McDonald’s has been testing Mozzarella Sticks in the NY market for quite a while.  In fact, I casually saw them on the menu months ago, but they were downplayed so much that I actually thought they must have always been there.  Big mistake.

McDonald's Mozzarella Sticks
This week McDonald’s announced that the Mozzarella Sticks would be rolling out nationwide in 2016 and the internet was glad.  It was news to me because the McDonald’s near my apartment has been selling these for at least a year.  Our Instagram post was flooded with comments begging for confirmation that an image of the box was not a hoax.  There appears to be no shortage of excitement and demand.  Its easy to see why, at $1 for three mozzarella sticks, it sounds like a great deal.

McDonald's Mozzarella SticksMcDonald's Marinara Sauce
At first look, I was surprised at how small these things were, but at three for a dollar I guess I shouldn’t have been.  An order of mozzarella sticks comes with one standard McDonald’s dipping sauce container.  This is more than enough for three sticks which is a nice change.

The entire time, the only thing I kept thinking about was “wow these are small” so I kept trying to capture just how small.  Here they are next to my keys for comparison:

McDonald's Mozzarella Sticks to Scale     Size of McDonald's Mozzarella Sticks
I live maybe a six minute walk from the McDonalds, but that was enough for them to cool and make the cheese lose all of its gooey stretchy qualities

McDonald's Mozzarella Sticks
The cheese filling was also pretty inconsistent some were loaded some were not:

McDonald's Mozzarella Sticks    McDonald's Mozzarella Sticks
The sauce is also a big problem.  Its so dark it looks like bbq sauce.  A deep deep red.  According to the ingredient list we have beet juice to thank for the coloring.  I’m not positive–I’ll have to check with my grandmother–but I don’t remember her adding beet juice to her pasta sauce on Sundays.  Ok fine, no one is expecting the Marinara sauce to be “authentic” in any way, but it could at least be “ok” or even “fine” but its notably subpar.

McDonald's Mozzarella Sticks Marinara Sauce
Also jarring was the temperature of the sauce.  The lukewarm cheese sticks covered in room temperature sauce was unsettling.  The first bite caught me off guard.  I immediately wished that the sauce was warm.

McDonald’s Mozzarella Sticks – The Verdict

I have a hard time considering this a test item because my McDonald’s has been selling these for a year.  They should be quite skilled at execution by now.  I kept trying to make excuses for the mozzarella sticks based on the low cost.  They’re only $1.  But then I thought about the four piece Chicken McNuggets for $1.  25 cents per nugget vs 33 cents per mozzarella stick.  If you’re seriously craving mozzarella sticks late one night and the local t-ball team’s concession stand has closed, then you’ll be glad these are around.  Otherwise, stick to the McNuggets.

Its nice to see McDonald’s expand the fun sides department.  Brands like Hardee’s and Arby’s have been killing it for years in this department with Jalapeno Poppers and fried mac and cheese.  So hopefully this is just the beginning of things to come with the new McDonalds.

REVIEW: McDonald's Mozzarella Sticks
Cheap
SmallWeak Marinara SauceCold in seconds
4.8Overall Score
Taste2.8
Quality3.2
Value8.5
Reader Rating 4 Votes
3.8