Product Review: Arby’s Southwest Chicken Wrap

When it comes to Southwestern-inspired food, I’m a big fan of spicy pepper jack cheese and grilled chicken combinations. Add a spicy sauce, and it’s summertime with the taste of Southwest zing! Arby’s features a distinct item on their menu this season, with the introduction of the Southwest Chicken Wrap in limited markets. The wrap is a must-try; filled generously with diced chicken breast, cheddar, pepper jack, lettuce, and sliced red onions, this wrap is complete with a zesty Santa Fe ranch sauce. The best part is it is wrapped in a soft wheat tortilla. The Southwest Chicken Wrap served to be a great lunch during my busy workday.

It’s hard work finding a suitable wrap in the midday hustle and bustle of lunch; I was eager to stake out the nutrition facts on this one as this truly was a tasty and satisfying choice. The Southwest Chicken Wrap totals in at 568 calories, and a whopping 30g of fat. Most of the fat is from the dressing, which is good to know since you may be able to request for a light dressing pour. Although I clearly experienced ‘consumption remorse’ at the thought of 30g of fat in the middle of the day, I figured it was a nice treat and a due change from my standard salads and soup trend I put myself through the week prior.

It turns out that the Southwest Chicken Wrap is actually the ‘lightest’ item on the Market Fresh Sandwiches/Wraps menu. Other offerings include an Ultimate BLT wrap which comes in at 648 calories and 44 grams of fat, and a Roast Turkey Ranch & Bacon wrap ranking 699 calories and 36g of fat. Overall, I don’t consider these ‘healthy’ choices by any means; you may be better off with a salad with light dressing if you are looking for a nutritious and healthy lunch or supper. However, the Southwest Chicken Wrap can serve as a much-needed change from standard sandwiches, burgers, or your average serving of pizza.

After a little more browsing the menu and nutrition facts on the Arby’s company website, I did make note of the Market Fresh salads offerings. The Santa Fe, Martha’s Vineyard, and Chicken Club salads are fairly new items offering a gourmet-style salad alternative to standard fast-food veggie combos. The Martha’s Vineyard salad is the healthiest of all three, coming in at a safe 276 calories and only 8 grams of fat. The salad is a colorful medley of diced chicken, cheddar, diced apples, dried cranberries, grape tomatoes, and toasted almonds; the raspberry vinaigrette dressing on the side is a nice addition, and is definitely on my list on my next lunchtime round at the drive-thru.

The choices from Arby’s Market fresh menu are fresh and tasty; selections include newer sandwiches such as the Chicken Salad with Pecans, and the line of Arby’s subs. Most of the healthiest choices are comprised of the grilled chicken options, and the raspberry vinaigrette dressing brings us a low-fat complement. The Southwest Chicken Wrap is available in only limited markets with an average market price of $4.29.

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