What to Eat at Firehouse Subs: Healthy Menu Choices and Nutrition Facts

Firehouse Subs

Verywell / Christian Alzate

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One of the popular subway sandwich franchises, you can find Firehouse Subs all over the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Canada throughout brick-and-mortar establishments located in strip malls, shopping centers, and freestanding structures. This fast, casual chain allows patrons to either choose their own sandwich toppings, protein, and bread type, or order a specialty subway sandwich with preplanned toppings.

Certain locations also offer salads, wraps, and soups, and you can decide to pair your main meal with sides, such as potato chips or macaroni and cheese.

Firehouse Subs offers certain menu items with healthy, low-calorie foods from which to choose, and you can maintain complete control over your order—allowing this restaurant to please a number of discerning palates and diets. But you shouldn't eat here too often to keep your sodium intake down.

What Experts Say

Firehouse Subs is all about comfort foods, with offerings like specialty subs and macaroni and cheese. Unless you are eating a salad here (which still contains too much sodium), you want to make this an infrequent stop. Or become more conscious of your choices by reducing your portion sizes and sticking to lean proteins like grilled chicken and roast turkey or the veggie sub.

Barbie Cervoni, RD, CDE

Navigating the Menu

Firehouse Subs  is a subway sandwich establishment that allows you to choose your own protein, toppings, and type of bread. You can also order specialty sandwiches with predetermined toppings that come either warm or cold, as well as low-calorie wraps and flavorful salads.

Most Nutritious Option
  • Engineer – Small Wheat (Hot Specialty Subs)

  • Virginia Ham – Small Wheat (Specialty Subs)

  • Firehouse Chopped Salad, No Meat (Salads)

  • Side Salad (Wraps)

  • Vegetable (Soups & Chili)

  • Kid's Turkey Sub White (Kids)

  • Lay's Oven Baked (Extras)

Least Nutritious Option
  • Smokehouse Beef & Cheddar Brisket – Large White (Hot Specialty Subs)

  • 3 Cheese – Large White (Specialty Subs)

  • Italian Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken Salad (Salads)

  • Italian Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken Salad (Wraps)

  • Chili (Soups & Chili)

  • Kid's Grilled Cheese (Kids)

  • Ladder Fries with Bacon and Cheese (Extras)

Healthiest Option

Unlike a number of fast casual restaurants, you can find a number of healthy options on the Firehouse Subs menu. For the carb-enthusiasts, building your own sandwich with loads of low-calorie vegetables on wheat bread (lower in sodium than white bread) is the healthiest sandwich. If you must add a protein, the turkey breast is low in saturated fat.

To create the healthiest sandwich, you should consider ordering the following toppings on your sub:

  • Spicy mustard for the liquid condiment (0 calories)
  • Iceberg lettuce (15 calories)
  • Cherry pepper ring (10 calories)
  • Onions (20 calories)
  • Pickles (5 calories)
  • Tomatoes (15 calories)
  • Mushrooms (5 calories)

For additional toppings, the turkey breast contains 150 calories per serving and cheese slices range from 100 to 110 calories for a medium sandwich.

Firehouse Subs also has a side salad with fresh Romaine lettuce, tomato, vegetables, small pieces of mozzarella, and dressing that is refreshing, filling, and the healthiest on the menu. 

Hot Specialty Subs

You can order a hot specialty subway sandwich with predetermined toppings. These include sandwiches such as a meatball with hot marinara sauce, the Smokehouse Beef and Cheddar Brisket, and Italian with Italian seasonings and meats.

Most Nutritious Option

Engineer – Small Wheat

The the small Engineer sandwich on wheat contains 350 calories, 18g fat, 4g saturated fat, 30 g carbohydrates, 20g protein, and 1,110mg sodium. This has the healthiest protein on the menu (the turkey breast), as well as sautéed mushrooms and vegetables. If you ask for no Swiss cheese, you can cut the fat by 8g.

