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10 Fast-Food Chains That Serve the Best Grilled Chicken

From sandwiches to salads, head to these restaurants for top-notch grilled chicken.
FACT CHECKED BY Justine Goodman

When you're seeking a lighter yet satisfying protein option, grilled chicken can be an enticing choice. Sandwich it between two buns, serve it on top of greens, pair it with fries—the possibilities are endless.

Despite the appeal of this popular protein, not all fast-food chains offer grilled chicken. Swing by McDonald's, Burger King, Sonic, White Castle, or A&W, and you won't find this option on the menu. Then, there's Wendy's, which removed its grilled chicken sandwich last spring to make room for its grilled chicken wrap.

So, which fast-food chains actually offer the best grilled chicken options—be it in sandwich, salad, or tender form? From chicken hotspots to burger joints, here are 10 fast-food chains that serve some of the most delicious and savory grilled chicken in America.


Chick-fil-A grilled chicken sandwich
Nutrition: Grilled Chicken Sandwich (Per Order):
Calories: 390
Fat: 12 g (Saturated Fat: 2 g)
Sodium: 770 mg
Carbs: 44 g (Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 12 g)
Protein: 38 g

It's no surprise that this beloved chicken chain serves several different grilled chicken options. There's the simple grilled chicken sandwich and the slightly more exciting Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich. The former features a lemon-herb marinated boneless breast of chicken with green leaf lettuce and tomato, while the latter adds Colby Jack cheese and applewood smoked bacon. Both are served on a toasted multigrain bun.

Additionally, Chick-fil-A's grilled chicken offerings extend beyond sandwiches. The chain's Cool Wrap also features this protein, while customers get a choice of chicken when ordering a salad. And who could forget about the chain's grilled nuggets?

 12 Healthy Chick-fil-A Orders, According to Dietitians

Panera Bread

panera grilled chicken & avo melt half next to broccoli cheddar soup
Panera Bread
Nutrition: Grilled Chicken & Avo BLT (Per Order):
Calories: 910
Fat: 56 g (Saturated Fat: 16 g, Trans Fat: 1)
Sodium: 1,800 mg
Carbs: 56 g (Fiber: 6 g, Sugar: 4 g)
Protein: 49 g

Often associated with its sandwiches and salads, Panera—which recently overhauled its menu—is home to several grilled chicken options, such as the new Chicken Bacon Rancher. This sandwich consists of grilled chicken, applewood smoked bacon, aged white cheddar, and ranch dressing, and comes on Panera's black pepper focaccia.

If you'd prefer a cold sandwich, there's the Grilled Chicken & Avo BLT, which has grilled chicken, applewood smoked bacon, aged white cheddar, mixed greens, vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced avocado, garlic aioli, salt, and pepper on Panera's Country Rustic Sourdough. For those craving some greens, there are plenty of grilled chicken-topped salads, such as the Green Goddess Chicken Cobb Salad and the brand-new Southwest Chicken Ranch Salad.

 I Tried Every New Panera Sandwich & One Was Flawless

Carl's Jr.

Carl's Jr. chicken sandwiches
Courtesy of Carl's Jr.
Nutrition: Charbroiled Chicken Sandwich Club (Per Order):
Calories: 650
Fat: 30 g (Saturated Fat: 8 g)
Sodium: 1,870 mg
Carbs: 54 g (Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 11 g)
Protein: 43 g

Carl's Jr. uses the term "charbroiled" rather than grilled for several of its chicken sandwiches. Despite the differences in cooking methods, the resulting foods are comparable. So don't get too caught up in the semantics, and try the chain's Charbroiled Chicken Club Sandwich, Charbroiled Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich, or Charbroiled BBQ Chicken Sandwich (which is the one our dietitians recommend if you're looking for a healthier option).

 The 18 Best & Worst Menu Items at Carl's Jr., According to Dietitians


zaxby's grilled chicken sandwich with fries and soda
Nutrition: Grilled Chicken Sandwich (Per Order):
Calories: 470
Fat: 20 g (Saturated Fat: 3.5 g)
Sodium: 1,440 mg
Carbs: 35 g (Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 8 g)
Protein: 38 g

If there's one thing Zaxby's is known for (aside from its Zax Sauce), it's chicken. While this chain boasts a variety of fried chicken options, it still has grilled chicken on the menu. Zaxby's offers a grilled chicken sandwich made with marinated grilled chicken, tomatoes, and ranch on a toasted potato bun. Our dietitians are big fans of this option, which is low in calories and high in protein. If you're not in the mood for a sandwich, go for one of the chain's "Zalads" and add grilled chicken.

