What to Eat at Chick-fil-A: Healthy Menu Choices and Nutrition Facts

Chick-Fil-A

Verywell / Christian Alzate

Chick-fil-A is a popular fast food restaurant known for its chicken sandwiches. You’ll also find a selection of breakfast items, salads, sides, and desserts at Chick-fil-A, as well as an array of dipping sauces. In addition to its regular menu offerings, the chain also has a few smaller portions on its kids' menu, and you can create your own meal for $10 or less.

Many of the most popular items at Chick-fil-A, such as breaded chicken sandwiches, waffle fries, and potato chips, are high in calories, fat, carbohydrates, and sodium. But the chain also offers several grilled chicken options, which are lower in calories and fat.

What Experts Say

“Chick-fil-A offers salads but doesn’t otherwise include many veggies with menu options. Many of the menu options are lower in fiber and veggies and higher in sodium. If eating here on a regular basis, choose meals that include veggies and higher fiber foods (like whole grains and beans) and are lower in sodium to help maintain overall nutritional balance.” 

Willow Jarosh, MS, RD

Navigating the Menu

Chick-fil-A makes information about the nutrition content of its menu readily available on its website. You can use it to estimate the calorie, fat, and sodium content of your meal. If you have special dietary considerations, the chain also offers information about the ingredients it uses as well as a list of food allergens that may be present on its menu.

What to Order & Avoid at Chick-fil-A
 Most Nutritious Options Least Nutritious Options
Egg-White Grill (Breakfast) Hash Brown Scramble Burrito (Breakfast)
Grilled Chicken Sandwich (Entrées) Spicy Deluxe Sandwich (Entrées)
Market Salad (Salads) Spicy Southwest Salad with Chick-n-Strips (Salads)
Kale Crunch Side (Sides) Waffle Potato Fries (Sides)
Grilled Nuggets Kid's Meal (Kid's Menu) Chick-n-Strips Kid's Meal (Kid's Menu)
Icedream Cup (Treats) Cookies & Cream Milkshake (Treats)
Unsweetened Iced Tea (Drinks) Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade (Drinks)
Barbeque Sauce (Dipping Sauces) Garden Herb Ranch Sauce (Dipping Sauces)

Most Nutritious Option

For the most nutritious option at Chick-fil-A, order the popular grilled chicken sandwich, which delivers 28g protein for only 320 calories and 680mg sodium.

Breakfast

Chick-fil-A offers a number of breakfast items, though many of them are made with fried chicken, cheese, and carb-heavy biscuits and bagels. Some of the lighter choices on the breakfast menu, such as Greek yogurt parfaits, can be made even more nutritious with a few simple swaps. 

✓ Egg White Grill

Chick-fil-A's most nutritious breakfast option is the egg white grill sandwich. With a piece of grilled chicken, egg whites, and American cheese, served on a multigrain English muffin, this filling breakfast selection provides 290 calories, 8g fat, 3.5g saturated fat, 30g carbohydrate, 26g protein, and 980mg sodium.

✗ Hash Brown Scramble Burrito

With Chick-fil-A's signature nuggets, hash browns, scrambled eggs, and cheese all rolled in a flour tortilla, the hash brown scramble burrito provides 700 calories, 40g fat, 12g saturated fat, 51g carbohydrates, 34g protein, and 1,750mg sodium.

Chicken can be an excellent ​​lean source of protein at any meal. However, when it's fried, the nutritional benefits can be overshadowed by added calories and fat. Grilled chicken is a healthier choice, so consider ordering the scramble burrito with a grilled filet.

When it comes to sandwich making (whether breakfast or lunch) your choice of bread can make a big difference to a meal's calories and carb count. Instead of high-carb choices like biscuits and bagels, try making a breakfast sandwich at Chick-fil-A on an English muffin. With only 150 calories, it can be a sensible and satisfying vehicle for protein-packed eggs.

Entrées

Chick-fil-A is known for its chicken sandwiches. While most of them are breaded and fried, the menu also offers several grilled options. These choices are lower in fat and have fewer calories than the classic crispy chicken selections. They're also lower in sodium, which can be helpful if you're trying to reduce your salt intake.

