What to Eat at Arby's: Healthy Menu Choices and Nutrition Facts

Arby's

Verywell / Christian Alzate

Arby’s menu is known for its emphasis on meat, especially roast beef. You can also order sandwiches, salads, burgers, and “sliders,” with pork, chicken, and turkey. Arby’s also offers a range of sides, including its famous Curly Fries, as well as desserts and beverages.

The nutrition of Arby’s menu is similar to what you’d find at other fast food restaurants. If you’re following a low-carb, low-fat, or low-sodium diet, trying to decide what to order at the drive-thru can be tricky. With its focus on meat-based sandwiches, most Arby’s menu items are high in calories, fat, and sodium. Once you know the facts about the nutrition of Arby’s food, it will be easier to assemble a healthier meal from your options.

What Experts Say

“Most options at Arby's don't fulfill a full veggie portion and are very high in sodium—some with more than a day’s recommended sodium. If you eat here on a regular basis, add vegetables (try the side salad) and other higher fiber foods to your meals, and opt for lower sodium options to maintain overall nutritional balance.”

Willow Jarosh, MS, RD

Navigating the Menu

What to Order & Avoid at Arby's
Most Nutritious Options  Least Nutritious Options 
Roast Beef Slider (Roast Beef) Half Pound Beef ‘n Cheddar (Roast Beef)
Chicken Slider (Chicken) Chicken Bacon Swiss Sandwich (Chicken)
Roast Turkey Slider (Turkey) Roast Turkey, Ranch, and Bacon (Turkey)
Roast Chicken Entree Salad (Salads) Crispy Chicken Entree Salad (Salads)
Chicken Nuggets (Sides) Curly Fries (Sides)
Vanilla Shake (Desserts) Chocolate Shake (Desserts)
Nestlé Pure Life Bottled Water (Beverages) Barq’s Root Beer (Beverages)

Most Nutritious Option

For a nutritious sandwich at Arby's look no further than the roast turkey slider—a hearty sandwich in a smaller portion size.

Roast Beef

Arby's is known for roast beef sandwiches. While they are the cornerstone of its menu, these sandwiches can also be among the least healthy choices. If you look beyond the classic roast beef smothered with melted cheddar cheese sauce, you'll find several lower-calorie options.

Roast Beef Slider

The roast beef slider contains 210 calories, 9g fat, 3.5g saturated fat, 570 mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate, 1g sugar, and 12g protein. This mini version of the full-sized sandwich contains roast beef and Swiss cheese on a small bun and gives you all the classic flavors of a roast beef sandwich all in a smaller form.

Half Pound Beef ‘n Cheddar

The Half Pound Beef ‘n Cheddar sandwich has 740 calories, 39g fat, 14g saturated fat, 2g trans fat, 3,530mg sodium, 48g carbohydrate, 9g sugar, and 49g protein. Adding cheese and sauce to any sandwich, as well as doubling up on sliced meat, piles on extra calories and fat.

While the Classic Beef 'n Cheddar sandwich is one of the longest-running items on Arby’s menu, it’s far from the healthiest. The smaller size of this sandwich delivers 450 calories, 20g fat, 6g saturated fat, 1g trans fat, 1,280mg sodium, 45g carbohydrates, 9g sugars, and 23g protein.

Chicken

Arby's also has several meals made with chicken. While fast food chicken can be a healthier option, Arby's fries the meat rather than grills it, adding fat and calories.

Chicken Slider

The chicken slider at Arby's comes with 270 calories, 11g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 700 mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate, 1g sugar, and 13g protein. With a chicken tender and a slice of Swiss cheese, this smaller chicken sandwich can also be enjoyed with an additional side.

Chicken Bacon Swiss Sandwich

The chicken bacon Swiss sandwich delivers 610 calories, 30g fat, 9g saturated fat, 1,510mg sodium, 51g carbohydrate, 10g sugar, and 35g protein. One of the easiest ways to reduce the carb count of your meal is to skip the bun and cheese and order small size chicken tenders.

As an alternative, the 3-piece order of chicken tenders has 370 calories and 28 grams of carbohydrate. Order a 2-piece from the Arby’s kid’s menu to reduce the calorie and carb count even more—just 240 calories and 19 grams of carbohydrates.

Turkey

In general, turkey is one of the leaner meat options you can choose for a sandwich or salad, giving you some protein without adding as much fat. Arby’s offers other options for turkey, including salads, gyros, and wraps.

Roast Turkey Slider

The roast turkey slider has 180 calories, 5g fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 660 mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate, 2g sugar, and 13g protein. Slices of turkey and cheese are all that's included on the small slider bun, which means the sandwich is also low in calories and sodium compared to other menu items.

