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

From combos to simple sides, find out what to eat at this rapidly expanding chicken fast food chain.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

Famous for its fried chicken tenders and signature dipping sauce, Raising Cane's has rapidly expanded from its original location in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to over 30 states, satisfying chicken-loving diners nationwide.

The fast-food chicken chain has a fairly straightforward menu, only offering five main meals which are various combinations of chicken tenders, fries, sauce, sides, and a drink. But despite its simplicity, the nutritional profile of these offerings can vary significantly,

Certain menu items at Raising Cane's are more health-conscious than others, so if you're being mindful of your diet, it's important to know which menu items to order and which to skip. To help you make smart decisions, we consulted with nutrition experts and dietitians to compile their suggestions for making healthier choices when enjoying the offerings at this fast-food fried chicken chain.

How we chose the best and worst Raising Cane's menu items

  • Sodium content: Steering clear of added salt at fast-food establishments is a tough task. Despite your attempts, the sodium intake is likely to surpass what you would have if you had prepared the same meal at home. We considered the sodium content as a factor that can impact the healthiness of your order off Raising Cane's menu.
  • Empty calories: Surplus calories from extras like condiments, sauces, and cooking oils can accumulate rapidly at fast-food establishments. Look for choices that come without additional sauces or condiments, or ask for your menu item without these additions. We categorized these items according to their calorie content to distinguish the choices with the most and least favorable nutritional profiles at Raising Cane's.
  • Protein content: In our examination of Raising Cane's menu items, we considered the overall protein content of the order, favoring items with a higher protein content.

Now, let's get into the insights provided by dietitians regarding the best and worst choices when dining at Raising Cane's.

Best Combos 

Best: 3 Finger Combo

Raising Cane's 3 Finger Combo
Raising Cane's
Nutrition: 1,020 calories, 56 g fat (9 g sat fat), 1,640 mg sodium, 81 g carbs (10 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 47 g protein

Although this combo still appears pretty steep in calories, you will find it modest compared to some of the worst options totaling up closer to 1800 calories for the order. The three-finger combo will give you a surprising 10 grams of fiber and 47 grams of protein For the entire order. Fiber and protein help keep you full longer and improve how satiated you feel after eating.

To cut back on calories, fat, and sodium in this order you might consider reducing the portion size of your fries, choosing to limit Cane's sauce, omitting the Texas toast, and opting for a diet drink instead of a sugar-laden option.

 8 Best & Worst Fast-Food Chicken Tenders, According to Dietitians

Best: Kids Combo

Raising Cane's kids combo
Raising Cane's
Nutrition: 630 calories, 40 g fat (6 g sat fat), 1,100 mg sodium, 38 g carbs (5 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 29 g protein

Despite the smaller serving, this kids' combo is modest in calories, clocking in at 630 calories. With 5 grams of fiber and 29 grams of protein, you will still receive a well-balanced meal for this fast food order.

"The Kid's Combo is a healthier choice on the Raising Cane's menu, as it is a smaller portion size," shares Megan Huff, RD, LD. With less sodium, fat, and calories than the other combo meals, this meal stays under the daily recommended values of the aforementioned nutrients, Huff concludes.

Worst Combos 

Worst: Caniac Combo

raising canes caniac combo
Raising Cane's
Nutrition: 1790 calories, 104 g fat (16 g sat fat), 3160 mg sodium, 124 g carbs (15 g fiber, 21 g sugar), 89 g protein

The Caniac Combo at Raising Cane's is a meal that Mandy Tyler, M.Ed., RD, CSSD, LD recommends passing on. "It includes 6 chicken tenders, fries, Cane's sauce, Texas toast, and a large fountain drink—providing 1,790 calories, 16 grams of saturated fat, and 3,160 milligrams of sodium. The American Heart Association recommends individuals limit their intake of sodium to no more than 2,300 milligrams a day, and this meal exceeds that recommendation," she says.

You'd be better off choosing the Kid's Combo for a smaller portion that is lower in calories, salt, and fat.

Worst: Box Combo

Raising Cane's Box Combo
Raising Cane's
Nutrition: 1250 calories, 68 g fat (11 g sat fat), 2130 mg sodium, 97 g carbs (12 g fiber, 16 g sugar), 61 g protein

This order comes with four chicken fingers, fries, sauce, Texas toast, coleslaw, and a fountain drink. On the low side, the calorie content will run you about 1,250 calories for this meal. You might be able to make some small adjustments like cutting back on the fries or toast, opting for a low-sugar beverage, or mixing the sauce.

 10 Best High-Fiber Breads, According to Dietitians

Worst: Chicken Sandwich Combo

Raising Cane's chicken sandwich combo
Raising Cane's
Nutrition: 1,080 calories, 54 g fat (9 g sat fat), 1,700 mg sodium, 103 g carbs (10 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 52 g protein

This fried chicken sandwich comes with all the sides and fully loaded with toppings. You might consider asking for the sauce on the side instead of on the sandwich itself so that you can control how many additional calories and fat you consume. With 1,080 calories, 54 grams of fat, and 1,700 milligrams of sodium, this menu item is not the healthiest choice.

