Every Menu Item at Chick-fil-A—Ranked

“Let’s do lunch,” my friend Laurie suggested, after a busy morning of mall shopping. “But someplace healthy. I’m sticking to my New Year’s resolution to lose 10 pounds.”

“Well,” I said, “I know just the place: the food court. Specifically, Chick-fil-A.”

Surprised? Laurie was. But you shouldn’t be. Chick-fil-A ranks among the best of the country’s major fast-food establishments, thanks to a line of low-calorie chicken sandwiches and an impressive roster of healthy sides like yogurt parfaits and various salads. Just this week, Chick-fil-A announced they are getting rid of their cole slaw and replacing it with a “Superfood Side” made of broccolini and hand-chopped kale, a recipe created by a James Beard Award-nominated chef.

“We are always looking for new ways to introduce healthier and all-natural items to our customers,” said the company’s VP of menu strategy and development.

Yet the entire menu’s not healthy yet. Order wrong, and you’re playing chicken with your health and quick weight loss—especially at breakfast time. That’s why the researchers at Eat This, Not That! took every single menu item into their Food Lab, and analyzed the ingredients. Here’s the best and worst—Every Menu Item at Chick-fil-A ranked. And to lose even more weight this January, don’t miss my essential list of the 40 Best Foods to Melt Love Handles!

Sandwiches… First, the Worst

7. Chick-fil-A Spicy Chicken Sandwich Deluxe

Chick-fil-A Spicy Chicken Sandwich Deluxe
Chick-fil-A Spicy Chicken Sandwich Deluxe

570 calories, 27 g fat (8 g saturated), 1,750 mg sodium, 7 g sugar, 35 g protein

Meet the worst sandwich at Chick-fil-A. The sodium count alone is clucking ridiculous—it has more than a day’s worth, and as much as 65 Rold Gold Tiny Twist pretzels! But we’re even more grossed out by the list of 84—yes, 84—ingredients, only a few of which are natural foods. The chicken’s seasoning includes MSG, a chemical salt used to make foods more savory (the FDA receives complaints each year that it makes people feel weak or headachey); there’s more of that in the “spicy” seasoning, which also includes artificial colors; and the list goes on to include multiple types of added sugars, fattening oils and Dimethylpolysiloxane, an anti-foam agent. There’s even chemicals in the pickles!

6. Chick-fil-A Chicken Deluxe Sandwich

Chick-fil-A Chicken Deluxe Sandwich
Chick-fil-A Chicken Deluxe Sandwich

500 calories, 23 g fat (7 g saturated), 1,640 mg sodium, 7 g sugar, 32 g protein

Slightly less devious than its spicy cousin, thanks to a lower calorie count, this sandwich still contains more than a day’s worth of sodium, artificial colors normally found in candy, and fatty oils. That’s just the nature fast food, you say? Well, somehow McDonald’s manages to make their Big Mac with healthier ingredients than it takes to make this Deluxe nightmare. And click here for the 40 Most Horrifying Things Found in Food!

5. Chick-fil-A Spicy Chicken Sandwich

Chick-fil-A Spicy Chicken Sandwich
Chick-fil-A Spicy Chicken Sandwich

490 calories, 21 g fat (4.5 g saturated), 1,600 mg sodium, 5 g sugar, 30 g protein

Another sandwich with more than a day’s worth of sodium—and fortunately, the last. Where do they pack in all that sodium? There’s salt in the chicken seasoning, the spicy seasoning, the spicy seasoned coater, the bun and the pickles—basically, in every ingredient except the box it comes in.

4. Chick-fil-A Chicken Salad Sandwich

Chick-fil-A Chicken Salad Sandwich
Chick-fil-A Chicken Salad Sandwich

500 calories, 20 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 1,120 mg sodium, 12 g sugar, 28 g protein

Don’t let the rolled oats on top of the bread fool you: They’re the second-to-last and therefore least prominent ingredient in this “healthy” imposter, coming right before the tiny leaf of green lettuce. Taking a starring role instead are chicken tenderloins smothered in four kinds of sugar, and a mayo made with made with high fructose corn syrup. Just what you don’t want in your “salad.”

