REVIEW: KFC Beyond Fried Chicken Nuggets

KFC Beyond Fried Chicken Nuggets Plated

I am still shocked by how ubiquitous meatless has become, especially at fast food restaurants. As the quality of meatless proteins has improved, the cost has also come down enough to make it more commercially viable. Plus, with the social media popularity of #MeatlessMonday, you’ve got a lot more people seeking out a meatless option when going through the drive-thru. KFC recently rolled out its entry into the meatless market: Beyond Fried Chicken Nuggets.

Starting with regional testing in 2019, KFC has taken its time to tweak the nuggets to be uniquely KFC. After trying the Beyond Chicken Tenders last year and being fairly underwhelmed, I was worried these nuggets would be more of the same. Thankfully it seems KFC and Beyond spent three years of research and development to deliver an absolutely delicious product. While these particular items seem to be the most expensive of the fast food meatless options (12 nuggets cost $13.99), considering their special nature, it makes sense. They are a one-of-a-kind product that can’t be found in stores like most other fast food meatless items can.

It has been quite some time since I went to a KFC. With the plethora of fried chicken options available, the chain never seems to fall into our rotation. If these Beyond Chicken nuggets become a standard menu item, that will change.

The first thing I noticed was the strong, familiar smell of KFC while opening the box. This was a promising sign. As I mentioned, I was worried these would be just a deep-fried version of what you can get in the store. Thankfully, they weren’t.

KFC Beyond Fried Chicken Nuggets Closeup

The breading has that unique flavor of 11 herbs and spices, accented with grease that makes these about as authentically KFC as possible. The “meat” was what we’ve come to expect from meatless items: firm and, sometimes, tough. I think your mileage will vary when it comes to these nuggets, and it’ll depend on the location. One of the difficulties with meatless is they are easy to overcook. I know the store employees are doing their best, but just know your nuggets might end up more on the tough side.

For me, these ended up being a home run. I don’t mind the firmer texture of the meatless proteins. The breading is the absolute star and, when paired with the KFC Sauce, it hits all the right notes.

KFC Beyond Fried Chicken Nuggets Split

Much like other meatless fast food products, these aren’t going to fool you into thinking they are real meat. But they are absolutely worth trying if you go in with that expectation. They aren’t a cheap option, but their uniqueness justifies the price tag for me. They are also extremely filling and were easily split between myself and my husband. I’m already planning my next outing to get them and maybe see if I can substitute the popcorn chicken on the Famous Bowls with the Beyond Fried Chicken.

Purchased Price: $13.99
Size: 12 Pieces
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 960 calories, 54 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 2880 milligrams of sodium, 60 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 72 grams of protein.

9 thoughts to “REVIEW: KFC Beyond Fried Chicken Nuggets”

  1. Holly, have you tried Impossible nuggets? You say “these aren’t going to fool you into thinking they are real meat” but I find the Impossible nuggets don’t just taste like chicken, I think they taste BETTER than real chicken nuggets.

    1. Also it’s safer for the vegans too whom 100% don’t want cross contamination with the meat products. They can pop in air fryer and still come up crispy.

      For that “KFC” experience they can roast a corn on the cob and whip up vegan mashed potatoes. Or get one of the many vegan sides that Trader Joe’s sells and call it a complete meal.

  2. Those nutrition facts are insane. I know these are aimed at a different audience than real chicken, but just as a quick comparison — a Wendy’s 10pc has half the calories and fat, and one-third the sodium and carbs. The sodium in these alone blasts past the recommended daily maximum.

    1. These plant-based alternatives definitely seem more like a “deal made with the devil” sort of thing rather than a health-conscious alternative. I suppose for people in desperate need to tasty non-meat alternatives now there’s these, but you’re right that the sodium and carbs in these plant-based alternatives are absolutely not healthy for you at all.

  3. Thanks for the review. They sound like a solid 9 out of 10, for everything but the price which almost seems prohibitive (in my mind, at least).

  4. Since these are cooked in the same fryer as KFC chicken, it isn’t surprising that they had the “strong, familiar smell of KFC”. I appreciate when meat-free options are available at mass-market fast food chains, but if they could only figure out a way to make these products truly vegetarian/vegan, they could certainly increase their sales beyond just people who are looking for a meatless option.

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