Healthy Chick-Fil-A options on a red background

6 Healthy Chick-fil-A Options, And 1 to Skip

Don’t be too chicken to order these healthy menu items.

Americans love their chicken. In fact, every person eats about 100 pounds of chicken on average each year (1). Which is why it’s no surprise that Chick-fil-A is one of the most frequented American fast food chains. Unfortunately, the most popular menu items at Chick-fil-A aren’t the healthiest: The breaded chicken sandwiches and iconic waffle fries are high in fat, poor-quality carbs, and sodium. But there are a solid amount of healthy Chick-fil-A options on the menu, ranging from sandwiches to salads to soups.

I scoped out the Chick-fil-A nutrition info to find the healthiest orders, and ranked them from most to least healthy.

How to Make Healthier Choices at Chick-fil-A

Every main menu item at Chick-fil-A provides at least 25 grams of protein per serving. As a rule of thumb, meals should have 20 to 30 grams of protein to help you build muscle and keep you satisfied (2).

Still, there are a few rules you should follow so you can get in and out of Chick-fil-A without derailing your diet.

Go for grilled

Be it a sandwich or salad, opt for the grilled chicken instead of the breaded. This easy swap will trim a noticeable amount of calories, sodium, and carbs from your order. For instance, the Grilled Chicken Sandwich contains 390 calories, 26 grams of carbs, and 770mg of sodium; while the Spicy Deluxe Sandwich contains 520 calories, 46 grams of carbs, and 1790mg of sodium.

Be sauce smart

The restaurant chain offers several sauce and dressing options. Some are high in calories, fat, sugar, or all of the above. The Avocado Lime Ranch dressing contains 310 calories and 32 grams of fat, for example. The Zesty Buffalo sauce, Honey Roasted BBQ sauce, and Light Italian dressing are your safest bets.

Seek out vegetables

To up the nutritional ante of your meal and cram in more fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants, order a salad, be it the kale crunch side or the side salad with the Light Italian or Light Balsamic.


6 Healthiest Meals to Order at Chick-Fil-A

What should you order from Chick-fil-A to keep your diet on track? Here are the better options that won’t require you to declare a cheat day.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Per order: 390 calories, 26g carbs, 3g fiber, 12g sugar, 28g protein, 12 g fat, 2g saturated fat, 770mg sodium

Fast food grilled chicken is notoriously parched and rubbery. But Chick-fil-A’s is lean and well-seasoned, and cooked on a special grill that retains moisture and flavor. And it’s a more nutritious pick than the chain’s breaded sammies: the Spicy Deluxe Sandwich packs 520 calories and 25 grams of fat.

This sandwich is also on the low side for sodium. Order it with the honey roasted barbecue sauce for a layer of flavor without going overboard on calories and sugar. Pro tip: request extra tomato and lettuce for a nominal fee. Pair it with a Kale Crunch Salad for an extra helping of leafy greens.

Spicy Southwest Salad with Grilled Filet

Spicy Southwest Salad with Grilled Filet

Per order: 680 calories, 26g carbs, 7g fiber, 7g sugar, 35g protein, 48 g fat, 9.5g saturated fat, 1220mg sodium

A variety of flavors and textures keep this dish exciting, which can’t be said for the majority of fast food salads. Plenty of grilled chicken breast and beans gives you heaps of satiating protein, while leafy greens, tomatoes, corn, and bell pepper adds towards your daily dose of colorful veggies. A large, long-term study published in Diabetes Care determined that as vegetable intake increases the risk for type 2 diabetes goes down, partially by helping people stay slimmer (3). 

The clear advantage this meal has over the Market Salad is the sugar content—7 grams versus 26 grams—respectively. But it’s not sodium shy, so skip the salt shaker with your other meals and snacks. Opt for the Light Italian dressing over the Creamy Salsa to save 265 calories, 30 grams of fat, and a bit of sodium.

8-Piece Grilled Nuggets with Honey Roasted Barbecue Sauce

8-Piece Grilled Nuggets with Honey Roasted Barbecue Sauce

Per Order: 190 calories, 4 g carbs, 0g fiber, 3g sugar, 25g protein, 8 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 525 mg sodium

Grilled hunks of chicken may sound boring, but these nugs prove that sometimes less is more: a standard 8-count order packs 25 grams of protein. Order up for a bigger hit of carnivorous protein.