And now...the Best Sandwiches

3. Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich

Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich
Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich

440 calories, 18 g fat (4 g saturated), 1,390 mg sodium, 5 g sugar, 28 g protein

You’ll rarely find anything deep-fried designated an “Eat This” at Eat This, Not That! but Chick-fil-A’s classic sandwich is a surprisingly modest indulgence. You can go even lighter by ordering it grilled, but if you hanker for fried chicken, there are much worse ways you could get your fix, even if we’re not thrilled by the MSG, artificial colors and sodium count. Key word is indulgence. Speaking of guilty pleasures, don’t miss this list of 35 Best-Selling Chips—Ranked.

2. Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich

Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich
Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich

440 calories, 14 g fat (7 g saturated), 1,090 mg sodium, 8 g sugar, 38 g protein

At Eat This, Not That!, we believe there’s a direct line between ingredients you can pronounce and a healthy foods, and the Grilled Chicken Club is proof of that: Unlike the sandwiches you’ve just read about, it has no anti-foaming agents, no artificial colors and no MSG. Instead, you’ll find chicken stock, apple cider vinegar, buckwheat flour, tomatoes, lemon peel and other ingredients, tallying up to a low calorie count, and a grab-and-go lunch option you can feel good about eating. Finally, a sandwich we can recommend.

And the #1 Best Sandwich at Chick-fil-A is.... Grilled Chicken Sandwich

320 calories, 5 g fat (1.5 saturated), 800 mg sodium, 7 g sugar, 30 g protein

Simply put: Order this. Every time. Made with many natural ingredients we can get behind—such as whole spelt flour, red bell peppers, and fruit juices for sweetness—this is the very best sandwich at Chick-Fil-A, and one of the best fast food sandwiches anywhere. Keep the weight loss going with these essential 44 Ways to Lose 4 Inches of Body Fat!

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Nuggets and Strips

3. Chick-fil-A Chick-n-Strips

Chick-fil-A Chick-n-Strips
Chick-fil-A Chick-n-Strips

4 count: 470 calories, 24 g fat (4.5 g saturated), 1,320 mg sodium, 2 g sugar, 43 g protein

Chick-fil-A calls these “generously portioned” which is fast-food code for they’re cheap to make and bad for you. The Chick-n-Strips have the fat and sodium equivalents of 3 servings of mac-and-cheese at Denny’s, as well as MSG, an anti-foam agent and various salts! Strip down your chicken; don’t order chicken strips.

2. Chick-fil-A Nuggets

Chick-fil-A Nuggets
Chick-fil-A Nuggets

8 count: 270 calories, 13 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 1,060 mg sodium, 1 g sugar, 28 g protein

Eat This, Not That! recently ranked every fast food chicken nugget, and Chick-fil-A’s came in 9th on the worst list—and nowhere near the best list. That’s because we can’t pronounce half the ingredients.

And the #1 nuggets or strips are the….. Chick-fil-A Grilled Nuggets

Chick-fil-A Grilled Nuggets
Chick-fil-A Grilled Nuggets

8 count: 140 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated), 530 mg sodium, 1 g sugar, 23 g protein

Perfect after a workout or as a bite-sized lunch, these protein-bombs are better than any nutrition bar. The sugar count’s super low, the sodium’s kept in check (relatively), and they’re low in fat and calories. Plus: They’re made from whole breast filets. Order these guilt-free. They ranked #1 in our list of Every Chicken Nugget—Ranked!

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Side Items… First, the worst

7. Waffle Potato Fries

Waffle Potato Fries
Waffle Potato Fries

400 calories, 21 g fat (3 g saturated), 180 mg sodium, 0 g sugar, 5 g protein

It might just be our imagination, but waffle fries just seem to taste better, don’t they? Chick-Fil-A gets major points for having the least amount of salt in their fries than any other fast food restaurant, but the high calorie count keeps this dish on the Not That! side of the equation. They ranked #7 worst in our list of Every Fast Food French Fry—Ranked!

