a 300 bill then complain about it.. and i get it but its to bad that they dont care about puting on the meat then just toppings.. stupid idiots.. its all about the meat.. the bread is not to bad but hey im not gonna just get a kids stuff when this can fill me up.. its a good amoint.. nothing wrong with that.. and btw u can just put my own hot sauce from the store mixed with some soy and garlic paste then slather that on there..u can always make ur own special sauce and call it a day… for sumone that even cares get honey bbw from hidden valley.. its not anywere near it but my god does it work.. take my advice. so glad my chef skills outweiht the idiocy that plp have.

    • Barnaby says:

      You sure do call people “stupid” and “idiot” a lot for someone who obviously can’t read or write beyond a 3rd grade level. I suppose that’s to be expected though.

  11. CC says:

    It’s better if you take the chicken out of the “sandwich” and just eat that. Everything else drags it down in the package.

  12. A Petite Printce says:

    this 1 is the best everybody Goethe “rl” that’s whats up

  13. JP says:

    This is what gets me frustrated with some fast food places sometimes. Consistency is paramount. At least half of everyone loves this thing. Mine was a dry overcooked piece of breading. Which actually had good flavor but I could only eat half before throwing it away. I’ll have to try it again at a different KFC.

  14. Josh says:

    I high recommend paying the extra 99 cents to add cheese and bacon.

    • JITB says:

      Yea, you high!

      Even if you “highly” recommend, 99 cents is outrageous for a slice of cheese and a strip of bacon.

      • Barnaby says:

        Actually $1 is pretty much the norm anywhere to add cheese and bacon to a sandwich, and is totally reasonable considering how much it transforms the sandwich.

  15. brian says:

    Now if they’d just bring back the Twister Wrap.

  16. Ahecht says:

    It’s much better if you can convince them to put the Nashville Hot Chicken sauce on it.

    • JITB says:

      Ask and you shall receive.

    • Bryce Driesenga says:

      Just had this idea and now I must try it. Sounds pretty excellent. I love the snacker small version of this.

      Actually, I wonder if they’d basically make this like their snacker — with mayo and pickles.

  17. Steven T says:

    I had this today. I liked it. But my sandwich was much smaller and thinner than in the review. About the size of a McChicken patty so the bun overshadowed it. Also mine was fairly spicy, not overpowering but not what I was expecting considering it’s fast food but I liked it. Much more heat than the Wendy spicy chicken which somebody else mentioned as that being more spicy.

    These two issues are probably just a nature of being made on location. Otherwise I mostly agree with the review.

  18. Mark says:

    Mine wasn’t quite as big as the one in the photo here, but it was still decent size. Spice level it’s quite weak, about on par with a wendy’s spicy chicken. But I liked the crunch better. It seems more like extra crunchy breading. The bun was fine to me. Plus I’d much rather eat kfc wedges than wendy’s fries. Overall solid and a good deal in the $5 box, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to get it. It’s no where near as good as the old triple crunch zinger which was three tenders on a bun with zinger sauce. That was amazing.

  19. Jane Doe says:

    Y’all are crazy. The “Zinger” is in NO WAY “inferior” to Chick Fil A’s spicy chicken sandwich. They are BOTH good. Actually I PREFER KFC’s Zinger. Unlike Chick Fil A, the Zinger is extra crispy and has a softer/ fresher tasting bun (and a sesame seed bun, which is my favorite… not a plain ole bun like Chick Fil A).
    The Zinger may be slightly smaller than its competition, is my only complaint. But it’s likely a sales strategy to keep it affordable.. while still quality.

  20. BigBelly says:

    No more Zinger, I asked if there was another sandwich coming out, and she said she might have heard about something coming out in September, so hopefully soon LOL

  21. Rachel says:

    The US had a zinger decades ago. It was different than this and probably better. It was called the Triple Crunch Zinger. Semolina dusted bun, 3 extra crispy chicken tenders, lettuce, tomato (I think) and the zinger sauce. Seems like no one remembers it but it was the only thing I would eat from KFC and when they stopped selling it I stopped going. If you google it, pictures and stuff do pop up so I know I didn’t imagine it. I’m avidly searching for a copycat zinger sauce recipe.

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