We've got one Wendy's restaurant in our sleepy little papermill town located just off the interstate. It's always busy, presumably flipping burgers and (frosting?) frostys. But what about Wendy's salads? I'm always looking for something light for lunch, so I figured I would drive on down to Wendy's, wait in line for twenty or so minutes, and pick up a salad.
But it wasn't that easy. Wendy's has five different salads to choose from, six if you visit in the summer for the Summer Strawberry Chicken Salad. Unable to choose just one, I ordered the lot and drove back home to try them all out with my husband and a few hungry neighbors who were on their WFH lunch breaks.
What Type of Salads does Wendy's Have?
Currently, Wendy's serves five different salad menu items including their new Jalapeno Popper Salad, Chicken Caesar Salad, Southwest Avocado Salad, Taco Salad, and Apple Pecan Salad. Each salad comes with its own dressing and Wendy's serves the toppings (such as tortilla chips and parmesan crisps) on the side to keep them nice and crispy.
It should also be noted that all of these salads contain meat, so if you are meat-free, ask for the chicken to be removed or skip the chili on the taco salad.
Wendy's Salads Ranked
5. Wendy's Jalapeno Popper Salad
The newest salad in the line-up, this salad is packed with spicy flavor! The base is Wendy's signature lettuce blend (spring mix) loaded with spicy crispy chicken breast that tastes exactly like their spicy chicken nuggets, diced tomatoes, shredded pepper jack cheese, applewood smoked bacon, and, of course, a huge helping of jalapeños. The whole dish is dressed in jalapeño ranch dressing and a crispy jalapeño & cheddar crouton mix.
If you can't stand the heat, don't order this salad. I couldn't handle it so I handed it off to my neighbor (who absolutely loved it) and I ranked it as number 5 solely because I couldn't eat it without getting heartburn.
4. Wendy's Parmesan Caesar Chicken Salad
Caesar salad is always a solid choice, but this one left my tastebuds wanting more. This meal came with chopped romaine lettuce, grilled chicken breast, Italian cheese blend, Parmesan crisps, and creamy Marzetti Caesar salad dressing.
This salad was bland and the Italian cheese blend had melted under the heat of the chicken, making it a strange sensation to eat cold melted cheese on lettuce. This meal could have been saved with a bit of pepper or lemon, making it my number 4 pick.
Nutrition: 440 Calories. Contains Soy, Egg, Fish, and Milk.
3. Wendy's Apple Pecan Chicken Salad
The only salad with fruit, this meal is made with Wendy's signature lettuce blend, crisp red and green apples, dried cranberries, roasted pecans, crumbled blue cheese, and grilled chicken breast. The salad is served with a tart Pomegranate vinaigrette that ties the whole meal together.
This would have been higher in my rankings if it had goat cheese or feta instead of blue cheese.
Nutrition: 460 Calories. Contains Milk, Soy, and Tree nuts.
2. Southwest Avocado Chicken Salad
This salad is packed so full, it's almost difficult to stir in the dressing without making a mess. Created with Wendy's signature lettuce blend, pepper jack cheese, diced tomatoes, creamy avocado, Applewood smoked bacon, and grilled chicken breast, this salad is topped with a zesty Southwest Ranch Dressing packed with cumin and hot sauce.
The salad dressing is pretty overpowering, so go light when adding it in. My husband finished this one up for lunch.
Nutrition: 570 Calories. Contains Milk, Soy, and Egg.
1. Wendy's Taco Salad
And here we are at number 1! I was honestly surprised at how delicious this salad was, especially since it seemed super unusual to dump an entire bowl of chili on top of it. Made with Wendy's signature lettuce blend, shredded cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, tortilla chips, and hearty chili, this salad is the beefiest of the bunch and also boasts a whopping 1860 mg of sodium. It's not the "healthiest" but it's delicious.
I enjoyed it and was only able to get through about half of the salad since it was so substantial. I would suggest eating this one in two sittings, mixing the toppings in a separate bowl to keep the lettuce fresh and crisp.
Nutrition: 690 Calories. Contains Milk and Soy.
So there you have it. Where should I test out fast food salads next?