Target Chicken Nuggets Win Taste Test

Consumer Reports subjected its team of trained taste-testers to more than a dozen varieties of chicken nuggets, including both supermarket brands and those from McDonald’s. The winner among the frozen nuggets: Target’s Market Pantry. Soy nuggets from Boca and Morningstar were judged to have “very little chicken flavor.”

Other winners included Bell & Evans, and Costo’s Kirkland brand. None of those stood out as leaders in nutrition:

All three scored Good for nutrition, about the best you can expect. Only Health Is Wealth scored Very Good: It’s lower in fat and sodium than the rest but isn’t very tasty. Nutrition scores are for the 3- to 4-ounce serving suggested by most manufacturers. Double the size and most tested nuggets would score Fair or Poor.

The two soy-based products, Boca and MorningStar Farms, didn’t fool our panelists, who said they have very little chicken flavor. Their main nutritional advantage is that they have more fiber—3 or 4 grams compared with zero to 2 for most others.

The McD nuggets won over CR’s junior tasters — 31 kids from 6-17 — though they also liked Target and Bell & Evans. The kids weren’t asked to try the soy versions, which we can only assume is a good thing.

Chicken Nuggets [Consumer Reports]

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Edit Your Comment

  1. SkokieGuy says:

    Did Chelsea Handler have anything to do with this nugget tasting?

    Seems like a cheap publicity stunt.

  2. AnonymousCoward says:

    I read the funeral home article right before I read this….I don’t think I can eat a chicken nugget now….Maybe never.

  3. PupJet says:

    Has anyone ever found where the chicken ‘nuggets’ are? Granted I’ll eat anything that has clucked, moo’d or otherwise made into an edible food product, but then again, the mystery remains of where the nuggets of a chicken are.

    /rocky mountain oysters gag reflex

    • Nick1693 says:

      It’s usually chicken breast cut into shapes.

      • ashmelev says:

        You wish they were.
        They are actually made out of meat extracted during the meat recovery process from leftover carcasses, connective tissues, meat scraps; Plus a lot of stabilizers, fillers and other garbage.

    • AnonymousCoward says:

      I’m reading “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” right now. I think chicken nuggets are corn fed, overweight chickens that have never seen the outdoors, coated in some sort of corn based batter-like substance, fried in processed corn oil, served with a side of sauce that’s made with high fructose corn syrup.

      In other words, they’re processed corn.

    • Slave For Turtles says:

      I think you have to thank Robert C. Baker for most of the chicken nuggets out on the market.

      (lyrics here: )

    • prizgrizbiz says:

      Parts is parts.

    • Big Mama Pain says:

      After the breast and thigh meat is removed from the chicken, the carcasses are ground into liquid emulsion then strained to remove the bone fragments. Then they dump a shitload of stabilizers into the emulsion and form them into nuggets. So, basically a chicken hot dog that is in a different shape.

  4. setfiretoyuppies says:

    “Consumer Reports subjected its team of trained taste-testers to more than a dozen varieties of chicken nuggets, including both supermarket brands and those from McDonald’s.” -Three questions:

    1. How does one become a “trained” taste tester?
    2. What dotted line do I sign on?
    3. Is my soul sufficient collateral?

  5. womynist says:

    I love the Morningstar Farms soy nuggets! I think they do taste like chicken nuggets, only healthier and cruelty-free.

    • katia802 says:

      I used to use the Morningstar products a lot when I was still vegetarian. I agree, not a bad fake chicken, and very convenient if your’re a vege living in a family of carnivores.

    • Kishi says:

      I like them, too, and I’m not actually a vegetarian. We used to get them when my (vegetarian) sister and I still lived at home, and wanted something both of us would eat. They’re good.

    • BridgetPentheus says:

      I like that they are in the shape of something everyone else eats and I can put whatever sauce I want with them, I don’t like substitute meat products that taste too much like meat because I don’t like the taste of meat to beg in with

    • howie_in_az says:

      We like them too, especially slathered in BBQ sauce.

    • OrlandoDude says:

      cruelty-free to chickens, yes. But not plants.

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      I think the Quorn and Delight Soy nuggets are better, but Morningstar’s aren’t bad. The ‘buffalo wings’ are quite tasty.

  6. The_Legend says:

    So I guess the “tastes like chicken” moniker doesn’t apply to the soy pods.

  7. dreamfish says:

    All chicken nuggets are fail.

    Jamie Oliver has shown you a better way.

  8. zandar says:

    A pity one of the non-meat products wasn’t Quorn. That stuff is so meat-like, it’s scary.

    Also, delicious. Relatively.

    • SagarikaLumos says:

      CR has been on an anti-Quorn jihad for years. Quorn is good!

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      Our cats go absolutely frantic for Quorn whenever I cook with it. The little one is also mad for Tofurky, too, though he also never met a can of tuna he didn’t like.

  9. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    We recently bought Target’s Nuggets & Buffalo Style chicken strips – compared to Tyson they have significantly less colesterol & less fat – & taste better,

  10. krunk4ever says:

    I didn’t realize Costco had their own Kirkland Signature branded chicken nuggets. I usually get the Foster Farm chicken nuggets at Costco and and they’re awesome after 3 minutes in my deep fryer.

    • krunk4ever says:

      Ah, after reading the full article, the Kirkland Signature nuggets were really the Disney/Mickey nuggets. It’s a pity they didn’t test out Foster Farm.

      It’ll also be interesting to know how they cooked the chicken nuggets. Using a deep fryer makes it taste a lot better than the usual baking instructions.

  11. Alvis says:

    Love Target nuggets. Just picked up a big bag of dinosaur ones that were $1 off. Only way to go since Wegmans stopped carrying store-brand nuggets.

  12. Alter_ego says:

    is it sad that I’m a 20 year old female, and I much prefer the chicken nuggets that are in shapes, like dinosaurs, or smiley faces? I refuse to grow up!

  13. jesusofcool says:

    I have a huge soft spot for the Purdue nuggets in fun shapes. I even like the ones with the weird processed orange cheese inside (yes, I’m an adult. sigh.)

  14. Penn92 says:

    Target chicken strips are also excellent. They taste exactly like restaurant food. I wouldn’t recommend eating them daily because they’re definitely pretty unhealthy, but now and then when you don’t want to spend the $$ to go out, they’re nice to have in the freezer.

  15. ShadowFalls says:

    Useless article? Almost every time I have seen articles like these, they include a full list of everything in the test. They also don’t exclude certain groups from the tests for no good reason.

  16. el-brazo-onofre says:

    Morningstar? Well, that’s what you get for buying fake chicken nuggets from a stock research firm. Sheesh.

  17. madanthony says:

    I like Target’s chicken strips, but I accidently picked up a bag of nuggets instead the last time I went shopping and was unimpressed. They are overly salty, and this is coming from someone who puts salt on his salt.

  18. kabloink says:

    I actually prefer the soy nuggets over real nuggets. The vegetarian ones usually have much lower sodium than the real ones.

  19. LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

    I must say that the photo for this story is just full of WIN.

  20. Spaceman Bill Leah says:

    Ziyad Halal Nuggets. I have no idea where they stand health wise but, damn, they blow Tyson out of the water flavor-wise.