REVIEW: McDonald’s Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Tenders with Signature Sauce

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The way I see it, eating McDonald’s at two in the morning is the only way to eat McDonald’s. The atmosphere is so laid back and amicable.

The employees openly discuss their love lives and curse at each other. Everything is drowned out by the sound of old Lionel Richie songs and whatever’s airing on Fox Sports 2 (usually infomercials promising to improve your golf swing). And best of all, nobody even cares that there’s a guy in the back, taking pictures of his four-piece Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Tenders meal like he was examining a C.S.I. victim — with the flash on and everything.

The more cynical sorts out there might take a look at these newfangled McProducts and immediately assume they’re nothing more than elongated nuggets. Not true. While the white meat may be indistinguishable from the McNuggets we all know and love, the breading tastes much different.

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I pick up the subtle flavor of the buttermilk batter, and the overall coating is noticeably spicier than the average McDonald’s chicken offering. The texture is also a bit grittier than what we’re used to from the chain. Imagine a breading halfway between the regular Chicken McNuggets outer shell and Popeyes’ Handcrafted Spicy Tenders and you’ve got a fairly apt description of what we’re working with here.

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But that’s not all. The all new chicken tenders also come with what McDonald’s is billing as its “Signature Sauce,” and all in all, it isn’t too shabby. I suppose the best way to describe it is a mildly tangier Catalina (French) dressing or a slightly spicier-than-normal blend of Thousand Island dressing. Regardless, it’s quite zesty, and the teensy-tiny hint of spiciness should be palatable to even the tamest of taste buds.

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And even if you don’t particularly like the Signature Sauce, the cardboard chicken tender carrier case comes with a handy-dandy double slot so you can wedge in a pair of sauce containers. As an avid sauce connoisseur, I’d suggest pairing the tenders with both the Sriracha Mac Sauce and the McRanch dressing (a great chaser to offset the spiciness of the former, naturally.)

On the whole, I’d consider the Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Tenders to be a fairly decent – albeit somewhat bland – addition to the extended McNugget family. The tenders themselves are surprisingly long (three to five inches, approximately) and they will fill you up fast, especially when doused in a goulash of sauces.

One word of warning, though: NOTHING goes well with the amalgamation of honey mustard, habanero ranch, and spicy buffalo sauce, except a bottle of Maalox.

(Nutrition Facts – 3 pieces – 370 calories, 190 calories from fat, 21 grams of total fat, 3.6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 70 milligrams of cholesterol, 910 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 0 grams of sugar, 28 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 4-pieces
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: The breading has a unique taste and texture. The tenders are crisp, juicy and filling. It’s a lot of fun to test out how the tenders gel with all those sauces and dressings. 
Cons: The Signature Sauce is a bit too weak. The tenders probably would’ve benefitted from being just a smidge spicier. The horrified glare of strangers as they watch you mix the creamy southwest dressing with Sweet ‘N Sour Sauce.

15 thoughts to “REVIEW: McDonald’s Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Tenders with Signature Sauce”

  1. The Signature Sauce tastes EXACTLY like Zaxby’s “Zax Sauce”, for those of you who are lucky enough to live where Zaxby’s is. As someone who has moved away from a Zaxby’s location, this is a tremendous development, as Zax sauce is the greatest sauce of all time.

  2. Did you just say you mix the southwest dressing with the sweet ‘n sour sauce??? That’s my favorite dressing and my favorite sauce dip… I’m so intrigued… I need to try this!

  3. I can’t find the habanero ranch at any mcdonalds 🙁 also Wendy’s has tenders too and I thought they were better than McDonald’s!

  4. I hated these. Threw them out after two bites and had to buy and air freshener to get the smell out of my car.

  5. I actually picked these up for free (courtesy of the McDonald’s app) after snagging a free pretzel dog at Auntie Anne’s…..Ahem…..Moving on….I was genuinely shocked how good the actual chicken was. It wasn’t stringy or weird looking, like mashed together frankenchicken bits, and the breading was decent. I could only eat two tenders before feeling full, but the leftover tenders actually tasted a tiny bit better to me after they had been chilling out in the fridge. I definitely agree that they’re a solid 7/10.

    Side note, I don’t think I’ve ever read a food review that made me cackle hysterically! 2 am fast food eaters unite!! LOL

  6. I really wanted to try out the signature sauce but my local McDonald’s kept handing me the Siracha Mac sauce. I guess they can’t read? The tenders themselves were on the bland side but still tasty.

  7. Hard pass. Chicken was tough and the tender was very bland.

    Popeyes, KFC & your local grocery store (Marianos/Roundys/Jewel) have much tastier tenders.

  8. The signature sauce is very similar to the sauce at Raising Cane’s — which if you’ve never heard of you should definitely try if you are ever in their area!

  9. I tried these twice and did not really care for them. They have little seasoning and are too meaty, the meat to breading ratio is off.

  10. Terribly disappointing! While the breading was crispy, it was also scalding, oily and lacked any flavor other than the black pepper speckled throughout. The chicken was stringy, tough to bite through, and was juicy, but in a fake, saline-infused sort of way.

    Grabbing these between flights after a long day of travel, I was certainly hungry, but I couldn’t even bring myself to eat much of them. I tried a few bites of each tender to ensure I didn’t just get a “bad one”. They were all consistently disgusting.

  11. Very bland with no seasoning and greasy on the outside.

    I only ate one with two different sauces sweet n sour and honey mustard all I can say is Yuck on top yuck yuck yuck needs seasoning!!

  12. Yeah, mine were gross. From the pictures, I thought they would be a different kind of meat from McDonald’s normal disgusting, squishy nuggets. And while they have the *appearance* of real chicken, they don’t taste or feel right at all. The chicken seemed very fake, and looked weird just like the translucent-ish photo in this article. Something must be injected into these things that’s making them weird and concerning as a supposed food item. If you want real chicken tenders, go to KFC or Chick-fil-A. This was just nasty and I’ll never make this mistake again. Only eat actual food!

    1. My thoughts exactly! This can’t be ‘real’ food. Stringy, weird, tasteless. Why do you think the box has TWO slots for sauce? Ha! Stay away…..far away.

  13. You really have to wonder why they call them “Buttermilk Crispy Tenders” without actually including the word CHICKEN in the title of the item.

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