Wendy's Unveils Plant-Based Burger and Ghost Pepper Ranch Sauce

Wendy's is looking to join the plant-based food game with one of its most ambitious offerings yet. Thursday, the fast-food chain unveiled its plans to test the Spicy Black Bean Burger in three markets this summer. Beginning Monday, interested individuals in Columbus, Jacksonville, and Pittsburgh can get to a participating Wendy's location and try the new offering.

On a call with members of the press, Wendy's VP, Culinary INnovation John Li said he expects the company to have a decision by early August on whether the sandwich is successful enough to take to a national level.

"The Spicy Black Bean Burger is a culinary creation that turns the notion of a tasteless, texture-lacking black bean patty on its head by bringing our iconic spice as only Wendy's can," Li adds in a press release distributed by the company. "With the Spicy Black Bean Burger every bite is a sensorial experience bursting with flavor and texture just like our other craft and premium sandwich offerings on the Made to Crave menu lineup."

On top of a spicy black bean burger patty, the sandwich also comes with crunchy chipotle jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, and a spicy chipotle sauce. It then has the standard burger fare — tomatoes, onion slices, and lettuce.

In addition to the Spicy Black Bean Burger, the chain also revealed its new Ghost Pepper Ranch sauce. Unlike the burger, the spicy ranch will be available nationally at participating locations beginning July 12th.


On the same press call, Eryn Bennett — Wendy's manager of culinary and product innovation — said food fiends can expect the ghost pepper ranch to be around an "8 out of 10" on the spiciness scale. The chain's iconic spicy chicken nuggets and spicy chicken sandwich, Bennett says, come in around a 6 on the same scale.