In this post, you’ll learn how to comfortably order low carb at Wendy’s.
You can also get my Wendy’s low carb menu with basic macros and nutrition stats for all 34 of their low carb options. It’s a great fit for anyone eating keto, low carb, low sugar, or diabetic friendly.
The first thing I noticed when pulling into Wendy’s is that her house is in order. The exterior is renovated, the tree are trimmed, and the drive-through menu is nice and tidy.
It’s a refreshing change of pace compared to the curb appeal of your average fast food chain. The only question is whether there’s more to Wendy than just her looks.
Let’s find out.
Overall Ratings for Wendy’s
I rate Wendy’s as low carb friendly because you can get bunless burgers and low carb salads served in sturdy plastic containers which make for a convenient low carb eating experience.
- Low carb friendly – Yes.
- Low carb entrees on menu – No. You can request bunless burgers & grilled chicken sandwiches and they have a chicken caesar salad on the menu that becomes low carbs once you request no croutons.
- Satiety of low carb entrees – Above Average. Their entrees are sizable enough to fill you up. Their full-sized chicken caesar salad is hefty and they offer a triple patty burger which is a great fit for low carb diets.
- Taste of low carb entrees – Mixed results. Their entrees looked amazing, but had some taste issues. The chicken caesar salad was pretty great overall, but the lettuce was a little coarse and grainy for my tastes. The triple cheeseburger looked delicious, but had a faint fishy smell that repulsed me enough to write about it, but not enough to stop eating it. I went back and tried it again and it wasn’t as repulsing of a smell, but it was still smelling stale or a little off versus what I typically expect a burger to smell like.
- Price / value of low carb entrees – Above average. Typically a low carb salad order is a sucker’s play at a fast food chain, but my large grilled chicken caesar was $6.69 which seemed like a good value especially when you factor in the presentation (see photo in the “What I ordered” section). The triple cheeseburger was also $6.69 and that felt like a great value for so many calories.
- Ordering experience – Average. Curb appeal was outstanding at my nearest Wendy’s location. I especially love their minimalist drive-thru menu which was easy to read. Impressively, during my first order, the cashier took it upon himself to ensure my Chicken Caesar salad didn’t have croutons. Unimpressively, they messed up my order the second time through.
While my orders had some issues, I think it’s worth giving Wendy’s a shot. I’m not one to write off restaurants after a bad taste experience — especially if they score high marks in other areas.
NOTE: Wendy’s doesn’t serve breakfast at most locations so check before you go or you might end up like me –> sitting alone in a drive-thru at 8:45AM wondering where everyone is.
What I ordered
My first entree was a Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad special ordered with grilled chicken and no croutons. Presentation was amazing.
Bright colors, large chunks of chicken, and actual slices of parmesan. Felt premium.
Even with two packets of Caesar dressing, I still wanted more so I added my own Ranch dressing back at the house. If you like your salad drenched in dressing, request three packets of Caesar at the checkout window.
The lettuce was a bit course for my tastes, but overall the salad was great. At 500 calories and 6 net carbs it’s a good option for low carb / keto eaters.
My second entree was a bunless Dave’s Triple with Cheese and once again the presentation was spectacular.
Three quarter pound patties stacked with cheese, pickles, and onions resting atop a thin bed of lettuce. It offers 875 calories and 5 net carbs.
I was ready to write an enthusiastic recommendation for the Triple but then bit in and noticed a faint fish smell. Ewww. It was noticeable enough to give me pause, but not enough to make me stopping eating. That was four days ago and I’m still alive.
I have a masochistic streak so I’m going back to order it again to see if the fish smell thing was a one-off. Until then, can’t recommend. UPDATE: I went back and re-ordered the Dave’s Triple four days later. The fish smell wasn’t as prominent, but there is still a smell that I don’t like. I’m not sure if it’s freezer burn or stale meat, or what, but it’s off putting enough to notice, but not off putting enough for me to discard the burger. Hard to explain.
For good measure, I went back and ordered the bunless Asiago Ranch Grilled Chicken Club. They messed up the order and gave me a basic bunless Grilled Chicken Sandwich.
The grilled chicken breast was tender and well-flavored, but the entree as a whole was relatively boring and flavorless. I added some Franks’ Buffalo Sauce at home to make it more enjoyable.
A few weeks later I returned and ordered the bunless Asiago Ranch Chicken Club.
Of note, they messed up the order again at the drive-thru window, but eventually corrected it. It comes with chicken breast, bacon, Asiago cheese, ranch, lettuce, and tomatoes.
The ingredients are unique & tasty but would be more enjoyable and convenient to eat as a salad with the chicken, cheese and veggies chopped up. It was a little cumbersome to try and eat by hand or fork.
What you should order
I recommend the Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken, No Croutons, and three packets of Caesar dressing.
That’ll get you about 700 calories and 9 net carbs.
FYI…the grilled chicken is not spicy, so the resulting dish is actually a Mild Chicken Caesar Salad instead of a Spicy one.
What you can order
There are 10 different burgers on the menu that can be ordered without a bun. You can also get a bunless grilled chicken sandwich or grilled chicken caesar salad.
I’ve got every ingredient spec’d out so you build-your-own custom bunless burgers or bunless chicken sandwiches if you’d like.
What you should avoid
In case you’re new to low carb / keto eating, I’ll point out that you can’t eat any of the buns, baked potatoes, fries, chilis, fruits, or frosties on the Wendy’s menu. Sadly, you can’t eat the nuggets either.
Here is the full list of tricky items to avoid:
- Wendy’s Chili – 12 net carbs and 170 calories due to beans
- Chicken Nuggets – 10 net carbs for 100 calories for a 4-piece.
- Spicy Chicken Breast – 16 net carbs and 270 calories.
- Homestyle Chicken Breast – 17 net carbs and 280 calories.
- Crispy Chicken Patty – 9 net carbs for 160 calories.
- Taco Salad – 53 net carbs for 660 calories (taco chips, salsa, and chili)
- Power Mediterranean Chicken Salad – 38 net carbs and 480 calories
- BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad – 37 net carbs and 590 calories
- Apple Pecan Chicken Salad – 45 net carbs and 560 net calories
If you’re looking for some lower carb chicken nuggets and bummed out after reading this, the check out my ordering guide for Chick-Fil-A.
My next low carb / keto ordering guide is supposed to be for Baskin Robbins which has the 9th most locations of any fast food chain in the US. If they don’t have anything low carb, I’ll be moving on to Hardee’s whom I’m not familiar with.
If you want to get my Hardee’s low carb ordering guide via email, sign up here:
Follow My Low Carb Fast Food Challenge
I'll send you specific recommendations on what to order every time you're in a Top 30 Fast Food Chain like McDonald's, Subway, or Chick Fil A, etc.
Enter your email above and I’ll send you one low carb / keto ordering guide per week for all 30 top fast food chains in the US.
I’ll also report back with final results for how this fast food experiment affects my health, well-being, and bank account. And you’ll get some simple low carb recipes and other tips from me for all the times you’re not eating in a fast food joint.
aka “Mr. SkinnyPants”