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

chicken sandwich
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Chick-fil-A is a popular fast food restaurant in the United States known for its chicken sandwiches. The chain began in Georgia in the 1940s. In 2005, Chick-fil-A enjoyed a major milestone when it opened its largest location (5,000 square feet) in New York City. Today, there are over 2,000 Chick-fil-A restaurants throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Aside from 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 Kid’s Menu.

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, carbohydrate, and sodium. The chain also offers several grilled chicken options, which are lower in calories and fat.

Chick-fil-A makes information about the nutrition content of its menu readily available on its website. You can use the handy chart 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 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

Most Nutritious Options

  • Fruit Cup

  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich

  • Grilled Nuggets

  • Side Salad

  • Superfood Side

  • "Icedream" Cone

  • Unsweetened Iced Tea

Least Nutritious Options

  • Chick-n-Minis

  • Spicy Deluxe Sandwich 

  • Chick-n-Strips

  • Spicy Southwest Salad 

  • Waffle Fries

  • Cookies & Cream Milkshake

  • Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade 

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 into healthier options with a few simple swaps. 

Most Nutritious Option

Fruit Cup (Small)

45 calories, 0g fat, 0 mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate, 8g sugar, and 0g protein

Least Nutritious Option

Chick-n-Minis (10 pieces)

870 calories, 35g fat, 10g saturated fat, 2150 mg sodium, 92g carbohydrate, 14g sugar, and 48g protein

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. Luckily, you'll have a few grilled options at Chick-fil-A. When you're checking out the menu, if you don't see a grilled chicken option, ask if it's possible to make the swap.

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.

Sandwiches

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.

Most Nutritious Option

330 calories, 6g fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 710 mg sodium, 41g carbohydrate, 9g sugar, and 38g protein

Least Nutritious Option

Spicy Deluxe Sandwich with Colby Jack

540 calories, 26g fat, 8g saturated fat, 1170 mg sodium, 44g carbohydrate, 6g sugar, and 35g protein

To lower the carb count, reach for a chicken wrap instead of a sandwich on a bun. Carefully 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.

Nuggets & Strips

You can also get other fast food chicken classics like nuggets and strips at Chick-fil-A. Nuggets can be ordered breaded or grilled. If you want to make nuggets into a meal, look to the Kid’s Menu for smaller portions with healthier sides.

Most Nutritious Option

Grilled Nuggets (4 pieces)

60 calories, 1.5g fat, 200 mg sodium, 1g carbohydrate, 0g sugar, and 10g protein

Least Nutritious Option

Chick-n-Strips (4 pieces)

450 calories, 22g fat, 3.5g saturated fat, 1190 mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate, 4g sugar, and 35g protein

Sauces add calories and can be high in sodium and sugar. Your best bet is to skip any extras for dipping, but if you do choose a sauce carefully review the nutrition content first and keep track of the serving size.

Salads

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

Most Nutritious Option

160 calories, 10g fat, 3g saturated fat, 170 mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate, 3g sugar, and 6g protein

Least Nutritious Option

Spicy Southwest Salad with Chick-n-Strips

680 calories, 33g fat, 7g saturated fat, 1100 mg sodium, 57g carbohydrate, 11g sugar, and 40g protein

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

Salad dressing is easy to overdo; start out by adding just a little and evenly coating the greens of your salad. Before you reach for more, check the serving size to ensure you know how many calories the dressing will add to your salad.

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. Extras like bacon bits, which may add some protein, also tend to be high in sodium. Other than grilled chicken, adding a chopped 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 unnecessary calories, fat, and sodium to your order. However, there are a few healthier options you can choose from to round out your meal.

Most Nutritious Option

Superfood Side (Small)

140 calories, 8g fat, 1g saturated fat, 160 mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate, 11g sugar, and 4g protein

Least Nutritious Option

460 calories, 24g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 370 mg sodium, 56g carbohydrate, 0g sugar, and 6g protein

While a bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup has fewer calories than the Superfood Side, it’s much higher in sodium and doesn’t have the nutritional benefits of the blend of kale, broccoli, apple cider vinegar, and nuts.

You can also get fruit from the breakfast menu as a side. Choosing a parfait without cookie crumble and granola or a simple fruit cup will boost your fruit and vegetable intake for the day without adding the fat, calories, and sodium of starchy fries.

Desserts

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.

Most Nutritious Option

"Icedream" Cone (Kid's Menu)

120 calories, 2.5g fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 75 mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate, 12g sugar, and 3g protein

Least Nutritious Option

780 calories, 31g fat, 17g saturated fat, 0.5g trans fat, 570 mg sodium, 111g carbohydrate, 86g sugar, and 16g protein

A single chocolate chip cookie might seem like a more sensible treat, but the Chocolate Chunk Cookie on Chick-fil-A’s dessert menu has 350 calories, 49g carbs, and 30g 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 one cookie: 240 calories, 41g carbs, and 27g sugar.

