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Top 16 KFC Menu Items to Order

KFC is a well-known American fast food restaurant that has gained global popularity due to its crispy, Kentucky Fried chicken. Unsurprisingly, it’s the world’s fourth-largest fast-food restaurant chain, after Subway, McDonald’s, and Starbucks. 

KFC Fried Chicken, Nuggets, French Fries

But when you get to KFC, you may find it challenging to decide what exactly to order. There are several different chicken items to choose from on the KFC menu.

Whether you like spicy or mild, bone-in and boneless, strips or wings, sandwiches or plain chicken, there is something for all chicken-lovers at KFC. KFC is the biggest fried chicken chain, so it’s clearly a popular choice.

Plus, there are various non-chicken side dishes that you can add to your order. And some people enjoy the side dishes so much that that’s all the order! 

In this article, we’ll describe the best KFC items of all time. Use our descriptions and input to decide which KFC item you want to try next!

Original Recipe Chicken Bucket

If you know anything about KFC, you’re probably familiar with their Original Recipe Chicken Bucket.

And with this menu item, you have various options to choose from.

You can order an 8-piece bucket, a 12-piece bucket, or a 16-piece bucket if you have a large family or are throwing a big party.  

Additionally, you have the option to get the variety bucket that comes with both dark and white meat, or just get dark meat chicken such as chicken thighs. 

Finally, you can stick with the standard option or take it up a notch by ordering your chicken extra crispy, spicy, or Kentucky grilled. 

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

KFC’s Mashed Potatoes and Gravy side dish is a popular item to choose because it goes well with just about every other menu item. 

Made with precisely what it’s called—smooth mashed potatoes and a creamy, delicious gravy sauce. This is a solid side dish that doesn’t often disappoint. 

The potatoes are always well-mashed, presenting a soft, mushy finish with no lumps or bumps.

Plus, the gravy is highly flavorful and rich. It’s not the healthiest side dish on the menu, but definitely one of the tastiest. 

Cole Slaw

Cole Slaw is a commonly ordered side at KFC, mainly because it’s one of the only vegetable-centered items on the entire menu.

Some KFCs feature green beans, but Cole Slaw is a staple in locations across the country.

The Cole Slaw at KFC is also one of the lighter menu items in terms of total calories, so people watching their diet may prefer selecting Cole Slaw instead of KFCs other more popular sides, like Mashed Potatoes and Gravy or Mac and Cheese.

KFC’s Cole Slaw is made with carrots, cabbage, and onions and their Cole Slaw dressing, which is heavy on the cream. 

Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese competes with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy and Biscuits for the most popular side dish spot on the KFC menu

However, although the mashed potatoes can pass as a delicious home-cooked dish, the Mac and Cheese will likely not be the best you’ve ever tried. 

There is a lot of room for improvement, starting with the pasta shells themselves. They tend to be too mushy and overcooked, probably because it’s left heating all day so that it can be conveniently ready to serve.

Additionally, the cheese sauce is not melted quality cheese but has more of the consistency you would find with a cheese powder mixture. 

Nevertheless, its creamy, soft texture still pairs exceptionally well with crispy chicken, which is why it remains a popular choice. 

Nashville Hot Chicken

KFC offers a splendid 3-piece set of Nashville Hot Chicken Tenders that are a favorite for spice-lovers.

Sometimes spicy food items are intriguing but are so spicy that the eater cannot actually enjoy the flavor. 

The hot sauce on the chicken is delicious and includes a favorable amount of spice. It has all the hot sauce flavors you love without being overly spicy. 

They go well with many of KFC’s other menu items, especially their Biscuits and Mac and Cheese. And they even go well with other, more mild chicken items on the menu. 

However, they are still on the spicier side, so if you don’t like spice at all, then it may be best to stick with other chicken items on KFC’s menu. Luckily, there’s still plenty to choose from! 


A KFC Biscuit may be the least healthy side on the menu, especially when paired with carb-heavy, high-fat fried chicken. 

Getting your chicken with a butter-loaded Biscuit and eating it with a sugary jelly is not the most balanced meal—but it sure is delicious!

The Biscuit at KFC comes hot and flaky, with just the right crispiness on the outside and softness on the inside. 

It goes well alone, with jelly, or surrounding your KFC chicken. You really can’t go wrong with ordering a Biscuit (or two, or three)! 

If you want to try to make a healthier version or control the ingredients (read butter) a bit more closely, there are many homemade KFC Biscuit recipes that you can try. 

Pot Pie

KFC’s Pot Pie is a menu item typically not expected for a fast-food restaurant, and it’s not as suitable as a chicken meal side as Mac and Cheese, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, or a Biscuit.

Nevertheless, the Pot Pie has been and will likely continue to be a genuine crowd-pleaser at many KFC locations.

It includes chicken, pie crust, and a few vegetables, but the Pot Pie’s real stand-out ingredient is KFC’s fatty and creamy gravy sauce

Extra Crispy Tenders

Ordering the Extra Crispy Tenders is a solid move at KFC, and you have the option of getting either four pieces if you’re moderately hungry or 12 pieces if you’re starving (or if you’re willing to share)!

KFC’s Extra Crispy Tenders are exactly what they’re called—crispy on the outside. But besides that delightful upgrade from normal chicken tenders, they are also super flavorful and juicy on the inside. 

