What to Eat at Whataburger: Healthy Menu Choices and Nutrition Facts

Whataburger

Verywell / Christian Alzate

Known for its mouthwatering burgers, fries, standard sauces, and all the fixings, Whataburger is the popular fast food joint known for its eye-catching orange and white exterior that populates city strip malls throughout the country.

Although dining at a greasy burger joint doesn’t exactly fit with a healthy diet, you can take steps to make Whataburger’s menu offerings more nutritious and mitigate consuming its highly caloric foods. This includes dining inside when you can and chewing slowly, as well as eating with friends to share the French fries and save calories. 

What Experts Say

“Whataburger is a fast food chain specializing in burgers, sandwiches, and an all-day breakfast. Lighter fare menu items include salad, junior burgers, taco wraps, and egg sandwiches. Keep in mind though that these lighter fare menu choices still contain a considerable amount of calories, fat, and sodium. If you do eat here, it’s best to do so seldomly.”
—Barbie Cervoni, RD, CDE

Navigating the Menu

The majority of Whataburger’s menu items contain high amounts of fats and carbs; the burgers are cooked with large beef patties and the condiments include high-calorie sauces such as jalapeño ranch and honey BBQtwo of the most popular options with customers.

If you do want a burger, as opposed to their healthier chicken or fish sandwiches, you’re better off ordering from the junior burger menu to stave off calories and still get your carnivorous fix.

What to Order & Avoid at Whataburger
 Most Nutritious Options Least Nutritious Options
Double Meat Whataburger Jr. (Burgers) Triple Meat Whataburger (Burgers)
Green Chile Double Jr. (All-Time Favorites) Honey BBQ Chicken Strip Sandwich (All-Time Favorites)
Whatachick’n Bites (Chicken) Whatachick’n Sandwich with Mayonnaise (Chicken)
Egg Sandwich (Breakfast) Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit (Breakfast)
Grilled Cheese (Kids) Whatachick'n Bites 4 Piece Kids Meal (Kids)
Apple Slices (Sides) Large French Fries (Sides)
Garden Salad (Salads) Cobb Salad with Spicy Chicken (Salads)
Chocolate Chunk Cookie (Dessert) Chocolate Malt (Dessert)
Simply Orange Juice (Beverages) Sweet Tea (Beverages)

Most Nutritious Option

If you’re looking for the healthiest meal at Whataburger, the garden salad’s fresh vegetables make this the most appropriate choice, as this item contains nothing fried or greasy.

Burgers

Whataburger is known for its variety of burgers (as you can probably figure out from the name). However, the burgers are some of the least nutritious options on the menu. For a more nutrient-packed meal, you can choose chicken-based sandwiches instead or order junior burgers (which come in a smaller size) to save on calories. If you skip the sauces and order the burgers with no buns, you can create an entree that is lower in carbs and fats.

✓ Double Meat Whataburger Jr. 

There are 420 calories, 20g fat, 6g saturated fat, 37 carbohydrates, 23g protein, and 870mg sodium in the double meat Whataburger Jr. burger. The calories and fat content are still low and you get a sizeable amount of meat for a small burger.

✗ Triple Meat Whataburger

The triple meat Whataburger burger contains more than half the number of calories you should consume in a day. There are 1070 calories, 63g fat, 21g saturated fat, 62 carbs, 65g protein, and 1,720mg sodium per burger. Instead, consider ordering a junior size or switch to a chicken or fish sandwich, which have lower calories and fat.

All-Time Favorites

With only four items to choose from on the All-Time Favorite section, these items represent the most often ordered burgers and sandwiches at Whataburger. All sandwiches come in a junior size to save calories. Consuming the sandwich with water, diet soda, or orange juice and skipping the fries will keep the calorie level and fat content down.

✓ Green Chile Double Jr.

If you are craving a Favorite, choose the green chile Double Jr. containing 540 calories, 30g fat, 12g saturated fat, 37g carbohydrate, 28g protein, and 1,310mg sodium. In fact, any of the items on the All-Time Favorites menu have a high amount of calories. You might want to skip the All-Time Favorites and opt for grilled chicken or fish sandwiches instead. 

✗ Honey BBQ Chicken Strip Sandwich

The honey BBQ chicken strip sandwich contains 890 calories, 42g fat, 11g saturated fat, 87g carbohydrate, 38g protein, and 2,430mg sodium. To cut back on extra calories, you could skip the fries and soda or choose the junior option, which contains 650 calories and 31g fat instead.

Chicken

Whataburger's chicken menu contains 10-plus chicken-based sandwiches, bites, and tacos. Served both grilled and crispy (fried), and in original and spicy seasoning, the menu offers something for many diets and has some of the restaurant's most nutritious options.

