KFC Cheetos Sandwich: What You Need To Know Before You Order One

In the game of "which fast food chain can create the most ridiculous menu item yet," KFC may have just taken the title, and that's no small feat — don't forget, Arby's recently introduced the world to the meat carrot (er, marrot), Burger King started selling tacos, and Jack in the Box made burgers into french fries, all of which are hard to beat when it comes to absurdity. But KFC's latest offering isn't pulling any punches, and though they've ratcheted up the ridiculous factor, they've done so in the best way possible — if you're a Cheetos lover, anyway.

The fried chicken chain debuted the Cheetos Sandwich nationwide on July 1, and it is a sight to behold. The new menu addition takes the classic Crispy Colonel Sandwich and turns it up to 11 by smothering the fried chicken filet in Cheetos sauce and adding a layer of Crunchy Cheetos underneath it, atop a hefty smear of mayo, of course. Why would they do that, you ask? According to KFC, "Only the finger lickin' cheesiness of Cheetos could rival our finger lickin' good chicken, so KFC and Cheetos joined flavor forces to make this deliciously crispy, crunchy, cheesy sandwich." It's a collaboration for the ages.

If you're looking at this bad boy thinking it's got to be over the top in the nutrition department, we've got good news for you: If you're happily chowing down on the Crispy Colonel Sandwich already, the Cheetos Sandwich isn't going to set you back that much further. The Cheetos-laden choice comes in at 560 calories, just 100 more than the regular sandwich. It's got 8 more grams of fat (33 grams total), and only 10 milligrams more salt (though at 1,180 milligrams, it's not exactly salt-free). Is it health food? Decidedly not. But you didn't go into KFC looking for health food, whether or not it's adorned with Cheetos, did you?

Now for the important part: Does it taste as good as it looks? That depends. If you're The Washington Post, whose headline proclaims, "KFC's Cheetos chicken sandwich looks toxic and tastes like a missed opportunity," you didn't think it looked good to begin with. But damning headline aside, WaPo's taste tester Maura Judkis did have to admit, "Against all better judgment, I ate this nuclear slime sandwich. So far, I haven't died. Yay! It is, I am apprehensive to report, better than it looks. Sure, the sandwich looks terrible, but terrible-looking foods can also be good — well, 'good' in the way that we grade on a curve when it comes to fast food. Does it satisfy both our curiosity and our taste for salt, sugar and fat? Yes. Will it make you laugh, and then also make you feel ashamed of yourself? Yes, and yes." 

The Takeout's Kevin Pang gave the Cheetos Sandwich a warmer reception, saying "...the Cheetos oil tastes like — get ready — Cheetos in oil form, as if cheesy dust was blended into melted butter. You can imagine how that would taste sauced over fried chicken. The mayonnaise serves as a binding agent and adds some creaminess, but it's the crunchy Cheetos itself that proves to be the revelation," though he did note that the Cheetos could have been fresher. At the end of the day, Pang concluded, "This sandwich feels like gimmickry at the outset. I can assure you it's not. It's a bit messy, it feels something more appropriate for middle school cafeterias, but dang is this ever a clever idea — and more importantly, it's a clever idea well-executed." For what it's worth, four teenage boys who taste-tested KFC's Cheetos Sandwich for KHOU11 all gave it an enthusiastic thumbs up, noting the "flavor kick" the Cheetos provided, and pronouncing it "just right."

If the Cheetos Sandwich floats your boat (and why wouldn't it?), you may have more Cheetos-KFC collaborations to look forward to: Delish reports that for the sandwich's launch, KFC hosted an "All Orange Everything" pop-up in New York City, and offered several other Cheetos-infused dishes, including Cheetos Hot Wings, Cheetos Loaded Fries, and best of all, the KFC Mac and Cheetos Bowl. Was it a sneak peek of new menu items to come? We can only hope. Unfortunately, the Cheetos Sandwich is only available for a limited time, so KFC recommends that you "enjoy those orange fingers while you can!"