Least Nutritious Option

Smokehouse Beef & Cheddar Brisket – Large White

The large brisket sandwich on white has 1,520 calories, 103g fat, 34g saturated fat, 96g carbohydrates, 57g protein, and 3,140mg sodium. This is almost the total calories you should eat in a day. If you must have this sandwich, order the small and switch to wheat bread.

Specialty Subs

Rather than build-your-own subs with toppings and proteins, you can order cold specialty sandwiches with preplanned add-ons.

Most Nutritious Option

Virginia Ham – Small Wheat

The small Virginia Ham on wheat with vegetables contains 90 calories, 2g fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 8g carbohydrates, 10g protein, and 400mg sodium.

You can customize this order if you'd like, but the calorie count will increase with extra liquid condiments and cheese toppings.

Least Nutritious Option

3 Cheese – Large White

The large 3 Cheese on white has 1,600 calories, 100g fat, 34g saturated fat, 88g carbohydrates, 85g protein, and 4,340mg sodium. You should split this sandwich up into several servings rather than eat this all for one meal. Even switching the bread to wheat can lessen the sodium count by 300mg.

Salads

Firehouse Subs offers three salads on their menu: the popular Firehouse Salad with pepperoncini, the Italian Grilled Chicken Salad with salami, and the Hook and Ladder Salad with smoked turkey breast and ham.

Most Nutritious Option

Firehouse Chopped Salad, No Meat

You can customize the Firehouse Chopped Salad by choosing a protein of smoked turkey, grilled chicken, or Virginia ham. The vegetarian option has 130 calories, 6g fat, 3g saturated fat, 11g carbohydrates, 10g protein, and 650mg sodium.

Least Nutritious Option

Italian Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken Salad

With the fat from the salami, the Italian Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken Salad has 380 calories, 21g fat, 9g saturated fat, 14g carbohydrates, 32g protein, and 1,680mg sodium. Although high in sodium, even this option is still fairly healthy and low in carbs.

Wraps

Certain Firehouse Sub locations offer wraps for those who don't prefer sandwich bread, for a low-carbohydrate sandwich.

Most Nutritious Option

Side Salad

The wrap with the Side Salad has 60 calories, 3g fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 5g carbohydrates, 5g protein, and 90mg sodium. You can customize this sandwich by adding protein, such as ham, grilled chicken breast, or smoked turkey.

Least Nutritious Option

Italian Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken Salad

The Italian Chopped Salad wrap contains 460 calories, 14g fat, 7g saturated fat, 58g carbohydrates, 29g protein, and 1,040mg sodium. Ordering the wrap with the Hook and Ladder or Firehouse Salad is a better option for anyone following a low-calorie or low-sodium diet.

Soup and Chili

As a complement to your sub, you can create a heartier meal by adding on a side of soup or chili at certain locations. Especially with a cold sub, a warm side can balance your palate.

Most Nutritious Option

Vegetable Soup

The Vegetable Soup has 120 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 25g carbohydrates, 3g protein, and 1,950mg sodium. The other vegetarian option is Broccoli and Cheese Soup.

Least Nutritious Option

Chili

The Firehouse Sub Chili has 300 calories, 16g fat, 6g saturated fat, 26g carbohydrates, 21g protein, and 1,110mg sodium. You might want to order a small cheese or a kid's grilled cheese sandwich to dip in the chili and augment the taste of both and create a hearty, warm meal.

Kids' Menu

You can order most subway sandwich options in a kid's size, such as a ham, meatball, and turkey sub. The kid's menu also includes a grilled cheese sandwich.

Most Nutritious Option

Kid's Turkey Sub Wheat

The Kid's Turkey Sub on wheat has 220 calories, 6g fat, 3g saturated fat, 24g carbohydrates, 18g protein, and 680mg sodium. Children can also customize this sandwich to their liking, adding whatever vegetables and liquid condiments they prefer.

Least Nutritious Option

Kid's Grilled Cheese

The children's grilled cheese has 470 calories, 33g fat, 12g saturated fat, 32g carbohydrates, 12g protein, and 890mg sodium. Although still relatively low in calories, if you pair this with chips or another side, you could consume more than 600 calories for one meal.

