Taste test: KFC’s new meatless burger is pretty mediocre

All things considered, KFC’s new offering is lacking in many ways

Jeremy Na

Just like that Khalid song, Young, dumb and broke. Ok maybe not dumb but definitely the other two.

Published: 15 January 2021, 3:00 PM

KFC recently unveiled its newest specialty item – the Zero Chicken Burger. Featuring a fungus-based faux chicken patty and cooked with the same 11 herbs and spices, the burger consists of no meat at all. 

It’s amazing that KFC now has a vegetarian burger right? Well, no. Not really. 

While the burger itself doesn’t actually contain any meat, the patty is still fried in the same oil as some of the restaurant’s other meat. Furthermore, the mayonnaise used in the burger isn’t vegan friendly as well.

As a result, KFC’s meatless burger, though meatless, is still something our vegetarian friends cannot enjoy.

As for the reasoning behind releasing a burger like this, KFC’s senior director of marketing & food innovation, Juliana Lim, explained that they saw “a trend towards flexitarianism and increased demand for meat alternative products, so [KFC] wanted to offer a meat-free option but still keeping the same great KFC taste.”

Unfortunately, the same great KFC taste is lacking in the burger.


If the intention of the burger was to give a passable rendition of a chicken patty then unfortunately, it did not pass the test, albeit just barely. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/JEREMY NA


Consisting of the ‘chicken’ patty, cheddar cheese, lettuce as well as generous amounts of mayonnaise and barbecue sauce, the Zero Chicken burger ends up rather mediocre.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad burger by any means but nothing about it really stands out. 

While the same 11 herbs and spices are used, the flavour doesn’t translate well into the patty itself. Apart from the crust, the patty lacks any sort of flavour. I guess you could say its taste could be a little more – fleshed out.

Texture-wise, it would be great if the patty offered a little more resistance as it was too easy to bite through, unlike actual meat. 

That said, the price of the burger, at $6.95 ala-carte and $8.65 for a set, is nothing too outrageous and lies on the lower side of the menu. 

The verdict

If you’re a vegetarian that doesn’t mind bending the rules a little or just someone trying to reduce their overall meat intake, then this burger would be worth a try.

But for anyone else, I would skip this and just get a nice juicy Zinger instead. Cheaper too.

After all, that’s the real reason the chicken crossed the road.

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