The 10 Best High-Protein Fast-Food Breakfast Orders
When you're in a bind and need a quick meal on the go, fast food is the perfect solution. And if you know what to order or which drive-thru to visit, you can even find some delicious, high-protein fast-food breakfasts to help you meet your protein goals for the day.
Even though grabbing a fast-food breakfast is easy, cheap, and accessible, it can certainly have its fair share of negative qualities when it comes to your nutrition and health. Many of these items are usually loaded with saturated fat, added sugars, and many types of preservatives, and they often lack protein, fiber, or other nutrient-dense ingredients. Eating foods that are highly processed and low in protein (like many fast food items) can contribute to things like weight gain, high cholesterol, gut imbalance, and heart complications—but, if you look for high-protein breakfast orders that are also lower in calories, fat, and sodium, you can give yourself a decently healthy start to your day on even the busiest mornings.
In fact, making sure you're getting enough protein at breakfast can have an enormous impact on the rest of your day. For starters, protein is important for helping to maintain a speedy metabolism. Plus, getting enough protein at breakfast can help improve satiety and reduce snacking throughout the day.
With that being said, it's always important to consume any type of fast food in moderation, but these high-protein fast-food breakfast orders can help you pack in some protein on the busiest days of the week. Read on to discover the best items to order, and for more, don't miss The 9 Best High-Protein Restaurant Chain Breakfast Orders.
Starbucks Turkey Bacon, Cheddar & Egg White Sandwich
Another high-protein breakfast option at Starbucks is the Turkey Bacon, Cheddar & Egg White Sandwich, which is a popular choice for those trying to keep their saturated fat levels down.
"This Starbucks sandwich is a great option for a high-protein breakfast on the go," says Brittany DeLaurentis, MPH, RD, CSO, LD, founder of Brittany Lynn Nutrition. "It has 17 grams of protein while only providing 230 calories, and most importantly, it tastes delicious and will keep you satisfied as you go through your day."
Wendy's Classic Bacon, Egg & Cheese Sandwich
Even though you may be thinking of a hamburger or frosty when you consider heading to Wendy's, you'll also be able to find a handful of delicious breakfast options, too—some of which are higher in protein and not terrible in the nutrition department.
"The Classic Bacon, Egg & Cheese Sandwich is a great high-protein option if you're tracking your calories. It has 320 calories with 18 grams of protein, compared to Wendy's Sausage, Egg & Cheese Sandwich, which has 480 calories and 21 grams of protein," says Lara Clevenger MSH, RDN, CPT. "It also only has 25 grams of carbohydrates, which makes it macro-friendly in most cases."
Einstein Bros Bagels Santa Fe Egg White Breakfast Sandwich
When you're heading to Einstein Bros, it can be tempting to just get a bagel and cream cheese, but this won't give you enough protein to start your day. Instead, try one of their breakfast sandwiches.
"If you're looking for a breakfast that's both delicious and protein-packed, check out Einstein Bros Bagels Santa Fe Egg White Breakfast Sandwich," suggests Jessie Hulsey RD, LD. "Packed with a substantial 31 grams of protein from egg whites and turkey sausage, it's a flavorful powerhouse that fuels your body and keeps you satisfied. The addition of jalapeño salsa schmear pulls together the whole sandwich and is the perfect burst of flavor to elevate your breakfast game!"
Starbucks Spinach, Feta & Egg White Wrap
If a breakfast sandwich or cup of oatmeal doesn't appeal to you when you're at Starbucks in need of a quick bite, you can also try their wrap.
"The Spinach, Feta & Egg White Wrap from Starbucks is hands down my favorite high-protein fast-food breakfast with 20 grams of protein," says Jamie Nadeau, RD. "It has 290 calories, 20 grams of protein, and 3 grams of fiber, making it a great option for anyone looking for a healthier fast food choice. It's also absolutely delicious!"
Panera Bread Avocado, Egg White, Spinach & Cheese on Sprouted Grain Bagel Flat
Panera is obviously known for having a long list of breakfast and coffee options, but if you're in need of something on the lighter side that is still filling and packed with protein, you may want to try the Panera Bread Avocado, Egg White, Spinach & Cheese on Sprouted Grain Bagel Flat.
"This sandwich comes in at 350 calories and 19 grams of protein, and with the sprouted grain bagel flat and avocado it also packs in 5 grams of fiber for a delicious hunger-crushing combo," says Kristin Draayer, MS, RDN. "This is a great breakfast option to hold you over through the morning."
Starbucks Rolled & Steel-Cut Oatmeal with Blueberries
Starbucks has a ton of higher-protein breakfast options, so you can choose based on your mood. If you're wanting something on the sweeter side, opt for their cup of oatmeal.
"The Rolled & Steel-Cut Oatmeal with Blueberries from Starbucks can be a great option for vegan and vegetarian travelers because this oatmeal has 8 grams of plant-based protein," says Rhyan Geiger, RDN. "For plant-based eaters, I always suggest traveling with extras, like pumpkin seeds. Two tablespoons can be sprinkled on top of the oatmeal to add four extra grams of protein, bringing it to a total of 12 grams. A great way to start the day!"
Chick-fil-A Egg White Grill
Chick-fil-A is arguably one of the best fast food options if you're wanting to personalize your order to fit your health needs. They offer plenty of healthier alternatives for breakfast, including this delicious breakfast sandwich.
"Layered with grilled chicken, American cheese, and egg white on a multigrain English muffin, this breakfast sandwich packs 26 grams of protein for under 300 calories! And what's better is that it only contains 8 grams of fat. Pair this with a fruit cup or if you want a little more protein, a 7 oz bottle of milk (with 7 grams of protein) for a nutrient-rich, protein-packed breakfast on the go," says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook and member of our Expert Medical Board.
Starbucks Egg & Gouda Protein Box
Many people may forget about Starbucks when it comes to ordering a nutrient-dense breakfast, but they actually have some great protein-heavy options to go along with your favorite PSL.
"If you are looking for something to grab with your morning coffee, try a Starbucks Egg & Gouda Protein Box. This box comes with hard-boiled eggs, gouda cheese, multigrain crackers, peanut butter, and dried fruit. While a little higher in calories at 530, this protein box packs 26 grams of protein and is easy to eat on the go or take to a morning meeting. Plus, it contains four food groups," says Goodson.
Dunkin' Donuts Turkey Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Sandwich
When you're heading to Dunkin', it could be tempting to just order a donut or two. Unfortunately, you won't get any protein and will most likely be hungry an hour later. Instead, try one of their breakfast sandwiches.
"Coming in under 500 calories and with 23 grams of protein, this breakfast sandwich can be a good pick, especially over the donuts they sell. The protein content of the turkey sausage, egg, and cheese will help you stay full throughout the morning! Plus, it comes on an English Muffin instead of a biscuit or croissant," says Goodson.
Subway Black Forest Ham, Egg, and Cheese Flatbread Sub
Subway is famous for being a quick lunch-hour stop, but they serve delicious breakfast sandwiches as well.
"With 24 grams of protein and only 410 calories, this Subway Breakfast Flatbread Sub is a great option for a quick breakfast! And the best part is they will let you add veggies if you ask. And if you are looking for a vegetarian-friendly option, they also have an egg and cheese version of the same breakfast sub. While coming in a little lower in protein at 19 grams, it is still a protein-packed way to start the morning," says Goodson.