Shop Where To Buy Recipes Articles About Spiciest in Columbus Contact Us

Is Chick-Fil-A’s Grilled Spicy Deluxe Spicy?

There are many spicy chicken sandwiches, but this one is GRILLED.

That’s right. Those cocky folks at Chick-Fil-A not only have real grill marks, they also made a spicy chicken sandwich with no breading. As we did with the McDonald’s Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich, we wanted to answer the question, is Grilled Spicy Deluxe spicy? First, let’s take a glance at the ingredient list.

Grilled Spicy Deluxe Appearance

chick-fil-a spicy grilled chicken

Gaze upon it with your eyessss.

Any time the liquid is oozing out of the chicken, it’s a good sign. Juices flowing and turning an orange-ish red accentuate the spices that coat the chicken itself. If you want to know how the chicken stays juicy, Chick-Fil-A wrote about it after their re-launch of the grilled chicken in 2014. Fun fact, Chick-Fil-A’s spicy grilled chicken (and their regular grilled chicken) is one of the only fast foods grilled chicken sandwiches that have real grill marks. That’s right, half the time when you see grill marks on fast food it’s just from a rotary brander but not this Spicy Grilled Deluxe, no ma’am.

The bun, cheese, and lettuce don’t add much from a visual standpoint, so just keep your eyes focused on that spiced piece of chicken.

Grilled Spicy Deluxe Spicy Taste Test

From the appearance, you know that this grilled chicken has a decent amount of seasoning, and having looked at the ingredients below, you know it’s getting a majority of that seasoning from paprika, paprika extract, and “spices,” the always elusive ingredient that larger companies use to hide their spicy ingredient breakdown.

That first bite gives you a nice hit of the spices contained in the sandwich and with no breading to mask the heat, you get a bit of a tingle immediately. The heat is consistent from first to the last bite but never kicks it up too high past a cayenne-like low-medium heat. I was surprised with the amount of spice hidden within this grilled chicken and expected it to be less spicy than the standard Spicy Chicken at Chick-fil-a, but it outshines its breadier compadre.

Cilantro Lime Sauce

If you’re in the camp that thinks cilantro tastes like soap you likely won’t enjoy this, but for those of you that enjoy cilantro, the Cilantro Lime Sauce adds that lime acidity as a nice offset to the heat (a frequent pairing in hot sauces).

Grilled Spicy Deluxe Ingredient List

Spicy grilled chicken (boneless, skinless chicken breast filets, water, seasoning [corn maltodextrin, spice, modified rice starch, tapioca maltodextrin, salt, cottonseed oil, spice and color {contains paprika}, garlic powder, natural flavoring, soy lecithin], modified food starch, salt, monosodium glutamate, sugar, spices, paprika, water, apple cider vinegar, soybean oil, sugar, cane molasses, salt, modified corn starch, spices (including celery seed), mustard bran, yeast extract, extractives of paprika, xanthan gum and natural flavor, chicken fat and chicken broth), brioche bun (water, enriched flour [wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid], grain blend [whole wheat flour, whole grain yellow corn flour, organic whole grain oat flour, whole grain barley flour, whole grain triticale flour, whole grain rye flour], sugar, yeast, soybean oil, honey, wheat gluten, contains less than 2% of each of the following: wheat bran, salt, rolled oats, cultured wheat flour blend [wheat flour, cultured wheat flour], dextrose, guar gum, yellow corn flour, vegetable and grain protein blend [pea, potato, rice], maltodextrin, wheat flour, organic corn starch, enzymes, sunflower oil and canola oil, medium chain triglycerides, organic rice concentrate, natural flavors, calcium sulfate, monoglycerides, wheat starch, crushed wheat, vinegar, propionic acid, phosphoric acid, modified food starch, turmeric color, gum arabic, corn starch, paprika color, ascorbic acid added as a dough conditioner), tomatoes, Colby-Jack cheese (Colby cheese [pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes, annatto (vegetable color)], Monterey jack cheese [pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, microbial enzymes]), green leaf lettuce.[pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, microbial enzymes]), green leaf lettuce.

Oof, that’s a lot to process, let’s boil it down to the things that matter and might be responsible for making this “spicy grilled chicken” spicy.

  • seasoning
  • spice and color (contains paprika)
  • natural flavoring
  • spices
  • paprika
  • spices
  • extractives of paprika

What do you notice when you re-read that list? Correct, it’s extremely vague. There’s some paprika, some natural flavors, and spices. Paprika by itself is only 250-500 Scoville Heat Units, so, nothing much happening the heat department.

Where things get interesting are in the seasoning and spices. We don’t have any insider information here, but we imagine there is some additional cayenne or maybe even a hint of a 100,000 SHU pepper powder somewhere in this mix, but we can’t be sure.

Chick-Fil-A Grilled Spicy Deluxe Sandwich Comparison

Grilled Spicy Deluxe vs. McDonald’s Spicy Crispy Chicken

The new kids on the spicy block this year, Chick-Fil-A and McDonald’s were both gunning for the top spot. Two very different approaches to the sandwich as outlined above and outlined in our McDonald’s Spicy Crispy Chicken breakdown from March. McDonald’s uses the basic Crispy Chicken filet, but slathers on some habanero sauce to kick up the heat. The Grilled Spicy Deluxe is more of a true spicy chicken sandwich and relies on additional spices to the filet to make things pop. We’re giving a leg up to the Chick-Fil-A Grilled Spicy Deluxe between the two.

Grilled Spicy Deluxe vs. Wendy’s Spicy Chicken

Wendy’s Spicy Chicken is a classic that I grew up on, so it’s always a little sad to compare it to any other sandwich. So much nostalgia that I’m sure tries to sway my bias. That said, the Grilled Spicy Deluxe is spicier than Wendy’s Spicy Chicken. Hate to say it, but it’s true. The spices crank things up to a notch that the Wendy’s sandwich just doesn’t have on its radar.

Grilled Spicy Deluxe vs. Chick-Fil-A Spicy Chicken

Similar to the comparison with the Wendy’s Spicy Chicken, the Chick-Fil-A Spicy Chicken uses the breading to bring the heat, but it’s a low and slow heat that doesn’t pack much of a punch. Is it possible that the Chick-Fil-A Spicy Chicken and the Chick-Fil-A Grilled Spicy Deluxe share the same spices and it is more apparent in the non-breaded sandwich? 100%, but even so, we give the upper bock to the Grilled Spicy Deluxe.

Grilled Spicy Deluxe vs. McDonald’s Spicy McNuggets and Mighty Hot Sauce

This is where it gets a bit interesting. No longer comparing clucking apples to clucking apples, but instead comparing bits to bigger bits of chicken. The Mighty Hot Sauce is well-documented to be a mid-range heat, but higher than most fast-food hot sauces, and for that reason alone it’s going to land a bit higher on the heat scale than the Grilled Spicy Deluxe.

Chick-Fil-A Grilled Spicy Deluxe Verdict

This is one of the spicier chicken sandwiches on the fast-food market at the time of this writing, and we have to tip our cap to the folks at Chick-Fil-A. Whatever seasoning is used, they coat the piece of chicken well and let the flavors and heat pull through more than some other fast food spots that rely on the breading of the chicken to deliver the Scovilles.


More From the Fartley Farms Blog

Want the latest? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter now!