✓ Grilled Chicken Sandwich

The grilled chicken sandwich delivers 380 calories, 11g fat, 2g saturated fat, 44g carbohydrates, 28g protein, and 755mg sodium. With a marinated boneless chicken breast, lettuce, and tomato, served on a multigrain bun, this sandwich is the most nutritious menu option overall.

✗ Spicy Deluxe Sandwich

The spicy deluxe sandwich provides 550 calories, 25g fat, 8g saturated fat, 47g carbohydrate, 33g protein, and 1,810mg sodium.

To lower the carb count, reach for a chicken wrap instead of a sandwich on a bun. Considering which kind of cheese you get on your sandwich can make your choice lower in fat. The easiest way is to skip the cheese altogether.

Salads

The three salad options at Chick-fil-A come in standard fast food style. While salads can be a nutritious meal, larger portions topped with fried chicken, crunchy extras like croutons, and heavy salad dressing can make these options high in calories and fat.

✓ Market Salad

The market salad at Chick-fil-A comes with mixed greens, blue cheese, apples, strawberries, blueberries, and roasted almonds, and is topped with grilled chicken breast (you can also opt for nuggets, fried chicken, or fried chicken strips).

With apple cider vinaigrette dressing, the salad provides 540 calories, 31g fat, 6g saturated fat, 41g carbohydrates, 26g protein, and 1,020mg sodium. Of that, the dressing accounts for calories, 19g fat, 3g saturated fat, 16g carbohydrates, 0g protein, and 460mg sodium.

The smaller side salad (available on the sides menu) has 160 calories, 10g fat, 3g saturated fat, 13g carbohydrate, 6g protein, and 170mg sodium if ordered without dressing.

✗ Spicy Southwest Salad with Chick-n-Strips

The spicy Southwest salad with chick-n-strips comes with tomatoes, cheese, corn, black beans, chiles, bell peppers, all on a bed of mixed greens and topped with tortilla strips, pepitas, fried chicken strips and a creamy salsa dressing. It has 890 calories, 61g fat, 12g saturated fat, 44g carbohydrate, 43g protein, and 1,710mg sodium.

To reduce calories and fat on a salad, go for grilled chicken and skip any high-fat or high-calorie extras. If you don’t want to completely skip salad dressing, avoid creamy options, which tend to be high in calories and fat.

If you’re trying to watch your sugar intake, remember that condiments like salad dressing can be a source of added or hidden sugar in your diet. Chick-fil-A’s fat-free honey mustard dressing has 19g of sugar per serving and the zesty apple cider vinaigrette has 14g, as well as 230 calories.

A single serving of Light Italian Dressing adds just 25 calories and 1g fat to your salad, while a serving of Chick-fil-A’s Creamy Salsa Dressing adds 290 calories and 31g fat.

Toppings like black beans and corn, crunchy tortilla strips, and pepitas can easily add 100 calories each to a salad (but beans also add fiber, and beans and pepitas contribute protein). Extras like bacon bits, which may add some protein, also tend to be high in sodium. Other than grilled chicken, a chopped, hardboiled egg is another good source of protein.

If you’re building a salad at Chick-fil-A, load up on produce options, which includes crisp veggies, fiber-filled fruit like apples, and even antioxidant-rich blueberries.

Sides

Chick-fil-A’s menu of sides complements the main menu in taste but can add a lot of calories, fat, and sodium to your order.

✓ Kale Crunch Side

The kale crunch side—a bowl of kale and cabbage topped with almonds and a vinaigrette made from apple cider and Dijon mustard—provides 120 calories, 9g fat, 1g saturated fat, 8g carbohydrate, 3g protein, and 140mg sodium.

If you're looking for alternate flavors, you can also get fruit as a side. Choosing a yogurt parfait without cookie crumble and granola or a simple fruit cup will boost your fruit and vegetable intake for the day without adding fat, calories, and sodium.

