Whether you’re trudging your way to morning classes, hauling a minivan full of kids to school, or stuck in traffic on your way to work—mornings can be tough. However, knowing you can slip through a drive-thru to find a healthy-ish breakfast on the go can make it a little easier. Chick-fil-A is an American fast-food favorite, and thankfully they have several options for a healthy breakfast, as well as a delicious lunch or dinner. Keep reading to see what you can order when you’re in a rush and need a healthy Chick-fil-A breakfast option to power you through a busy morning.
Is Chick-fil-A breakfast healthy?
If you’re looking for a healthy breakfast option on the go, you can find a few options at Chick-fil-A that fit the bill. “When looking for a quick fast-food breakfast, one of the most important things to look for is protein so that you’ll be full and satisfied,” says Jamie Nadeau, RDN.
Two nutrients you’ll want to limit include saturated fat and sodium. Salt and fat tend to sneak their way into fast-food in alarmingly high amounts, but we were able to find several breakfast options at Chick-fil-A with acceptable amounts. When it comes to saturated fat, the American Heart Association recommends limiting your intake to less than 13 grams per day, or 5-6% of your daily calories, to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Since most of your sodium intake comes from processed foods (including fast food) and not the salt shaker, we’re mindful of this nutrient as well. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily. Unfortunately, some fast-food options can have this much salt, or more, in just one food item!
The healthiest Chick-fil-A breakfast items listed below are dietitian-approved, high in protein, lower in sodium and saturated fat, and overall a delicious way to start any day!
7 healthiest breakfasts at Chick-fil-A
PER ORDER: 290 calories, 8 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 980 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (1 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 26 g protein
“The Egg White Grill is a great healthy breakfast option, as an egg white sandwich with cheese and grilled chicken served on a multigrain English muffin,” says Nadeau. This breakfast is really well balanced, with 26 grams of filling protein, 30 grams of carbohydrates for immediate energy, and only 3.5 grams of saturated fat.
PER ORDER: 270 calories, 9 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 80 mg sodium, 36 g carbs (1 g fiber, 26 g sugar), 13 g protein
The Greek Yogurt Parfait has 270 calories and 13g of protein if you’re looking for something on the lighter side but still want to feel satisfied, explains Nadeau. While it may not be high enough in calories or protein to count as a whole meal, it’s a great option if you’d otherwise skip breakfast altogether or just need a quick snack to get you through the morning.
PER ORDER: 410 calories, 26g fat (8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 1190 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (2 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 30 g protein
The Hash Brown Scramble Bowl with Grilled Chicken from Chick-fil-A is a great full breakfast option. “The combination of fluffy scrambled eggs, perfectly seasoned grilled chicken, crispy hash browns, and a blend of cheeses creates a flavorful and protein-rich breakfast that keeps you feeling full and energized throughout the morning,” says Jessie Hulsey RD, LD, an Atlanta-based registered dietitian. “With the high protein content, this breakfast bowl promotes satiety, supports muscle maintenance, and helps regulate blood sugar levels.”
PER ORDER: 310 calories, 13 g fat (6 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 800 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (2 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 17 g protein
“The Bacon, Egg & Cheese Muffin is a filling on-the-go breakfast that has just enough protein and energy to keep you full all morning without being too indulgent,” says Miranda Galati, RD, owner of Real Life Nutritionist. It’s good in a pinch, but may be too high in saturated fat as an everyday option, adds Galati. Each sandwich has 6 grams of saturated fat, or 46% of the recommended daily limit.
PER ORDER: 330 calories, 19 g fat ( 2.5g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 860 mg sodium, 23 g carbs (3 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 16 g protein
While it’s not a secret menu, you can make your own healthy breakfast at Chick-fil-A by ordering a breakfast side and the Grilled Breakfast Filet from the “proteins” option on the menu, explains Lara Clevenger MSH, RDN, CPT. Choose the Grilled Breakfast Fillet and an order of the Chick-fil-A Hash Browns for a balanced breakfast with 16 grams of protein, 23 grams of carbohydrates, and only 860 milligrams of sodium!
PER ORDER: 360 calories, 13 g fat (4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 980 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (1 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 26 g protein
The 4-piece Chick-fil-A Minis give you all the flavor of your favorite chicken nuggets and a warm yeast roll, but with only a fraction of the saturated fat and sodium. A 4-piece order of minis has only 4 grams of saturated fat but 26 grams of protein for satisfaction and fullness all morning long.
PER ORDER: 190 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 220 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (3 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 6 g protein
Following a vegan diet and eating at Chick-fil-A can be tricky. For breakfast, a plain toasted English muffin and their Fruit Cup can work as a breakfast snack, but won’t be filling enough for an entire meal, says Melissa Altman-Traub MS, RDN, LDN.
3 worst breakfast options at Chick-fil-A
While there are plenty of healthy Chick-fil-A breakfasts to grab at this beloved fast-food joint, you may want to steer clear of these three not-so-great options.
PER ORDER: 720 calories, 47 g fat (16 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 1450 mg sodium, 46 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 28 g protein
This breakfast burrito is way too harsh on your body when consuming it first thing in the morning with 720 calories, 47 grams of fat, and an entire 1,450 milligrams of sodium, explains Joanna Ayalloore MS RD LDN CNSC.
PER ORDER: 460 calories, 23 g fat (8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 1510 mg sodium, 45 g carbs (2 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 19 g protein
The Chicken Biscuit makes the list of breakfast items to avoid for three reasons: fat, salt, and excess carbohydrates, explains Wan Na Chun, MPH, RD. By the time you’ve finished breakfast, you’ll already have had 66 percent of the amount of sodium you should have in one day!
PER ORDER: 610 calories, 42 g fat (18 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 1510 mg sodium, 38 g carbs (2 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 22 g protein
While it’s important to enjoy a balanced diet that includes indulgences, this Sausage, Egg & Cheese sandwich has 18 grams of saturated fat, close to the amount recommended in one day by the American Heart Association, says Hulsey. If you’re craving a breakfast sandwich, there are much healthier options on the menu.