REVIEW: Wendy’s Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich

Wendy s Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich Top

I thought that the hardest part of eating Wendy’s Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich would be weathering the habanero hot honey (or saying its name three times fast). As it turns out, the actual hardest part was just getting to the honey.

Prying the top bun off to take a picture of the sandwich’s contents required some legitimate elbow grease, for which I was rewarded with an extremely strong aroma of pickles. I had known the sandwich would contain “pickle chips,” but honestly, I’d assumed that that was just a synonym for a couple of thinly-cut pickle slices, so I was pretty puzzled to discover a hearty heaping of what looked like straight-up potato chips, just a bit green (that’s more or less how they tasted, too). Delving into the “What’s on it” menu on Wendy’s website helpfully specified that these were actually “Crunchy Dill Chips” (as opposed to the more traditional experience of “Crinkle Cut Pickles”). Mystery solved, I sampled each of the other components in turn, a supporting cast consisting of:

“Premium bun”: Soft, airy, and inoffensive. Not immediately clear how it was different from the alternative option that the website has labeled “sandwich bun.”

Applewood smoked bacon: Thick and chewy, striking an impressive middle ground between too fatty and too burnt.

Pepper jack cheese: So creamy and mild that I mistook it for White American at first, though it finally left a whisper of peppery spice in its aftertaste.

Chicken: A typical breaded chicken breast (I opted for the “Classic” version of the sandwich, rather than “Spicy” or “Grilled”). Basically, one giant nugget.

And the titular hot honey?

Wendy s Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich Under the Bun

My impression, frankly, was that it was difficult to locate, even after performing bun surgery. I expected the honey would be coating the chicken, so it took a while to realize that it was actually applied directly to the top bun, almost entirely obscured by pickle chips. On its own, the taste made a pleasant impact, with a spiciness that was noticeable but didn’t cross the line into painful, tempered as it was by a simultaneous rich sweetness.

Unfortunately, the sandwich as a whole ended up somehow tasting like less than the sum of its parts. The plump, juicy chicken dominated the experience both in terms of texture and taste. I guess it’s a positive sign that Wendy’s doesn’t skimp when it comes to meat, but you’d hope that the promising array of other ingredients would be way more prominent, and they simply did not deliver. After a few bites, I started to pick up on a bit of tanginess from the pickle chips and some sweetness from the honey (plus after swallowing, the roof of my mouth had a telltale tingle from the heat), but if I’d been taste testing this blind, I wouldn’t have even known the cheese and bacon were there.

Wendy’s also offers a dipping cup of hot honey that you can order as a side, so adding more might help the exciting-on-paper flavor to seriously shine. I did ultimately enjoy my meal, but that might just be because I really like basic chicken sandwiches. If you’re looking for something more exciting, this offering will probably not have you calling out, “Honey (Chicken Sandwich), I’m home!”

Purchased Price: $6.19
Size: N/A
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 700 calories, 31 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 95 milligrams of cholesterol, 2040 milligrams of sodium, 70 grams of total carbohydrates, 18 grams of total sugars, 2 grams of fiber, and 37 grams of protein.

24 thoughts to “REVIEW: Wendy’s Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich”

  1. That first picture, taken more from the side, would have been a bit more helpful to show the height of the sandwich and thickness of the chicken patty, but yeah, looks like they barely put any sauce on.

    1. Thanks a bunch for the feedback–this is my first sandwich review so I’ll be sure to get an angle that shows the height and thickness next time!

      1. A great first sandwich review. Perhaps cutting it in half and showing it from that vantage point would provide a better angle? But thanks for the review and information! (Love Bacon)

      2. I had one of these in Texas today and thought it was really good. Everything was fresh, hot and tasty!!

  2. I have to give props to Wendys for following trends. Than being lazy throwing existing stuff and call it new.

    I love the bacon. So good.

    1. Yes, even though the execution of my particular sandwich wasn’t ideal the concept certainly is exciting! Mmm, bacon…

  3. I’m glad you mentioned about the pickle “chips” cuz now I dont want it
    plus the lack of honey is a deal killer!!
    Good 1st sandwich review!!

    1. Thanks so much Dab! Glad the review helped sway your decision… I definitely did find the pickle “chips” a bit unusual and the lack of honey a bummer!

  4. If one thing I learned from this review.. is that the hot honey dipping packets should go well with their spicy nuggets. 😀

  5. Great first sandwich review, Jenna! You explained the sandwich perfectly and I love the fun ending. Looking forward to reading more of your reviews – sandwich or not!

  6. This is crazy because I just saw a review of this guy eating it in his car and the sandwich looked substantial and much more appetizing than the one that you received. I’m still going to try it because “I have to” but my hopes aren’t high anymore. That’s one sorry-looking sandwich…I hate when it turns out that way. P.S. I miss their pretzel buns.

    1. Wish I could have at least tried all of the sandwich. Opened up the bag and saw that I got a chicken patty with potato chips on it. No Pepper Jack cheese. No Applewood smoked bacon. Hangry is definitely an understatement.

    2. Aw man, that’s a bummer I didn’t get one of those picture perfect sandwiches but it does give me hope that not all of them are as wimpy as mine, I hope yours is awesome whenever you get the chance to try it!

      1. Oops, just seeing your second comment–I’m sorry that happened, that’s suuuuch a bummer to be given the wrong order! ugh!

  7. I got spicy and really liked the flavors together. I also had a decent amount of honey applied to the top and bottom buns on my sandwich. Real pickles would have been nice though.

  8. I had one for the 1st time two days ago after seeing a commercial. It was the only time in my life the actual chicken sandwich looked similar to the commercial chicken sandwich. I thought it was top notch and one of the best fast food sandwiches I had ever eaten. Chicken was temperature hot, bacon crispy, the pickle added a unique flavor. I had the hot honey dripping from the chicken as a went in for a bite. I loved it, will def eat it again.

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