✗ Waffle Potato Fries

A large serving of the restaurant's signature waffle potato fries contains 600 calories, 35g fat, 5g fat, 65g carbohydrates, 7g protein, and 340mg sodium.

For a lower-calorie potato side, consider the waffle potato chips. An order provides 220 calories, 13g fat, 3.5g fat, 25g carbohydrates, 3g protein, and 250mg sodium.

Kid's Meals

Chick-fil-A's kid's meals menu only has three options, which are smaller portions sizes of the franchise's most popular dishes. Choose among waffle fries, apple sauce, or fruit cup as a side. The meals also come with milk or juice.

✓ Grilled Nuggets Kid's Meal

The grilled nuggets kid's meal includes five grilled chicken nuggets. Without sides, the nuggets provide 80 calories, 2g fat, 0g saturated fat, 1g carbohydrates, 16g protein, and 270mg sodium.

✗ Chick-n-Strips Kid's Meal

The chick-n-strips kid's meal includes two pieces of breaded and fried chicken strips and comes to 200 calories, 9g fat, 2g saturated fat, 11g carbohydrates, 19g protein, and 580mg sodium.

To make the kid's meal as nutritious as possible, choose the fruit cup side and a low-calorie and low-sugar drink, such as milk or water.

Treats

Chick-fil-A’s dessert menu features some fast-food favorites like cookies, milkshakes, and ice cream. You can avoid added calories, fat, and sugar by skipping dessert completely, but sweet treats can also be enjoyed in moderation.

✓ Icedream Cup

Chick-fil-A offers a simple vanilla ice cream—called the Icedream Cup—that's both tasty and sweet. The cup serving provides 140 calories, 3.5g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 24g carbohydrates, 4g protein, and 70mg sodium. For an additional 40 calories, 8g carbohydrates, and 20mg sodium, you can get this ice cream served in a cone instead.

✗ Cookies & Cream Milkshake

A cookies & cream milkshake provides 630 calories, 25g fat, 15g saturated fat, 90g carbohydrate, 13g protein, 410mg sodium, and 84g sugar.

While blended coffee drinks can be some of the highest-calorie fast food choices, a small frosted coffee (blended with vanilla ice cream) at Chick-fil-A has fewer calories and less sugar than the chocolate chunk cookie: 250 calories, 43g carbs, and 39g sugar.

You can also order a slightly sweet treat from the sides menu: the Greek yogurt parfait with chocolate cookie crumbs has 240 calories, 8g fat, and 26g sugar.

Drinks

Water is always a good choice to accompany your meal, but depending on your specific tastes and dietary needs, you have other options. Like most fast food restaurants, Chick-fil-A offers a variety of fountain sodas, bottled drinks, lemonade, iced tea, and coffee.

✓ Unsweetened Iced Tea

For 0 calories, 0g fat, 0g carbohydrate, 0g sugar, 0g protein, and 5mg sodium, order the small unsweetened iced tea. This is a no-calorie and low-sodium alternative to other fizzy and sugary drinks.

✗ Lemonade

A large signature Chick-fil-A lemonade has 300 calories, 0g fat, 78g carbohydrate, 74g sugar, 0g protein, and 15mg sodium. A small-sized diet version of Chick-fil-A’s classic lemonade has 30 calories and 6g sugar but is sweetened with Splenda. If you’re trying to avoid no-calorie sweeteners, it may not be the right choice for you.

If you’re looking for other non-water options, you may want to look beyond the regular beverage menu. While milk and juice can add calories and sugar to your meal, you can often find smaller, pre-portioned sizes of these drinks on the kids' menu.

Dipping Sauces

Sauces add calories and can be high in sodium and sugar. The nutrition profiles of Chick-fil-A's offerings range widely.

✓ Barbeque Sauce

If you're craving a tangy dipping sauce, order the barbeque sauce, which will add a peppery kick to your chicken dish. Enjoy it for 45 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 11g carbohydrates, 0g protein, 9g sugar, and 200mg sodium.