✓ Whatachick’n Bites

A 6-piece serving of the Whatachick'n bites contains 390 calories, 19g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 25g carbohydrate, 30g protein, and 780mg sodium. This option is not only the lowest-calorie and lowest-sodium chicken meal, but it's also packs in 30g of protein. The dish is served with a side of Texas Toast, which adds 160 calories and 220mg sodium, so skip the bread to keep calories low.

✗ Whatachick’n Sandwich with Mayonnaise

The Whatachick'n sandwich with mayonnaise brings in 580 calories, 28g fat, 11g saturated fat, 52g carbohydrate, 32g fat, and 900mg sodium. Opt for Whatasauce rather than mayonnaise to save 40 calories and 60mg sodium. If you're craving a chicken dish, the grilled chicken sandwich with Whatasauce provides 430 calories, 14g fat, 3.5g saturated fat, 44g carbohydrates, 32g protein, and 1,030mg sodium.

Breakfast

Available from 11 p.m. to 11 a.m., you can stop by Whataburger for a late night or early morning meal. Try to stay away from the carb-heavy biscuits and look for egg-based options such as the egg sandwich and taquito with cheese (available with extra proteins such as sausage or bacon, though additional meat will alter the nutrition content).

By adding a coffee and skipping the popular hash brown sticks, you don't add any extra calories to the meal. If don't drink coffee, you could order the Simply Orange Juice to create a more traditional breakfast for your morning.

You can adjust other breakfast items to make them healthier as well. The following are examples:

  • Avoid added syrup packets on pancakes—instead, opt for fresh berries if available.
  • If you're craving a biscuit, order it with an egg and omit the cheese. Skip other protein options such as a biscuit with sausage and bacon.
  • Instead of ordering a full breakfast "meal," go for the breakfast sandwich only.
  • There are several taquito options; the least caloric option is the taquito with cheese and bacon.

✓ Egg Sandwich

On a small bun and one cheese slice, the egg sandwich doesn’t overload you on fat and carbs. It's similar to a burger, but with less calories and healthier fats. It has 310 calories, 12g fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 34g carbohydrates, 15g protein, and 740mg sodium.

✗ Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit

The butter, sugar content, makes the honey butter chicken biscuit a high-carb option. It has overall 580 calories, 36g fat, 12g saturated fat, 52g carbohydrate, 13g protein, and 990mg sodium. If you must eat a breakfast biscuit, you can find less caloric menu items with a buttermilk biscuit with sausage or a buttermilk biscuit with egg and cheese.

Try to avoid eating fried chicken, especially for breakfast, as the grease can sit with you all day and make you feel sluggish. Instead, if chicken is your preferred protein, Whataburger has a grilled chicken melt on their menu which can taste as delicious at breakfast as it does at lunch or dinner.

Kids

The kids menu contains only four options, and you can order healthy sides that include apple slices and 1% milk instead of the standard fries and soda. Adults looking to save calories can also order from this menu.

✓ Grilled Cheese

The grilled cheese contains 510 calories, 28g fat, 10g saturated fat, 42g carbohydrate, 16g protein, and 1,300mg sodium. Order this sandwich sans fries and soda, which can bring up the total calorie count to 1,070. Drinking milk, juice, or water will keep the fat count down.

✗ Whatachick'n Bites 4 Piece Kids Meal

The least nutritious option, coming in at 880 calories, 30g fat, 6g saturated fat, 132g carbs, 23g protein, and 1,160g sodium is the Whatachick'n bites 4 piece kids meal. This kids meal includes small fries and soda. You can choose apple slices and milk to remove almost 300 calories from the meal.

Sides

Whataburger's sides menu offers three items: apple slices, French fries, and onion rings. The French fries and onion rings do come in multiple sizes so to keep the calories and sodium intake low, choose the smallest size side.

✓ Apple Slices

Add fruit to your meal by choosing the apple slices side at Whataburger. A small pouch of sliced apples is the most nutritious item on the sides menu and contains 30 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 8g carbohydrates, 0g protein, and 0mg sodium. It also is has 6g of sugar, delivering a sweet side to your meal.

✗ Large French Fries

An order of large French fries brings 530 calories, 28g fat, 3.5g saturated fat, 68g carbohydrates, 6g protein, and 350mg sodium. Choose the small fries to lower the calories and sodium—the small size will deliver 270 calories, 14g fat, 2g saturated fat, 34g carbohydrates, 3g protein, and 170mg sodium.

Salads

Whataburger's salad menu offers three options, all of which can be customized with additional protein (grilled chicken, Whatachick'n, or spicy chicken), and with a dressing of your choosing.

✓ Garden Salad

The garden salad comes with romaine, shredded cheese, grape tomatoes, and carrots, and contains 160 calories, 10g fat, 6g saturated fat, 10g carbohydrate, 10g protein, and 220mg sodium. Asking for no dressing, or ordering dressing on the side, will help you control your nutrient intake even further.

For a little extra cost to the garden salad, you can add jalapeños and grilled peppers & onions (that add only 25 total calories to the salad).

