9 Church's Chicken Menu Items You Should Probably Avoid

Church's Chicken, known as Texas Chicken internationally, has no affiliation to a house of worship, despite its title. The company's name comes from the surname of its original founder, George W. Church, who opened up the very first Church's Chicken 1952 in San Antonio, Texas. This humble single location restaurant grew into a successful poultry-centered worldwide franchise more than 1,500 locations strong, and the wafting smell of crispy fried chicken, buttery biscuits, and crunchy battered okra coming from the kitchens calls out to its throngs of hungry consumers daily.

But things may not be all they're cracked up to be when it comes to every menu item emerging from the fragrant kitchens at Church's. Some reviewing eaters have some serious bones to pick with several of the chicken chain's celebrated food picks. From gritty macaroni to unfilled boxes of fries to frozen batches of coleslaw, here are nine Church's Chicken menu items you should probably avoid.

1. The fried chicken

Although fried chicken wings and tenders are what Church's Chicken is most known for, some consumers and former employees recommend that you hold off on placing an order for poultry from the celebrated chain. In addition to a lackluster taste reported by a considerable number of customers, one Reddit user brought up a rather disturbing experience regarding the chicken entrées that, if true, casts a serious negative light on the franchise's otherwise delicious-looking drumsticks and strips. 

A friend of theirs, the user claimed, had worked at Church's — and had divulged that unsanitary practices were sometimes employed in the backs of the kitchens during the chicken-prep process. Discolored, spotted, likely-expired poultry was sometimes double battered and fried by employees in an attempt to hide its questionable condition before being served anyway, they described. The case became stronger when an alleged second former employee hopped onto the Reddit thread, seeming to indirectly confirm the reality of these shady practices. "I've worked at Church's Chicken, was my first job ... no way would I eat at one," they commented. "Not going to say all I experienced, just no freaking way." Seeing as there have been customers who have reported allegedly falling illafter divulging in chicken from the franchise, we'd say these comments are worth some consideration prior to your next order, at the very least. 

2. The crinkle fries

Let's be honest, the French Fries accompanying your main course are an important staple in any fast food meal. When we pull out of the drive thru with our stomachs rumbling and peel open that super-hot to-go bag, the first thing we grab is a still-steaming fried potato strand from the very bottom. We're hoping, of course, for that perfect bite of savory goodness to get our meal started. Unfortunately, we aren't entirely sure you're going to get a coveted moment of fry-induced bliss if it's a Church's Chicken you're pulling away from.

Spotty consumer reviews regarding the overall quality and taste of the franchise's crinkle-cut fries — as well as reports of the boxed orders coming out rather skimpily filled — have us reconsidering our choice of side come our next stop at Church's. "$20 for 2 boxes of large fries," detailed an unhappy customer on TripAdvisor, "But the only thing large was the box itself. Fries in each was half full." Since both of these opinions are fairly regularly reported regarding the side, ending up with an average-tasting or half-filled box of Church's fries seems a realistic possibility — and what a disheartening scenario that would be as you hungrily pry open your container in the car. 

3. The macaroni and cheese

Macaroni and cheese, the noodle-and-cheddar based entrée popular among children and adults alike, is supposed to be melty, savory heaven in a bowl. And with such a relatively simple makeup of pasta and cheese, it seems that this should be attainable for any fast-casual restaurant ... right?

Wrong in the case of Church's Chicken, according to TikTok users. "How does macaroni come out looking like grits? Someone explain," captioned one poster beneath a video clip featuring a bowl of decidedly grainy, soupy mac and cheese from the chain. "I thought this was egg soup or something," commented a responding user on the post, giving voice to the unappealing nature of the botched delicacy. In another video, which features a mukbanger taste-testing popular menu items from both Popeyes and Church's Chicken, the poster couldn't hide his obvious disappointment as he sampled Church's mac and cheese dish. "I don't know who was in the back of Church's Chicken making this, but they did a terrible job," he expressed, comparing the chain's version to mushy baby food. Neither of these cases make us want to go out of our way to place an order any time soon, we've got to admit. 

4. The spicy chicken sandwich ... if you like it hot

It often feels like every restaurant out there is developing their own version of a spicy chicken sandwich, and Church's Chicken is no exception. The chain's Spicy Chicken Sandwich, uniquely separates itself from competitors with a whole, squeezable jalapeño pepper on the side, and also includes a fried poultry filet, pickles, and spicy mayonnaise. With all of these sizzling elements, you'd probably think that a pleasantly tear-inducing bite awaits you when it comes to Church's sandwich creation. 

Sadly, the declared spicy sandwich from Church's Chicken isn't nearly all it's cracked up to be in the way of heat according to those who've sampled it. The filet itself is no different from the one included in the regular chicken sandwich, and thus, the only heat comes from the spicy mustard and the jalapeño, should you choose to squeeze. This has led a number of reviewers on online platforms to publicly name the Church's Spicy Chicken Sandwich boring, disappointing, or nothing overly special. Still, seeing as the spice doesn't seem to be too penetrating on this one, we suppose it could be a good fit if you prefer your spicy sandwiches a bit more on the mild side.

