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

mcdonalds-grilled-chicken 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.

Adding bacon = 100 more calories

Adding bacon and cheese = 160 more calories

Burger King’s TENDERGRILL Chicken Sandwich

burger king 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.

Wendy’s Ultimate Chicken Grill

Wendy's Ultimate Chicken Grill

Nutrition:

  • 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

chick-fil-a chargrilled

Nutrition:

  • 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

subway over roasted chicken sandwich

Nutrition:

  • 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

carls jr. hardee's chicken sandwich

Nutrition:

  • 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

Red Robin Chicken Burger

Nutrition:

  • 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

sonic-grilled-chicken-sandwich

Nutrition:

  • 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 a 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?

11 Comments

  1. expert

    except that Subway uses the nastiest, antibiotic laden, cheapest quality meats in the world.

    Reply
    • Ted

      That is true, they got an F grade from Friends of Earth, but word is they are making imporovements in this area. Let’s hope so. https://healthyeater.com/healthiest-fast-food-restaurants

      Reply
      • expert

        Yes, I heard a similar rumor….good for them (and us) if they do.

        Reply
      • George

        how does chipotle get an A grade after the e.coli outbreak? i get diarrhea everytime i eat from there

        Reply
    • Reid 5 months ago

      They ALL use nasty, 3rd quality floor chicken.

      Reply
  2. HowDareThey

    Why the mayonnaise?

    Reply
    • expert

      +1, I always tell them NO MAYO.

      Reply
  3. spectra311

    Know what I find strange? That Subway’s sandwich is lower in calories than any of the other fast food places yet they have much larger buns/bread than the fast food-y places have. I would think that more bread=more calories.

    Reply
    • Ted

      Looking at the protein amount, it looks like they are serving a smaller portion of chicken than many of the others. I think their bread is pretty fluffy and “airy” too, which probably helps a bit.

      Reply
  4. JamesF

    Subway chicken classic: guilty. Accept I normally eat a footlong. Never heard of Sonic or Red Robins, although we do have a Carls Junior (in Auckland).

    Reply