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Taco Bell Takes On McDonald's With New "Premium" Chicken Nuggets

The nuggets are being touted as "real chicken."

When you're in the mood for chicken nuggets, you might automatically head to McDonald's. On the other hand, Taco Bell might be the last option on your mind. However, that might change thanks to the fact that along with other new menu items that have been rolled out this year, Taco Bell is now launching "premium" chicken nuggets.

Starting October 12, you'll be able to order Crispy Chicken Nuggets at Taco Bell. There is a catch, though—you'll need to be lucky enough to live near one of the 83 select locations in Minneapolis that will be testing them for a limited time. During a media event at Taco Bell's HQ in Irvine, Calif., a Taco Bell employee explained, "This is like truly a very premium nugget. It's not a chicken nugget patty you might get at some fast-food restaurants. This is very much more elevated."

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taco bell crispy chicken nuggets
Taco Bell

In case you're wondering, the employee was likely referring to chains like McDonald's. In fact, Taco Bell food innovation team member, Chef Brett Pluskalowski, not only revealed that customers have been asking for more chicken-based items on the menu, but he also explained that Taco Bell will be using all white meat in its nuggets while noting, "When you go to McDonald's, that's not what you see. This is real chicken."

Indeed, while McDonald's claims on its website that its Chicken McNuggets "are made with all white meat chicken and no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives," there has been controversy over the possibility that the nuggets are made with "what some people call 'pink slime' or 'pink goop.' That's why the chain was sure to add, "Let's set the record straight: this … is not a representation of how we create our Chicken McNuggets, or for that matter, any item on our menu. Each and every one of our Chicken McNuggets is made with USDA-inspected boneless white-meat chicken."

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As for Taco Bell's new nuggets, not only is "real" white chicken meat used but they're also marinated in a jalapeño buttermilk and served with one of two new dipping sauces. The first is the Bell Sauce which has a bit of a kick thanks to the red chilies, garlic, onions, and tomatoes. The second option is the Jalapeño Honey Mustard which delivers on its name with a taste that's sweet, tangy, and a little spicy.

As for the nuggets themselves, you'll be able to grab a 5-piece order with one dipping sauce for $3.99 to $4.99 (the exact price will vary depending on the location). If you're really hungry, then you can pick up a 10-piece order that comes with two sauces for $6 to $8.99. If that fits your budget—and you happen to be in Minneapolis—you might want to run out and try Taco Bell's new chicken nuggets today.

Desirée O
Desirée O is a freelance writer who covers lifestyle, food, and nutrition news among other topics. Read more about Desirée
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