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The #1 Healthiest Order at 14 Sandwich Chains, According to Dietitians

These sandwiches and wraps will help you stay healthy the next time you're ordering lunch out.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

Choosing the healthiest sandwiches from fast-casual restaurants like Panera, Jimmy John's, and Subway requires a deep dive into the nutrition facts to determine which ones won't blow your overall healthy eating goals. Lucky for you, we enlisted the help of several registered dietitian nutritionists to highlight the healthiest sandwiches and subs at 14 popular fast-casual sandwich shops.

When it comes to building a healthy sandwich, you first have to start with your protein choice. Lean meats such as turkey, chicken, or grilled fish are preferable over processed meats like bacon or salami, which are often high in sodium and saturated fats. Additionally, selecting sandwiches with plenty of vegetables not only adds flavor and texture but it provides a nutritional boost.

There are a few other components that factor into the healthfulness of a sandwich, such as portion size and toppings. To order the healthiest sandwiches, follow these guidelines from registered dietitians:

  • Go Vegetarian: Most vegetarian sandwiches will have more veggies and fewer calories, saturated fat, and sodium, compared to sandwiches stuffed with processed deli meats.
  • Downsize: When ordering any sandwich, opt for the smallest size, like a 4- or 6-inch sandwich versus a foot-long. Often, the smaller sandwiches have one-third to one-half the calories of their larger counterparts.
  • Avoid specialty sandwiches and subs: Most of the chains have their signature sandwiches, which tend to be the highest in calories, fat, saturated fat, sodium, and sugar. Some will have nearly 2,000 calories and a couple of days' worth of saturated fat in one sandwich.
  • Limit low-quality toppings: The healthiest sandwich toppings are veggies and vinegar. Skip the extra cheese, dressings, mayo, and other specialty sauces that the chains offer. Instead, ask for more veggies on your sandwiches to add fiber and other essential nutrients.

Here are the #1 healthiest orders at 14 sandwich chains, according to dietitians.

Subway Veggie Delite

Subway veggie delight sub
Nutrition (Per 6" Sub):
Calories: 200 calories
Fat: 2 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 320 mg
Carbs: 39 g (Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 5 g)
Protein: 8 g

I've always been a fan of Subway's Veggie Delite, because I can pile it high with a lot of different veggie options. Weighing in at just 200 calories, this sandwich is a fraction of the calories, fat, saturated fat, and sodium of most fast-food sandwiches. Plus, it has enough fiber and protein to keep you satisfied.

 9 Healthiest Subway Sandwiches To Order, According to Dietitians

Blimpie Tuna Sub

Blimpie Tuna Sub
Nutrition (Per Regular Size Sub):
Calories: 470
Fat: 21 g (Saturated Fat: 3 g)
Sodium: 320 mg
Carbs: 48 g (Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 2 g)
Protein: 21 g

"This is the perfect pick at Blimpie's due to its high protein counts and the fact that it's rich in healthy omega-3 fats and it's the lowest in sodium of all their sandwich options," explains nutrition consultant and certified athletic trainer, Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC. The sub has tuna salad, lettuce, and tomatoes. It is low in saturated fat and packs in a significant 21 grams of high-quality protein.

Jersey Mike's Turkey and Provolone

jersey mike turkey & provolone sub
Jersey Mike's
Nutrition (Per Mini Sub):
Calories: 450
Fat: 22.5 g (Saturated Fat: 6 g)
Sodium: 1,033 mg
Carbs: 38 g (Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 5 g)
Protein: 25 g

"Jersey Mike's has an extensive menu with lots of ways to customize," notes Angelo White. Angelo White recommends the Turkey and Provolone on wheat bread. Loaded with veggies and finished with olive oil, vinegar, and oregano. This sub has 25 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber to keep you satisfied for hours.  To keep calories in check, opt for the mini or regular-sized subs, rather than the giant or wrap.

