We Tried Wendy's New Italian Mozzarella Sandwiches And Garlic Fries. Moderation Is Key With This Order

There are crazy ideas, and there are ideas that are crazy enough to work. When the wild minds behind the Wendy's menu decided to throw a slab of deep-fried mozzarella cheese atop a burger patty and atop a fried chicken breast, they managed to make it into that second category. As for our choice to try Wendy's newest items — the Italian Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich, the Italian Mozzarella Cheeseburger, and Garlic Fries — all in one sitting? Well, that may have been a bit crazy. We'll discuss that in more detail later when we talk through the nutrition information.

For now, suffice it to say that while these latest sandwiches and fries may not thrill any registered dietitians or health-food fanatics out there, they are the height of satisfying. If you turn to fast food when you need a big ol' bite of comfort, then digging into one of these sandwiches will perfectly hit the spot. If you're craving a taste of true, authentic Italian cuisine — the kind of eats your grandma from the old country used to make and serve up with shouts of mangiare! and a pinch on the cheek — then you're going to have to look elsewhere. Because plentiful garlic, mozzarella and asiago cheeses, and marinara sauce aside, these new sandwiches (and the fries) are quintessentially American. Why? Because they are exquisitely enormous. And we went with the single Italian Mozzarella Cheeseburger at that, not the double or the triple, thank you very much.

What's in Wendy's new Italian Mozzarella Cheeseburger, Italian Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich, and Garlic Fries?

Okay, so there are a lot of ingredients in these newest menu items from Wendy's, so let's take them one by one. Basically, an Italian Mozzarella Cheeseburger includes a hamburger patty, asiago cheese, deep-fried mozzarella cheese, and marinara sauce, all sandwiched between a garlic knot bun. Note that within those ingredients, you'll find a lot of other ingredients (except for the burger patty — that's just beef and salt), so if you want to look deeper into what's in the cheeses, sauce, and bread, you can easily do so at Wendy's site. You can also add tomatoes, lettuce, various sauces, and a few other ingredients for free, or add premium toppings like bacon, avocado, or other cheeses for extra cash.

Now, let's move to the Italian Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich. There, you'll encounter a garlic knot bun housing a fried chicken breast, a slice of asiago cheese, a slab of deep-fried mozzarella cheese, and a generous dollop of marinara sauce. You can sub in a Grilled or Spicy chicken filet. And with the new Garlic Fries, you'll get slender-cut fries sprinkled generously with salt and drizzled with a garlic-and-herb sauce. Again, in the case of the chicken sandwich and the fries, you can go deeper on the ingredients if you want to via Wendy's website. Just be ready to read through a lot of ingredients with disheartening names like sodium acid pyrophosphate, calcium propionate, and such.

How much do Wendy's new menu items cost?

Noting that, as usual in the world of fast food, prices can (and probably do) vary from one area to another, here are prices for some of the newest menu items we found at several Wendy's locations. If you order a single (meaning one patty) Italian Mozzarella Cheeseburger, that will run you $6.69. Make it a meal combo, and the price jumps to $10.99. A double-patty version of that burger costs $7.69 as-is, and in combo form that will be $11.99. And if you want a triple-patty burger (please don't, though — we care about you and your health), that will be $8.69 for the sandwich alone or $12.99 for the combo. See the pattern? It's an extra dollar per added beef patty.

Moving to the newest Wendy's chicken offering, the sandwich alone costs $6.99. Want an Italian Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich Combo? That will be $11.29 before tax. And for an order of Wendy's new Garlic Fries, that will run you just $2.79. So yes, it's more affordable to get a combo meal if you want fries and a soda. But, depending on which sandwich you go with, it's cheaper to get the sandwich and fries as one-off orders and then to go with coffee or a bottle of water as your beverage. And hey, fewer calories, too (in case that's something you think about when ordering foods with slabs of fried cheese on them).

How long will the new Italian menu items be available?

These newest Italian-inspired Wendy's menu items snuck onto the menu on November 15, 2022, and were officially announced on November 16. And while we know for sure that they are planned to be limited-time additions to the menu lineup, we can't tell you exactly how long they will be around. And that's because that's the way Wendy's wants things to be — the fast food chain wants to keep you in suspense. In fact, when we reached out to a public relations person who works with Wendy's seeking information about a planned end date for the new Italian mozzarella-laden and garlic-heavy foodstuffs, the reply we got was, in part, these words: "By design, nothing is meant to stay on the Made to Crave menu forever due to Wendy's ever-evolving innovation pipeline, but we don't have [a] set end date."