Another option is the zesty Buffalo sauce, which is lower in calories and sugar than the barbeque sauce, but higher in fat and sodium: 25 calories, 2.5g fat, 0g saturated fat, 1g carbohydrates, 0g protein, 0g sugar, and 570mg sodium.

✗ Garden Herb Ranch Sauce

If you're trying to avoid adding calories and sodium to your meal, skip the garden herb ranch sauce. It contains 140 calories, 15g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 1g carbohydrates, 1g sugar, 1g protein, and 210mg sodium. It also contains the highest amount of cholesterol out of all dipping sauces, at 15 grams.

Diet-Specific Options

If you eat a special diet or have certain dietary considerations, you may find it difficult to dine out—especially when you don’t have the ability to customize your meal.

Compared to other fast food chains, Chick-fil-A isn’t the most customizable, but it does offer choices that may be suitable for people who follow gluten-free, low-carb, low-FODMAP, diabetes-friendly, low-fat, low-sodium, vegetarian, and vegan diets.

Gluten-Free

Chick-fil-A offers gluten-free buns, which can be subbed for breakfast and chicken sandwiches. While the bun is the only certified gluten-free item at Chick-fil-A, a few menu items are offered in sealed packages to reduce the risk of cross-contact: apple sauce and waffle potato chips.

If you are gluten-sensitive or have celiac disease, keep in mind that even menu items that are not made with gluten or wheat-containing ingredients may have been produced, transported, stored, or prepared alongside ingredients that do. Chick-fil-A suggests the following as free of gluten ingredients (but not certified gluten-free):

  • Hash browns
  • Hash browns scramble bowl
  • Sausage patty
  • Grilled chicken filet (no bun or gluten-free bun)
  • Grilled nuggets
  • Market salad with grilled chicken
  • Cobb salad with grilled chicken
  • Spicy Southwest salad with grilled chicken
  • Waffle fries
  • Fruit cup
  • Side salad
  • Kale crunch side
  • Greek yogurt parfait
  • Dipping sauces except garden herb ranch and sweet and spicy sriracha
  • All salad dressings

To reduce the potential for cross-contamination, let the Chick-fil-A employee taking and making your order know if you have a gluten or wheat allergy.

For a tasty, nutritious, gluten-free meal, order the grilled chicken sandwich on a gluten-free bun with a kale crunch side.

Low-Carb

You'll want to skip breaded chicken options at Chick-fil-A if you are on a reduced-carbohydrate eating plan. But many menu items can be ordered with grilled chicken, which is a source of lean protein. You can also order a chicken sandwich without a bun to limit carbs.

  • Grilled nuggets
  • Grilled filet
  • Sausage patty
  • Kale crunch side
  • Scramble bowl with grilled filet or sausage and no hash browns

For a low-carb meal, order a 5-pack of the Chick-fil-A nuggets (1g carbs) with zesty Buffalo dipping sauce (1g carbs) and a kale crunch side (8g carbs) for 10 total grams of carbohydrates.

Low-FODMAP

If you stick to a low-FODMAP diet, eating out can be a challenge—especially when it comes to fast food. Chick-fil-A does offer a few options that may be suitable for a low-FODMAP diet, depending on your individual tolerances.

  • Waffle fries
  • Hash browns
  • Eggs (side order)
  • Plain grilled chicken (filet or nuggets—ask for no marinade or cheese)
  • Gluten-free bun (if tolerated—contains molasses and raisins)
  • Grilled market salad (without cheese, nuts, black beans, dressing, or seasoned toppings) or plain side salad

For a full meal, order the plain grilled chicken, making sure to request it plain with no marinades or cheese, and a side of waffle fries.

Diabetes-Friendly

If you have diabetes, you are likely looking to reduce carbs, sugar, and fats while consuming plenty of protein. There are some opportunities to do that at Chick-fil-A.

  • Hash brown scramble bowl
  • Kale crunch side
  • Chick-Fil-A nuggets
  • Grilled chicken sandwich (omit bun)

Create a diabetes-friendly meal by ordering Chick-fil-A nuggets and a kale crunch side.