 12 Best & Worst Jersey Mike's Subs, According to an RD

Panera Mediterranean Veggie on Tomato Basil

Panera Mediterranean Veggie on Tomato Basil
Panera Bread
Nutrition (Per Sandwich):
Calories: 630
Fat: 14 g (Saturated Fat: 4 g)
Sodium: 1,650 mg
Carbs: 105 g (Fiber: 7 g, Sugar: 11 g)
Protein: 23 g

"This sandwich provides an array of nutrient-rich vegetables (cucumber, peppers, vine-ripe tomatoes, mixed greens) along with hummus and feta on tomato basil bread. For 630 calories, it has 7 grams of fiber and 23 grams of protein for staying power," says Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN, nationally recognized registered dietitian nutritionist and author of From Burnout to Balance. The downside, however, is that it's high in sodium and has 11 g of sugar. For a lighter meal, order a half-sandwich with an apple or banana as a side.

Firehouse Turkey Sub

firehouse subs turkey
Firehouse Subs
Nutrition (Per small sub):
Calories: 340
Fat: 17 g (Saturated Fat: 3.5 g)
Sodium: 1,130 mg
Carbs: 30 g (Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 5 g)
Protein: 18 g

At Firehouse, the best way to order the healthier menu options is to opt for a small sub, which will have significantly fewer calories than a medium- or large-sized sub. The small turkey sub provides 18 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber for a meal with staying power. Unfortunately, the sodium content is high (1,130 mg), which is true for all the subs at Firehouse, says Bannan. Other similar best bets at this chain are the Chicken Sub and Jamaican Jerky Turkey.

Au Bon Pain Napa Chicken with Avocado Wrap

au bon pain napa chicken avocado wrap
Au Bon Pain/Facebook
Nutrition (Per wrap):
Calories: 580
Fat: 24 g (Saturated Fat: 4 g)
Sodium: 810 mg
Carbs: 63 g (Fiber: 6 g, Sugar: 6 g)
Protein: 30 g

This wrap is made with avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers, and romaine with a basil aioli and lemon vinaigrette. "It provides a reasonable amount of calories for a meal and more veggies than most options," explains Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, author of Up Your Veggies: Flexitarian Recipes for the Whole Family. "The fiber is 6 grams, which is a nice amount for a sandwich!"

Pret a Manger Rainbow Veggie Sandwich

Pret a Manger Rainbow Veggie Sandwich
Pret a Manger
Nutrition (Per sandwich):
Calories: 410
Fat: 18 g (Saturated Fat: 2.5 g)
Sodium: 770 mg
Carbs: 54 g (Fiber: 6 g, Sugar: 9 g)
Protein: 11 g

"With this Veggie Sandwich, you'll get protein from hummus, healthy fat from avocado, carbs from multi-grain bread, and a variety of veggies," says Amidor.  The calorie count and saturated fat are reasonable at 410 and 2.5 grams, respectively. And as a bonus, it has 6 grams of filling fiber.

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Potbelly's Mediterranean Skinny

Potbelly's Mediterranean Skinny
Nutrition (Per sandwich):
Calories: 410
Fat: 9 g (Saturated Fat: 2.5 g)
Sodium: 970 mg
Carbs: 55 g (Fiber: 7 g, Sugar: 5 g)
Protein: 30 g

For the best options at Potbelly, order from their "Skinny," menu, which allows better portion and calorie control, notes Amidor. The Skinny Mediterranean sandwich is made with wholesome ingredients like grilled chicken, feta, artichoke hearts, cucumber, hummus, roasted red peppers, and multigrain bread. "The sandwich provides 28% of the daily recommended amount of fiber for 410 calories," explains Amidor.