You can also create a slightly-sweet and healthier treat from the sides menu: the Greek Yogurt Parfait with chocolate cookie crumbs has 220 calories, 8g fat, and 22g sugar.

Beverages

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

Most Nutritious Option

0 calories, 0g fat, 5 mg sodium, 0g carbohydrate, 0g sugar, and 0g protein

Least Nutritious Option

300 calories, 0g fat, 15 mg sodium, 78g carbohydrate, 74g sugar, and 0g protein

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 Kid’s Menu.

Unless you’re ordering for a group, avoid gallon-sized beverages. The gallon jug of Chick-fil-A’s regular lemonade contains over a day’s worth of calories (2090) and 517g sugar. Pouring from a large bottle makes figuring out individual serving sizes more difficult, and it can be easy to lose track.

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 with a range of tastes and dietary needs.

Gluten-free

One way Chick-fil-A has set itself apart from the competition is by offering 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, there are other choices on the regular menu that do not contain wheat or gluten.

Items on Chick-fil-A’s menu that may be suitable for gluten-free diets include:

  • Hash Browns
  • All beverages except Iced Coffee
  • Grilled Chicken Fillet (no bun or gluten-free bun)
  • Grilled Nuggets, Grilled Market Salad, Spicy Southwest Salad (no pepitas)
  • Waffle Fries, Greek Yogurt Parfait (no toppings), Fruit Cup, Side Salad (no toppings), Superfood Side

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.

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. They may be able to take specific steps to prevent cross-contamination with gluten-containing ingredients, such as using different equipment or wearing gloves to prepare your food.

Low-carb

  • Fruit Cup
  • Side Salad
  • Grilled Nuggets
  • Chick-fil-A Nuggets
  • Scramble Bowl (no hash browns)

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.

Potential low-FODMAP Chick-fil-A orders include:

  • Waffle Fries
  • Hash Browns, Eggs (side order)
  • Plain Grilled Chicken (fillet or nuggets—ask for no marinade or cheese)
  • Gluten-Free Bun (if tolerated—contains molasses and raisins)
  • Grilled Market Salad (without meat, cheese, nuts, black beans, dressing, or seasoned toppings) or plain Side Salad

Diabetes-Friendly

  • Fruit Cup
  • Hash Brown Scramble Bowl
  • Superfood Side, plain Side Salad
  • Chick-Fil-A Nuggets, Grilled Nuggets
  • Coffee (black), Unsweetened Iced Tea

Low-fat

  • Fruit Cup, Greek Yogurt Parfait, Sunflower Multigrain Bagel
  • Grilled Market Salad (no cheese or dressing) or plain Side Salad
  • Grilled Nuggets, Chick-fil-A Nuggets, Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap
  • Chicken Noodle Soup, Superfood Side, Waffle Fries, Icedream Cone, Frosted Coffee, Frosted Lemonade
  • Fat-Free Honey Mustard Dressing, Chili Lime Vinaigrette Dressing, Honey Mustard Sauce, Smokehouse Barbecue Sauce, Sweet & Spicy Sriracha Sauce

Low-sodium

  • Fruit Cup
  • Grilled Nuggets
  • Greek Yogurt Parfait
  • Superfood Side, plain Side Salad
  • Simply Orange Juice, Coffee, Sweet Iced Tea (small)

Vegetarian & Vegan

Chick-fil-A’s is focused on meat and uses various animal products to create its menu. However, if you eat a vegetarian or vegan diet, you will still have a few items to choose from.

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.

Possible vegan-friendly Chick-fil-A’s menu items include:

  • Fruit Cup
  • Waffle Fries
  • Hash Browns
  • Sunflower Multigrain Bagel
  • Chicken Cool Wrap (without meat and cheese)
  • Spicy Southwest Salad or Grilled Market Salad (no meat, no cheese)

In addition to the vegan options, vegetarian Chick-fil-A options may include:

  • Biscuits
  • Cobb Salad
  • Greek Yogurt Parfait
  • All dessert menu items

Food Allergies and Safety

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 makes information about the known and potential allergens present in its menu available on its website. The chart also includes a breakdown of ingredients for each item on the menu which can help guide your choices.

You can view the entire Chick-fil-A menu with the following allergens indicated next to each item:

Although the FDA does not consider it allergenic, Chick-fil-A notes it uses 100% refined peanut oil for cooking (though it is not specifically indicated for individual menu items).

Some individuals with a peanut allergy can safely consume peanut oil, but if you are allergic to nuts you may choose to avoid any food cooked with the oil.

The chain also cautions that other common food allergens, such as sesame, that are not included on the list may be present (for example, the buns Chick-fil-A uses may have been produced in a factory that uses milk and sesame).

As a general best practice, exercise caution when dining out if you have food allergies.

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 healthier 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. 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 and carb-saving swaps, can help you create a satisfying meal without adding too many extra calories, fat, carbs, sodium, or sugar to your daily intake.

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