 The Best & Worst Menu Items at Zaxby's, According to Dietitians


whataburger grilled chicken
Courtesy of Whataburger
Nutrition: Grilled Chicken Sandwich (Per Order):
Calories: 430
Fat: 14 g (Saturated Fat: 4 g)
Sodium: 1,030 mg
Carbs: 44 g (Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 11 g)
Protein: 29 g

You likely visit Whataburger for its oversized burgers and generous Texas toast offerings, but you might want to consider trying the chain's grilled chicken sandwich. Served on a brioche bun, this sandwich consists of a grilled chicken filet, sliced tomato, lettuce, and a slather of WhataSauce. You can add several toppings like pickles, diced onions, and grilled onions at no extra cost. Premium add-ons like bacon, cheese, or avocado are also available but will cost a bit extra. As with other chains, you can also top your salad with grilled chicken.

 10 Regional Burger Chains You Have To Try At Least Once


smashburger grilled chicken sandwich meal
Smashburger / Facebook
Nutrition: Classic Smash Grilled Chicken Sandwich (Per Order):
Calories: 460
Fat: 24 g (Saturated Fat: 8 g)
Sodium: 1,120 mg
Carbs: 35 g (Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 4 g)
Protein: 33 g

If you crave choice and variety when it comes to a grilled chicken sandwich, then Smashburger is an appealing option. The chain currently offers an impressive selection of six grilled chicken sandwiches. These include the Classic Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Colorado Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Bacon Smash Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Avocado Bacon Club Grilled Chicken Sandwich, BBQ Bacon Cheddar Grilled Chicken Sandwich, and Truffle Mushroom Swiss Grilled Chicken Sandwich. These are all made to order.

 7 Restaurant Chains That Make the Best Smash Burgers

Jack in the Box

jack in the box grilled chicken sandwich
Jack in the Box
Nutrition: Grilled Chicken Sandwich (Per Order):
Calories: 500
Fat: 23 g (Saturated Fat: 4.5 g)
Sodium: 1,440 mg
Carbs: 40 g (Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 7 g)
Protein: 33 g

Some might argue that the best thing about the grilled chicken sandwich from Jack in the Box isn't the grilled chicken filet itself, but the fact that the bun consists of thick slabs of toasted sourdough. Between said slabs is the meat along with lettuce, tomato, Good Good Sauce, and the ingredient that makes this sandwich a winner: butter.

 The Best & Worst Menu Items at Jack in the Box, According to a Nutritionist

The Habit Burger Grill

habit burger grilled chicken sandwich
The Habit Burger Grill
Nutrition: Grilled Chicken Sandwich (Per Order):
Calories: 910
Fat: 57 g (Saturated Fat: 14 g)
Sodium: 2,230 mg
Carbs: 59 g (Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 4 g)
Protein: 45 g

Sure, The Habit may call itself a "burger grill," but that's really selling itself short given its many other menu items like the Ahi Tuna Filet Sandwich, Chicken Club, and Grilled Chicken Sandwich. That last one is a superlative take on the classic grilled chicken sandwich, featuring a hand-filleted and marinated chicken breast, melted cheese, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, mayo, and a choice of barbecue or teriyaki sauce. Just bear in mind that this option is packed with fat, calories, and sodium, though on the flip side, it also packs a major protein punch.


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burgerfi's grilled chicken sandwich
Courtesy of BurgerFi
Nutrition information unavailable.

This fast-casual chain is best known for its burgers, but it also has a few chicken offerings worth noting, such as the grilled chicken sandwich and bowl. These are available at select locations, according to BurgerFi's website. The sandwich features all-natural grilled chicken breast topped with lettuce, tomato, and honey mustard. Meanwhile, the bowl includes all-natural grilled chicken breast, tomatoes, pickles, jalapeños, haystack onions, iceberg lettuce, ranch, and Fi Sauce.

 The 21 Best Burgers in America, According to Chefs

Elevation Burger

elevation burger grilled chicken tenders, fries, and ranch
Elevation Burger
Nutrition: 2 Grilled Chicken Tenders With Fries (Per Order):
Calories: 652
Fat: 32 g (Saturated Fat: 6 g)
Sodium: 469 mg
Carbs: 64 g (Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 3 g)
Protein: 26 g

Burgers might be the first food you think of when hearing the name "Elevation Burger," but this chain still serves several chicken options, all of which are made with cage-free chicken. Take the Elevation Grilled Chicken Sandwich, for example. This includes organic grilled chicken breast tenders, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and Elevation sauce on a potato bun.

If you'd like to add a little pizzazz to your standard grilled chicken sandwich, the chain offers a BBQ Cheddar Grilled Chicken Sandwich and a Sriracha Grilled Chicken Sandwich. There are also grilled chicken tenders served with olive oil fries and a choice of dipping sauce.

This story has been updated to include additional entries, updated information, copyedits, and fact-checking.

Steven John
Steven John is a freelancer writer for Eat This, Not That! based just outside New York City. Read more about Steven