Thanks to Wendy’s for sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% my own.
When you think delicious and healthy salads, you probably don’t think about finding them at a fast food restaurant. In fact, I was skeptical when the folks at Wendy’s invited me to learn more about their salad offerings. These salads are seriously amazing! I dare say they are the best fast food salads EVER! Frankly, these salads rival some that I’ve had at nice restaurants as well.
“I dare say they are the best fast food salads EVER!”
Choose Fresh, Choose Wendy’s
Opened in 1969, Wendy’s is the only quick service restaurant that boasts a fresh supply chain. Ingredients are shipped fresh to every location multiple times a week. Whole heads of romaine and iceberg lettuce, vegetables and seasonal fruits are all hand washed and chopped in house. Salads are made fresh for lunch and then again for dinner. As a result, you can really taste the difference!
Ideal vs. Real World
In an ideal world, I’d make myself a fresh salad every day. I’d wash and chop ingredients from my garden. Hmm, looking over my yard, I don’t see a fresh vegetable garden. How did that happen? Because carpools, dance lessons, soccer practice and more all get in the way of my ideal world. In my “real world,” I can pop over to Wendy’s for a perfectly made salad that is already waiting for me. Works for me!
Customizable Salads with Reasonable Calories
I had the pleasure of attending a special tasting event to learn more about each of Wendy’s salads. All salads are fully customizable. Dairy free like me? Ask for a salad without cheese. Don’t like onions? Ask for an onion-free salad. The Taco Salad comes with all extra ingredients like chips, salsa, chili, and sour cream on the side so you can choose how much you’d like to use.
Over the past year, I lost 20 pounds so portion control is especially important to me. Nearly all half-portion salads are under 500 calories. Packed with protein (even without chicken), these salads should keep you full for hours. Most of the full-size salads are around 600 calories. Say no to the cheese to reduce fat and calories even more.
The Salad Roundup
I tasted the following salads. Check your local restaurant for availability. Visit the Wendy’s website for their entire salad menu.
- Fresh Mozzarella Chicken Salad
Freshly chopped lettuce, slices of fresh mozzarella, a drizzle of creamy basil pesto, a juicy, marinated grilled chicken breast, grape tomatoes and seasoned croutons.
- Taco Salad
Top with Wendy’s famous chili, shredded cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, chunky salsa, and yellow corn tortilla rounds.
- POWER Mediterranean Chicken Salad
Always-fresh-grilled chicken teams up with a savory ensemble of feta cheese, hummus, and sundried tomato quinoa blend
- Strawberry Mango Chicken Salad
Sweet & juicy diced mango, strawberries and honey roasted sunflower seeds. Warm grilled chicken breast and crumbly feta cheese and honey citrus vinaigrette dressing top it off.
Secrets of a Wendy’s Chef
Wendy’s takes creating new salads seriously. A Wendy’s Test Kitchen Chef explained the process for launching the new Strawberry Mango Chicken Salad. She tasted mangos shipped from all over the world for the entire summer of 2016 to ensure this new salad would be amazing this summer. That’s the dedication of Wendy’s to provide fresh and delicious ingredients. They also test salads with consumers to figure out what size bites are best. Yup, the size of strawberries, mangos, chicken bites and more are dictated by customer preferences.
My Favorite Salad
Drum roll please…. Of the 4 salads I tasted, the POWER Mediterranean Chicken Salad is just divine. Protein-packed, nutrient rich, savory and delicious! The Strawberry Mango Chicken Salad is a close second. I have a feeling the folks at Wendy’s will know me by name pretty soon. They won’t be able to keep me away.