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Healthy Fast Food On the Chick-Fil-A Menu

 Not all fast food is bad for you. There are several good options on the Chick-Fil-A menu that are full of plant-based whole foods and are delicious.

Chick-Fil-A is the South’s favorite go-to restaurant when it comes to, well…chicken.  (Please don’t tell KFC fans, okay?)  Their original chicken sandwiches are made with “A boneless breast of chicken seasoned to perfection, hand-breaded, pressure cooked in 100% refined peanut oil and served on a toasted, buttered bun with dill pickle chips.”  What’s not to love?  


Despite how delicious it is, there are very few plant-based ingredients in the sandwich.  (I count only the pickles, but we could argue that the bun is made with wheat, which is a plant.)  According to the USDA guidelines, older children, teen girls, active women, most men should be consuming at least 3 servings of fruit and 4 servings of vegetables per day.  The best way to do that at Chick Fil A is to order one of their salads, their Superfood Side, or fruit cup.  So let’s take a look at what’s on the Chick-Fil-A menu that can help us meet those dietary guidelines.

Chick Fil A Salads

Spicy Southwest Salad

Spicy Southwest Salad

Chick Fil A’s Spicy Southwest Salad lives up to its name.  It has a bit of a kick to it, so if you don’t like spicy foods then you will want to stay away from this one.  Despite what you might see on the menu board inside Chick-Fil-A, Chick Fil A salads can be enjoyed in 6 different ways, more when you factor in the different salad dressings.

At the base of each Spicy Southwest Salad is a fresh bed of mixed greens, topped with grape tomatoes, a blend of Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses, and a zesty combination of poblano chiles, red bell peppers, roasted corn and black beans.  Each salad is served with Seasoned Tortilla Strips, Chili Lime Pepitas, Creamy Salsa dressing or 2 packets of Jalapeño Salsa for an option with fewer calories (or guest’s choice of dressing).

The various options include:

  • Spicy Southwest Salad without chicken – 350 calories, 17 g fat, 37 g carbs, 14 g protein, 210 mg sodium, 8 g fiber
  • Spicy Southwest Salad with Chick-n-Strips – 680 calories 33 g fat, 57 g carbs, 40 g protein, 1070 mg sodium, 8 g fiber
  • Spicy Southwest Salad with Grilled Filet (cold) – 450 calories, 19 g fat, 38 g carbs, 35 g protein, 580 mg sodium, 8 g fiber
  • Spicy Southwest Salad with Grilled Nuggets – 460 calories, 19 g fat, 38 g carbs, 35 g protein, 650 mg sodium, 8 g fiber
  • Spicy Southwest Salad with Nuggets – 600 calories, 29 g fat, 46 g carbs, 42 g protein, 1420 mg sodium, 8 g fiber
  • Spicy Southwest Salad with Spicy Grilled Filet (warm) – 450 calories, 19 g fat, 38 g carbs, 35 g protein, 580 mg sodium, 8 g fiber

According to the Chick-Fil-A website, that includes the seasoned tortilla strips (70 calories), chili lime pepitas (80 calories), and two packets of Creamy Salsa Dressing (290 calories).

The other salad dressings available include Avocado Lime Ranch Dressing (310 calories), Garden Herb Ranch Dressing (280 calories), Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette  Dressing (230 calories), Light Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (80 calories), Fat-Free Honey Mustard Dressing (90 calories), and Light Italian Dressing (25 calories).  Please note that the calories are PER PACKET.  If you use two packets on each salad, the calories, fat, and carbs start to add up.

Cobb Salad


The Cobb Salad is made with a bed of mixed greens that has been topped with a blend of shredded Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses, crumbled bacon, roasted corn, sliced hard-boiled eggs, and grape tomatoes.   Each option is typically served with charred tomato, crispy red bell peppers (80 calories), and either Avocado Lime Ranch Dressing or Fat-Free Honey Mustard dressing, though the customer is always welcome to order other dressings if desired.

