What to Eat at Publix Deli: Healthy Menu Choices and Nutrition Facts

close up of sandwich
Skip Dean/Getty Images
In This Article

Since 1930, Publix has been a favorite supermarket throughout most of the southern United States. In addition to offering a full grocery store and pharmacy, Publix also has departments devoted to home goods, health and wellness, and more.

A popular Publix department is the deli, where you can build your own sandwich or choose premade “Grab & Go” items if you’re in a hurry. The nutrition of made-to-order and premade subs at Publix varies a great deal depending on the ingredients you select as well as the serving size.

Compared to fast food restaurants that specialize in sandwiches (like Subway), the nutrition information available for Publix subs is limited. The availability of specific premade sandwiches may also vary by region, which can make it tricky to plan on selecting a healthy choice.

Once you know what to look for (and what to avoid) when ordering, it is possible to create a nutritious meal from the offerings at Publix Deli.

Here’s an overview of the nutrition of several Publix subs, sandwiches, and wraps as well as what you need to know about food allergens and specific diets. To avoid becoming overwhelmed by the array of options at Publix, use this guide to make choices that align with your dietary needs, preferences, and goals.

What Experts Say

“The Publix Deli has a wide variety of options, from pre-assembled meals to individual components that can be combined to form a meal. Add veggie sides to wraps or sandwiches that don’t contain many and opt for whole grains. The sodium content of the offerings varies considerably, so if you eat here on a regular basis, choose lower sodium food the rest of the day to help balance your overall sodium intake.”

Willow Jarosh, MS, RD

Navigating the Menu

Most Nutritious Options

  • Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Bagel 

  • Veggie Sub

  • Veggie Grab & Go Wrap

  • Turkey Sub on Whole Wheat

Least Nutritious Options

  • Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Burrito 

  • Chicken Tender Sub

  • Maple Turkey, Bacon, and Brie Grab & Go Sandwich

  • Jerk Turkey and Gouda Sub

Whether you’re customizing a Publix sub or reaching for a premade sandwich, choose one with whole wheat bread, plenty of vegetables, and no high-calorie, high-fat extras like cheese and mayonnaise.

You can create a flavorful, satisfying sandwich using ingredients like green peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, tomato, onions, and spinach, which add taste, texture, and nutrition without adding a ton of calories.

Breakfast Sandwiches

Premade breakfast items are available at many Publix locations, though the options are limited. You'll find a standard egg and cheese sandwich with bacon or sausage, on either a bagel or breakfast burrito-style wrap.

Most Nutritious Option

450 calories, 18g fat, 8g saturated fat, 820 mg sodium, 49g carbohydrate, 4g sugar, and 20g protein

Least Nutritious Option

1060 calories, 80g fat, 28g saturated fat, 2450 mg sodium, 50g carbohydrate, 3g sugar, and 37g protein

Ask for a breakfast sandwich without bacon or sausage. To reduce the calories and fat more, skip the cheese. If you get a premade breakfast sandwich that can’t be changed, consider saving half for later. You can also split a breakfast sandwich with a friend or coworker, adding a side of fruit to round out the meal.

Publix Deli Subs

You can make a 6 or 12-inch sub at Publix with your choice of ingredients, including bread and wraps, veggies, cheese, and meat. Go for the 6-inch sub and focus on filling your sandwich with low-fat protein and tons of veggies.

Most Nutritious Option

6" Veggie Sub (whole wheat bread, no cheese)

220 calories, 27g fat, 3g saturated fat, 250 mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate, 9g sugar, and 12g protein

Least Nutritious Option

12" Chicken Tender Sub (Italian bread, American cheese, veggies, and mayo)

2,000 calories, 89g fat, 21g saturated fat, 4003 mg sodium, 155g carbohydrate, 15g sugar, and 122g protein

The easiest way to make a healthier sandwich is to skip the cheese, which can save around 80 calories and 6g fat. Forgo any sauces or dressings, which can be difficult to portion out and tend to be high in calories, fat, sodium, and even sugar.

Publix Grab & Go Sandwiches

The availability of Grab & Go items will vary at each Publix location. While these options may be quicker and easier than ordering a specific sandwich at the deli counter, you won’t have choice or control over the serving size, ingredients, and nutrition of the sandwich.

Most Nutritious Option

500 calories, 21g fat, 7g saturated fat, 850 mg sodium, 59g carbohydrate, 3g sugar, and 19g protein

Least Nutritious Option

960 calories, 34g fat, 17g saturated fat, 2300 mg sodium, 86g carbohydrate, 30g sugar, and 76g protein

Premade sandwiches are made with different types of bread, wraps, and croissants. Keep in mind that these Grab & Go sandwiches are typically larger than a made-to-order half-size sub and already include extras like cheese and mayo.

Boar’s Head Sandwiches

In addition to its own line of subs, Publix also offers a selection of sandwiches made with Boar’s Head premium deli meat and cheese.

Most Nutritious Option

6" Turkey Sub (whole wheat, no cheese)

360 calories, 7g fat, 1g saturated fat, 1480 mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate, 11g sugar, and 31g protein

Least Nutritious Option

12" Jerk Turkey and Gouda Sub (Italian bread, bacon, honey mustard, extra cheese, veggies, and mayo)

1550 calories, 79g fat, 27g saturated fat, 5020 mg sodium, 123g carbohydrate, 20g sugar, and 107g protein

While Boar's Head products serve as the sub’s base, you can customize the choice of bread, veggies, and other toppings to reduce the overall calorie, fat, and sodium content of the sandwich.