5. The honey mustard sauce, if you aren't a fan of tang

Honey mustard sauce, which typically requires the ingredients sweet honey, spicy dijon mustard, mayonnaise, paprika, and sometimes even Worcestershire sauce, can have varying levels of sweetness or tanginess. Whether the flavor pendulum will swing to more of the sweet side or the tangy depends heavily on each recipe and the ratio of each of the elements included. When it comes to the Church's Chicken version, you can expect a particularly tangy taste, according to reviewing consumers. While some might appreciate this flavor profile, it is not for everyone's palate — and some eaters have ranked it rather lowly among their preferred sauces from the chain restaurant as a result.

"Coming in at number five is the honey mustard sauce," said a poster on TikTok, who ranked the sauce last on her list of favorites from the chicken chain. "I like the sauce, but it was a little bit more tangy than I would have liked." This might not be a negative quality, however, if a tangy sauce is your thing — just be prepared for that little bit of kick going in to dip your fries or tenders. 

6. Church's Signature Hot Sauce

Superhot: The Spicy World Of Pepper People was a 2024 hit Hulu reality series exploring pepper growers, and one of its episodes focused on finding a supplier to assist in developing a new hot sauce for none other than Church's Chicken. The vision of this episode's winners came to fruition in April 2024, when Church's Texas Chicken Signature Hot Sauce was unveiled in locations across the nation.

Despite the hype surrounding this hot new release, however, the sauce appears to be a bit of a disappointment to fans of the show. One poster on Reddit pointed out that despite the attachment to the Hulu original, the sauce contained few of the outlined ingredients included in the original concoction developed by the show's winners. "I could be wrong since I haven't tried it yet," they stated, "but it sounds like another disappointing corporate hot sauce [...] it should have at least had more than a hint of habanero. I feel bad for Bobby and Aurea [the winners] because this sauce feels like it has almost no involvement from them."

Besides this, even taste-testers unbothered by the lack of relation to the original sauce seem to harbor lackluster opinions regarding the product's overall taste. One sampler on YouTube described the sauce as more sweet and teriyaki-like in nature than spicy. Given that heat is an element that should be offered by a true hot sauce, we remain unconvinced as to the superiority of this one.

7. The coleslaw

Coleslaw originated in the Netherlands, but has become an extremely popular American staple side dish over the years. Since fried poultry and dressed chopped veggies is a naturally delicious pairing, Church's Texas Chicken offers cups of carrot-and-cabbage based coleslaw for its patrons needing something cool on their palates between nibbles of salty or spicy chicken.

However, you might want to think twice about selecting coleslaw as your side-of-choice during your next dining experience at Church's, as multiple strange experiences reported by consumers regarding the side stand to put a bad taste in your mouth. One of these includes a rather shocking report on TikTok of an order coming out to the poster completely frozen — and the half-thawed cabbage displayed in the video is enough to make your stomach curdle. Another bizarre notice regarding Church's coleslaw comes from Reddit, where a poster swore they were smelling chemicals wafting out from the dish on multiple occasions. Still, there are plenty of consumers who have had a good experience with the chain's vegetable side. If you do decide to go for it, we certainly hope your experience does not involve either icy or smelly cabbage.

8. The sweet tea

Ahh, sweet tea, the beloved beverage of Southerners everywhere. A simple black tea at its base, the drink is given its distinct and striking sweetness by the addition of sugar added to the liquid while still hot. Church's Chicken, which hails from Texas, does justice to its Southern roots by offering not only unsweet tea on its menu, but sweet, as well. Sadly, it's not a version that merits much enthusiasm according to drinkers.

Inconsistencies, problems with freshness, and an insufficient sweetness level have all been reported by consumers regarding Church's Texas Chicken's sweet tea beverage across multiple platforms. "Sometimes I have gotten it and it's the best tea I've ever had," divulged a recent commenter on Quora. "But there's also times I have gotten it and it is literally like sugared water with a light brown tint." Yikes. While there may be almost nothing as refreshing as a cup of well-done sweet tea, likewise, there are few things as disappointing as taking a great big gulp of a subpar one — so keep these complaints in mind as you let the cashier know which beverage you're going with the next time you're at Church's.

9. The Tenders 'N Shrimp box

The Tenders 'N Shrimp is a box full of battered, succulent butterfly shrimp, crispy fried chicken tenders, and salty crinkle fries, topped off with the addition of a buttermilk biscuit. It's a combination guaranteed to make mouths water based on the description alone. However, one sight of the real thing posted to Reddit was so shocking, it was enough to shatter that mouthwatering visual completely.

One consumer under r/Sacramento was given such a horrendous shrimp and chicken box from Church's Chicken, it warrants serious consideration for those hoping to sample it in the future. The photo of the order, posted by the extremely disappointed user, contained a small handful of dry-looking fries, two chicken strips, and a sparse sprinkling of shrunken shrimp — and the responding commenters went wild. "Can't stop staring into the box of nothing," lamented one, while another called the result "disturbing." Others encouraged the original poster to demand their money back ... and we can't say we blame them in this case. While of course this atrocity may have been an isolated incident, it seems sufficient to have turned some people off the idea of taking a chance on it, for good. Will you fall in line with them, or will you muster the gumption to brave the dish from Church's, hoping a better one will present itself? The choice is yours.