Choose your dipping sauce carefully. The Honey Roasted Barbecue Sauce has less sugar than the Polynesian Sauce (13 g) and less sodium than the Zesty Buffalo Sauce (570 mg). Order your nuggets with a Kale Crunch Salad and Fruit Cup to round out the nutritionals.

Egg White Grill

Egg White Grill

Per order: 300 calories, 31g carbs, 2g fiber, 2g sugar, 28g protein, 8 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 1020 mg sodium

If you are hitting up Chick-Fil-A for a quick breakfast fix, the Egg White Grill has a desirable protein-to-fat ratio. The same can’t be said for the Hash Brown Scrambled Burrito (40 g fat) or the Sausage, Egg & Cheese Biscuit (42 g fat).

The sodium is on the high side so, be salt conscious for the rest of your day if you go for this meal. Pair it with a fruit cup a black coffee.

Chick-fil-A Cool Wrap

Cool Wrap

Per order: 410 calories, 32g carbs, 13g fiber, 5g sugar, 42g protein,18 g fat, 5g saturated fat, 995mg sodium

The sole wrap option on the menu contains lettuce, shredded cheese, and grilled chicken breast enveloped in a flaxseed flatbread. Read: pretty wholesome and jam-packed with protein and fiber. Where this dish can fall off the rails is if you get it with the recommended Avocado Lime Ranch dressing, which adds 310 calories and 32 grams of fat. Instead, request the much more nutritionally humble Honey Roasted Barbecue Sauce. (The nutrition numbers above were calculated with this swap considered.)

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Per order: 340 calories, 38g carbs, 17g fiber, 4g sugar, 24g protein, 11g fat, 3g saturated fat, 1070 mg sodium

We know this chunky soup is on the side menu, but with its substantial amounts of protein (24g) and fiber (17g) it feels closer to a main. The generous amount of black and navy beans lend this soup the payload of fiber.

Skip the crunchy tortilla strips if you’re cutting back on carbs. For a more filling meal, pair it with the Greek Yogurt Parfait, sans the crunchy granola (which has a motherload of added sugar.)

Healthiest Chick-fil-A Sides

Chick-fil-A’s most popular side is its signature Waffle Fries. Tasty yes, but also high in fat, calories, and carbs. The Mac & Cheese and Waffle Potato Chips are similarly unhealthy. Aside from these nutritional landmines, most of the side dishes can be considered healthy companions to your main meal:

  • Fruit Cup
  • Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Kale Crunch Side
  • Greek Yogurt Parfait (minus the granola)
  • Buddy Fruits Apple Sauce

The Side Salad looks good on paper, but the recommended Avocado Lime Ranch dressing packs 310 calories and 32 grams of fat. Swap it for the Light Italian or Light Balsamic.

Healthiest Chick-fil-A Drinks

Like most fast-food joints, the Chick-fil-A drink menu includes sugar-laced sodas and sweetened teas including the Lemonade (69 grams of sugar) and Mango Passion Sunjoy (34 grams). Gulping these down will push you over the daily added sugar maximum—which is 36 grams a day for men, and 25 grams for women (4). Bottled water, 1% milk, and unsweetened iced tea are your safest options.

Can You Order Any of the Treats?

Chick-fil-A’s Treats menu includes milkshakes, ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and frozen coffees and lemonades. All are fat and sugar bombs. The Strawberry Milkshake sucker punches you with 88 grams of sugar, while the Chocolate Fudge Brownie has over 21 grams of fat. If you have a sweet tooth, finish off your meal with a Chick-fil-A icedream cup (140 calories, 3.5 g fat, 24 g sugar).

The Worst Chick-fil-A Order

Anything fried and too saucy misses the mark on the Chick-fil-A menu. But the worst of the worst is a breaded sandwich with a side of mac and cheese:

Spicy Deluxe Sandwich with Mac & Cheese

Spicy Deluxe Sandwich with Mac & Cheese

Per order: 970 calories, 74g carbs, 5g fiber, 10g sugar, 51g protein, 54g fat, 22g saturated fat, 2,980 mg sodium

This flavor-packed pairing is a torpedo of calories, fat, and sodium. The breaded and fried chicken is adorned with a slab of processed cheese. Pairing this handheld meal with the Mac & Cheese takes this meal over the top, without adding much nutritional value for the calories.