Review: Tuscan Chicken on Ciabatta from Wendy’s

Wendy’s introduced the ciabatta bun to its menu back in January with the Ciabatta Bacon Cheeseburger.  I felt it was an odd choice to feature a ciabatta bun on something other than a chicken sandwich.  The bun was overly bready and dry and that’s typical of a lot of my experiences with ciabatta.  Minor gripes aside, having this bread featured for a burger seemed very backwards to me.  I was left a little unimpressed by the Ciabatta Bacon Cheeseburger yet still felt it was about average for a premium fast food burger.  Making the switch from burger to chicken had to be in the cards for future products featuring ciabatta.  Today Wendy’s made this inevitable sandwich release a reality with the new Tuscan Chicken on Ciabatta.

Tuscan Chicken CiabattaWendy’s describes the Tuscan Chicken on Ciabatta like this:

Add a little gusto to your day with Wendy’s new Tuscan Chicken Sandwich on Ciabatta. Go for the gusto with our lightly breaded chicken, rich garlic with roasted tomato aioli and sliced asiago cheese, on a toasted ciabatta bun

When seeing the promo pic and description of the Tuscan Chicken on Ciabatta I felt like Wendy’s had a winner on their hands.  The ingredients list looked like a natural fit with one another.  It’s upsetting when one ingredient ruins the sandwich experience and the Tuscan Chicken on Ciabatta appeared to avoid heading down that road for me.  On paper I’m thinking this is a well thought out product.

Tuscan Chicken Ciabatta WendysThe chicken filet isn’t quite “lightly” breaded as the description says, but it’s a hearty and tender piece of chicken.  I’ve always enjoyed the quality of the homestyle chicken breast and find it to be consistently balanced with being moist on the inside and having a nice crisp exterior.  You’ve got 22 grams of protein packed in the chicken filet alone so it makes for a filling sandwich.  There’s a combination of nine greens in the spring mix that tops the chicken and the garlic and roasted tomato aioli sauce makes it a really nice “slaw”-like effect.  Diced up tomatoes mixed in with the sauce give it some added depth and texture.  The sauce coated greens had a slightly tangy and savory flavor which worked well with the homestyle chicken breast filet.

Tuscan Chicken Ciabatta Sandwich WendysThe promotional picture on the Wendy’s website shows two slices of tomato, but my sandwich didn’t include said tomatoes.  Also the description doesn’t mention the sliced tomatoes, yet the nutrition info includes them.  Given the lack of consistency from just a consumers perspective, I was not surprised that the person who constructed my sandwich left the tomato slices off.  The sharpness of the slice of Asiago cheese was nice because it was actually noticeable.  Way too often I find myself wondering if cheese was even included in my sandwich because it lacks flavor.  Asiago was a good choice… it was the appropriate choice.  Ciabatta worked with the Tuscan Chicken sandwich and its thickness wasn’t an issue considering the chicken filet was big enough to balance it.  The Ciabatta Bacon Burger would have likely received more positive results if there was more burger to even things out with the bread.  The sauced-up greens and healthy slab of breaded chicken plus Asiago thrown in were more than enough to make the toasty ciabatta more of a complementary ingredient rather than a standout problem.

Tuscan Chicken Ciabatta Sandwich Wendy'sThe suggested price for the Tuscan Chicken on Ciabatta is $4.69 and I paid $5.39 for mine today in Maryland.  Since this sandwich is over the $5 mark, I can’t help but give it a poor score on the value scale.  Yes the sandwich is filling, but to me it just isn’t what I expect to pay for lowly tier of fast food.  There wasn’t even that delectable Wendy’s bacon included to maybe warrant the hefty price.  This is still a pretty solid premium chicken sandwich for Wendy’s and there’s enough flavor and balance to keep a smile on my face.  The ciabatta bun turned out to be the right choice on its second attempt… chicken makes all the difference.

Pros: Hearty chicken fillet topped with sauced spring mix balances out the thickness of the ciabatta. Asiago is a stand-out cheese.

Cons: Value. I wouldn't mind some added bacon for the price I paid.

Taste: 8.00/10
Value: 4.25/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.25/10
Price: $5.39 for the sandwich alone, $7.69 for the combo

Overall GrubGrade: 7.25/10

More Info: http://www.wendys.com/en-us/chicken/tuscan-chicken-ciabatta
Nutrition Facts:
580 calories, 27 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 85 milligrams of cholesterol, 1530 milligrams of sodium, 53 grams of carbs, 4 grams of sugar, 4 grams of fiber, 31 grams of protein

15 comments on “Review: Tuscan Chicken on Ciabatta from Wendy’s

  1. Alex K. says:

    Looks good to me. I’ve gone on to accept that fast food items not on the dollar menu are a horrible value. I’d ask for extra sauce though.