6. Chicken Salad Cup

Chicken Salad Cup
Chicken Salad Cup

360 calories, 24 g fat (4.5 saturated), 1,120 mg sodium, 5 g sugar, 28 g protein

Remember that time Elmer Fudd high-dove into a glass of water? We thought of that reading the ingredients list of the Chicken Salad Cup. How did Chick-fil-A manage to squeeze ⅔ a day’s worth of salt, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives and multiple sugars into one small container? Sneaky wabbits.

5. Hearty Breast of Chicken Soup

Hearty Breast of Chicken Soup
Hearty Breast of Chicken Soup

140 calories, 2.5 g fat (1 g saturated), 1,040 mg sodium, 2 g sugar, 12 g protein

As any bubbie can tell you, good chicken soup is made by putting ingredients in a pot and cooking ‘em up. So without further ado, we present the ingredients list in this hearty—not healthy—soup. Do a shot every time you see the word maltodextrin—it’s a caloric sweetener and flavor enhancer made from rice, potatoes or, more commonly, cornstarch that has the potential to raise blood glucose and insulin levels.

Ingredients: Seasoned chicken stock (water, seasoning [modified cornstarch, wheat flour, nonfat dry milk, salt, sea salt, natural flavors, mono&diglycerides, spices, citric acid), carrots, celery, enriched noodles (water, durum flour, eggs, egg whites, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), contains less than 2% of the following: modified corn starch, chicken base (chicken meat including natural chicken juices, salt, chicken fat, sugar, hydrolyzed (corn, wheat gluten, and soy) protein, dried whey, maltodextrin (from corn), autolyzed yeast extract, natural flavorings, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, natural extractive of turmeric and annatto), pastry flour, nonfat dry milk, vegetable base [sautéed carrot, onion, and celery, salt, sugar, corn oil, potato flour, carrot powder], chicken fat, chicken stock and flavor, chicken broth flavor (salt, yeast extract, maltodextrin, natural flavoring, chicken fat, cultured corn solids, silicon dioxide, potato maltodextrin, tapioca maltodextrin), soybean oil, butter (cream, salt), granulated garlic, citric acid, onion powder, spices, hydrolyzed corn protein, annatto (color), parsley, turmeric, canthaxanthin (color), grilled chicken ((water, apple cider vinegar, soybean oil, yeast extract, salt, modified corn starch, palm oil, dehydrated garlic, dehydrated onion, corn maltodextrin, sea salt, flavor, sugar, chicken stock, cane molasses, chicken fat, spice, natural flavor [including smoke], dextrose, lemon peel, citric acid, red bell pepper, orange juice concentrate, grape juice concentrate, natural flavor, paprika, vinegar, xanthan gum, ascorbic acid, and spices), Chick-fil-A chicken (whole breast filet, seasoning [salt, monosodium glutamate, sugar, spices, paprika], seasoned coater [enriched bleached wheat flour {with malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid}, sugar, salt, monosodium glutamate, nonfat milk, leavening {baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate}, spice, soybean oil, color {paprika}], milk wash [water, nonfat milk, egg], peanut oil [fully refined peanut oil, with Dimethylpolysiloxane, an anti-foam agent added]).

4. Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Chicken Tortilla Soup

260 calories, 6 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 960 mg sodium, 3 g sugar, 22 g protein

Although this bowl features some of the same chemical ingredients found in the Chicken Soup, at least it contains half as many ingredients overall, and the most prominent are ones we love: water, navy beans, onions, black beans, corn…..green chile peppers. In other words, soup!

3. Fruit Cup

Fruit Cup
Fruit Cup

50 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg sodium, 10 g sugar, 0 g protein

Can’t go wrong with red and green apples, Mandarin oranges, blueberries and strawberries. Pair it with a protein, like the grilled chicken nuggets.

2. Side Salad

Side Salad
Side Salad

80 calories, 4.5 g sodium (3 g saturated), 110 mg sodium, 3 g sugar, 5 g protein

With lettuce, cheese, cabbage and carrots, the side salad is the perfect way to boost fiber and protein.

And the #1 side dish is….. Superfood Side

kale
kale

Per 5 oz portion: 140 calories, 7 g fat (N/A saturated), TK mg sodium, TK g sugar, TK g protein

We’ll have exact nutritionals on the new Superfood Side, with kale and broccolini, when it’s launched January 18th, but we can already tell you it’s the best side dish here because it’s got to be less salty than the soups and more flavorful than the salad. Look for an update here next week.

