Here are 11 fast food chicken sandwiches to upgrade your drive-thru order.
The Chicken Sandwich Wars Are Hotter Than Ever, And You Can Try Them All

Get ready for all the hand-breaded goodness you can handle.

by Daffany Chan
Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The chicken sandwich wars have certainly heated up in 2021, with plenty of fast food chains entering the fray. From Burger King’s Ch’King to Shake Shack’s Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich, there are so many ways to enjoy your fave crispy chicken and bun combo. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a new crispy chicken innovation or a classic fave, check out these 10 hand-breaded fast food chicken sandwiches for 2021.

You’re probably aware of the fan-favorite chicken sandwiches at Popeyes and Chick-fil-A. But there are plenty of other fast food chains that have dropped their own contenders in the chicken sandwich wars in 2021, including McDonald’s, KFC, and Carl’s Jr. To top it off, many spots have a spicy and classic variety for you to choose from, as well as different toppings. With so many places to grab the crispy goodness, you’ll get to be the judge of which fast food chain reigns supreme. Here are 11 fast food chicken sandwiches that you can chow down on in 2021.

Shake Shack Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich
Shake Shack

Shake Shack dropped its new Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich on July 1 as part of its summer menu. The spicy menu item features a honey-glazed crispy chicken filet, habanero mayo, and shredded lettuce served on a toasted potato bun.

Burger King's Ch'King
Courtesy of Burger King

Burger King dropped its Ch’King on June 3, which comes in two versions: regular and spicy. It features a hand-breaded chicken filet that’s fried to get a crispy, golden brown exterior, all served on a potato bun with pickles and the brand’s signature sauce. You can also add a spicy glaze with the Spicy Ch’King or swap out the pickles for lettuce and a tomato slice with the Ch’King Deluxe.

Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.’s Hand-Breaded Chicken Sandwich
Courtesy of Carl's Jr.

Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. joined the chicken sandwich wars with their Hand-Breaded Chicken Sandwich menu, which launched on May 17. The lineup of sandwiches puts a spin on the brand's Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders, similarly featuring juicy chicken meat with a crispy exterior.

There are three options you can choose from: The Hand-Breaded Chicken and Waffle Breakfast Sandwich ($4.49) features a Maple Butter Glaze atop the filet sandwiched between two Belgian waffles; Hardee's Hand-Breaded Chicken Biscuit ($3.99) features the brand's buttermilk biscuit as the bun; and finally, the Hand-Breaded Chicken Sandwich ($5.99) is a more classic offering with deli pickles, mayonnaise, and a potato bun.

McDonald’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich
Courtesy of McDonald's

McDonald’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich launched on Feb. 24 and features a juicy, all-white meat fillet covered in a new crispy breading formula, crinkle-cut pickles, and a buttered potato roll.

KFC Chicken Sandwich

KFC’s Chicken Sandwich began rolling out in January. You have the option between classic and spicy varieties, which feature a crispy filet topped with pickles, mayo, on a brioche-style bun.

Dairy Queen’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich
Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich features a crispy chicken fillet with lettuce, tomato, and mayo on a toasted bun.

Jack in the Box’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich
Jack in the Box

Jack in the Box’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich packs the heat with a spicy fried chicken filet topped with a tomato slice, lettuce and mayonnaise served on a butter bakery bun.


Wendy’s Classic Chicken Sandwich dropped in October 2020, and it features crispy chicken breast that’s lightly breaded, along with lettuce, tomato, mayo, and pickles on a toasted bun.

Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich
Courtesy of Popeye's

The fan-favorite Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich launched in August 2019. The permanent menu item features a hand breaded chicken filet served on a toasted brioche bun with two barrel cured pickles. You’ll also get to choose the sauce on your sandwich — classic mayo or spicy Cajun spread.

Sonic’s Classic Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Sonic’s Classic Crispy Chicken Sandwich dropped in 2010 features all the classic ingredients of a chicken sandwich: a brioche bun, breaded chicken, lettuce, mayo, and tomato. You can also customize your bite by adding a range of sauces and toppings like bacon, cheese, and more.

Chick-Fil-A’s OG Chicken Sandwich

Chick-Fil-A’s OG Chicken Sandwich debuted in 1964. The menu item comes with seasoned, breaded chicken breast served on a toasted, buttered bun with dill pickle chips.

When heading to a fast food chain to try out a chicken sandwich war contender in 2021, remember to keep in mind the CDC's most updated guidance on mask-wearing and social distancing.