✗ Cobb Salad with Spicy Chicken 

Meanwhile, the Cobb salad with spicy chicken has 550 calories, 32g fat, 12g saturated fat, 21g carbohydrate, 43g protein, and 1,420mg sodium. Choose the grilled chicken option to save 120 calories and 260mg sodium, or order the garden salad with the spicy chicken for 400 calories, 22g carbohydrates, and 1,070mg sodium.

Dessert

Known for chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry shakes and malts, you’ll save calories looking outside of the ice cream offerings. Whataburger has apple and lemon pies, cookies, and even fruit chews you can add to a meal to satisfy your sweet tooth without the fat grams. The restaurant is also known for offering special drinks for a limited time, such as a Dr. Pepper shake.

✓ Chocolate Chunk Cookie

You can't go wrong with a chocolate chunk cookie with just 230 calories, 11g fat, 6g saturated fat, 32g carbs, 2g protein, and 190g sodium. If chocolate isn’t your preferred cookie flavor, the sugar cookie has the same number of calories.

✗ Large Chocolate Malt

A large chocolate malt has 890 calories, 23g fat, 13g saturated fat, 159g carbs, 20g protein, and 790mg sodium. The strawberry malt also contains 890 calories and the vanilla option has 820 calories.

Beverages

Whataburger offers healthier drink options outside of just soda. You can find unsweetened tea for only 10–15 calories, orange juice, 1% milk, chocolate milk, and coffee. 

✓ Orange Juice

You can switch up your beverage and get a dose of vitamin C with the Simply Orange juice, which has just 160 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 37g carbs, 2g protein, and 0mg sodium.

✗ Large Sweet Tea

A large sweet tea contains 610 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 155g sugar, 158g carbs (nearly all of which come from sugar), 0g protein, and 35mg sodium. As a healthier alternative, tea enthusiasts can opt for a large unsweet tea, which contains only 15 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 4g carbs, 0g protein, and 40mg sodium.

Diet-Specific Options

Whataburger offers a variety of choices for diners with diet specifications including gluten-free, low-carb, vegetarian, and vegan, but does not have option for low-FODMAP, diabetes-friendly, low-fat, and low-sodium diets.

Gluten-Free

  • Garden Salad
  • Apple and Cranberry Chicken Salad
  • Simply Orange Juice
  • Strawberry Shake
  • Vanilla Shake
  • Chocolate Shake

With Whataburger’s focus on burgers, you might not find gluten-free choices. But the restaurant does offer a couple of healthy, no-carb salad options and beverages without gluten, and the apple and cranberry chicken salad is the most nutritious option. Be careful, though, as this restaurant doesn’t cook in a gluten-free environment and it’s impossible to ensure that there is no cross-contamination.

Low-Carb

  • Chicken Fajita Taco (skip the tortilla)
  • Grilled Chicken Melt (skip the bun)
  • Garden Salad
  • Apple and Cranberry Chicken Salad
  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich No Bun

While Whataburger does not offer specific low-carb options, you can make a sandwich lower-carb by skipping the bun. Choose the grilled chicken sandwich with no bun for 32g of protein.

Vegetarian

  • Garden Salad
  • Apple and Cranberry Salad (order without chicken)
  • Pancakes
  • Biscuit and Cheese
  • Taquito with Cheese

While much of their menu centers around meaty burgers, vegetarians can still find some options without meat but include dairy. Choose the breakfast biscuit with cheese for a filling sandwich.

Vegan

  • Apple & Cranberry Chicken Salad (no chicken, no cheese)
  • Garden Salad (no cheese)

You won’t find any strictly vegan items on the menu, as the salads include cheese; however, you can always ask for the salad with no meat or dairy products and omit the dressing. Choose the apple and cranberry salad, just make sure you ask for no chicken and cheese to keep it vegan.

Food Allergies and Safety

Whataburger cooks items in a gluten-laden environment and a number of menu choices include cheese and egg for those with lactose intolerance. Anyone allergic to soy should also avoid this restaurant.

To make sure an item is safe for your diet and allergy restrictions, be sure to do the following:

  • Ask questions of the staff
  • Look at the website, which includes allergens on the nutritional information for each item
  • Ask for modifications for meals, such as changing out fries for apple slices and soda for water
  • Ask for no bun on burgers and sandwiches, if possible.

A Word From Verywell

As with other fast-food restaurants, Whataburger’s menu consists of mostly high-fat burgers complete with condiments such as high-calorie sauces, bacon, and cheese. You can customize items by asking for no bun, apple slices instead of fries, and staying away from soda.

Rather than order from the drive-thru, go inside if you can to slow your eating down and always stop when you feel full. You can even cut your burger in half, and bring the rest home to eat on leftovers night.

If you’re following a special diet or need to avoid certain ingredients that contain wheat, gluten, eggs, or soy, you will find full transparency on the Whataburger online menu, allowing you to create a meal suitable for your needs.

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