Carl's Jr. Is Testing Pesto Mozzarella Chicken Sandwiches

Pesto has been around since the 16th century, according to Stir and Taste. It comes from northern Italy, and though it may look like watery guacamole, it's actually basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts in olive oil. It's been slowly growing in popularity since the 1980s, says Saveur, and it's become nearly as commonly known as ketchup. Yet it's rare to see pesto mixed into the menus of fast-food restaurants. But Carl's Jr. is looking to change that with its new pesto mozzarella chicken sandwiches.

ButteryPan explains that pesto is commonly used in making pesto pasta and is commonly used inĀ pesto chicken recipes. Thus, making a chicken sandwich with it seems like a straightforward proposition. However, other brands have tried to make pesto chicken sandwiches work, with limited success. Investor Place reports that McDonald's offered Pesto Mozzarella Melts back in 2016. The test seems to have been a bust, as there are no signs over every McDonald's declaring it, "Home of the Pesto Mozzarella Melt!"

Though there weren't many reviews of McDonald's pesto mozzarella, YouTube channel Peep this Out gave it relatively good marks. So there could be an untapped market for the Carl's Jr. sandwich.

Pesto mozzarella is in California, but might be too bland to bother getting

All that's known right now about the pesto mozzarella sandwich is that The Fast Food Post says it's available at select Carl's Jr. locations in California. It has also been reported it comes in two varieties: hand-breaded and charbroiled. The hand-breaded type is "dipped in buttermilk, lightly breaded, and fried" according to Chew Boom. The charbroiled, meanwhile, is "all-white meat chicken breast" cooked over an open flame. Both come on a potato bun.

One eagle-eyed reviewer found one of the sandwiches and reported to Brand Eating their experience with it. "I found the sauce to provide the majority of the flavor though it did not overwhelm," the taster said. "I actually would have preferred a pure pesto sauce for a stronger punch. The cheese was plain and unnoticeable. It could have been left out or replaced with something else. I think this sandwich would have been better if it had a more salty flavor."

This sentiment echoes the YouTube review of the McDonald's sandwich years prior. It seems the tame mozzarella doesn't bring enough to the table, and the whole experience ends up a tad flat. However, in both cases, the reviewer ate the charbroiled option; perhaps the breading can bring sandwich salvation.