However, some may believe that these tenders are a bit mislabeled or misleading and instead label them as just “crispy” but not “extra crispy.”

All in all, if you want the best chicken, KFC’s classic fried chicken may still be the best bet.

Chicken Little

KFC’s Chicken Little sandwich is perfect for when you’re craving a delicious, juicy chicken sandwich but aren’t hungry enough to justify a full meal or even a normal-sized sandwich.

The contents of the regular sandwich are simple — just a piece of crispy chicken, a sesame seed bun, a bit of mayo, and a few pickles.

But if you want to try something new, it also comes in different flavors, such as Buffalo, Honey BBQ, and Nashville Hot. 

This is the perfect, quick snack that will fill you up and leave both your stomach and your taste buds satisfied when you need a little bit to hold you over. 

It’s also an ideal choice when you need to eat in the car and just want a handheld sandwich that is unlikely to cause a mess on your lap. 

Chicken Sandwich

If the idea of getting a small chicken sandwich like the Chicken Little above sounds wildly unappealing to you, then never mind that sandwich and order KFC’s regular Chicken Sandwich instead. 

Also topped with pickles and mayo, the Chicken Sandwich is similar to the Chicken Little, just a bigger size. 

Plus, instead of a small sesame bun, KFC makes this sandwich with a more flavorful and buttery brioche bun, which definitely takes the sandwich up a notch overall. 


KFC also has a Chocolate Chip Cookie, typically ordered as an add-on to a meal. 

It’s hard for a cookie to be disappointing. And KFC’s cookies are reasonably tasty.

Though, they may not be the best cookies you’ve ever consumed and may feel a little too grainy for some people’s texture preferences. 

However, a KFC cookie gives you a delightfully sweet way to end your otherwise salty and savory meal. 

Crispy Colonel Sandwich

KFC’s Crispy Colonel Sandwich is similar to KFC’s regular Chicken Sandwich and came in the same three that the Chicken Little comes in—Honey BBQ, Buffalos, and Nashville Hot.

However, there were some minor differences in the Colonel Sandwich than the Chicken Sandwich,

The regular Chicken Sandwich seemed to win out because the Colonel Sandwich was discontinued.

That said, if you were a fan of the Crispy Colonel Sandwich, then there is no real reason you won’t enjoy the regular Chicken Sandwich or the Chicken Little sandwich. 

Popcorn Chicken

KFC’s Popcorn Chicken is a great menu item to select if you’re looking for an even more bite-sized, portable food option than the Chicken Little. 

Although they look crispy to the eye, they are actually more ideal for people who prefer softer breading. The Popcorn Chicken also has a higher ratio of breading to chicken than other KFC chicken items

You can select whichever dipping sauce best suits your fancy to go along with them. Choose between KFC sauce, honey bbq, classic ranch, honey mustard, or hot sauce. 

Get them as a combo to enjoy KFC’s delicious secret menu fries on the side. 

Kentucky Fried Wings

One of KFC’s top menu items is its Kentucky Fried Wings.

As a chicken establishment, it’s no surprise that they offer fried wings.

However, it’s not entirely typical for a fast food restaurant to serve bone-in fried chicken wings, especially not good ones. But KFC certainly gets the job done!

Plus, you have a few options for ordering KFCs wings. You can get a personal size of six wings or get 24 wings to share with friends and family. 

You can also experiment with different sauces on your wings. You can choose the Nashville Hot sauce if you love spice, or choose the Honey BBQ if you’re looking for something sweeter. 

KFC Famous Bowl

Last but certainly not least, the KFC Famous Bowl is famous for a reason.

This bowl is the epitome of what makes fast food restaurants appealing because it is as creative and silly as it is delicious and addicting. 

Getting a personal bowl of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, creamy gravy, sweet bits of corn, and a dash of cheese to top it all off is a true delight for various occasions. 

It’s easy to grab and go, eat in your car, have as a snack, or eat as a quick meal. And with all of KFCs best ingredients in one bowl, it’s hard not to love. 

Plus, if you’re a fan of KFCs Nashville Hot Sauce or want to try it, you can order a version of the famous bowl that includes it!


If you didn’t know that KFC serves Chocolate Chip Cakes, then you’re not alone.

It’s not often that people order this menu item, but they sure are please when they do!

Not only is the flavor pleasing, given its sugary, chocolaty goodness and the unique addition of chocolate chips inside of a cake, but the size is appealing as well. 

Usually, ordering cake from a fast food restaurant means you will receive a slice of cake in a small paper box. But with KFC’s cake, you’ll get an entire cake, big enough to feed around six people! 

If you want a superior cake, getting a cake at a cake shop will likely be a better choice. 

However, if you are specifically interested in getting a chocolate chip cake or buying a cake for someone who absolutely loves KFC, this Chocolate Chip Cake is not a bad choice.

KFC has a plethora of delicious menu items, spanning from classic to inventive and standard to very unique. 

This famous Southern fast food restaurant chain has made it incredibly easy for almost everyone to find something they can appreciate on its menu, from crispy chicken lovers to spice fanatics, veggie seekers, and beyond. 

The best KFC items, in my opinion, are the KFC Famous Bowl, the Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, and the Nashville Hot Chicken Tenders. 

However, you can’t go too wrong with any of the menu items on this list, especially if you order any of them as a side to the standard KFC chicken bucket

We hope you enjoy your next (or first!) KFC meal! 

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry. As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.