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

Check out our menu guide so you know what to order when you head to Hardee's.
FACT CHECKED BY Samantha Boesch

Sometimes a burger just hits the spot. Classically comprised of a beef patty sandwiched between a bun, and often topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and condiments, this meaty meal can actually have a reasonable number of calories and balance of nutrients. However, fast-food restaurants are notorious for topping their burgers with calorie-dense items and adding multiple patties and slices of cheese to make burgers sometimes over 1,000 calories a piece. But this is how it works at most fast-food joints. Some menu items aren't that bad, and others you're better off avoiding completely. If you find yourself at a fast-food joint like Hardee's, knowing the best and worst items can be helpful when you want to find a better-for-you choice.

When it comes to ordering from Hardee's, a fast-food restaurant known for its burgers, it's best to keep it simple. A traditional burger with few toppings will help keep the calories and fat grams low. This is also true when ordering off their breakfast menu and when considering the chicken options, too. Fast food can have a place in a healthy diet, but it takes mindfulness and being open to modifying your order to make a reasonable meal.

Read on to learn how Hardee's menu can work into your meal plan and the options you are better off skipping. We've divided the list by the main menu categories for even easier navigation. Then, check out The Best & Worst Menu Items at Arby's.

Breakfast

Best: Frisco Breakfast Sandwich

Hardee's Carl's Jr Frisco Breakfast Sandwich
Hardee's
Nutrition (Per 1 sandwich):
Calories: 450
Fat: 21g (Saturated fat: 8g)
Sodium: 1300mg
Carbs: 42g (Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g)
Protein: 24g

This breakfast sandwich has one of the lowest calorie counts on the breakfast menu, and at 450 calories, it can fit into most calorie needs. It packs 24 grams of protein, which allows it to be a filling option, but it also contains 21 grams of fat. Loaded with ham, eggs, Swiss, and American cheeses all between two slices of sourdough bread, you could skip one of the cheese varieties to lower calories and grams of fat in this option. Add a side of fruit for fiber to make a balanced breakfast.

 The Entire McDonald's Menu, Ranked by Nutrition

Best: Country Ham Biscuit

Hardee's Country Ham Biscuit
Hardee's
Nutrition (Per 1 biscuit):
Calories: 410
Fat: 21g (Saturated fat: 11g)
Sodium: 1670mg
Carbs: 42g (Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g)
Protein: 16g

At 410 calories, this is the lowest calorie option on the breakfast menu. It packs a filling 16 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber to boost satiety. Two grams of fiber is low for a meal, so add a serving of fruit on the side to make a better meal. This simple breakfast sandwich has just two ingredients: a freshly made biscuit with country ham in the middle. This makes it harder to customize, but you could skip one-half of the biscuit for a lower-calorie option that maintains a good protein count.

Worst: Hardee's Sausage Breakfast Platter

hardee's breakfast platter with sausage
Hardee's
Nutrition (Per 1 platter):
Calories: 1050
Fat: 68g (Saturated fat: 24g)
Sodium: 2310mg
Carbs: 76g (Fiber: 12g, Sugar: 5g)
Protein: 30g

At over 1000 calories, this meal provides more energy than most people need in two meals, let alone one. A combination of biscuits and gravy, eggs, Hash Rounds, and sausage make up this meal which is also loaded with fat and saturated fat. You can swap the sausage for ham or bacon for a slightly lower calorie count, but even with that modification, you are better off skipping this meal. The 12 grams of fiber are a perk, but that is about the only positive quality of this meal.

 15 Healthiest Fast-Food Burgers

Worst: Monster Biscuit

Hardees monster biscuit
Hardee's
Nutrition (Per sandwich):
Calories: 790
Fat: 52g (Saturated fat: 23g)
Sodium: 2370 mg
Carbs: 45g (Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 6g)
Protein: 35g

The name of this breakfast sandwich says it all. Eggs, cheese, bacon, sausage, and ham are loaded between a sliced biscuit to make a nearly 800-calorie breakfast meal. Not to mention, the over 2,300 milligrams of sodium that provides an entire day's worth in a single sandwich. You could modify this to remove the bacon and sausage for a lower calorie, fat, and saturated fat option. Keep the ham as a lean protein source and add fruit on the side for a better meal. Otherwise, skip this menu item altogether.

Breakfast Bites

Best: Grits

corn grits
Shutterstock
Nutrition (Per order):
Calories: 100
Fat: 3g (Saturated fat: 0g)
Sodium: 320mg
Carbs: 17g (Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 0g)
Protein: 2g

This simple order of grits may not make up a complete meal, but it only provides 100 calories and can serve as a carb source in your meal. The best way to enjoy these grits would be with hardboiled eggs from home and a serving of fruit. The Hardee's menu doesn't offer any stand-alone egg options, so pack your own protein from home to pair with these southern-style grits.

 13 Best & Worst Fast-Food Breakfast Sandwiches

Worst: French Toast Dips

Hardee's French Toast Dips
Hardee's
Nutrition (Per order):
Calories: 620
Fat: 19g (Saturated fat: 3.5g)
Sodium: 670mg
Carbs: 106g (Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 30g)
Protein: 9g

French Toast Sticks topped with powdered sugar and served with a side of syrup make up this sugar-packed order. At over 100 grams of carb, this option also provides a day's worth of sugar, too. The little bit of protein and fiber in this meal are positive qualities, but you're still better off avoiding this order. If you have a craving for something sweet, split this with a few other people and skip the syrup to save significant calories and sugar grams.