Roast Turkey, Ranch, and Bacon

The roast turkey, ranch, and bacon sandwich has 810 calories, 35g fat, 10g saturated fat, 0.5g trans fat, 2,420mg sodium, 79g carbohydrate, 16g sugar, and 45g protein. As with other sandwiches and sliders, if you skip the extras like dressing, bacon, and cheese, these options can be lower in carbs and fat than other items on the menu.

Salads

Arby's salad offerings are limited and can easily become less-healthy options when topped with cheese, bacon, and high-fat, high-calorie, salad dressings. Dressings can also be an unexpected source of added sugar.

Roast Chicken Entree Salad

The roast chicken entree salad has 250 calories, 14g fat, 7g saturated fat, 690mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate, 4g sugar, and 25g protein. To save on additional calories and sodium, ask the restaurant to omit the bacon, cheddar cheese, and buttermilk ranch dressing.

Crispy Chicken Entree Salad

The crispy chicken entree salad contains 430 calories, 25g fat, 8g saturated fat, 1,170mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate, 4g sugar, and 28g protein. To keep this option lower in calories and fat, skip the salad dressing and extra toppings like shredded cheese and bacon.

Sides

Known for its Curly Fries, Arby's offers a few other options for sides—though most are high in carbs, fat, and salt. Other than adding calories, these sides don't offer much nutrition to your meal.

Chicken Nuggets (4 Piece)

The 4-piece serving of chicken nuggets from Arby's has 210 calories, 10g fat, 3g saturated fat, 600mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate, 1g sugar, and 7g protein. Skip any dipping sauces to keep the sodium and calorie count low, as well.

Curly Fries (Large)

While they may be one of Arby’s claims to fame, a large order of curly fries adds 650 calories, 35g fat, 5g saturated fat, 1,480mg sodium, 77g carbohydrates, 0g sugar, and 8g protein to your meal. Your best bet with Arby’s sides is to skip them completely. Most of these options are fried and therefore add calories, fat, and sodium without contributing any necessary nutrients.

If you want to add something to your sandwich, consider rounding out your order with a small side salad for just 70 calories.

Desserts

Arby's offers a dessert menu of milkshakes, cookies, and turnovers, but these sweet treats are high in calories, carbohydrates, and of course, sugar.

Vanilla Shake (Snack Size)

A snack size vanilla shake has 280 calories, 8g fat, 5g saturated fat, 190mg sodium, 44g carbohydrate, 40g sugar, and 8g protein. This smaller size of the popular dessert will satisfy your sweet tooth while minimizing the calories, sodium, and sugar.

Chocolate Shake (Large)

A large chocolate shake delivers 1,050 calories, 32g fat, 21g saturated fat, 0.5g trans fat, 650mg sodium, 169g carbohydrate, 149g sugar, and 25g protein. While a milkshake might seem like the least healthy option, a snack-sized shake actually has fewer calories than the cookies.

Beverages

Whether you're eating out or at home, water is the healthiest beverage choice to accompany your meal. Like most fast food restaurants, Arby's offers bottled water for purchase. There are also a few other low-calorie options, such as iced tea or diet soda. However, these choices can add sugar and sodium to your meal.

Nestle Pure Life Bottled Water

A Nestlé Pure Life bottled water brings 0 calories, 0g fat, 0 mg sodium, 0g carbohydrate, 0g sugar, and 0g protein. Water is always the healthiest choice, but if you’re looking for another option that won’t add many calories to your meal, a small cup of brewed iced tea has just 5 calories and no sugar.

Barq’s Root Beer (40 Ounces)

With 450 calories, 0g fat, 180 mg sodium, 122g carbohydrate, 122g sugar, and 0g protein, a large Barq's root beer soda is the least nutritious beverage on the list. Like most fast food restaurants, Arby’s offers a range of fountain drinks—primarily regular and diet soda.

Another beverage with more nutrition than soda or sugary juice is a small bottle of low-fat milk from the kid’s menu. With 90 calories and 2 grams of fat, it’s a healthier alternative to sugary soft drinks.

Diet-Specific Options

Arby’s offers menu options for those following gluten-free, low-carb, low-FODMAP, diabetes-friendly, low-fat, low-sodium, vegetarian, and vegan diets.

Gluten-free

Arby’s provides ordering guidelines for customers who are gluten-free.

