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8 Healthiest Fast-Food Chicken Sandwiches, According to an RD

Stay on track with your health goals with these healthier fast-food chicken sandwiches.
FACT CHECKED BY Samantha Boesch

Sometimes it's just plain hard to balance a healthy lifestyle with your constant time crunches and tight budget. Fast food can often seem like the only option we have to get food in our bellies while also managing busy schedules, many obligations, and soaring grocery prices. Thankfully though, fast-food chains all around the country have listened to consumer wants, rolling out a variety of healthier options so that you're not compromising your health goals with every delicious bite—and that includes the addition of some healthier fast-food chicken sandwiches.

With the rising popularity of chicken sandwiches over the classic Quarter Pounder, we've seen a serious expansion in options. Across brands like your classic Chick-fil-A or Zaxby's with the unveiling of their grilled sandwiches, to classic health-forward chains like Subway, you definitely have a lot to choose from now.

To make this journey easier, we've put together a list of the top eight healthiest fast-food chicken sandwiches, which range from your normal grilled chicken breasts to even blackened and teriyaki-flavored options. And remember, half of your healthy choices lie in the sides. It's worth seeing if these chains offer sides like fresh fruit or even coleslaw over the traditional fry so that you can better stay on track toward your health goals.

8 Healthiest Fast-Food Sandwiches, According to RDs

Subway Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Grilled chicken subway sandwich

Per sandwich: 290 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 580mg sodium, 40g carbs (5g fiber, 6g sugar), 27g protein

It's not surprising that Subway takes the lead in terms of healthiest fast-food chicken sandwiches. Subway's Grilled Chicken Sandwich takes first place, and as it's loaded with veggies like iron-packed spinach, hydrating cucumbers, and lycopene-dense tomatoes, you can rest assured that you're consuming your daily dose of vegetables without compromising taste. Also, you're always able to swap traditional white bread for whole wheat and load up on even more veggies for more health benefits.

Subway Rotisserie-Style Chicken Sandwich

Subway rotisserie chicken

Per sandwich: 310 calories, 6g fat (1.5g saturated fat), 1,930mg sodium, 40g carbs (5g fiber, 6g sugar), 25g protein

Not all of us are fans of grilled chicken, though, and it's a-okay to choose this Subway Rotisserie-Style Chicken Sandwich when you're craving that fast food kick. At just 310 calories and packed with the same vegetables as the traditional Grilled Chicken Sandwich, you can ensure that you're not loading up on unnecessary fats and sugars. However, this sandwich may not be the best choice for you if you are limiting your sodium intake, as it does have a higher sodium count than some other fast food sandwiches due to the preparation of the rotisserie chicken.

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Subway Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Sandwich

Subway sweet onion chicken teriyaki

Per sandwich: 350 calories, 4.5g fat (1g saturated fat), 850mg sodium, 55g carbs (5g fiber, 23g sugar), 26g protein

Subway even takes third place across our healthiest fast-food chicken sandwich search. Their delicious Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Sandwich offers another alternative to your classic grilled chicken and still comes with all the veggie 'fixins imaginable. The sauce, like traditional teriyaki sauces, does come with a higher sugar content, but Subway allows you to easily ask for "less" sauce when ordering both in store and online.

Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Grilled chicken sandwich Chick-fil-A

Per sandwich: 390 calories, 12g fat (2g saturated fat), 770mg sodium, 44g carbs (3g fiber, 12g sugar), 28g protein

Here's where we get into more "traditional" fast food joints with Chick fil A's Grilled Chicken Sandwich. Served on a multigrain bun, this sandwich is one of the better-for-you options at Chick-fil-A, and with 28 grams of protein, you're sure to stay full and satisfied until it's time for your next meal. If you're really trying to cut down on your caloric intake, Chick-fil-A even offers a lettuce-wrapped version of this sandwich.

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Dairy Queen Grilled Chicken Sandwich

dairy queen grilled chicken sandwich
Courtesy of Dairy Queen

Per sandwich: 420 calories, 15g fat (2.5g saturated fat), 1080mg sodium, 44g carbs (3g fiber, 3g sugar), 24g protein

Dairy Queen isn't just known for their deliciously smooth ice creams–they also offer one of the more healthy grilled chicken sandwich options on the fast food market! This sandwich is all white meat that's been grilled and seasoned (so no bland grilled chicken here) and comes with your classic lettuce and tomato toppings.

Zaxby's Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Zaxby's chicken sandwich

Per sandwich: 470 calories, 20g fat (3.5g saturated fat), 1440mg sodium, 35g carbs (3g fiber, 8g sugar), 38g protein

We all know how satisfying the smell of Zaxby's fried-chicken air can be. It's tempting, but we recommend the Zaxby's Grilled Chicken Sandwich if you're focusing on supporting your health. This marinated and grilled chicken filet comes with your classic lettuce and tomato toppings. We recommend asking for less ranch, and consider swapping your crinkle fries for Coleslaw to really lean into the healthier options.

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Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich

Chick-fil-A's Grilled Chicken Club

Per sandwich: 520 calories, 22g fat (8g saturated fat), 1130mg sodium, 45g carbs (3g fiber, 12g sugar), 38g protein

We're back to Chick-fil-A where we find their Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich. This certainly isn't your average bland grilled chicken sandwich. Topped with Colby-Jack cheese, applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, and tomato, you're really getting the full flavor experience.

Although there are healthier options available at Chick-fil-A, this sandwich still clocks in at under 550 calories, and adding on a side of fruit can really help you reach your health goals. Skipping the bacon will make this sandwich a better choice for a health-focused chicken sandwich consumer.

Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwich

Popeye's blackened chicken sandwich

Per sandwich: 550 calories, 29g fat (5g saturated fat), 1900mg sodium, 41g carbs (2g fiber, 8g sugar), 32g protein

We all know the Chick-fil-A vs. Popeyes chicken sandwich controversy–so we couldn't leave Popeyes out in the cold! Their Blackened Chicken Sandwich is made with a filet that is "fried to perfection without the breading." Therefore, this sandwich isn't technically grilled, but blackened with an abundance of seasonings and served with crispy pickles and mayo. Like Subway's Rotisserie-Style Chicken Sandwich, this sandwich does come with a higher sodium count than other available options, which is something to be mindful of.

Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LD, CLEC, CPT
Lauren Manaker is an award-winning registered dietitian, book author, and recipe developer who has been in practice for almost 20 years. Read more about Lauren