KFC has been transforming its menu in recent years. The company did away with its signature potato wedges and implemented a secret formula for fries. It tested a new bowl, and now, in addition to fried chicken sandwiches, KFC is premiering fried chicken wraps.
Whenever a new item arrives, there is some hesitation to try it. But this is not the first time KFC has branched into wraps. That was back in 2014 with short-lived wraps called Twisters. Then, in 2022, wraps were test-piloted in Atlanta, Georgia, before the company reintroduced some wraps nationally back in February 2023 for a limited time. Now, the company is bringing wraps back to its full menu nationwide. The lineup includes three wraps, including a new mac and cheese wrap.
With all the effort that has gone into testing KFC wraps over and over again, we sure hope that the newest wrap can live up to expectations.
KFC is no stranger to piling on a bunch of sides and making a new dish out of it. In September 2023, KFC tested out a new Smash'd Potato Bowl, consisting of mashed potatoes covered in cheese and bacon bits and topped with french fries. This dish was appropriately piloted in the capital city of topping everything with french fries, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Instead of wrapping everything up with fries this time, KFC has opted to showcase a different side, its mac and cheese. The wrap is made with KFC's Extra Crispy fried chicken, cheddar mac and cheese that's topped with extra shredded three-cheese blend for good measure, and all tucked into a tortilla. We are unsure why KFC has decided to go all in on the sides and mains rolled into one dish, but we aren't entirely mad about it. Still, we are curious to see not only how the flavors blend but also how the textures match up. There is a lot happening in this dish, and yet there is not a ton of ingredients. It is that the ingredients included may not typically be paired together in a singular unit. In a meal, sure. But in the same bite? Not so much.
How You Can Get It
The return of wraps is also the return of the KFC two for $5 deal. This was also a part of the original release for the wraps. Two wraps for $5 does seem like a good deal, although it does make us question whether the wraps are big enough on their own to constitute a meal or if you really do need two of them. This deal applies to all three wraps, though, so you can try the mac and cheese wrap and one of the other two flavors.
There is also a KFC Wraps Combo, which will be $8.49 and include two wraps of your choice, a medium drink, and a choice of sides.
All of this begins on November 12, 2023. As of now, it appears the wraps will be a permanent fixture on the menu. The company has not specified one way or another, but the press release does not say anything about the wraps being available for a limited time. If these wraps sell well, they will likely continue to be available.
Not Exactly A New Idea
Let's talk about the fact that this is not the first time KFC has attempted a mac and cheese themed dish. Back in 2019, KFC released a shockingly similar entree: the mac and cheese bowl. At the time, this was a bowl of mac and cheese with popcorn chicken and topped with a three-cheese blend. Sure, it is a slightly different form of fried chicken, but really, all we are missing is the tortilla shell, and this dish would be, for all intents and purposes, indistinguishable from the new wrap. That meal, however, is no longer available.
This wrap is most comparable to the other two wraps, which thankfully are distinct and do not feel too repetitive. KFC has a spicy slaw chicken wrap, which uses Extra Crispy chicken tenders, KFC coleslaw, spicy sauce, and crunchy pickles. There is also the classic chicken wrap, which uses Extra Crispy chicken, creamy mayo, and crunchy pickles. The latter two are more similar to each other than to the mac and cheese wrap, which at least makes this new mac and cheese wrap unique in that setting, if not in the context of other tried and discontinued dishes.
Not As Bad For You As You'd Think
The mac and cheese wrap is a weird size. It's not really a meal on its own, but two wraps may be too many. You can see that in the nutrition information. One mac and cheese wrap is about 400 calories. Sure, if you add sides, you can make this truly meal-sized, but on its own, most people would need more to be full.
Interestingly, this wrap is actually lower calories than the spicy slaw wrap, which has 450 calories. Mac and cheese is not known for being a low-calorie food, but here, it is less than the coleslaw. Sure enough, when we checked the KFC nutrition guide, it appears that the coleslaw is higher in calories and fat but is lower in sodium when compared with the mac and cheese.
The only nutrition information available on the wraps at the time of this article is the calories. Still, based on the information available on the fillings, it appears that despite what one would think, the mac and cheese wrap is not actually worse for you calorie-wise than the others, and depending on your nutrition objectives, it may actually be better.
The KFC mac and cheese wrap is definitely the lowest-ranking of the three wraps available. While the classic and spicy slaw wraps have crunchy and creamy textures, the mac and cheese wrap does not. Because KFC swapped out coleslaw or pickles for mac and cheese, the wrap loses some of that textural interest. The good news is, based on our experience, KFC put our wraps together when we placed our order, so they were not sitting around. This meant the chicken was still crispy and did not get bogged down with the moisture from the mac and cheese.
We found that the taste on this wrap was lacking. KFC's mac and cheese is relatively mild. This would have been better with a barbecue sauce or something else that could add another flavor dimension. We added Frank's Red Hot; the difference was night and day.
The size of the wrap is also a little odd. For the most part, the wraps are sold in pairs, even in a combo with fries and a drink. The problem is the mac and cheese wrap is much heavier than the other two. Two mac and cheese wraps plus fries may end up being too much, yet one wrap on its own is really not enough. We also wonder why KFC didn't just make the wrap bigger if it knew people would want two. Overall, this dish is confusing and seems to be more of a gimmick than a serious addition to the menu.
Read the original article on Mashed.