The Lenten season is always a big time for fast-food operators around the country to highlight menu items that meet the demand. Here are some features available for 2020.

Image credits:Joella’s Hot Chicken

Panda Express

Panda Express recently introduced its newest shrimp LTO, Firecracker Shrimp. The Wok Smart menu item features hand-chopped red and yellow bell peppers, onions, string beans, whole dried chilis, and large, succulent shrimp, wok-tossed in a savory black bean sauce.

Image credits:Panda Express

Joella’s Hot Chicken 

The fast casual brought back a popular menu item, the Crispy Cod Sammie, for a limited time. The Louisville-based fast restaurant known for its hot chicken and made-from-scratch Southern-style sides, announced the specialty sandwich will be available during the Lenten season at all Joella’s locations in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana.

From February 26 to April 12, guests can order North Atlantic Wild-Caught Cod that is double beer-battered and fried, and topped with Sweet Vinegar Slaw and Bama White Dippin’ Sauce. The Crispy Cod Sammie can be prepared with any of Joella’s six famous heat levels including Traditional Southern (no heat), Spiked Honey, Ella’s Fav, Tweener, Hot and Fire-In Da-Hole (inferno-level hot). The Crispy Cod Sammie is available Wednesday through Friday, February 26 to April 7, and daily April 8 to April 12. Guests can pair the sandwich with a choice of one Southern side for $9.50.

Image credits:Joella’s Hot Chicken

Noodles & Company

Noodles & Company announced an offer for Rewards members to earn extra bonus points with the purchase of a regular size entrée with shrimp. The promotion will run February 26 through February 29, and gives guests the perfect excuse to try Noodles’ Shrimp Scampi, a favorite dish that debuted for a limited time in 2019 and returned in January as a permanent item due to its popularity.

Noodles Rewards members will earn 1,150 bonus points when they make a qualifying purchase during the promotion period, which is enough to score a free small entrée on their next visit. The deal comes just in time for guests who are going meat-free during Lent.

Shrimp is available as a protein option or substitution in any dish on Noodles’ menu. The protein-rich option is featured in Noodles’ Shrimp Scampi, which is prepared with a light scampi sauce with roasted zucchini and Roma tomatoes, topped with Parmesan cheese, parsley and fresh lemon. Guests can choose to enjoy the dish with penne pasta, Caulifloodles, or Zoodles.

Image credits:Noodles & Company

Golden Chick

Just in time for Lent, Golden Chick is introducing fried butterfly shrimp for the very first time to its growing list of fried favorites. The decadent seafood is available in multiple combos and can also be added to any order for only $1.99. 

What pairs well with butterfly shrimp? Golden Chick’s Southern-fried catfish, which is 100% U.S. farm-raised, hand-breaded and seasoned just right. Each filet is made-to-order for the best, flakiest taste.

Golden Chick’s other Lent-approved items include the garden salad, mashed potatoes, green beans, fried okra, dirty rice, mac and cheese, potato salad and more. 

The shrimp and catfish are offered in the following combos:

Catfish combo $7.99 

Butterfly Shrimp 9 pc combo $8.99

Catfish and Shrimp combo $9.99

Image credits:Golden Chick


Perfect for those seeking alternatives to red meat and poultry during Lent, Rubio’s introduced a new Norway Lobster Burrito, and the return of a favorite, the Wild-Caught Red Argentinian Shrimp. Both are available February 26 to May 26 and served in nearly 200 Rubio’s restaurants across California, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Florida.

The new Norway Lobster Burrito features succulent, Norway Lobster caught off the Atlantic coast, and drizzled with garlic herb butter, fresh, handmade guacamole, citrus rice flavored with lemongrass and lime juice, black beans, romaine lettuce, creamy chipotle sauce and salsa fresca – all wrapped in a warm flour tortilla. 

Plus, guests can enjoy the return of Rubio’s Wild-Caught Shrimp and Mexican Street Corn Bowl, featuring our wild Argentinian shrimp on a bed of  citrus rice and romaine lettuce, with black beans, fire roasted corn and topped with cilantro lime mojo sauce, creamy chipotle sauce, cotija cheese, Haas avocado slices, cilantro, onion and chili lime Tajin seasoning. Also, back on the menu is the Wild-Caught Shrimp and Mexican Street Corn Two Taco Plate.

For all the shrimp lovers, Rubio’s is introducing a new Shrimp Trio, featuring Rubio’s most popular shrimp tacos, the Grilled Gourmet Shrimp Taco, the Salsa Verde Shrimp Taco and the limited-time-only Wild-Caught Shrimp and Mexican Street Corn Taco. The delicious new trio will be available on Taco Tuesdays for just $7.99.

Image credits:Rubio’s


Diving into a new protein category, Smashburger diversified its  menu with the launch of its first fish entrée—the Beer Battered Pacific Cod Sandwich. The restaurant’s newest premium item contains wild-caught Pacific Cod lightly dipped in a signature batter infused with Yuengling Lager, and served with American cheese, lettuce, tomato and creamy tartar sauce.

