Wendy's New Black Bean Burger Is Spicing Up The Plant-Based Game

Back in 2019, when the Impossible burger suddenly became possible and even the most dedicated of carnivores were willing to go Beyond their usual burgers to try a plant-based version, everyone wondered when Wendy's would be jumping on this new trend. While the chain didn't exactly go all Arby's and start touting "we have the meats!", they did tacitly acknowledge that they didn't want to buy in on those "plant-based creations [that] have spawned a bland reputation for the category," as they put it in a press release sent to Mashed. And Wendy's wouldn't be Wendy's if they didn't throw a little shade by adding, "looking at you McImpossible."

Instead, Wendy's chose to go with a more basic veggie burger based on beans instead of ... whatever that Impossible stuff is. But the Spicy Black Bean Burger isn't just any old bean patty. John Li, Wendy's Vice President of Culinary Innovation, said that rather than trying to mimic meat, Wendy's wanted a tasty non-meat burger that could stand on its own. "I'm a flex eater," he told Mashed. He added, "I don't miss eating meat when I eat [this] burger ... that's what we used as our [goal]." Li said this burger "really is craveable," and is "a culinary creation that turns the notion of a tasteless, texture-lacking black bean patty on its head." As to the heat level, he called it "approachable ...on the low end." It gets its spice from paprika, chipotle pepper, chipotle jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, and a smoky chipotle sauce loaded on top. The Spicy Black Bean burger is slightly less incendiary than Wendy's Spicy Chicken Sandwich, according to Li.

Where the Spicy Black Bean Burger will be available

Okay, we're sold! If you, too, can't wait to try Wendy's Spicy Black Bean Burger, you might have to hold on a little while longer, unless you're fortunate enough to live in Columbus, Ohio, Jacksonville, Florida, or Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. These lucky cities have been chosen as test markets for this latest addition to the Wendy's lineup, and the burger will be available starting June 28. The burger will be priced at $5.79, and as a special introductory promo, if you order your Spicy Black Bean Burger through the Wendy's app, you get a free medium fry and free delivery through July 1.

What can you do if you're not in one of those test markets, though? Well, we don't have any definitive word just yet as to when the Spicy Black Bean Burger might be available nationwide as either a limited-time offer or a new addition to Wendy's regular menu. The whole point of test-marketing an item, after all, is to see how well it goes over in the selected areas. If the folks in Columbus, Jacksonville, and Pittsburgh are as excited about it as Wendy's anticipates they will be, though, then the rest of us shouldn't have too much longer to wait before we, too, can enjoy its spicy goodness.