REVIEW: Wendy’s Jalapeño Fresco Chicken Sandwich

Wendy's Jalapeno Fresco Chicken Sandwich

My first experience with a Wendy’s was, surprisingly, only a few years ago.

I would have tried it earlier – hell, I would have been inhaling Dave’s delicious cheeseburgers through a straw, if the laws of physics allowed – if not for my mother’s utter disdain of the establishment.

Whenever I asked if we could eat there, she never failed to go off on the familiar rant – flashback to her adolescent years. A new Wendy’s was opening up within bus distance of her house, and she was ecstatic to finally try their fabled burgers. She walked in and out within a minute, food in hand.

Immediately she knew that something was up – if it wasn’t her burger’s pungent smell, it was perhaps the meat, with its usual square shape, as well as a not-as-usual green hue, that threw her off. Regardless, she plunged in for a bite, curiosity getting the best of her.

This is where she likes to conclude her story, glossing over the (presumably) nauseating aftermath of her outing. Needless to say, she wasn’t exactly keen on ever going back to a Wendy‘s again, and she simply refused to subject me to their inherent misdoings as a company. For years, I was physically barred from ever trying Wendy’s.

Thankfully, since I no longer need my mom to take me to places, I was able to try out Wendy’s new Jalapeño Fresco Chicken Sandwich!

Look, I love Wendy’s – their aforementioned cheeseburgers, their Frostys (or Frosties? Both spellings look weird to my eyes. Let‘s just go with Frostteez), and everything in between. Few nationwide fast food joints have earned my undying admiration and respect (Shoutout to Carl’s Jr./Hardee‘s, despite their goofy mascot) and Wendy’s is definitely at the top of the heap.

And I love a good, hot kick to my foods, so I was more than happy to tackle this unholy chicken sandwich.

Wendy's Jalapeno Fresco Chicken Sandwich 2

When I opened up the little cardboard box, the first thing I noticed was an angry, saucy smell – reminiscent of nacho cheese, but not as artificial. This, it turned out, was the bright-orange ghost pepper sauce, which drowned the chicken breast with its oozing essence.

That’s good news for me, because the sauce was delicious and one of the most interesting additions to a fast food sandwich I’ve ever had.

It was fascinating because it seemed to both heat, then immediately cool down my mouth. I don’t know what the flavor scientists at Wendy’s were doing when they stumbled upon this one, but their creation is one that complements the surrounding ingredients.

Wendy's Jalapeno Fresco Chicken Sandwich 3

And speaking of those surrounding ingredients, the diced jalapeños were another standout. They added a nice textural contrast, while providing a different sort of flavor and heat in comparison to the ghost pepper sauce.

The sliced onions were firm and crisp. And of course, there’s the breaded chicken breast, which was huge, crispy, juicy, spicy in its own right (comparatively spicier than most “spicy” chicken fillets I’ve had at other fast food places), and gets no complaints from this guy.

According to the Wendy’s website, this sandwich also contains “Colby pepper jack cheese”, which…really? I’m normally a pretty avid cheese aficionado, but there was absolutely no need for it here. It added nothing to this sandwich. What a waste of cheese!

Wendy's Jalapeno Fresco Chicken Sandwich 4

Lastly, there’s the red jalapeño bun. I took a nibble of it and it definitely had a light kick, but when eaten with the rest of the sandwich, its flavor got lost among the other spicy parts of the sandwich. I understand Wendy’s intentions – when they say spicy, they MEAN spicy – but the bun was a bit of a disappointment.

Nitpicking aside, this was perhaps my favorite Wendy’s sandwich since their pretzel bun stuff a while back. God, I miss those pretzel buns. I’m so impressed with it that I’ll definitely be going back for seconds.

Take that, Mom!

(Nutrition Facts – 580 calories, 29 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 90 milligrams of cholesterol, 1390 milligrams of sodium, 51 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of sugar, 3 grams of fiber, and 32 grams of protein..)

Item: Wendy’s Jalapeño Fresco Chicken Sandwich
Purchased Price: $5.49
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Wendy’s
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Ghost pepper sauce is the delicious star of this thing. Balance of different flavors and textures. Carl’s Jr.
Cons: I’m still pissed about the uselessness of the cheese. Mothers banning their children from eating tasty hamburgers. Seriously, what kind of mascot is a star with sunglasses?!

18 thoughts to “REVIEW: Wendy’s Jalapeño Fresco Chicken Sandwich”

  1. This looks boss- thanks for posting the review, I was curious. Also, welcome to the blog- we’re happy to have your contributions! 🙂

  2. We need a Wendys here. All we have more Hamburger places are Hardees,Mc.Donalds and Dairy Queen. We were supposed to get a Wendys a few years back but the City said “Nope” I don’t understand why. We have like 7 different Pizza Places. What’s wrong with mrs Burger Places.

  3. Your mother has no son. I grew up being told to avoid Little Caesar’s because of somebody’s bad experience decades earlier (cold sauce). Turns out was no better or worse than Pizza Hut.

    1. It’s not cheese. It’s the ghost pepper sauce. The only cheese is the colby jack slice.

      1. This is correct. I’m still enraged beyond belief thinking about how useless the colby jack was to this sandwich. I didn’t even NOTICE it! And I love cheese! I ALMOST SMASHED MY CAR INTO A WALL.

        (Not really, but you get the idea!)

    2. Wendy’s cheeses are all real and all fresh, surprisingly the Cheddar cheese sauce as well.

  4. If the picture on their website looked more like yours, I would have ran out and purchased a few sandwiches a long time ago. Look at all that sauce x///x

  5. That sandwich looks like a MESS, which, to me, instantly sends up red flags…of deliciousness. I’m definitely going to have to try this out. What was the napkin casualty count after eating it?

    1. I like your style, Kelley. Let’s just say I went beyond the handful of napkins the man at the drive-through window provided for me.

  6. tried it was waay too messy, this one will get all over you if youre not careful that orange sauce is thin and runs everywhere.

  7. This is one of the best fast food sandwiches I’ve had in a long time. Nice to see a place not afraid of some spice. I could always handle more but I can see this being pretty spicy for an average per with normal spice tolerance. It is a bit messy but it is still great.

  8. What exactly is the sauce? I always get pissed when some fast food place makes a spicy something or other with sriracha sauce or habanero sauce or whatever and it turns out to be mayo based. I don’t do mayo, no matter how you try to church it up! I want to try this burger, but will avoid it until I can find out what the ghost pepper sauce is made of, besides (presumably) ghost peppers.

    1. I’m with you. 90% of the time it’s a mayo based sauce. But I hope this sauce is similar to the mushroom melt sauce, but with hot peppers.

  9. This was a great sandwich. I went with a few friends with varying spice tolerances. Since I have a SE Asian background I found it mostly tame with few kicks when there was a lot of the gp sauce. 1 other thought the spice was too upsetting while the last admitted heat but nothing unbearable. A great sandwich by one of my fav fast food chains.

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