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Breakfast… They’re all Pretty Bad

Despite making healthy strides on it’s lunchtime menu, Chick-fil-A continues to offer high-sodium calorie-bombs for the most important meal of the day. We can’t fully recommend any of these, but here they are ranked from worst to best.

12. The Breakfast Platters

The Breakfast Platters
The Breakfast Platters

Chicken: 680 calories, 37 g fat (13 g saturated), 1,920 sodium, 7 g sugar, 30 g protein

Bacon: 610 calories, 34 g fat (13 g saturated), 1,660 mg sodium, 6 g sugar, 24 g protein

Sausage: 810 calories, 54 g fat (20 g saturated), 1,850 mg sodium, 6 g sugar, 28 g protein

The sun rises. The rooster crows. And you’re hungry for some freshly-cracked eggs, served alongside Dimethylpolysiloxane, Yellow # 5, artificial flavor, “natural butter type flavor” and more sodium than almost every menu item at Taco Bell. That’s what you get if you order the Chicken, Bacon or Sausage breakfast platters. So don’t! They’re the worst breakfast on the Chick-fil-A menu.

11. Sausage, Egg &Cheese Biscuit

Sausage, Egg&Cheese Biscuit
Sausage, Egg&Cheese Biscuit

670 calories, 44 g fat (19 g saturated), 1,470 mg sodium, 5 g sugar, 23 g protein

As you’d know if you read our list of Every Menu Item at McDonald’s—Ranked, sausage is far worse than bacon, because it ups the sodium count—the slice here has three kinds of salt in one patty: sodium phosphates, MSG and old-school salt! The Sausage, Egg&Cheese Biscuit is also the most caloric sandwich on Chick-fil-A’s entire menu, and has more calories than even the bacon platter. Avoid.

10. Sausage Breakfast Burrito

Sausage Breakfast Burrito
Sausage Breakfast Burrito

500 calories, 28 g fat (11 g saturated), 910 mg sodium, 3 g sugar, 22 g protein

Sausage again—this time mashed up with “natural butter type flavor,” starches, cheeses and mold inhibitors in a carb-laden wrap. Burri-don’t.

9. Cinnamon Cluster

Cinnamon Cluster
Cinnamon Cluster

430 calories, 17 g fat (7 g saturated), 240 mg sodium, 29 g sugar, 7 g protein

If it’s before noon and you’re eating something with icing on it, you better be five years old and at a child’s birthday party. Because otherwise, you’re putting, in this case, seven kinds of sugar into your body with very little protein to provide long-lasting energy. They should rename this a cluster headache.

8. Bacon, Egg& Cheese Biscuit

Bacon, Egg&Cheese Biscuit
Bacon, Egg&Cheese Biscuit

460 calories, 23 g fat (12 g saturated), 1,210 mg sodium, 6 g sugar, 18 g protein

Every chicken joint needs a biscuit on the menu, but that doesn’t mean you have to order it. Chick-fil-A’s is made with vegetable oil shortening and butter oil. Add bacon and cheese into it, and you’ve got a sandwich with more fat than a Bacon Double Cheeseburger at Burger King!

7. Spicy Chicken Biscuit

Spicy Chicken Biscuit
Spicy Chicken Biscuit

450 calories, 21 g fat (8 g saturated), 1,260 mg sodium, 6 g sugar, 16 g protein

You’ve heard us rail against the Spicy Chicken patty, in the sandwich section. It fares do better wedged into a biscuit.

6. Chicken, Egg& Cheese Bagel

Chicken, Egg&Cheese Bagel
Chicken, Egg&Cheese Bagel

480 calories, 20 g fat (6 g saturated), 1,040 mg sodium, 8 g sugar, 27 g protein

Even at a place like Dunkin’ Donuts, the bagels are one of the unhealthiest things on the menu—worse than the glazed! Remember that whenever you see a bagel at a fast food joint, including this one, which is a big ol’ oily, doughy white flour ball ruining the decent protein in between. There are some horrifying things found in bagels, too, like human hair. Get the whole crazy list at 40 Horrifying Things Found in Food!