So for now, we just have to believe the words at the bottom of the menu for the new eats on Wendy's site when it says "Available for a limited time only at participating U.S. Wendy's." With that in mind, we advise you to try out the new burger, chicken sandwich, and Garlic Fries sooner rather than later lest you risk missing them altogether. But please do heed our advice, and try the burger and the chicken sandwich on different visits. And no triple patties, either. Unless you really want to, in which case, hey, this is America.

How do these new items compare to the rest of Wendy's menu?

In a lot of ways, these newest menu items make perfect sense as additions for Wendy's. Two ways in particular stand out. First, the burgers still have that classic square-shaped Wendy's beef patty (or a pair of patties or a triple-patty cardiac slap), and they're served with cheese on a bun, albeit different cheeses and a different bun. But a cheeseburger is a burger patty with cheese on a bun, so there you have it. And ditto the Italian Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich: It's a slab of fried chicken breast served with cheese on a bun, and Wendy's already offers several of those, including sandwiches featuring asiago cheese like this one. So it's essentially a classic Wendy's chicken sandwich with added mozzarella, a different sauce, and a new bun. (OK, so that is several differences, granted.)

The main way these new menu items fit in, though, is that they are an American take on a different cuisine. Like the series of pub burgers and sandwiches Wendy's offers that are vaguely reminiscent of British pub fare, these newest eats are vaguely Italian in inspiration. And as for the fries, adding a garlic-and-herb sauce was a logical next step, Wendy's already offers fries slathered in cheese, in cheese and chili, in cheese and bacon, and, in the case of the Pub Fries, cheese, bacon, and beer cheese sauce. Just like the eats available across the pond, no?

What's the nutrition information for Wendy's new burger, chicken sandwich, and fries?

We all knew this moment of reckoning had to come, so let's just get it over with. These newest Italian-esque menu additions from Wendy's are very, very, not very healthy, if you'll permit us to be less than direct (y'know, the whole "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all" thing, except this is part of our job). Let's start with the fries. A serving of Wendy's Garlic Fries packs in 450 calories, 30 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 730 milligrams of sodium, and 5 grams of protein. There's also a good amount of iron and some potassium. 

Interestingly, the Italian Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich and the single-patty Italian Mozzarella Cheeseburger have the same calorie count: 780 calories. The chicken sandwich has 31 grams of fat (that's pretty bad), 11 grams of saturated fat, 2,310 milligrams of sodium (that's very bad), and 45 grams of protein. And lots of iron.

The single-patty burger has 40 grams of fat (bad), 18 grams of saturated fat (not good), 1,440 milligrams of sodium (not ideal), 42 grams of protein, and a boatload of iron and traces of other minerals. The burger with twin patties and twin slices of asiago cheese has 1,100 calories, 65 grams of fat, 29 grams of saturated fat (OMG), 1,710 milligrams of sodium, and just a whole lot of protein and iron. The triple? We just can't even.

Did we enjoy Wendy's new Italian Mozzarella sandwiches and Garlic Fries?

We thoroughly enjoyed Wendy's new offerings. The fries were the least compelling. Tasty in a salty, garlic-y, and herbaceous way? Sure, the Garlic Fries were all that, but in the way movie-theater popcorn is buttery, if that makes sense. The flavor, while good, seemed entirely added and in no way infused into the fries. Dump a few spoonfuls of Papa John's garlic sauce over regular fries, and you'll get the same effect. Also, these greasy fries required a full-on hand-washing. Napkins just would not do. 

The burger was delicious. The thickness and texture of the fried mozzarella, the soft, doughy bun, and the classic patty all worked in harmony to create pure satisfaction. The marinara sauce and asiago cheese created a tang that was notably more interesting than ketchup. We left off any extras that may have affected the taste, but in retrospect, tomatoes may have been a good move.

As for the Italian Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich, that was the true star here. The cheese and bun worked perfectly with the thick piece of chicken, and because chicken's flavor is milder than beef's, the sauce, asiago cheese, and mozzarella's subtle saltiness all complemented one another. Even though we ate only half of each sandwich and about half the fries, we were still stuffed for two hours. Enjoyed on occasion, these new menu items are a grand idea. Just do it sooner rather than later, before they say arrivederci!