The Wendy’s Strawberry Fields Chicken Salad has a lot of fans. In all fairness, Panera Bread was the first chain to make people fall in love with strawberry chicken salad. But the Wendy’s version certainly has a huge number of folks that wait for it’s coming and mourn its passing each and every year.
Strawberries and chicken are a great combination. Incredibly summery with bright flavors, there’s a freshness about the salad that’s surprising for a fast food menu item. But it is fast food and it does leave FoodFacts.com wondering what’s really in there. Let’s explore that and see what we can find out.
Fat: 30 grams
Saturated Fat: 10 grams
Sodium: 1630 mg
These facts are for the full size salad, which is what most people order for a meal. Fortunately, the nutrition facts DO include the dressing. Unfortunately, These aren’t the best facts for a health-conscious salad lover.
Let’s find out if the ingredient list is as fresh as the flavor of strawberries and chicken:
Applewood Smoked Bacon: Pork Cured With: Water, Salt, Sugar, Sodium Phosphates, Sodium Eryhthobate, Sodium Nitrite. Blue Cheese Crumbles: Blue Cheese (pasteurized milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes, penicillium roqueforti), Powdered Cellulose (to prevent caking), Natamycin (to protect flavor). CONTAINS: MILK. Honey Roasted Sunflower Seeds: Sunflower Seeds, Sugar, Honey, Corn Starch, Calcium Stearate (anti-caking agent), Soy Lecithin, Maltodextrin, Lactose (from milk), Xanthan Gum, Soybean Oil. CONTAINS: MILK, SOY. Apple Balsamic Vinaigrette: Water, Soybean Oil, Sugar, Apple Cider Vinegar, Concentrated Apple Juice, Balsamic Vinegar, Shallots, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sea Salt, White Vinegar, Onion Juice, Mustard Seed, Salt, White Wine, Natural Flavour (yeast extract, salt, sugar, bacon fat, water, natural flavour), Spices, Natural Flavour, Citric Acid, Tartaric Acid, Xanthan Gum.
Strawberry Fields Salad Blend: Iceberg Lettuce, Romaine Lettuce, Spring Mix (baby Lettuces [red & green romaine, red & green oak, red & green leaf, lolla rosa, tango], spinach, mizuna, arugula, tatsoi, red chard, green chard), Strawberries, Red Onions. Grilled Chicken Breast: Chicken Breast, Water, Seasoning (sea salt, maltodextrin, natural flavors, yeast extract, onion powder, garlic powder, sugar, gum Arabic, dextrose), Modified Corn Starch, Sodium Phosphates. Rubbed with Paprika and Spice. *Grilled, Homestyle, and Spicy Chicken Fillets are cut on a common cutting board
We’re not fans. There are far too many mentions of natural flavor occurring in this ingredient list. It’s like the loophole for fast food chains. Let’s make something that appears fresh and natural, promote it as fresh and natural even though it has natural flavors which aren’t fresh and natural.
We can easily make this salad in our own kitchen. The ingredients will be better. The taste will be better. And we’ll be a lot happier for the effort.