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I Tried McDonald's New Cajun Chicken Sandwiches & They Really Bring the Heat

The fast-food giant keeps trying to outdo itself, but are these new McCrispy spin-offs any good?

These days, when people talk about "chicken wars," they're not talking about the feisty, swimming pool wrestling matches from your youth. No, they're talking about the intense rivalry between fast-food chains, each competing to churn out the best-tasting chicken sandwich around.

Ever since Popeyes debuted its now fan-favorite chicken sandwich back in 2019, many chains have followed in its footsteps, trying to create their own drool-worthy iterations. Even brands that already had a chicken sandwich on the menu were suddenly scrambling to make it better.

Take McDonald's. The longtime home of the McChicken came out with an all-new Crispy Chicken Sandwich in 2021. Later renamed the McCrispy, the southern-style, pickle-topped fried chicken sandwich has since become one of the fast-food giant's best sellers—a "billion dolllar brand," according to the company.

Of course, McDonald's isn't done tinkering with its successful formula quite yet. The chain keeps coming up with new spins on the McCrispy, too. Just last month, it launched two new chicken sandwiches within the ever-expanding McCrispy family: the Bacon Cajun Ranch McCrispy and the Bacon Cajun Ranch Deluxe McCrispy. Both limited-time offerings build upon the chain's basic McCrispy model.

So, how do the newcomers hold up to the original? Let's dig in.

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Bacon Cajun Ranch McCrispy

Bacon Cajun Ranch McCrispy sandwich from McDonald's
Photo: Amanda Mactas/Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition (Per Order):
Calories: 630
Fat: 33 g (Saturated Fat: 7 g)
Sodium: 1,650 mg
Carbs: 49 g (Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 11 g)
Protein: 33 g

This new limited-time offering comes on a warm, toasted potato roll and is topped with a southern-style fried chicken fillet, applewood smoked bacon, crinkle-cut pickles, and a creamy cajun ranch sauce both on top of and the bottom of the bun. This sandwich set me back $9.19 in New York City.

The look: This sandwich comes in what looks like a heat-insulated pouch. The bun looks fresh and perfectly toasted if you peek inside and you can tell its made exactly as described from opening it up. There is a hearty slab of fried chicken on the bun, along with what looks like well-cooked bacon (none of those nasty fatty parts). The sauce oozes out the sides and is present on both sides of the chicken patty.

The taste: Spicy! It has great heat that you will definitely feel on your tongue, but not too much that it overpowers all of the other flavors. The potato roll is slightly sweet, and fluffy and airy—everything a good bun should be. You get the same crispy chicken from the regular McCrispy sandwich, with the added heat and savory bacon. The bacon itself is nice and crispy, which is great since sometimes restaurants serve a more floppy, soggy product. However, it's difficult to catch the flavor of the bacon among the spicy ranch sauce.

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Bacon Cajun Ranch Deluxe McCrispy

Bacon Cajun Ranch Deluxe McCrispy sandwich from McDonald's
Photo: Amanda Mactas/Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition (Per Order):
Calories: 630
Fat: 33 g (Saturated Fat: 7 g)
Sodium: 1,520 mg
Carbs: 51 g (Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 12 g)
Protein: 33 g

This deluxe version of the Bacon Cajun Ranch McCrispy makes a few small changes to the non-deluxe version. Like its brother, it's made on a warm and toasted potato roll, along with southern-style fried chicken, and applewood smoked bacon. But this time it adds shredded lettuce and Roma tomatoes in lieu of pickles. Plus, you've got that fiery Cajun ranch sauce both on top and on the bottom of the bun. This one is slightly pricier. I paid $10.69.

The look: Surprisingly, the deluxe version comes in different packaging than the regular Bacon Cajun Ranch McCrispy, in a sturdy box. I think the other McCrispy could benefit from a box as well so as not to squish the bun, but I assume the difference is due to the extra layers of ingredients in the deluxe. Similar to its predecessor, you can see all the layers of stuffings here, with the shredded lettuce falling off the sides. The chicken filet and bacon look identical to that of the earlier sandwich and the tomato slices look fresh. The hefty serving of shredded lettuce appears to be iceberg, meaning it will likely provide a nice crunch.

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The taste: Even crispier than the last, thanks to the added crunch from the lettuce. I feel like they named this one deluxe for a reason, because with the addition of the lettuce and tomato on this version, you get a more well-rounded sandwich with a good fusion of flavors. The slightly sweet tomatoes help to cut some of the heat from the ranch sauce and you can definitely pick up on the bacon flavor when biting into this sandwich. It has the same, perfectly toasted bun as the McCrispy but really dials up the flavor.

Spice lovers will be lining up for this one. However, if you don't think you can handle the heat, it might be beneficial to ask for half the sauce, since it's slathered both above and below the crispy chicken patty. Halfway through eating these sandwiches, my nose started to run, a telltale symptom of eats with some serious kick. So, no, there is no skimping on the heat from McDonald's Cajun sauce.

If you're a fan of fiery foods, then you'll certainly agree: both of these iterations put the traditional McCrispy to shame.

Amanda Mactas
Amanda Mactas is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City, covering food, travel, and lifestyle content. Read more about Amanda