Starting at $7.99, the savory Beer Battered Pacific Cod Sandwich is a twist on the traditional fish sandwich guests may be accustomed to. With fresh toppings and a craveable flaky texture, Smashburger’s fish sandwich takes foodies on a flavor-filled journey and creates a perfect pairing to craft beer, as evidenced by the recipe. Round out the meal with one of Smashburger’s savory sides such as Sweet potato fries, brussels sprouts or their signature rosemary, garlic and olive oil SmashTots.

Image credits:Smashburger

Taco Cabana

Tacp Cabana’s Shrimp Tampico is back by popular demand. The returning shrimp menu items come just in time for Lent and feature another returning guest-favorite: pineapple chipotle salsa.

Shrimp Tampico Quesadilla: Served between two crispy tortillas with melted cheese, pico de gallo and pineapple chipotle salsa. Guests can enjoy a small Shrimp Tampico Quesadilla for $5.79 or a large for $8.49.

Shrimp Tampico Taco: Served with fresh tomatoes and lettuce in a flour tortilla. Pineapple chipotle salsa will be available upon request and at the salsa bar.  Guests can enjoy an individual taco for $3.49, a taco plate for $8.69 or a taco combo for $9.29.

Image credits:Taco Cabana

Rusty Taco

The Acapulco Fish Taco is a fresh take on Rusty Taco’s popular fish taco, with grilled or tempura-battered fish topped with avocado crema, then covered in with coleslaw, pico de gallo and a fresh avocado slice inside a warm flour tortilla.

oining the Acapulco Fish Taco on the seasonal menu are two new margaritas: the Raspberry Margarita and the Top Shelf Topo-Rita. The Raspberry Margarita is loaded with the delicious flavor of sweet and sour raspberry, then finished off with a sugar rim and a lime wedge. Given the popularity of Topo-Chico mineral water, Rusty Taco is offering a new take on its famous margarita at select locations. The refreshing Top Shelf Topo-Rita features a top-shelf margarita served with a salt rim, a lime wedge and a splash of ice-cold Topo Chico.

Image credits:Rusty Taco

Del Taco

Del Taco Restaurants is making a big splash with the return of its popular crispy Jumbo Shrimp, now available for a limited time.

Seafood fans who act now and “leap” to download the Del Taco app will receive a coupon on February 28 for a free crispy Jumbo Shrimp Taco with any purchase, to redeem during Leap Day weekend. Additionally, for a limited time, fans will be able to purchase two crunchy Jumbo Shrimp Tacos for just $5.

Image credits:Del Taco

Captain D’s

Captain D’s is launching its new Double Dozen Shrimp, featuring platefuls of delicious, abundant shrimp to satisfy all seafood seekers this Lenten season, available now through April 26.

Captain D’s Double Dozen Shrimp is 24 lightly battered shrimp piled high and served with a choice of two sides and Captain D’s world-famous Hush Puppies.  For guests that want fish with their shrimp, they can have a dozen shrimp and a piece of Signature Batter Dipped Fish or Double Down with a plate of twenty-four shrimp, two pieces of fish, each plating accompanied with a choice of two sides and hush puppies.

Image credits:Captain D’s

White Castle

White Castle is serving a new crispy Panko Breaded Fish Slider and a seasonal Craver favorite, Shrimp Nibblers, both available for a limited time only while supplies last. 

The Panko Breaded Fish Slider is made with tender, flaky, wild-caught Alaska pollock, coated with a crispy panko breading and topped with American cheese. They’ll also get reeled in by the mouthwatering butterfly shrimp, which are tossed in a buttermilk-flavored batter and cooked to perfection. The limited-time only Panko Breaded Fish Slider and Shrimp Nibblers, which arrive just in time for the Lenten season, round out White Castle’s everyday seafood line-up, which includes the ever-popular Fish Nibblers and the clam strips (in select regions).

Image credits:White Castle

Church’s Chicken

The brand’s latest garlic butter flavor takeover started on February 20 just in time for the Lenten season, Church’s restaurants across the country didn’t simply add  butterfly shrimp and crispy fish to the menu for a limited time, they’re also offering savory, classic garlic butter … on everything.

Church’s primary offering is the Garlic Butter Shrimp ‘N’ Tenders Platter featuring four Garlic Butter Shrimp and two Garlic Butter Tenders, with fries and coleslaw on the side, plus a Honey-Butter Biscuit for just $5. Other $5 seafood platters include Garlic Butter Shrimp and Garlic Butter Crispy Fish. As for the “everything else,” Church’s is also offering garlic butter seasoning packets. Guests are invited to sprinkle as little or as much as they’d like on any menu item for a savory burst of extra garlic butter flavor, from chicken to fries and okra, even over corn or mashed potatoes.

Image credits:Church’s Chicken


After a long off-season, the Bojangles’ BojAngler fish sandwich is back on the Southern restaurant chain’s menu. This fresh catch of an offer will be available for a limited time at participating locations.

The made-from-scratch option features a flaky, wild-caught Alaskan Pollock filet, generously dusted with Bojangles’ proprietary fry seasoning. The seasoned filet is paired with a slice of American cheese and creamy tartar sauce, all between a toasted, buttered bun.

The BojAngler will be available a la carte and as a dinner platter, which pairs two fish filets with two home-style fixin’s, a made-from-scratch buttermilk biscuit, side of tartar sauce and 22 oz. Legendary Iced Tea or other drink of your choice. Prices may vary by location.

Image credits:Bojangles’
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