Wendy's Loaded Nacho Cheeseburger, Chicken Sandwich, And Queso Fries Review: A Loaded Mess Of Crunchy Mysteries

After a sizzling summer, the thought of the cool breeze of the coming fall sounds otherworldly magical. Wendy's wants the sizzling to never stop and has demonstrated as such by introducing its new buttery and savory English Muffin Breakfast Sandwiches for breakfast earlier this week. While those breakfast sandwiches were teased before their release, on the very same day, a set of cheesy surprises appeared on the Made to Crave menu in the form of Loaded Nacho Sandwiches and Queso Fries.

Six years ago (perhaps for the first time ever), Wendy's drizzled poblano queso over its burgers, chicken sandwiches, and fries. In 2023, it is once again tripling down on poblano queso cheesed-up items and piling up extra sauces, textures, and flavors with its new Loaded Nacho Cheeseburger, Loaded Nacho Chicken Sandwich, and Queso Fries. Wendy's notes that these new queso-loaded menu additions are inspired by foods found at football tailgates.

Will people fall for these three new Wendy's entries, or are they fails? We headed to our nearest Wendy's location try them out for ourselves. And here's our chew and review...

What does Wendy's Loaded Nacho Cheeseburger taste like?

The Loaded Nacho Cheeseburger doesn't resemble the usual excellent cheeseburger we've all come to know and love from the house of Dave Thomas, and the looks turned out to not be deceiving, but spot on. First glance shows a bun that appears to have burned sunspots and a browned bottom. The crisp lettuce acts as an umbrella, jutting out of the bun and throwing shade to all the latest fandangled ingredients to be revealed within.

Bite after bite, the taste of this Loaded Nacho Cheeseburger became more and more confounding. A dab of nothing special queso here, a sting of the truly spicy chipotle sauce there, and some crunchy bits that kept rearing their ugly heads, proving over and over that they didn't seem to belong there at all. There are actually two crunchy things under the hood — dried spicy corn and tortilla strips. One wouldn't even pick up on what they were unless you closely examined them, or read the list of ingredients. The spicy corn is similar to Corn Nuts, which isn't usually something one thinks of as a hamburger topping, and the bland tortilla strips come off like something you'd spot at a salad buffet and would pass on adding to your bowl.

What does Wendy's Loaded Nacho Chicken Sandwich taste like?

The first paragraph from our Loaded Nacho Cheeseburger taste test above applies as well to the Loaded Nacho Chicken Sandwich, but the confounding merging of unrelated tastes fairs a lot better here. The queso and the spicy chipotle pop a bit more, but aren't really a step up from just getting a usual slice of lightly melted cheese plopped on top.

As for those unnecessary crispy bits, they luckily don't really stand out in this sandwich. Maybe that's because the chicken filet is so darn crispy to begin with that they hide the other unwarranted crispy parts both from view and taste. Not sure that speaks well that the Loaded Nacho Chicken Sandwich succeeds more than the cheeseburger mainly because it masks its additional accouterments better, but it goes to show you that Wendy's quality and tender chicken sandwich's deliciousness cannot be easily sullied.

What do Wendy's Queso Fries taste like?

The Queso Fries is the most simple affair of the three new items. They are less "loaded" with ingredients to wade through than its bunned buddies, and the spicy chipotle sauce and those dreaded corn and tortilla crunchies have been kicked to the curb.

With fewer distractions, the mildly gooey, non-offensive, nothing-all-that-special queso is basically left to its own devices, with a light smattering of quasi-melted shredded cheddar cheese on top. The problem here is that Wendy's fries, which are usually a happy medium between crispy and potatoey, are no longer crunchy when caked in these cheeses. Even if eaten right away, the two cheeses congeal to the potatoes so rapidly that it almost mummifies the already soggy fries into a permanent state of mush.  That only applies to the fries in the middle, as the cheese-less ones on the fringes, were spared the honor.

What are Wendy's Loaded Cheeseburger, Chicken Sandwich, and Queso Fries made of?

The Loaded Nacho Cheeseburger and Loaded Nacho Chicken Sandwich are both encased in a jalapeño cheddar bun, and between lies a slice of American cheese, lettuce, tomato, spicy corn and tortilla strips, and spicy chipotle sauce and poblano queso, which is made from actual roasted poblano chili peppers. The burger is the standard salted Wendy's ground beef hamburger patty, and the chicken is a breast filet with rib meat and numerous seasonings.

The Loaded Nacho Cheeseburger runs 710 calories, 43 grams of fat, 51 grams of carbohydrates, 33 grams of protein, 95 milligrams of cholesterol, and 1,390 milligrams of sodium. In comparison, the Loaded Nacho Chicken Sandwich logs in at 670 calories, 30 grams of total fat, 95 milligrams of cholesterol, 35 grams of protein, and 2,070 milligrams of cholesterol.

The Queso Fries are simply regular french fries with salt, shredded cheddar cheese, salt, and the queso of the moment — poblano. These fries will set one back 390 calories, 20 grams of total fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 43 grams of total carbohydrates, 8 grams of protein, and 940 milligrams of sodium.

How, when, and where to order the Wendy's Loaded Cheeseburger, Chicken Sandwich, and Queso Fries

These three cheesy loaded items were added to Wendy's Made to Crave menu on Tuesday, August 22, and are available nationwide. They are not listed as limited-time-only items so we expect them to stay here for an extended stay. They are only available to order for lunch or dinner, which usually starts from 10:30 a.m. until close. You can order them in-store, at the drive-thru, through the app, or via delivery food services.

The cheeseburgers can be ordered in single, double, or triple patty stacks, but the chicken sandwich is only offered as a single filet. Both can be enjoyed a la carte or in a combo, where the standard-issue french fries that come with it can be swapped out for Queso Fries. Each item is customizable with add-ons and subtractions, which even includes going bunless. Bonus items include pickles (why are they not included to begin with!), onions, Asiago cheese, Applewood smoked bacon, and several sauce condiments at the ready. Some may incur an extra cost, while others are free. 

The final verdict

After trying three cheesy, queso-y, loaded new items from Wendy's, our body couldn't discern which of the three was giving us the loaded indigestion that stuck with us the rest of the day. Wendy's food is usually satisfyingly filling, but the Loaded Nacho Cheeseburger, Loaded Nacho Chicken Sandwich, and the Queso Fries didn't prove to be all that satisfying. For the sandwiches, the queso and chipotle sauce didn't mesh, and the crunchies were a total misfire. We were so focused on those pesky crunchies that we forgot that the jalapeño cheddar buns were off-putting, both physically and taste-wise.  

Wendy's should have exchanged the corn and tortilla for the much more appropriate crispy crunchiness of its bacon, removed the queso from the interior, and let it live as a side dipping sauce — especially for the fries. These new menu items from Wendy's were, unfortunately, more of a miss to us.