Low-Fat

While breaded and fried options tend to be high in fat, there are some leaner proteins and fresh fruit or veggie sides at Chick-fil-A that may be suitable for a low-fat diet.

  • Greek yogurt parfait
  • Egg white grill
  • English muffin
  • Fruit cup
  • Market salad with grilled chicken (no cheese; choose honey-mustard dressing)
  • Grilled chicken sandwich
  • Grilled nuggets
  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Kale crunch side (no dressing)

A grilled chicken sandwich with a fruit cup side comes to 11g total fat (and 4g fiber).

Low-Sodium

Many restaurant offerings are high in sodium. If you need to limit salt in your diet, you do have a few choices at Chick-fil-A, but chicken isn't among them.

  • Fruit cup
  • Greek yogurt parfait
  • Kale crunch side

For a low-sodium meal, enjoy the Greek yogurt parfait, which has only 80mg sodium.

Vegetarian

The Chick-fil-A menu is focused on meat and uses various animal products to create its menu. However, if you eat a vegetarian diet, you will still have several items to choose from, especially if you modify some of the offerings.

  • Biscuit
  • English muffin
  • Greek yogurt parfait
  • Egg white grill (omit chicken filet)
  • Cobb salad (omit bacon and chicken)
  • Spicy Southwest salad (without chicken)
  • Market salad (without chicken)
  • Waffle fries
  • Fruit cup
  • Side salad
  • Mac & cheese
  • Kale crunch side
  • Waffle potato chips
  • All desserts

For a full meal, any of the salads are a nutritious vegetarian option; just order without the chicken topping.

Vegan

Some of the vegetarian items contain milk or eggs, making them unsuitable for a vegan diet. There are a few choices on the Chick-fil-A menu that are free of animal products. But keep in mind that because the kitchen contains animal products, your meal may be prepared by employees who have handled meat even if it does not contain animal products.

  • Hash browns
  • Fruit cup
  • English muffin
  • Spicy Southwest salad, market salad, or side salad (no meat or cheese; avoid creamy dressings)
  • Grilled Cool Wrap (no chicken or cheese)
  • Kale crunch side
  • Waffle fries

For a complete vegan meal, try a spicy Southwest salad (ordered without chicken and cheese) with a fruit cup.

Food Allergies and Safety

Chick-fil-A provides information about several potential allergens (dairy, eggs, fish, soy, tree nuts, and wheat) on its website. You can also see a breakdown of ingredients for each item on the menu, which can help guide your choices.

Chick-fil-A Allergen Statement

Due to the handcrafted nature of our food, variations in our supplier ingredients, and our use of shared cooking and preparation areas, we cannot ensure that our food is free from any allergens. We prepare our foods following procedures to prevent allergen cross-contact, but products containing wheat, egg, soy and milk are all made in our kitchens.

Chick-fil-A uses 100% refined peanut oil for cooking (though it is not specifically indicated for individual menu items). The Food and Drug Administration does not consider it allergenic, and most people with a peanut allergy can safely consume peanut oil as long as it is highly refined.

A Word From Verywell

Whether you’re following a special diet to accommodate food allergies or in support of your overall health goals, Chick-fil-A’s menu presents you with several opportunities to create a nutritionally balanced fast food meal.

With the chain’s grilled chicken options, you can have some classic fast food fare without all the added calories, fat, and sodium that’s typical of fried chicken. You can also request plain meats without marinades.

Keeping track of serving sizes and portions, getting to know the nutrition information and ingredients of different menu options before you order, and considering calorie-saving swaps, can help you create a satisfying meal without adding too many extra calories, fat, carbs, sodium, or sugar to your daily intake.

2 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Food and Drug Administration. Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA).

  2. Blom WM, Kruizinga AG, Rubingh CM, Remington BC, Crevel RWR, Houben GF. Assessing food allergy risks from residual peanut protein in highly refined vegetable oil. Food Chem Toxicol. 2017;106:306-313. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2017.05.072

By Malia Frey
 Malia Frey is a weight loss expert, certified health coach, weight management specialist, personal trainer​, and fitness nutrition specialist.