Jason's Deli Amy's Turkey-0

Jason's Deli Amy Turkey-O Sandwich
Jason's Deli/Facebook
Nutrition (Per sandwich):
Calories: 420
Fat: 17 g (Saturated Fat: 4.5 g)
Sodium: 1,370 mg
Carbs: 42 g (Fiber: 6 g, Sugar: 7 g)
Protein: 28 g

This tasty sandwich is made with turkey breast, avocado, cheese, onions, lettuce, and mustard on an Everything Bun. It's the lightest specialty sandwich from the chain and it provides 28 grams of high-quality protein and 6 grams of fiber to help keep you fuller for longer.

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McAlister's Build Your Own Turkey Sandwich

McAlister's Deli Garden Fresh Turkey Sandwich
McAlister's Deli
Nutrition (Per Sandwich):
Calories: 460
Fat: 5 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 1,460 mg
Carbs: 73 g (Fiber: 7 g, Sugar: 13 g)
Protein: 32 g

"Sometimes a basic turkey sandwich not only hits the spot for lunch but also fills you up with good nutrition," explains nutritionist Sarah Garone, NDTR, CNC. The sandwich packs in protein and fiber, two of the most filling nutrients. Ask for more veggies for a nutritional boost and the extra fiber will help keep you satisfied.

Quiznos Turkey Ranch Swiss

quiznos turkey, ranch, and swiss sub
Quiznos / Facebook

(Per 4-inch sub): 450 calories, 23 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 1350 mg sodium, 40 g carbs (3 g fiber, 5g sugar), 21 g protein

Made with roasted turkey, melted Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, this is a classic crowd-pleaser. This best bet at Quiznos provides 21 grams of filling protein as well as 3 grams of fiber for just 450 calories.  Quiznos' subs come in three sizes: four, eight, and 12-inch sandwiches. To keep calories, fat, and sodium in check, stick to four-inch subs. Ask for additional veggies to max out the nutritional benefits of this sandwich.

Jimmy John's Little John #3, Tuna Salad, Cucumber, Lettuce & Tomato

Jimmy John's little tuna
Jimmy John's
Nutrition (Per sandwich):
Calories: 250
Fat: 11 g (Saturated Fat: 1.5 g)
Sodium: 590 mg
Carbs: 26 g (Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 2 g)
Protein: 10 g

The appeal of this sandwich is how low it is in calories, saturated fat, and sugar while providing beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are generally under-consumed in the typical American diet and the beneficial omegas help support heart, eye, brain, and joint health. With 3 grams of fiber coupled with 10 grams of high-quality protein, this sandwich will keep you satisfied longer.

 8 Highest Quality Proteins To Eat Every Day, Say Dietitians

Mendocino Farms Chicken Pesto Caprese

Mendocino Farms Chicken Pesto Caprese
Mendocino Farms
Nutrition (Per ½ Sandwich):
Calories: 430
Fat: 24 g (Saturated Fat: 5 g)
Sodium: 580 mg
Carbs: 28 g (Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 3 g)
Protein: 21 g

For the best bets at Mendocino Farms, stick with the half-sandwich combo menu options. This Chicken Pesto sandwich. It's made with roasted chicken breast, fresh mozzarella, marinated red peppers, basil pesto, and mixed greens on a panini-pressed ciabatta roll. Nutritionally, it is moderate in calories, and saturated fat, and packs in 21 grams of high-quality protein and 2 grams of fiber.

Which Wich Turkey Lettucewich

Which Wich Turkey Lettucewich
Which Wich
Nutrition (Per Lettucewich):
Calories: 119
Fat: 2 g (Saturated fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 1,237 mg
Carbs: 7 g (Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 3 g)
Protein: 18 g

Which Wich offers unlimited sandwich creations, but for the healthiest choices, stick with a lettuce wrap or the smallest roll. The Turkey Lettucewich is a great option for anyone trying to lose weight or following a keto or low-carb lifestyle.

Julie Upton, MS, RD, CSSD
Julie Upton is an award-winning registered dietitian and communications specialist who has written thousands of articles for national media outlets, including The New York Times, US News & World Report, and USA Today. Read more about Julie