  2. Scrape says:

    For some reason, Wendy’s has the loosest consistency in everything they do. The prices are never the same from store to store, some stores have soda fountains in the dining room so you can get refills, and some don’t (even if they are two miles from each other), and some actually make things correctly, and some don’t. They really need to put more emphasis on consistency and bring themselves in line with just about every other fast food place.

    That being said, this does seem rather expensive for some fancy bread and grass clippings. I tend not to like the field greens on anything, as they generally add way to much bitterness. I had the burger version of this and could barely eat it because of the greens. As much as I like Wendy’s spicy chicken, I’ll stick to Chick-fil-A, even if it is further away, thank you.

    • MP says:

      I think it depends on when the Wendy’s was built. The one I go to the most is about 20 years old & has the soda behind the counter. I can’t remember if it ever had the soda out front. Leaving it out front totally cuts into profits. Also this one is the cheapest & still had a 99¢ Double Stack as last as July 2011 but they’ve never had the baked potato.

      • Scape says:

        In my town, the old-school Wendy’s had put the soda fountain out in the dining room a long time ago when they did a remodel. Ironically, the built a brand new Wendy’s down the street just a couple of years ago, and it never had the fountains in the dining room. And the Wendy’s around here (between DC and Baltimore) are just about the most expensive you will find. They regularly do not have the pricing that is advertised on the television.

  3. Ahecht says:

    I’m not going to pay more than $5 for a sandwich that isn’t served on a plate.

  4. Chris W. says:

    Agree, without the bacon >5 is too much.

    That said, I’ve always found Wendy’s chicken fillets (the “premium” ones which I guess they call homestyle – not the value menu ones) to be the best of the fast food world (maybe excluding Sonic).

    I too found the ciabatta a bit too dry with the burger but I’m looking forward to trying this. Will give me something for when they get rid of the perennially-limited North Pacific Fish sandwich (which, imo, is the best of the fish sandwiches, although I’ve never tried Arby’s)

  5. CC says:

    Wendy’s continues to be entirely too inconsistent to bother with for me.

    Prices, quality, and ingredients included (the same sandwiches can have different things in them) vary wildly from store to store. It’s just a crapshoot. I don’t bother going there anymore just because I never know what I’m going to get at a Wendy’s, when any other place I at least have an idea of what is going to be there and the price range it will be in.

    If they had any consistency that might be different..but it feels like they don’t even try. The last time I got a Jr. Bacon cheeseburger there wasn’t tomato on it, the time before that it had half a piece of bacon and cost 3x more.

  6. MP says:

    $5.39? That’s b.s.! Just for fun, I’ll list some prices from my favorite Wendy’s – items – no combos:
    99¢ crispy chicken sandwich, 4-piece nuggets, Jr cheeseburger
    $1.19 Jr cheeseburger deluxe, crispy chicken Monterey Jack
    $1.59 Jr bacon cheeseburger, small chili, chicken go-wraps
    $1.79 Double Stack
    $2.19 Large chili
    $3.79 Single w/ cheese, Fish
    $4.29 Homestyle, spicy or grilled chicken sandwich
    $4.79 double w/ cheese, Bacon Portbella Mushroom Melt
    $5.79 triple w/ cheese
    $5.99 Baconator
    I know I’m missing some novelty items & no idea how much fries(they’re crud) or soda costs. I usually only spend $2 to $3 at Wendy’s & bring it home. We get coupons that have BOGO as well which is great.

  7. JoeyF says:

    I made my own version of the McGangbang at wendy’s last week. I got a double stack and crispy chicken sandwich. Split the hamburger patties and insert the chicken sandwich. I didn’t have any fries or anything and this was a filling sandwich for around $3.

  8. jm says:

    I was surprised to see there was no tomato slices on yours, they may have run out because that happens a lot at the wendys I work at. It is supposed to have 2 tomato slices. I have only tried the sauce that comes on this and it was pretty good.

  9. Tony says:

    At my Wendy’s they say there is a shortage of tomatoes and that they won’t put any on for you unless you ask.

  10. FA says:

    Just paid $6.29! Epic price gouging even for NY. (

  11. Bill says:

    Sorry folks but for my $5.00+ I want a good bun. I love a good ciabatta bun, and this is not. It should be cripsy on the outside and soft on the inside. It was a bun that was created by the Italians to competed with a Frrench Baguette. Toast the bun and give it some crisp.

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