Best Extras 

Best: Coleslaw

Raising Cane's Coleslaw
Raising Cane's
Nutrition: 100 calories, 6 g fat (1 g sat fat), 310 mg sodium, 11 g carbs (1 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 1 g protein

If you're looking for a way to get your veggies in while eating fast food, coleslaw might be your best bet. While this option is made with mayo, sugar, and salt, you'll still get a serving of veggies in for just 100 calories. With just 1 gram of saturated fat and 11 g of carbs, this coleslaw is pretty balanced overall.

Best: Chicken Finger

Raising Cane's Chicken Finger
Raising Cane's
Nutrition: 130 calories, 6 g fat (1 g sat fat), 190 mg sodium, 5 g carbs (1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 13 g protein

We think it should be celebrated that chicken fingers pack a solid serving of protein into one extra on Raising Cane's menu. With 13 grams of protein per 130 calories, this extra menu item adds a bit more fullness and satisfaction to your meal while still delivering the crispy fried chicken you might be craving.

Worst Extras 

Worst: Chicken Sandwich

raising canes chicken sandwich
Raising Cane's
Nutrition: 780 calories, 39 g fat (6 g sat fat), 1,470 mg sodium, 66 g carbs (5 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 48 g protein

The fried chicken sandwich is one of the worst extras on the menu, and to be fair, it's closer to a meal than an extra. With 780 calories, 39 grams of fat, and 1,470 milligrams of sodium, this sandwich is packed with extra calories and added salt and oil. To make it a little healthier, you can ask for your sauce on the side to dip your sandwich into it and control additional calories you might take that way.

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Worst: Crinkle Cut Fries

Crinkle-cut fries
Raising Cane's/Facebook
Nutrition: 390 calories, 19 g fat (2 g sat fat), 310 mg sodium, 49 g carbs (7 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 5 g protein

Not only are these fries high in calories, but they are also a source of empty calories when you consider that they deliver 19 grams of fat and very little protein. french fries themselves are not a filling option and while they might be deliciously satisfying and salty, they are easy to overeat especially if you're adding them to a meal that is already not super balanced.

Worst: Cane's Sauce

raising canes sauce
Raising Cane's / Facebook
Nutrition: 190 calories, 19 g fat (3 g sat fat), 580 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (0 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 0 g protein

If you're wondering how much a single serving of Cane's Sauce is, we've got you covered. Unfortunately, it's quite high in calories without delivering much nutrition. For a small ramekin serving, you will get 190 empty calories, 19 grams of fat, and 580 milligrams of sodium. When you consider that the daily recommendation for added salt is 2,300 mg per day, this small serving of sauce is almost 20% of your daily salt recommended intake.

Worst: Texas Toast

Raising Cane's Texas Toast
Raising Cane's
Nutrition: 140 calories, 4 g fat (1.5 g sat fat), 260 mg sodium, 23 g carbs (1 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 4 g protein

Adding Texas toast to your order is likely going to add more unnecessary calories and carbohydrates without adding a ton of balance to your meal. If you are pairing this carbohydrate with a combo that already includes fries, a bun on your sandwich, and a drink, those calories and carbohydrates can add up very quickly.

Best Drinks

Best: Unsweetened Tea – Regular

raising cane's tea
Raising Cane's
Nutrition: 0 calories, 0 g fat (0 g sat fat), 15 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 0 g protein

If you're looking for a drink to round out your meal, you'll want to consider low-sugar options that are also low in calories. Unsweet tea is a great solution if you're looking for an alternative to water but don't want to increase the sugars in your meal.

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Best: Water

raising canes bottled water
Raising Cane's
Nutrition: 0 calories, 0 g fat (0 g sat fat), 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 0 g protein

You can't find a beverage option that is lower in calories or sugar than plain water. While not everybody loves to drink water, opting for sparkling water from the soda fountain will give you some extra bubbles to spice things up.

Worst Drinks

Worst: Fountain Drink – Root Beer Large

raising cane's tea
Raising Cane's
Nutrition: 460 calories, 0 g fat (0 g sat fat), 140 mg sodium, 116 g carbs (0 g fiber, 116 g sugar), 0 g protein

One of the worst drinks to choose from the fountain soda machine is a large root beer at Raising Cane's. With 460 calories per drink, you can quickly add empty calories to your meal which is likely already high in total calories. Keep in mind, if you're eating in the store, this calorie content doesn't include any refills you might go back for as well.

Worst: Lemonade Large

Raising Cane's Lemonade
Raising Cane's
Nutrition: 240 calories, 0 g fat (0 g sat fat),  20 mg sodium, 64 g carbs (0 g fiber, 62 g sugar), 0 g protein

A large lemonade might sound refreshing, but lemonade can be a sneaky source of added sugars. Clocking in at 64 grams of total carbohydrates, one large lemonade packs just as much added sugar as most soft drinks. Look for diet lemonade or add a touch of lemonade to sparkling water to make this a healthier choice.

Caroline Thomason, RDN, RD, LDN, CDCES
Caroline is a women's health Registered Dietitian and diabetes educator based in Northern Virginia. Read more about Caroline