The flagship salad comes topped with warm Chick-Fil-A® Nuggets that have been sliced and are served hot on the salad.  This version has 550 calories, 29g fat, 30g carbs, and 42g protein.  From what I can tell, the nutrition information includes the packet of crispy red bell peppers and 1 packet of Avocado Lime Ranch Dressing.  The other Cobb Salad options are:

  • Cobb Salad without chicken – 290 calories, 17 g fat, 21 g carbs, 15 g protein, 490 mg sodium, 4 g fiber
  • Cobb Salad with Chick-n-Strips™  – 600 calories, 31 g fat, 37 g carbs, 41 g protein, 1350 mg sodium, 4 g fiber
  • Cobb Salad with Grilled Filet (cold) – 390 calories, 19 g fat, 22 g carbs, 36 g protein, 860 mg sodium, 4 g fiber
  • Cobb Salad with Grilled Nuggets – 420 calories, 20 g fat, 21 g carbs, 40 g protein, 930 mg sodium, 5 g fiber
  • Cobb Salad with Spicy Grilled Filet (cold) – 390 calories, 19 g fat, 22 g carbs, 36 g protein, 860 mg sodium, 4 g fiber

Market Salad

The Market Salad is the healthiest salad option on the Chick-Fil-A menu. A bed of mixed greens is topped with crumbled blue cheese and a mix of red and green apples, strawberries, and blueberries.  Each salad is served with Harvest Nut Granola(70 calories), Roasted Nut Blend (70 calories), and Light Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (230 calories).  The Market Salad options are:

  • Market Salad without chicken – 210 calories, 11 g fat, 24 g carbs, 7 g protein
  • Market Salad with Chick-n-Strips  – 550 calories, 27 g fat, 45 g carbs, 33 g protein
  • Market Salad with Grilled Filet (cold) – 330 calories, 13 g fat, 26 g carbs, 29 g protein
  • Market Salad with Grilled Nuggets – 320 calories, 14 g fat, 26 g carbs, 27 g protein
  • Market Salad with Nuggets – 470 calories, 23 g fat, 34 g carbs, 34 g protein
  • Market Salad with Spicy Grilled Filet (cold) – 340 calories, 14 g fat, 25 g carbs, 30 g protein

The Chick Fil A Superfood Side

Superfood Side

The Superfood Side is described on the Chick Fil A website as Broccolini® & kale blend, maple vinaigrette dressing & dried sour cherries with roasted nut blend.

The small Superfood Side comes in at 140 calories, has 8 grams of fat, 16 grams of carbs, and has 4 grams of protein.  The large version has 180 calories, 9 grams of fat, 24 grams of carbs, and 4 grams of protein.

Personally, I find the Superfood Side to be a bit on the sweet side and a bit pricey for the amount of food that you get.

Chick Fil A Fruit Cups

One of the best ways to get some of your daily fruit needs is to indulge in one of Chick-Fil-A’s fruit cups which are available in small, medium, and large.  Each cup is a fruit mix made with mandarin orange segments, fresh strawberries, red and green apple pieces, and blueberries.  

  • Small cups have 45 calories and 11 grams of carbs.
  • Medium cups have 50 calories, 12 grams of carbs, and 1 gram of protein.
  • Large cups have 70 calories, 17 grams of carbs, and 1 gram of protein.

I believe that this is one of the best and healthiest options on the Chick-Fil-A menu.  Other than a little calcium ascorbate which helps to promote color retention and maintain texture, a little bit of sugar, and citric acid, the bowl is all plant-based.

If this post has made you hungry and your next task is to find a “Chick Fil A near me,” then click here to go to the Chick-Fil-A website.  At the top, click on FIND LOCATION.  For more Chick Fil A menu nutrition information, go to https://www.chick-fil-a.com/nutrition-allergens.


If you like salads as much as I do, be sure to check out my posts about Wendy’s salads and Zaxby’s salads.


What’s your favorite item on the Chick-Fil-A menu?

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Mark

Monday 16th of March 2020

Each up?

Lynda

Monday 16th of March 2020

Oops! Meant for that to read "Each cup...." Thanks for pointing that out to me.