Items on Arby’s that may be suitable for a gluten-free diet include:

  • Condiments, including many of Arby’s signature sauces (Cheddar Cheese sauce, Horsey sauce, Red Ranch sauce, Smoky Q sauce, Bronco Berry sauce, Dijon Honey Mustard, Parmesan Peppercorn Ranch, and others)
  • Angus beef, corned beef, pepper bacon, roast beef, roast turkey, and brisket
  • Chopped salads and dressings
  • Vanilla, Chocolate, and Jamocha shakes

Low-Carb

Arby's low-carb options include the following:

  • Roast Chicken Entree Salad
  • Chopped Side Salad
  • Tree Top Applesauce
  • Chicken Tenders (2 pieces)
  • Light Italian Dressing, Buttermilk Ranch Dressing, Marinara sauce, ketchup, Buffalo dipping sauce, and Ranch dipping sauce

Low-FODMAP

While meat can often be suitable for a low-FODMAP diet, fast food and other restaurants often prepare it with high-FODMAP seasonings like garlic or cooked with onions.

Several of Arby’s meats are low-FODMAP friendly. You’ll want to forgo the buns used for sandwiches, as they’re made using high-FODMAP flour, but sliced meat can be paired with other ingredients to make a meal.

  • Roast beef, corned beef, and turkey
  • Provolone, mozzarella, gouda, or Swiss cheese slices (if tolerated)

Diabetes-friendly

Try these items for a diabetes-friendly meal:

  • Roast Chicken Entree Salad or Side Salad
  • Buttermilk Ranch Dressing or Light Italian Dressing
  • Chicken Tenders (2 or 3 pieces)
  • Ranch, Buffalo, or Honey Mustard dipping sauce
  • Turkey and Cheese or Roast Beef Slider

Low-fat

Arby's doesn't offer many low-fat options, but the following items are relatively low-fat:

  • Roast Chicken Entree Salad or Side Salad
  • Light Italian Dressing
  • Tangy BBQ or Buffalo dipping sauce
  • Turkey and Roast Beef Slider
  • Tree Tops Applesauce

Low-sodium

These are the lowest sodium items on the menu:

  • Roast Chicken Entree Salad or Side Salad
  • Chicken Tenders (2 pieces)
  • Ketchup or Bronco Berry Sauce
  • Vanilla or Chocolate Shake (snack size)
  • Apple or Cherry Turnover

Vegetarian & Vegan

Given that Arby’s menu specifically caters to meat-eaters, and the chain has openly stated it has no intention of adding meat-free options, no items on the menu are guaranteed to be vegan or vegetarian.

With the heavy presence of meat and cheese in the kitchen, even the vegetables the restaurant uses may have come into contact with animal products.

However, a few items on Arby’s menu may be compatible with a vegan or vegetarian diet.

For vegans, the Chopped Side Salad (without cheese) dressed with either light Italian dressing or Balsamic Vinaigrette is the only option.

Vegetarians have a few additional menu items to consider, including:

  • All Shake Flavors
  • Jalapeno Bites
  • Curly Fries, Onion Rings, and Mozzarella Sticks
  • Apple or Cherry Turnover and Chocolate Chip or Triple Chocolate Cookies

Food Allergies and Safety

If you have food allergies, you’ll want to review Arby’s ingredients list carefully before placing an order. Luckily, the restaurant makes it easy to do so by providing a document on its website. You can also find useful guidelines for eating at Arby’s if you are avoiding certain ingredients, like gluten.

While these common food allergens may or may not be found on Arby’s menu, the item you order may contain ingredients that were produced, transported, stored, or prepared near one or more of the allergens.

  • Wheat
  • Gluten
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Soy
  • Fish
  • Shellfish

If you have a food allergy, inform the Arby’s employees taking your order and preparing your food. In some cases, they may be able to accommodate your need by using gloves, separate utensils, or grills to reduce the chance of contaminating your meal with an allergen. While it’s not always possible, it’s always a good idea to be cautious when dining out with a food allergy—and it never hurts to ask. 

A Word From Verywell

Arby’s is a fast food favorite for meat-eaters, but if you’re counting calories, trying to lower your sodium intake, or cutting back on fat, finding a healthy meal on the menu may present a challenge. To get a better sense of your options, use Arby’s online menu and nutrition calculator to estimate the caloric cost of your meal.

Whether ordering a salad or one of Arby’s signature sandwiches, the easiest way to reduce the calories, fat, and sodium is to avoid extras like cheese and bacon, as well as choosing the smallest portion size. While Arby’s does offer a menu of desserts, these choices are best avoided, unless you're looking for a special treat, as they add unnecessary sugar, calories, and fat to your meal without the benefit of any real nutrition. However, if you do want to treat yourself without going overboard, choose from the three flavors of “snack-sized” shake, all of which are under 350 calories.

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