McDonald's New Bacon Cajun Ranch McCrispy: A Salty Review Saved By The Sauce

Is one new element enough to carry these limited-time sandwiches?

McDonald's is releasing two limited-time versions of its McCrispy chicken sandwich nationwide on April 22: the Bacon Cajun Ranch McCrispy and the Bacon Cajun Ranch Deluxe McCrispy. The regular version features a crispy fried chicken breast with bacon, pickles, and a new Cajun ranch sauce, while the Deluxe is the same build but without the pickles, replacing them with lettuce and tomato. The location nearest me has already started offering them early, so as one of your intrepid taste-testers at The Takeout, duty called, and I walked over to our neighborhood McDonald's to see if the sandwiches are worth your hard-earned money.

How does the Bacon Cajun Ranch McCrispy taste?

The Bacon Cajun Ranch McCrispy ($6.49 at my location) is a pretty modest affair; it comes packaged in a little insulated sleeve, and the first thing you'll notice is that McDonald's is generous with the application of sauce, which is present on both the bottom and the top of the filet. This is a key detail, because the McCrispy chicken isn't exactly what I'd call juicy — any additional moisture is a welcome relief from the relatively dry breast meat.

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What really shines here is the Cajun ranch sauce because it has a medium kick that grows as you eat it. McDonald's is one of the few fast food chains willing to venture beyond mild spice to a medium-high one. The flavor of the sauce is like a remoulade that carries garlic and cayenne notes, but the "Cajun" moniker feels like more of a marketing tactic because I'm not sure that's the first word I'd use to describe it.

After a while, there's one thing that really gets to be a drag, and that's the salt. Bacon is salty. Pickles are salty. The chicken is salty. The Cajun ranch is salty. I thought that maybe I was being overly sensitive, but after checking the nutritional information, I found that there's 1,650 milligrams of sodium in this thing. That rings in at 72% of your recommended daily intake of the stuff. House some fries while you're at it, and you've almost reached your entire salt quota for the day in one sitting.

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It's less that I'm using the daily recommended intake values as a marker of healthy eating (eat what you like!); I'm simply using it as a reference point as to just how salty fast food can come off.

How does the Bacon Cajun Ranch Deluxe McCrispy taste?

The Deluxe version ($7.89 for me), which is served in a clamshell box, omits the pickles in favor of lettuce and tomatoes. And when trying the sandwiches side by side, you can definitely notice how that makes a palpable difference. Each bite is less of a salty slog, and though fast food veggies are notoriously terrible, they're better than nothing. If we're keeping score, this one has 1,520 milligrams of sodium, which is 66% of your daily recommended intake — 6% less than the other version of this sandwich.

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I think the bacon is sort of a waste because you'll only notice it if you're paying attention. I'd be totally fine without it since the Cajun ranch does the heavy lifting.

The real question is: Is a single new condiment worth going out of your way to try next week? I'd say not so much. My conclusion is that it's only worth the effort if you order McDonald's McCrispy sandwiches to begin with. It'll add a bit of variety to your usual choices, but if you're a serial burger connoisseur at Mickey D's, you likely won't be impressed. You've just got to have a high tolerance for sodium.

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