Chicken nuggets are such an integrated part of the fast-food world now, but did you know that they were created by a food scientist at Cornell University more than 60 years ago? Not all nuggets are created equal. Each restaurant has its own recipe and process, vying for the top spot in flavor and quality, and some do it better than others. Wendy’s nuggets are a good example of a great value, but how do they rank in taste?
History and Inspiration
At the beginning of Wendy’s inception in 1969, old-fashioned “square-patty” hamburgers and malt shakes were the stars of the show. Now over 50 years later, its still known for its square hamburgers, as well as its chicken sandwiches, sea salt fries, and Frosties. But in between all of that, chicken nuggets became a hot menu item for fast food restaurants. In October 1989, Wendy’s became the first fast-food franchise to offer a Value Menu with every item available for only $0.99, including their 4-piece chicken nuggets. They’ve remained a permanent menu item ever since, though the portion options have changed to 5 or 10 pieces depending on the year and location.
Types of Wendy’s Chicken Nuggets
Wendy’s menu currently offers 4-piece, 6-piece, and 10-piece chicken nuggets. If you prefer a bit of heat to your nuggets, Wendy’s also brought back their Spicy Chicken Nuggets after fans offered up two million likes and more than 410,000 retweets to bring back the iconic menu item. All of these nuggets can be dipped in ketchup, ranch, honey mustard, BBQ, sweet and sour, creamy sriracha, or S’Awesome Sauce. I like to mix BBQ and honey mustard, and if I have the choice, I’ll choose spicy nuggets over the regular.
Wendy’s Chicken Nuggets Review
1. Taste and Texture [3/5]
The nuggets are all-white meat chicken with a light crispy breading. It’s a soft nugget, but a bit denser than I’d prefer. There is a decent chicken-to-bread ratio, with the chicken flavor stronger than the breading. The chicken is salty, savory, juicy, and not at all dried out. The breading even retains its crispness during car rides, which means you don’t arrive home with soggy nuggets. Still, nothing particularly stands out for me with Wendy’s nuggets – they taste pretty good, but I could think of a few other fast-food restaurants that I would choose first. Also, to be fair, it’s nearly impossible to top a Chick-Fil-A nugget.
2. Are they healthy? [3/5]
With 470 calories and 32 grams of fat, a 10-piece nugget comes in 3rd place behind Chick-Fil-A and Popeyes in the 10 healthiest fast-food nuggets. However, that’s not saying much, as 20% of the fat in Wendy’s nuggets is saturated fatty acids, which can raise your blood cholesterol levels. They’re not healthy as far as nutritional value is concerned, but they aren’t terrible either.
3. Are they Worth it? [3/5]
I prefer the nuggets as a light snack instead of a meal- they tend to feel heavy if I eat more than the 4-pack. But if you’re looking for a salty snack on the go, Wendy’s has plenty of locations available and the price tag is fair. They also pair well with a small fry and a Frosty, and all of these can be found on the Dollar Menu which is a plus.
Wendy’s Chicken Nuggets are so-so. They do maintain their crispness without getting dried out, and you can taste more chicken than breading. But a 4-pack isn’t very filling, and a 10-pack is too heavy for my stomach. However, they make a decent snack and my kids enjoy them. A couple of 10-packs will keep them happy during a car ride, so it stays on my list of drive-through possibilities.
Nutrition Facts, 10 Piece Chicken Nuggets
- Calories – 470
- Fat – 32 grams
- Saturated Fat – 7 grams
- Cholesterol – 65 milligrams
- Sodium – 960 grams
- Carbs – 21 grams
- Sugars – 0 grams
- Dietary Fiber – 0 grams
- Protein – 23 grams
One big plus is that Wendy’s Chicken Nuggets are available on their Dollar Menu. A 4-piece nugget is $0.99 and a 6-piece is $1.79. They’re in company with the Crispy Chicken Sandwich, Side Cesar Salad, and Small Frosty. For comparison, a 4-pack at McDonald’s nuggets is around $2, and Chick-Fil-A’s 4-pack is over $3.
What do you think?
How do Wendy’s Chicken Nuggets stack up on your fast food nuggets list? Let us know in the comments below.