Burgers

Best: Big Cheeseburger

hardees big cheeseburger
Hardee's
Nutrition (Per burger):
Calories: 540
Fat: 24g (Saturated fat: 10g)
Sodium: 1360mg
Carbs: 53g (Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 12g)
Protein: 28g

The burger's name might throw you off, but it is the lowest-calorie burger option on the menu. A single beef patty topped with cheese and condiments, and served on a potato bun make this a decent meal option. Skip the cheese for a meal that is under 500 calories, and add veggies from home for a more balanced option.

Best: Mushroom and Swiss

hardees Mushroom and Swiss Thickburger
Hardee's
Nutrition (Per burger):
Calories: 560
Fat: 29g (Saturated fat: 12g)
Sodium: 1330mg
Carbs: 49g (Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 8g)
Protein: 30g

There is no shortage of protein in these burgers. Even this single patty option provides 30 grams of filling protein, which is plenty for a meal. The mushroom sauce adds flavor and bulk to the meal without providing excess empty calories. You could skip the Swiss cheese on the burger for a lower calorie and fat count, or enjoy just half the burger with fruit or vegetables from home for a reasonable meal.

 8 Healthiest Fast-Food Chicken Sandwiches

Worst: Double Frisco Burger

Hardee's Double Frisco Burger
Hardee's
Nutrition (Per burger):
Calories: 1130
Fat: 81g (Saturated fat: 28g)
Sodium: 2130mg
Carbs: 44g (Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 8g)
Protein: 61g

Although 61 grams of protein may sound like a perk of this burger, this is more protein than most need in a meal. That means all the extra protein serves as extra calories without much benefit. The single patty option still packs 40 grams of protein for 850 calories. While this is still a lot for a meal, you can skip the mayo and bacon to cut calories more. Skip one slice of the toasted sourdough for a much more reasonable calorie count without sacrificing protein.

Worst: Monster Burger

Hardee's Monster Burger
Hardee's
Nutrition (Per burger):
Calories: 1160
Fat: 79g (Saturated fat: 29g)
Sodium: 2580mg
Carbs: 49g (Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 10g)
Protein: 68g

At just under 1200 calories, this burger is better left skipped. A half pound of beef is topped with bacon, cheese, and mayo, and served on a potato bun to make this indulgent meal. This burger offers more fat than most need in a day, and zero grams of fiber, leaving it with few redeeming qualities. You could modify this sandwich to skip some of the cheese, mayo and bacon for a more nutritious option, or you could just order the plain hamburger or cheeseburger as better bets.

Chicken & More

Best: Honey Mustard Tender Wrap

Hardee's Honey Mustard Tender Wrap
Hardee's
Nutrition (Per wrap):
Calories: 260
Fat: g (Saturated fat: g)
Sodium: mg
Carbs: g (Fiber: g, Sugar: g)
Protein:

Simply made with a tortilla, fried white meat chicken, lettuce, cheese, and honey mustard sauce, this wrap comes in at only 260 calories. This makes it a great base for a meal and still allows you to add some nutritious side items from home. A side of Greek yogurt with fruit or veggies with hummus would be options that complement this choice well.

Worst: 15-Piece Nashville Hot Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders

Hardee's 15-Piece Nashville Hot Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders
Hardee's
Nutrition (Per order): 1380
Calories:
Fat: g (Saturated fat: g)
Sodium: mg
Carbs: g (Fiber: g, Sugar: g)
Protein:

The sheer size of this order including 15 pieces of fried chicken isn't the only reason it made our worst list. The crispy fried layer of batter along with Nashville Hot Seasoning and dipping sauce makes this the least nutritious chicken option on the menu. The white meat chicken packs plenty of protein, but at just under 1400 calories, it provides a full day's worth of energy for many people. Go for a smaller order if you are craving the chicken, and skip the dipping sauce to save calories and grams of fat.

 14 Best & Worst Fast-Food Chicken Sandwiches

Desserts

Best: Apple Turnover

Hardee's Apple Turnover
Hardee's
Nutrition (Per turnover):
Calories: 270
Fat: 13g (Saturated fat: 4g)
Sodium: 260mg
Carbs: 35g (Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 11g)
Protein: 3g

If you can't leave Hardee's without a dessert, this apple turnover is your best bet. Despite being deep fried and containing 11 grams of sugar, it is under 300 calories, making it the best option. Split with a friend or save half for another day to make this an even better option to satisfy your sweet tooth.

 10 Worst Fast-Food Desserts on the Planet

Worst: Hand-Scooped Ice Cream Shake – Vanilla

hardees shakes
Hardee's
Nutrition (Per shake):
Calories: 740
Fat: 36g (Saturated fat: 24g)
Sodium: 220mg
Carbs: 87g (Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 70g)
Protein:13g

Don't let the 13 grams of protein in this shake fool you. It may pack more protein than most desserts, but it also comes along with 70 grams of sugar. This amount is nearly triple the amount of added sugar a female should have in a single day, let alone one dessert. Outside of having only a few sips, there aren't many ways to modify this order to make it more reasonable. Skip the shake and go for the apple turnover instead, or grab a frozen yogurt elsewhere for a lower-fat and calorie treat.

Kelsey Hampton, MS, CSSD, RDN, LD
Kelsey is a Texas-based dietitian and professor who specializes in sports nutrition. Read more about Kelsey