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Review: Wendy’s Jalapeno Fresco Spicy Chicken Sandwich

Wendy’s latest in their line of limited-time premium sandwiches is the Jalapeno Fresco Spicy Chicken Sandwich. This sandwich comes with choice of Homestyle, Spicy, or Grilled chicken, a ghost pepper sauce, fresh jalapenos, red onions, cheese, and a premium bun. I went with the Homestyle chicken for this review. Also, it appears that this is currently available in test markets only.

Price: $5.79

Wendy's Jalapeno Fresco Spicy Chicken Sandwich

Spicy has become increasingly popular in the food chain business, but even after a solid few years of progression, the vast majority of offerings fall short of their spicy promises. Well today, I have finally met a fast food sandwich that delivers on the promise of being spicy (but not too spicy).

I’m glad that Wendy’s didn’t use “ghost pepper” in the name of the Jalapeno Fresco Spicy Chicken Sandwich, because the ghost pepper sauce was definitely weak given the name. Don’t get me wrong, it did have some heat to it, but nothing on a level that we haven’t seen before from fast food chains. The sauce was deliciously smokey, but in terms of spice, it was probably on the same level as McDonald’s Habanero sauce. I’d estimate that the actual portion of ghost pepper used in this sauce is under 1% (keep in mind a ghost pepper clocks in at around 1 million on the Scoville scale, so 1% would still be around 10,000 Scoville).

Wendy's Jalapeno Fresco Spicy Chicken Sandwich

It seems that most of the heat came from the generous portion of fresh jalapenos. Speaking of which, it’s such a refreshment to see the use of fresh jalapenos instead of the standard pickled variety. Fresh jalapenos offer both more heat and more flavor without the often disrupting vinegary flavor. I have to give serious kudos to Wendy’s for making this switch, and the benefits really show on this sandwich.

Wendy's Jalapeno Fresco Spicy Chicken Sandwich

The Homestyle chicken worked extremely well with the sandwich, although I’ve received comments that it’s equally delicious using the spicy chicken as well (no word on the grilled version). The chicken patty was sufficiently thick to where the ratio of chicken flavor to all the other ingredients was kept in balance. Also notable here is the delicious bun, which is a kind of bun Wendy’s has not previously used. I was informed that it is most likely some kind of a jalapeno bun, but I need a confirmation on it.

Overall Wendy’s Jalapeno Fresco Spicy Chicken Sandwich was a delicious and spicy affair without being over the top spicy. This sandwich easily makes up for that terrible Blue Cheese Burger that they did recently. With the introduction of this sandwich, I think the standard for what is considered “spicy” in the world of fast food is nearing respectable levels. If you like spicy chicken in any way, don’t pass up the chance to try this gem.

Taste: 9/10
Presentation: 7.5/10
Spiciness: 5/10
Saltiness: 7/10
Value: 5/10

Pros: Delivers actual heat without being overbearing, very tasty sandwich, FRESH jalapenos instead of pickled
Cons: A bit messy to eat, using “ghost pepper” in the name of a sauce that is more than tolerable

Nutrition Facts
*Currently unavailable*

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Taylor Tamblin

Taylor is a food lover, rock guitar player, programmer, and runs the fast food review website Man Reviews Food.

9 Comments

  1. I wish they would keep this on the menu because I loved it. Already been back to have it again and Wendy’s isn’t typically a go to for fast food for me because it’s a little pricy. Well worth the price for this one.

  2. I had this sandwich and LOVED it. Mine was fresh and hot. The cheese was melted and the crunch and freshness added by the jalapenos was perfect. I enjoyed the sauce but it may be an issue if you receive an overly sauced sandwich. I read somewhere that you can order this with any style chicken. I really enjoyed it on the spicy chicken patty. The onions (I love red onions though) really rounded it out for me. The bun was fine not bad, not great just fine as a vehicle for the rest of the deliciousness that is this sandwich. I love heat and this delivered better than most “spicy” fast food items. I would describe it as pleasant low burn. All in all this is one of the better “Limited “sandwiches that I have had in a while. I do agree that lettuce and/ or tomato might add another dimension. I will say that I think the quality of your Wendy’s experience totally relies on where you eat. I have a great franchise near my work so I am lucky.

  3. The sandwich and the fries are both fantastic! I’m hoping they will keep them around. A burger option would be great, too!

  4. I wish they would actually sell a spicy item. I get not everyone is going to like that, but not everyone likes onions or tomatoes either.

    • They want to appeal to the masses. You can easily take the onions off and tomatoes do not come on this sandwich. I like spicy and this was delicous.

  5. I have to say that the sandwich was tasty but if anyone thinks that it is spicy I would say they have never actually had anything spicy. I would rate it at 2 out of 10 twice what their ordinary spicy gets from me and that is all the jalapeños. It is sad when McDonald’s has a spicier sandwich. For those of you who say it appeals to more people the it shouldn’t be labeled as spicy. You don’t buy a sports car that has been limited to 70 mph because it will appeal to more people. If you don’t like spicy don’t order anything labeled as such.

    • I can say that I have had spicy food and I still find this spicy. Extremely spicy? No. Chile heads tend to forget that everybody has a different palate and not everybody wants to burn their face off. Yeah I agree that the name of the sauce is misleading. Saying that people that find this spicy have never had anything spicy is ignorant to say the least. On another note, who the f&*^ would think a sports car limited to 70mph would appeal to more people? Lmao.

  6. I’m in love with this sandwich and will never order another spicy anything that doesn’t have FRESH Jelapenos! Yes they need to keep this one on the menu all year long!!!

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