Saucy Showdown: All 5 KFC Sauces, Ranked

kfc sauces

Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

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kfc sauces
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

Finger Dippin' Good

Kentucky Fried Chicken may not be known for its dipping sauce game, but it’s quietly slinging an army of strong options. Fast-food sauces are crucial to the experience, so which sauces should you grab alongside your extra crispy tenders? Which dips make the Colonel’s 11 herbs and spices sing? 

I tasted all five of KFC’s signature sauces and ranked them based on taste and how they pair with the chicken. Here’s how it went.

Oh, and you might be asking yourself: What happened to KFC’s sweet and sour sauce? I’ve got sad news. It’s been discontinued, and the same goes for Finger Lickin’ Good sauce. They were too good for this world. 

kfc classic ranch
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

Best: Classic Ranch

Tasting notes: creamy, garlicky

Pair with: everything KFC’s got

The first thing I thought when I tasted this was that it reminded me of Hidden Valley ranch. I recently handed Hidden Valley the crown in a ranch dressing taste test, so this is obviously a good thing. I love Hidden Valley more than I love most human beings.

Much like the Valley, KFC’s ranch sticks to whatever you need it to, makes for a great spread inside a sandwich or wrap, and fully increases the experience of any chicken dipped into it. KFC’s dipping sauce game peaks here. Great job, everybody.

kfc buffalo ranch
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

2. Buffalo Ranch

Tasting notes: spicy, creamy

Pair with: chicken tenders, chicken sandwich

Just because KFC’s hot sauce lives underneath the classic ranch sauce on this ranking, it’s not to say that it’s worse. It’s actually pretty delicious and easily one of the best KFC sauces, with spicy, garlic-adjacent flavors shining through the cool ranch consistency. KFC’s extra crispy tenders are a natural partnership here.

The burnt orange color looks like peri-peri or something, just shining with manageable heat. If classic ranch is too plain for you, here’s your answer.

And if it's too hot for you? Mix in a little bit of the plain KFC honey sauce and cool it down, all while increasing the stickiness. Bingo.

Want more ranch options from your favorite fast-food spots? The Blackened Ranch is Popeyes' best dipping sauce, hands down.

kfc Honey BBQ Sauce
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

3. Honey BBQ Sauce

Tasting notes: smoky, sweet

Pair with: chicken nuggets, chicken tenders

Much like the Colonel himself, Honey BBQ sauce has tang, sweetness, and a little bit of smokiness. This is probably the gold standard fast-food BBQ sauce. 

Just about every time I eat fast-food fried chicken, I’ll order the same two dips to test it out. The classics: ranch and honey BBQ. This is the type of brown sugar-spined BBQ sauce that would get a firm thumbs up and bring me back for another visit. I don’t anticipate leaving KFC again without at least one of these guys in the bag.

Oh, and for another excellent BBQ sauce, try BK's option, arguably the best Burger King sauce out there.

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kfc honey mustard
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

4. Honey Mustard

Tasting notes: sweet, tangy, viscous

Pair with: Secret Recipe fries, chicken tenders

KFC’s honey mustard isn’t bad. You can take some nuggies or some fries for a swim, but I find it hard to believe I could leave with only the honey mustard in my hands and still feel satisfied. You’ll need some backup sauce to make a great meal.

Related: I Ranked 8 McDonald’s Dipping Sauces — Including 2 Brand New Ones

KFC Sauce
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

5. KFC Sauce

Tasting notes: decadent, earthy, peppery

Pair with: mashed potatoes

You’d expect the chain’s seemingly-signature KFC Sauce to top the list, but there’s simply not enough going on here to win the game. It’s OK. With the strength of the other sauces, I don’t see why you’d go for this sauce. 

There is one exception. I’ve mixed a little bit of this into my mashed potatoes before, and honestly, it works. I can’t explain it.

Related: Fast Food Sauces We Loved (and Loathed) That Have Been Discontinued