Our favorite might surprise you.
In the last month alone, we’ve thrown ourselves three separate Chick-fil-A nugget parties: First, we compared them to Shake Shack’s new Chick’n Bites. Then we made a nugget bouquet. Now, we’re ranking every single dipping sauce the chain offers—all in the name of journalism.
Sadly, we weren’t able to procure the elusive cheese that broke the internet this week because local restaurants only carry the seven standard sauces: Chick-fil-A, Polynesian, Honey Mustard, Garden Herb Ranch, Zesty Buffalo, Barbecue, and Sweet & Spicy Sriracha.
We rated them based on dip-ability, flavor, and how well they pair with Chick-fil-A’s signature nuggets. Here’s what we thought.
1. Honey Mustard
Our No. 1 choice shocked us for a few reasons, but mostly because it looked so darn gross when we opened the packet. It was the absolute worst shade of yellow and looked like a weird, miniature Jello mold—but it was without a doubt our winner. Slightly more savory than most of its kind, this was a nice contrast to the nuggets’ delicate sweetness. We’re used to sweet, creamy honey mustards and were pleasantly surprised by this one’s tanginess. Terrible looks aside, this sauce was definitely a win.
2. Garden Herb Ranch
There’s not much to explain here, because this just tastes like ranch. Chicken nuggets taste good dipped in ranch. ‘Nuff said.
WATCH: How to Make the Copycat Chick-Fil-A Sandwich
3. Zesty Buffalo
I wanted to rank this lower, but for extremely petty reasons: When I was in college, I worked next to the Chick-fil-A on campus. My favorite thing to eat in the entire world was the original sandwich drenched in Chick-fil-A’s original Buffalo sauce. I ate that meal far more often than could be considered healthy. One terrible day, I opened my paper sack expecting to find my beloved Buffalo. I didn’t. Instead, I found this and I hated it. It’s not bad—in fact, it’s actually quite good—it’s just not the same.
Cayenne pepper and vinegar are the overwhelming flavors here, and we’re all about it. But it did overpower the chicken and that’s why it’s not ranked higher.
4. It’s a tie between Barbecue and Sriracha
Barbecue is pretty much exactly what we expected: Sweet and pleasant, but nothing to write home about.
The sriracha, on the other hand, was actually really delicious—just not as a nugget sauce. We’d definitely use this as a marinade for our chicken or to spice up our stir-fry, but probably wouldn’t order it for dipping purposes again.
OK, let’s pause here for a quick disclaimer: A lot of you have probably realized by now that we’ve covered five out of seven sauces so far and Chick-fil-A’s two most popular condiments have not yet been ranked.
Listen, you guys, we’re as surprised as you are.
We didn’t expect things to turn out this way, but they did. We understand that you’re going to be upset and you’ll likely leave angry comments. That is fine.
Anyway, back to the list:
Chick-fil-A’s signature sauce is underwhelming. It tastes... like their barbecue sauce, but way diluted. Which is essetially what it is. And that's a little meh for a namesake sauce in our opinion. We’re sorry, we know this isn’t what you wanted to hear. Sometimes the truth hurts.
Is this a dipping sauce or simple syrup? One tester liked it, but admitted that nostalgia played a large part in her opinion. Weirdly, it seems like everyone we talked to loved this in high school or knew someone who loved it in high school. Is this a statement on the average teenager's palate development? Who knows. The only thing we’re certain of is that this tastes like concentrated sugar water. Pass.