When a wing craving strikes and time is short, Wingstop is exactly where you need to be. With over 2,000 locations nationwide, this fast-food chicken joint is a fan favorite for bone-in or boneless wings dressed in a wide variety of flavors with a range of heat levels. Along with wings, you can grab a side of fries, or even veggie sticks, to complete your meal. With 13 different sauces to choose from, choosing just one (or two) will be the toughest choice you make.
Wings might not be the leanest part of the chicken, but they can absolutely be part of an overall healthy diet—as long as you're mindful of the sauce. As a dietitian, there are some Wingstop menu items I recommend to anyone who's trying to be mindful of their diet choices, and a few I suggest limiting or avoiding. As with a lot of fast-food options, the focus is to limit sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars, which can really add up in sauces and toppings found on wings and sides like french fries.
Keep reading for the top dietitian-selected best and worst menu items at Wingstop!
Bone-in Wings and Sauces
Best: Plain Wings
Stripping it down to the basics, the plain wings are just bone-in chicken wings, lightly seasoned and fried. Skipping the sauces altogether saves a significant amount of sodium and added sugars. Six wings have only 180 milligrams of sodium, 540 calories, and 60 grams of protein for a filling and satisfying, low-sodium meal.
Best: Mango Habanero Wings
The Mango Habanero Wings are sweet with a lot of heat. This is one of Wingstop's spiciest sauces, and eating all that heat could have a health benefit. A 2021 meta-analysis, including studies with over 550,000 adults, found that those who regularly ate spicy food had a 12% lower risk of dying (from any cause) over a 9-year period than those who never ate spicy foods. This choice also has lower sodium, with just 480 milligrams for six wings. While these wings have a lot going for them, they do have 3 grams of added sugar per wing, which can add up quickly.
Best: Spicy Korean Wings
A little sweet and a little spicy, these wings are loaded with flavor and only 810 milligrams of sodium, or 35% of your daily value (DV). They're also one of the wing options lowest in saturated fat, with just 1.5 grams per wing. Like the Mango Habanero, these Spicy Korean wings have 3 grams of added sugar per wing. With a recommended daily limit of 50 grams per day, just be mindful of how many you eat and your other food choices throughout the day.
Best: Garlic Parmesan Wings
For lots of flavor without the heat, Garlic Parmesan wings deliver. With no added sugars and only 75 milligrams of sodium in each wing, they're one of the better menu items at Wingstop. The one downfall to these wings is the higher amount of saturated fat from the butter used in the sauce. Each wing has 2 grams of saturated fat, so a serving of six adds 60% of the recommended daily limit to your day. Being mindful of how many you eat, sides, and other meals throughout the day can help you fit these wings into an overall healthy diet.
Best: Old Bay Wings
With the classic bold and distinctive flavor of Old Bay, these wings are not only a fan favorite, but one of the healthier choices on Wingstop's menu. Lower in sodium with 28% of the recommended daily limit in six wings, they also have just 6 grams of added sugar or one gram per wing. Being a little higher in saturated fat, with one wing coming in at 10% of the daily value, the lower sodium and lower added sugar help keep this a healthier choice for most.
Best: Hawaiian Wings
These sweet and tangy wings are loaded with delicious citrus flavor and have only 1.5 grams of saturated fat and 85 milligrams of sodium per wing. "Although each wing has 2 grams of added sugar, it is balanced out by the protein and fat content of the wing," says Megan Huff, RDN, LDN, an Atlanta-based cardiac ICU dietitian. With 60 grams of protein and 30 grams of fat, it's unlikely you'll have a spike in blood sugar from the 12 grams of sugar found in a six-piece serving of these wings.
Worst: Lemon Pepper Wings
This dry rub has a zesty flavor that packs on the salt. By eating six Lemon Pepper wings, you'll get 55% of the daily value of sodium, not to mention 60% of the recommended limit for saturated fat. People who eat diets high in saturated fat and sodium are at a higher risk of developing heart disease, the number one cause of death in the United States.
Worst: Atomic Wings
If you like to test your limits, you might be looking at the Atomic Wings at Wingstop, their hottest sauce by far. Along with all the heat comes all the sodium, with a six-piece serving adding 1,320 milligrams to your day, or 57% of the daily value.
Worst: Original Hot Wings
The sauce that led the way for all the others, Original Hot is just too high in sodium for us to recommend. If you're craving these trendsetting wings, keep your portion to just a couple to avoid overdoing it on sodium.
Worst: Louisiana Rub Wings
This cajun-inspired dry rub has no added sugars, but the moderate amount of sodium of 36% of the daily value, along with 12 grams of saturated fat in a 6-piece serving, make it one we recommend limiting.
Worst: Mild Wings
Less spicy than the original, with a little less sodium, the Mild Wings still have 60% of the daily value of saturated fat and 42% of the recommended limit of sodium. The extra fat adds an extra 180 calories to these wings as well.
Worst: Hickory Smoked BBQ Wings
One of the worst wing options at Wingstop is the Hickory Smoked BBQ Wings, says Wan Na Chun, MPH, RD, CPT, owner of One Pot Wellness based in Indianapolis, IN. With 150 milligrams of sodium and 3 grams of added sugars in each wing, fitting them into a healthy diet will be tricky.
Worst: Cajun Boneless Wings
"I would skip the cajun boneless wings at Wingstop, as they are the highest sodium wing option on the menu," says Mandy Tyler, M.Ed., RD, CSSD, LD, at Nutrition By Mandy. Each bone-in wing has 310 milligrams of sodium, which brings a six-piece serving to 81% of the total amount of sodium you should have in one day.
Best: Celery and Carrot Sticks
Why yes, you can get a daily serving of veggies in at Wingstop—a fresh side we love to see! "The veggie sticks are low in calories, rich in water and micronutrients, and provide a satisfying crunch," says Erica Baty, RDN. For a little extra flavor, get a side of ranch dressing and dip away.
Best: Seasoned Fries
"The seasoned fries would satisfy my French fry craving while providing 495 calories and a whopping 1,530 milligrams of potassium," says Baty. While the regular fries are seasoned, they still come in at only 27% of the recommended daily limit of sodium, which is better than any other fry option on the menu.
Worst: Louisiana Voodoo Fries
The Voodoo fries have double the amount of sodium and saturated fat as the seasoned fries, thanks to the cheese sauce, ranch dressing, and cajun seasoning loaded on top. Eating these, in addition to wings, will quickly give you over a day's worth of sodium, saturated fat, and maybe even calories, depending on your unique needs.
Worst: Buffalo Ranch Fries
"The buffalo ranch fries are one of the worst sides nutritionally, as a regular serving contains over 1,700mg of sodium," says Chun. That's 74% of the amount you should be getting in an entire day. "Excessive sodium intake over time can increase the risk of health problems, including obesity and heart disease," Chun adds.