KFC Saucy Nuggets review: Nashville Hot and Korean BBQ make this new line finger-lickin' good

Plus, what did we think of the Apple Pie Poppers?

KFC Saucy Nuggets and Apple Pie Poppers
KFC Saucy Nuggets and Apple Pie Poppers /

Yesterday (April 1) in stores everywhere, KFC introduced two brand new items: Saucy Nuggets; and Apple Pie Poppers. The latter is a new dessert item that is half apple pie, half large Totinos. The former you can probably figure out for yourself: it’s KFC’s chicken nuggets, tossed in sauce.

In fact you can snag these new Saucy Nuggets in five different flavors: Honey Sriracha, Korean BBQ, Sticky Chicky Sweet ‘n Sour Sauce, Nashville Hot, and Georgia Gold. You can also snag (I will stop using the word “snag” in a moment) them in a number of different sizes, including 8 pieces, 10 pieces, or 12 pieces; plus each as a combo with a drink, fries, and a biscuit. You can check your local KFC for prices, and to clarify you can still… Grab… The saucy nuggets as well.

I had seen the signs for the new items popping up at my local KFC as early as Sunday (March 31) but showed an incredibly superhuman level of restraint to wait until yesterday to head in and try them all out. [Editor’s Note: a gift card was provided by KFC for Guilty Eats to review these new items.] Upon arriving at said KFC, there were two people working there, a lot of customers, and a fair amount of confusion about what exactly I was asking for. Which is reasonable, because normal people do not walk in and order five orders of Saucy Nuggets on opening day with a side of Apple Pie Poppers.

Eventually, we sorted it all out and the Manager very kindly through in several additional sauces for me to try, so I headed back to the Guilty Eats lab (my house) and conferred with the team (my family) on the new items.

So that preamble out of the way, how are the new KFC Saucy Nuggets? And how are the KFC Apple Pie Poppers? Let’s break it down by item, shall we?

KFC Saucy Nuggets: Nashville Hot

KFC Saucy Nuggets, Nashville Hot /

This is actually not a new sauce, but a returning one (of two in the line), and it was immediately my favorite of the bunch. While my fellow testers' mileage varied, we all ranked it pretty high, and that’s because it has a nice amount of heat, as you would expect, and a very different flavor from KFC’s normal, iconic breading.

While this is definitely not authentic hot chicken, it also isn’t that saucy… It’s more of a dry rub than sopping wet chicken nuggets, and that might also be part of what made this stand out.

The Nashville Hot was at the top of my list, and though I don’t know if I’d be able to resist the siren call of the perfection that is KFC’s original recipe, this is a nice option if you want to vary things up.

KFC Saucy Nuggets: Korean BBQ

KFC Saucy Nuggets, Georgia Gold and Korean BBQ /

The Korean BBQ was #2 on two of our lists and #1 on another. That’s down to this having a nice amount of umami tang a la Korean BBQ, a little sweetness, and I would venture that this sauce perfectly coats the KFC nuggets. It’s the right amount of sticky and sweet without being cloying and was a pleasant surprise given channeling Korean BBQ can go very wrong.

KFC Saucy Nuggets: Georgia Gold

This is the other returning sauce, and I’m honestly not quite sure what to think of this one. The main word I’d use is: surprisingly bland. It’s supposed to be a honey-mustard BBQ, and the yellowish color is actually nice and distinctive from the rest of the nuggets - so visually, this is a win. But in terms of taste there wasn’t enough honey, definitely wasn’t enough mustard… They’re fine, but where there should be an explosion of flavor or heat, I didn’t get much of anything.

KFC Saucy Nuggets: Honey Sriracha

KFC Saucy Nuggets, Honey Sriracha /

Another new flavor, this one definitely leans more honey than sriracha, but it was a favorite of my two fellow diners. I personally could use more heat in there, versus the tingle on the back of the throat after you eat. But they are sweet, if not quite as sticky as you might imagine from this sort of sauce. Short version: I wasn’t as high on these as everyone else, but they seem like a good option if you have honey fans in your group.

KFC Saucy Nuggets: Sticky Chicky Sweet ‘n Sour

KFC Saucy Nuggets, Sticky Chicky Sweet 'n Sour /

This sauce skips the sour entirely and leans into the sweet. And sticky. I guess the chicky, too, because there’s chicken in there somewhere. But this is, as the toddlers say, not to my taste. Granted I don’t love sweet ‘n sour sauce anyway, so if you’re a fan you might find this in line with the experience. But as you might be already gathering I’m more of a spice guy than a sweet guy, so this was a skip from me.

Perhaps of note, I got an additional tub of sauce packed in the bag, so I dipped in that to see if it would increase the sour part of the sauce. It did not. It made it much worse. Don't do that.

KFC Apple Pie Poppers

KFC Apple Pie Poppers /

Three out of three diners agree: these Apple Pie Poppers are glorious. Warm apple filling, a flaky, buttery crust. This is perfection. They’re about twice the size of a pizza bite, but much smaller than a McDonald’s Apple Pie, aka the perfect size for two scrumptious bites of bliss.

Nobody is heading to KFC for dessert alone, but maybe they will after they taste the Apple Pie Poppers? This honestly might be one of the best fast-food chain desserts I’ve ever had. Even my wife, who tried one later after it was no longer warm, paused after biting and said, “Oh, these are really good.”

KFC Saucy Nuggets And Apple Pie Poppers: The ultimate verdict

Overall, the clear winner (if this is a contest, which I don’t think it is) is the Apple Pie Poppers, a transcendent addition to the KFC menu, and the perfect end to a meal. The Saucy Nuggets vary wildly by sauce - and while personally I might prefer my sauce on the side, if you want to try them out the Nashville Hot and Korean BBQ are well worth your time, and money. If you’re like me, though, you might want to keep a bottle of hot sauce on the side to spice things up a bit.

While the Nashville Hot and Korean BBQ Saucy Nuggets are very good, some of the more bland flavors bring the line down a notch.. . KFC Saucy Nuggets. KFC Saucy Nuggets. B

KFC Apple Pie Poppers. A+. The perfect two-bite fast food dessert, filled with warm apple pie wrapped it flaky, buttery pastry. Do not miss these the next time you're at KFC. . KFC Apple Pie Poppers

Next. KFC Saucy Nuggets and Apple Pie Poppers are here to offer bite-size bliss. KFC Saucy Nuggets and Apple Pie Poppers are here to offer bite-size bliss. dark