5. Chicken Biscuit

Chicken Biscuit
Chicken Biscuit

440 calories, 20 g fat (8 g saturated), 1,210 mg sodium, 6 g sugar, 16 g protein

Pro tip: Order this same chicken later in the day, on a regular sandwich, and save yourself 4 grams of saturated fat and get an extra 12 grams of protein.

4. Chick-n-Minis

Chick-n-Minis
Chick-n-Minis

370 calories, 14 g fat (4 g saturated), 900 mg sodium, 8 g sugar, 20 g protein

To save money and space, fast food restaurants repurpose lunch items in the morning. That’s why you’ll find Chick-fil-A Nuggets wedged into yeast rolls, and dubbed “Minis.” Compared to everything else you’ve seen so far, they’re OK, with 6 grams less fat than a Chicken Biscuit.

3. Chicken Breakfast Burrito

Chicken Breakfast Burrito
Chicken Breakfast Burrito

460 calories, 20 g fat (8 g saturated), 1,030 mg sodium, 3 g sugar, 26 g protein

Grab-and-go breakfast burritos only seem like they’re convenient. Start your day with ⅔ of your recommended sodium intake and you’ll be more tired leaving Chick-fil-A than when you walked in.

2. Greek Yogurt Parfait

Greek Yogurt Parfait
Greek Yogurt Parfait

Without granola or cookie crumbs: 100 calories, 3.5 g fat (2 g saturated), 35 mg sodium, 11 g sugar, 6 g protein

It’s Greek yogurt, plain and simple, with sugar, strawberries and blueberries. Just skip the granola (aka sugar-coated nuts and fruit) and Oreo cookie crumbs (duh). And to lose even more weight—up to 16 pounds in 14 days!—click here to discover The Best Weight-Loss Smoothie Ever!

And the #1 Breakfast is.... Multigrain Oatmeal

Multigrain Oatmeal
Multigrain Oatmeal

290 calories, 10 g fat (1 g saturated), 60 mg sodium, 20 g sugar, 2 g protein

In the time it takes to go to Chick-fil-A and order the oatmeal, you could microwave 20 bowls of Quaker Oats—and save yourself a few bucks. But this is still the best breakfast option here, especially if you scrape off the sugary toppings and pair it with an apple from home. Every fast food chain should offer it.

And a note about the Hash Browns

Hash Browns
Hash Browns

240 calories, 15 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 400 mg sodium, 0 g sugar, 2 g protein

For a measly 2 grams of protein, the Chick-fil-A hash browns aren’t worth the whopping 15 grams of fat (which comes from canola oil, palm oil and fully refined high oleic canola oil.

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Wraps and Salads

4. Cobb Salad

Cobb Salad
Cobb Salad

430 calories, 22 g fat (7 g saturated), 1,370 mg sodium, 6 g sugar, 39 g protein

How does this salad have nearly a day’s worth of sodium? Because it’s got Chick-fil-A Nuggets cut up and tossed over it. A pig wearing a fancy dress is still a pig.

3. Asian Salad

Asian Salad
Asian Salad

330 calories, 13 g fat (2.5 calories), 1,090 mg sodium, 11 g sugar, 29 g protein

Mandarin oranges pair nicely with the protein—if only the chicken wasn’t breaded: you’d kick down the sodium count.

2. Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap

Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap
Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap

340 calories, 13 g fat (4.5 saturated), 900 mg sodium, 3 g sugar, 36 g protein

Unlike the breakfast burrito, this is one grab-and-go item we love: The handy package is made mostly with Eat This, Not That!-approved ingredients, starting with the wrap, a flatbread crafted from flax flour and oat fiber, two belly-filling starches that’ll keep you regular on the regular.

And the #1 salad or wrap is.... Grilled Market Salad

Grilled Market Salad
Grilled Market Salad

200 calories, 5 g fat (2 g saturated), 570 mg sodium, 8 g sugar, 23 g protein

As we’ve learned, “grilled” means good at Chick-fil-A. This salad has grilled chicken, juice for sweetening and baby field greens, blueberries and Blue cheese, some of our favorite superfoods.


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