Diet-Specific Options

The Publix website offers a general FAQ about nutrition, specific diets, and food allergies on its website. It also provides a searchable online catalog of its products.

Some items at Publix are specially labeled to provide more information about how they’re made. To receive a Publix GreenWise label, products have to meet certain requirements, including:

  • must be USDA Organic
  • must be made with at least 70% organic ingredients
  • contain no artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors (may contain colors from natural sources)
  • raised without antibiotics or added hormones

Keep in mind that if you have a specific health goal such as weight loss, a Publix Greenwise product is not necessarily better choice: a product with the label might be organic and preservative-free but it may be high in calories, fat, sodium, or added sugar.

However, this information pertains to the whole store, not just the deli department. If you have certain dietary needs, let the deli counter employee know when you're placing an order.

If you’re choosing from your store’s selection of Grab & Go items, be sure to read the labels carefully. If you have any concerns about how the products, or any ingredients used in them, were produced or stored, ask the deli counter or a Publix store manager for more information.

Gluten-free

Publix deli doesn't generally use gluten-free bread or wraps for its pre-made sandwiches, but you can request it when ordering a custom sub. Other products and ingredients used in subs, such as deli meat and cheese, are gluten-free.

Publix places stickers (or “Wellness Icons”) on some products to denote if they are gluten-free, organic, or made with only natural ingredients.

Publix also uses these stickers to identify some products in-store that have been declared gluten-free by their manufacturers and comply with FDA regulations. 

For deli products, you’ll want to check the ingredients list to ensure a sandwich does not have gluten-containing ingredients. However, be aware that even if a product does not contain gluten, it may have come into contact with a gluten-containing ingredient during transport, storage, or preparation.

Low-carb

  • 6” Publix Whole Wheat Wrap, Whole Wheat Deli Sub Bread, or Flatbread
  • Deli cheese (Cheddar, American, Swiss)
  • Mayonnaise, yellow mustard
  • Veggies (cucumber, tomatoes, olives, lettuce, pickles)
  • Chicken, tuna, or egg salad, ham, turkey breast, roast beef, meatballs, and pork

Low-FODMAP

Making sandwiches on a low-FODMAP diet can be tricky. At Publix, your best bet will be to create a sub to order rather than relying on premade sandwiches.

Possible low-FODMAP sandwich fixings include:

  • Sourdough bread and corn tortillas
  • Cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss, and feta cheese
  • Sliced turkey, ham, chicken, and roast beef
  • Lettuce, tomato, spinach, and carrots
  • Mayo, mustard, and extra virgin olive oil

Diabetes-friendly

  • 6” Publix Flatbread or White Bread Sub
  • Deli cheese (Provolone, Cheddar, American, Swiss)
  • Mayonnaise, yellow mustard, guacamole, hummus
  • Veggies (cucumber, tomatoes, olives, lettuce, pickles)
  • Chicken, tuna, or egg salad, ham, turkey breast, bologna, roast beef, meatballs, chicken, and pork

Low-fat

  • 6” Publix Whole Wheat Wrap, Wheat or White Sub Bread
  • Boar’s Head Spicy Mustard, yellow mustard, hummus, oil and vinegar
  • Veggies (tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, peppers, onions)
  • Publix Oven-Roasted Turkey or Chicken Breast, Publix Sweet Ham
  • Publix Mozzarella Cheese, Boar’s Head Lacey Swiss Cheese, Boar’s Head American Cheese (White)

Low-sodium

  • Boar’s Head 36% Lower Sodium American (Yellow), Domestic Provolone, Swiss, and Low-Sodium Muenster Cheese
  • Publix Deli Swiss, Mozzarella, and Goat Cheese
  • Boar’s Head Lower Sodium Turkey Breast, Chicken Breast, Ham, and Bologna
  • Publix Oven-Roasted Lower Sodium Turkey Breast and Low-Sodium Sliced Bacon
  • Veggies (tomatoes, lettuce, green cucumbers, peppers, onions)
  • Mustard, hummus, oil and vinegar

Vegetarian & Vegan

Publix Deli doesn’t offer any designated vegan products. If you’re a vegetarian, you can easily customize a meatless sandwich or sub. Some premade Grab & Go sandwiches are also veggies-only—though you’ll want to check the label to be sure it does not contain any non-vegetarian ingredients.

Here are the Publix subs and sandwiches specified as vegetarian:

  • Publix Veggie Grab & Go Wrap
  • Tom & Moz Grab & Go Artisan Sandwich
  • Publix Veggie Sub

Food Allergies and Safety

Publix provides information about food allergens and food safety practices within its general FAQ, however, the information is not specific to the store, any one department (including the deli), or the products Publix carries.

You may be able to find information about specific products and ingredients online using the Publix Product Catalogue.

If you have a food allergy, exercise caution when ordering or purchasing products from Publix. Nutrition labels and ingredients lists will be available on some deli products, such as the Grab & Go sandwiches.

If you’re getting a sub made to order, ask the deli counter employees for more detail nutrition information on specific products, such as meat, cheese, and sauces.

A Word From Verywell

Publix is a popular supermarket chain in the southern U.S. offering a wide range of sandwiches and subs in its deli department. While premade Grab & Go sandwiches are easy and convenient, they aren’t always the most nutritious option available. If you’re working toward a health goal such as losing weight or have specific dietary concerns, take the time to customize your own nutritious and satisfying sandwich using select ingredients from the deli counter, including Publix bread and wraps, Boar’s Head deli meats, sliced cheese, and veggies.

Was this page helpful?