Extras

As is standard with subway franchises, you can order sides to make a more complete meal. Popular items include potato chips and beverages.

Most Nutritious Option

Lay's Oven Baked Chips

The Lay's Oven Baked Chips have 140 calories, 4g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 26g carbohydrates, 2g protein, and 180mg sodium. If you must have regular Lays, you'll add on 100 calories.

Least Nutritious Option

Ladder Fries with Bacon and Cheese

Certain locations offer loaded fries, which contain 690 calories, 33g fat, 11g saturated fat, 62g carbohydrates, 21g protein, and 1,450mg sodium. Sticking with regular fries will save you 460 calories, enough for another medium subway sandwich (that would also offer you more vitamins and minerals).

Diet-Specific Options

A popular fast casual franchise throughout three countries, Firehouse Subs offers patrons heart-healthy, low-calorie sandwiches, wraps, and salads. With the ability to customize your own sandwich, you can create your meal based on your diet and taste preferences.

In addition, the establishment allows you to keep to the following diets:

  • Low-fat
  • Vegetarian
  • Low-sodium
  • Gluten-free

Low-Fat

Sticking to the build-your-own sub and wrap menu allows you to choose a lean protein and vegetables without the high-fat cheese, heavy protein (such as salami, bacon, brisket, and meatballs), and calorie-laden Ranch dressing.

Low-fat options include the following:

  • Vegetable Soup
  • Build-Your-Own Turkey Sub on Wheat
  • Build-Your-Own Chicken Breast Sub on Wheat
  • Build-Your-Own Small Ham Sub on Wheat
  • Build-Your-Own Roast Beef Sub on Wheat
  • Side Salad Wrap

Vegetarian

With control over your sub, you can skip any protein and stick with vegetables. Vegetarian options include the following:

  • Vegetable Soup
  • Build-your-own Veggie Sub
  • Side Salad Wrap
  • Lay's Potato Chips
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Firehouse Salad without Meat
  • Kid's Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Low-Sodium

The heavier proteins, such as meatballs and salami, will have a higher sodium content. To keep your meal low in sodium, the veggie subs are your healthiest option.

Low-sodium items include the following:

  • Firehouse Salad
  • Veggie Sub on Wheat
  • Side Salad Wrap
  • Small Tuna Sub on Wheat
  • Kid's Turkey Sub on Wheat

Gluten-Free

Although a subway franchise, you can order salads and sides to keep to a gluten-free menu. Such items include the following:

  • Hook and Ladder Salad
  • Firehouse Chopped Salad
  • Italian Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken Salad
  • Broccoli and Cheese Soup
  • Chili
  • Coleslaw
  • Pickle Spear

Food Allergies and Safety

For those with food allergies, Firehouse Subs provides menu items free of gluten, tree nuts, soy, and dairy. However, you should eat with caution as the establishment can have cross-contamination of foods. All sandwiches are prepared on the same counter, and preparers might not switch latex gloves, allowing allergens to carry between sandwich preparations.

To ensure your safety against allergens, the following can help:

  • Use the website. The Firehouse Subs has a valuable interactive allergen menu on their website. You simply select the allergens you wish to avoid out of 14 choices. The site then displays items you can safely eat.
  • Build your own sub and skip the specialty sub offerings. This way you have complete control over the toppings.
  • Ask questions of the staff. They can let you know the ingredients in the bread and wraps in case you have a wheat or nut allergy.

A Word From Verywell

You can eat at Firehouse Subs and easily stick to a healthy diet. You can control your toppings, the amount of protein, carbs, and dairy with each order. Plus, with the handy interactive nutrition and allergen menu, you know what you are consuming and can stay away from any food allergens.

To create the healthiest option, make your own sandwich with ham or turkey breast and add on loads of vegetable toppings. Skip the desserts, chili, and sides, and stick to only the sandwich or salad. If you find yourself still hungry, ordering a larger size sub will provide you extra vegetables and protein (rather than eating empty calories like potato chips).

Read next: What to Eat at Applebee's: Healthy Menu Choices and Nutrition Facts

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