Healthiest Fast Food Chicken Sandwich Guide for the Weary
Most of us know that cooking your own food is best. For some of us, eating out is unavoidable.
Choosing the grilled chicken option for a sandwich is usually the best choice, but not all fast food grilled chicken sandwiches are created equally.
Those that come standard with a bunch of sauces and cheese quickly add a lot of extra calories.
To help you make healthier choices when eating fast food, I put together this handy guide that will show you the healthiest grilled chicken sandwich at 8 major fast food restaurants.
McDonald’s Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich Nutrition: Serving size: 200 grams Calories: 350 Fat: 9 g (2 g sat. and 65 mg cholesterol) Sodium: 820 mg Carbs: 42 g (8 g sugar) Fiber: 3 g Protein: 28 g McDonald’s serves their sandwich by default with mayo, which is included in the total calories.
Update: McDonald’s got rid of this menu item and all their healthier choices.
Burger King’s TENDERGRILL Chicken Sandwich Nutrition: Serving size: 209 grams Calories: 410 Fat: 16 g (2.5 g sat. and 75 mg cholesterol) Sodium: 830 mg Carbs: 38 g (6 g sugar) Fiber: 3 g Protein: 31 g Burger King’s sandwich also comes standard with mayo. Unlike McDonald’s there aren’t options to add bacon or cheese. In comparison, their Tendercrisp Chicken Sandwich is 640 calories.
Update: Burger King got rid of this option and all their healthier menu items like salads.
Wendy’s Ultimate Chicken Grill
- Serving size: 230 grams
- Calories: 370
- Fat: 7 g ( 1.5 g sat. and 80 mg cholesterol)
- Sodium: 880 mg
- Carbs: 43 g (9 g sugar)
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 34 g
Wendy’s chicken sandwich does not come standard with mayo and offers a bigger portion of chicken than BK or Wendy’s.
Their popular Spicy Chicken Sandwich provides a smaller portion of chicken but 140 more calories.
Chick-fil-A Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich
- Serving size: Not listed
- Calories: 320
- Fat: 5 g (1.5 g sat. and 65 mg cholesterol)
- Sodium: 800 mg
- Carbs: 40 g (7 g sugar)
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 30 g
The “inventor” of the chicken sandwich uses marinated grilled chicken. Chick-fil-A uses no hydrogenated oils in their store, so it would totally be free of trans fat. They also serve the product mayo-free, which cuts down on some calories and fat, but only if you don’t put any on yourself.
Chick-fil-A serves their sandwich on a multigrain bun, which provides more nutrition than the standard white bun.
Choosing their “Club” option adds 120 calories and 9 grams of fat.
6″ Subway Oven Roasted Chicken Sub
- Serving size: 219 grams
- Calories: 310
- Fat: 4.5 g (1.5 g sat. and 45 mg cholesterol)
- Sodium: 610 mg
- Carbs: 46 g (8 g sugar)
- Fiber: 5 g
- Protein: 23 g
Subway also offers whole grain bread options and unlimited veggies. So when eating here, pile the veggies on. Hint: Skip the iceberg lettuce and go for a lot of baby spinach instead.
Caution! Adding cheese and dressings quickly adds on the calories.
Mayo or ranch adds 110 calories, so your best choices are Sweet Onion (40 calories), Honey Mustard (30 Calories), or Mustard (10 Calories)
Cheese adds 50-60 calories.
Hardee’s or Carl Jr.’s Charbroiled BBQ Chicken Sandwich
- Serving size: 296 grams
- Calories: 470
- Fat: 9 g (1.5 g sat. and 60 mg cholesterol)
- Sodium: 1710 mg
- Carbs: 70 g (25 g sugar)
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 31 g
Carls Jr. or Hardee’s has more calories than any of the others and almost double the sodium. This is their lowest Calorie Charbroiled Chicken Sandwich. In fact, their “Club” version is almost 600 calories.
This one would fair better if you skip the BBQ sauce since just a small portion adds about 80 calories, 12 grams of sugar, and 720 mg of sodium.
Red Robin’s Simply Grilled Chicken Burger
- Serving size: Not Listed
- Calories: 432
- Fat: 15 g
- Sodium: 1027 mg
- Carbs: 51 g (8 g sugar)
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 26 g
Red Robin has several grilled chicken burgers but this is by far the healthiest and comes without any dressing, BUT the bun is grilled with margarine… This is the reason the sandwich is higher in fat even though no mayo is present. Ordering it without is best.
Their California Grilled Chicken Burger is 745 Calories and their Bruschetta Grilled Chicken Burger is 640 Calories.
Caution! All of their burgers are sold with bottomless fries, which makes this a very dangerous place to eat for the calorie-conscious…
Note: Pictured is their turkey burger as we couldn’t locate a picture of the burger featured.
Sonic Grilled Chicken Sandwich
- Serving size: 257 grams
- Calories: 450
- Fat: 17 g
- Sodium: 1240 mg
- Carbs: 44 g (7 g sugar)
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 32 g
“America’s favorite drive-through” has just about one healthier choice and this is it. Sonic’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich comes standard with light mayo, so opting for mustard instead will cut out some of the fat and calories.
Caution! Don’t be tempted by their milkshakes: Their Peanut Butter Fudge Shake = 760 calories.
Is There a Winner?
Given all of the factors involved like calories, options, and cost. I think Subway rises to the top.
The fact that a customer can go to Subway and ask for as many veggies as they can possibly put on the sandwich for no extra cost, makes them by far the healthiest choice.
They basically give you, the customer, control over every aspect of the sandwich creation, you can even skip the bread and make it a big salad.
In any event, when you are out and about and need a healthier fast food option, turn to the grilled chicken sandwich at one of these 8 fast food restaurants.
Which fast food restaurant has your favorite grilled chicken sandwich?