Looking Back At KFC's Oddest Menu Items

The Chizza is far from the most bizarre creation to come out of the KFC test kitchen.

In the world of bizarre fast food creations, you might think of Taco Bell ahead of any other chain—but Colonel Sanders has his Dr. Frankenstein moments, too. Last month's release of the KFC "Chizza" brought up memories (both good and bad) of KFC mashups from years past. Join us as we reminisce about these unholy creations.

The Colonel’s latest creation: The KFC Chizza

On February 26, KFC released the Chizza in America, a pair of Extra Crispy filets topped like a pizza with marinara sauce, melted mozzarella, and pepperoni. Though it's new in the States, it's been around for a while: The Chizza was first introduced in the Philippines in 2015 and has traveled around the world to Korea, Taiwan, India, Thailand, Germany, Spain, and Mexico, among other countries. The Filipino version even had pineapples and peppers on it—but put down your pitchforks, angry villagers who don't believe pineapple belongs on pizza, because the North American iteration doesn't feature the controversial fruit.


Basically, the Chizza is fast food chicken Parmesan with added pepperoni. To mark the occasion, KFC transformed a store in New York City into a "Chizzeria" for a day. The Chizza is a limited-release item, so take advantage of the Colonel's current identity crisis while you still can.

2020: The KFC “Kentaco”

In 2020, the mad scientist we know and fear as the Colonel was evidently feeling spicy, because the chain unleashed a "Mexican" monstrosity upon innocent Singaporeans: the "Kentaco," a portmanteau of "Kentucky" and "taco." It had lettuce, tomatoes, and a mix of four cheeses, all stuffed inside a fried chicken "shell." One review called it "surprisingly not terrible," which is about as ringing an endorsement as I'd expect from this confusing offering.


KFC resurrected the Kentaco in Taiwan last year with the addition of jalapeños (you know, for authenticity). Then, in 2022, the Colonel clearly had the munchies and released a limited-edition Kentaco stuffed with mac and cheese—an ingredient combo the brand would lean on yet again with its mac and cheese wrap.

Will the mighty Kentaco make it stateside? Only time will tell. If you ask me, they should've released it last year when Barbie came out, because this menu item is definitely Kenough (maybe even Kentoomuch).

2019: The Kentucky Fried Chicken & Donuts sandwich

Just when the Great Chicken Sandwich Wars were escalating, KFC temporarily pulled focus with the release of its Kentucky Fried Chicken & Donuts sandwich. This limited-time offering featured, you guessed it, two glazed donuts for buns. After successful test runs in Virginia and Pennsylvania, the Colonel unleashed his decadent sweet-and-savory behemoth upon the rest of the nation.


Seen as something of a riff on the Luther Burger or even the classic combo of chicken and waffles (which KFC has also tinkered with), this unwieldy sandwich was met with mixed reviews. One reviewer said, "Fried industrial chicken smashed between two stale doughnuts is maybe the best metaphor yet for Trump's America."

On the other end of the spectrum, a heartbroken fan started a Change.com petition to bring it back once it went away, writing, "Before I found out about the donut chicken sandwich, life had no meaning or purpose. Now, I am dedicating my life to bringing back the donut chicken sandwich." Surely there are more noble causes to dedicate one's life to, but I never tried the Kentucky Fried Chicken & Donuts sandwich, so what do I know?


2019: KFC x Cheetos

In 2016, another fast food chain with a creepy mascot, Burger King, released Cheetos Chicken Fries. The Colonel took three years to lure Chester away from the King, and in 2019, the KFC Cheetos Sandwich was born.


It featured a chicken filet coated in a special Cheetos sauce on a toasted bun with mayo and a layer of Cheetos. Other Cheetos/KFC mashup items were on offer too, including Popcorn Chicken, loaded fries, and mac and cheese. Like the mac and cheese Kentaco, this too felt like the Colonel had a serious case of the munchies. The sandwich's unnatural orange hue proved to be a siren song for some, but the Cheetos dust (Cheetle?) faded after its brief four-week run in July 2019.

2010: The KFC Double Down

I saved KFC's most notorious freak of nature for last: the Double Down. Those two words serve as a chilling reminder for those of us who remember the chaos it wrought.

Billed as a breadless sandwich (don't get excited, readers with celiac disease), the Double Down featured bacon, two slices of Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheese, and sauce sandwiched between two whole breaded chicken fillets. The year was 2010, and its release was announced on April 1, leading many to believe that the Double Down was the Colonel's idea of a sick, twisted prank. But alas, it was real—very real indeed.


An apocalyptic countdown clock debuted on the KFC website five days later, counting down to its release on April 12. The marketing worked: 10 million Double Downs were sold in the first month.

New stations viewed it as a harbinger of fast food terror to come (these were simpler times), and its extravagance whipped the nation into a frenzy. It clocked in at 540 calories, which seems modest compared to the Chizza and Chicken & Donuts Sandwich, really. The Double Down survived for four years until it was discontinued in 2014, but was brought back for a limited four-week run in March 2023. Some people just want to watch the world burn, and Colonel Sanders (or at least the version of him that lives on through KFC branding) is one of those people.


What will KFC do next?

While these offerings bring to mind the adage, "Just because you can doesn't mean you should," it seems there's no stopping Colonel Sanders. After the Chizza runs its course, who knows what sort of creation the fried chicken chain will debut next?


If KFC wants to gain inspiration from another country's cuisine (or that of another fast food joint), might we suggest "Colonel Tso's Chicken"? Whether you think fast food mashups are works of art or monstrosities, leave it to KFC to keep us guessing. What do you think KFC will come out with next? Let us know in the comments.