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Wendy's Just Confirmed the Return Date For Its Seasonal Fish Sandwich

The return of the sandwich will come just in time for Lent.

A popular seasonal item is coming back to the Wendy's menu later this month, in a return likely to be welcomed by fish lovers, pescatarians, and others seeking meatless meals during Lent.

The chain's representative confirmed to Eat This, Not That! that the Crispy Panko Fish Sandwich will be available once again starting Feb. 20. The sandwich will return just in time for the start of Lent on Feb. 22, giving those who follow no-meat Fridays an extra lunch or dinner option.

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Wendy's is best-known for its square patty hamburgers, fried chicken sandwiches, baked potatoes and, of course, the famous Frosty. But the chain has also offered seasonal fish sandwiches for years.

When Wendy's first rolled out the Crispy Panko Fish Sandwich in 2021, the menu item replaced its seasonal North Pacific Cod sandwich that was topped with creamy dill tartar sauce, pickles, and lettuce. Unlike the North Pacific Cod sandwich that, as its name implies, used cod, the Crispy Panko Fish Sandwich is made with Wild Alaskan Pollock.

The chain explained the switch by touting the sustainability of pollock fillets and said they provided a "similar flavor experience" as the cod. Though Wendy's did not list this as one of the reasons for the change, pollock is known to be a cheaper alternative to cod.

Wendy's brought the panko fish sandwich back again in 2022 after a "well-received debut" in 2021.

Wendy's Crispy Panko Fish Sandwich
Courtesy of Su-Jit Lin

Our own 2022 ranking of 13 fish sandwiches from various fast-food chains put Wendy's Crispy Panko Fish Sandwich at seventh place. The sandwich was commended for its seasoning, toppings, and toasted bun, but docked for the fish, which was said to be too dry and the breading too hard.

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Still, the menu item is among a list of similar offerings from fast-food chains that use real, whole pieces of fish in their sandwiches, rather than fish augmented with fillers and other ingredients. While McDonald's beloved Filet-O-Fish may have an advantage over the Crispy Panko Fish Sandwich in terms of popularity, or at least recognition, it does not qualify for this list.

The Crispy Panko Fish Sandwich in the 2023 release will again feature a panko-breaded pollock fillet topped with lettuce, American cheese, pickles and creamy dill tartar sauce. While the item is not yet listed on Wendy's online menu, it had a suggested price of  $4.29 during its 2022 release, though costs can vary depending on location.

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe
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