The Chicken Sandwich Wars are heating up…. again.
Back in 2019, Popeyes launched its now famous chicken sandwich. It seems like overnight, the world became split on which sandwich was better: Chick-fil-A, or Popeyes.
Now here we are in 2021, and there are so many players in the so-called Chicken Sandwich Wars that it’s hard to keep up! Gone are the days of just having 2 options: now it seems that we essentially have a different sandwich at every single restaurant!
This guide I put together to compare the chicken sandwiches can only fit so many, and there are even more than pictured here!
And while I can’t say definitively which sandwich is the best, I can help break them down nutritional to compare them!
How does each sandwich in the chicken sandwich wars stack up? Let’s find out.
Popeyes Chicken Sandwich
The sandwich that started it all. This sandwich happens to be one of the highest in calories, but that is due to the insane crunch it has.
Description from the Popeyes website: A tender all-white meat chicken breast fillet, marinated in an authentic blend of Louisiana seasonings, then hand-battered and breaded in our all new buttermilk coating. Served with crisp barrel cured pickles and Classic or Spicy Mayonnaise, served on a warm and toasted buttery brioche bun.
Chick-fil-A® Chicken Sandwich
Arguably the second most popular chicken sandwich after Popeyes, this sandwich is considerably lower in calories than its rival. At only 440 calories, this is the lowest calorie chicken sandwich I’ve come across! With slightly more protein than Popeyes as well, Chick-fil-A is a great option.
Description from the Chick-fil-A website: 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. Gluten-free bun or multigrain bun also available at an additional cost.
KFC Chicken Sandwich
KFC is doing its best Popeyes impression with their new “KFC Chicken Sandwich.” At the time of writing this, KFC has yet to roll out the new sandwich nationwide, and you may still be seeing the “Crispy Colonel Sandwich” instead. I was able to hunt down the nutritional info from one of the test markets, so this is what you can expect to see when the sandwich makes its debut over the next few months.
It is yet to be seen how this will stack up against Popeyes, but nutritionally, it is definitely a bit more favorable! With slightly fewer calories, less fat, and more protein, it definitely has the potential to be a winner!
Wendy’s Classic Chicken Sandwich
Late in 2020, Wendy’s also decided to revamp their chicken sandwich. While you’ll still see the “crispy chicken sandwich” on the menu, Wendy’s newer “Classic Chicken Sandwich” more closely rivals the other sandwiches in the Chicken Sandwich Wars with thicker breading, mayo, and pickles.
Description from Wendy’s website: A juicy, lightly breaded crispy chicken breast with crunchy lettuce, tomato, mayo, and the perfect pickles, all on a toasted bun. It’s a flawless blend of nostalgia and excitement—kinda like your all-time favorite song, only better ‘cause you can eat it.
Burger King Hand-Breaded Crispy Chicken Sandwich
Burger King is rolling out its brand new crispy chicken sandwich starting February 1 in select markets. While the sandwich may be available in select markets, the nutritional information has not yet been made publicly available, so this nutrition info is based on the current Crispy Chicken Sandwich. This will be updated as soon as possible!
Currently, the Burger King website (if you search within the markets where these new sandwiches are being tested) shows 92 Calories… which would be magical if true, but clearly is an error.
McDonald’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich
As of February 2021, McDonald’s is testing out 3 brand new chicken sandwiches- the nutrition (and photo) above reflect the Crispy Chicken Sandwich, and it looks very promising!
Description from McDonald’s website: The new sandwich features a brand new crispy, juicy, tender fillet made with all-white meat chicken that’s sure to capture the hearts and tastebuds of chicken enthusiasts across America when it debuts at participating restaurants nationwide. We’re serving it up three ways – Crispy, Spicy and Deluxe.
Sonic Crispy Chicken Sandwich
The nutritional info here reflects Sonic’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich, but they also brought back their beloved “Chicken Slingers.” While the Chicken Slingers are very similar to other sandwiches in this comparison, described as “
Carl’s Jr. Big Chicken Fillet Sandwich
Personally, I’ve never eaten at a Carl’s Jr., but they are a very popular player in the Chicken Sandwich Wars. At almost 700 Calories and 33g of protein, this chicken sandwich very closely resembles Popeyes in terms of nutrition. Taste-wise, I’ll leave that up to you to decide!
Description from Carls Jr. website: A crispy Chicken Fillet dusted with Southern Spices, topped with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise on a premium bun.
Zaxby’s Signature Sandwich
Zaxby’s has entered the arena, and as they say on their website: The Chicken Sandwich War Ain’t Over Yet™. How does it stack up against the others? Only time will tell. Nutritionally, this is the highest of all of them, but it’s important to look at the protein content here. Popeyes Chicken Sandwich is 700 calories, 42g of fat, and only 28g of protein. Zaxby’s Signature Sandwich weighs in at 770 Calories, with the same amount of fat (42g) but significantly more protein at 45g!
Description from Zaxby’s website: Freshly-prepared, double hand-breaded, premium chicken breast fillet, with three thick-sliced pickle chips and served on a buttery toasted potato bun – with your choice of Zax Sauce® or Spicy Zax Sauce™.
Church’s Chicken Sandwich
Church’s Chicken is no stranger to fried chicken, but they are brand new to the Chicken Sandwich Wars! Debuting this sandwich in October of 2020, Church’s Chicken is promising to change the game with their chicken sandwich. While not the most favorable of the bunch nutritionally, it is on the higher side in the protein department (although on the higher end of calories, too).
Description from Church’s Chicken website: The mouth-watering, craveable sandwich will be a permanent menu fixture, and features a juicy all white meat chicken breast filet, hand-breaded with Church’s proprietary home-style seasoning with a hint of buttermilk, and cooked to a golden crisp. Nestled between a pillowy-soft, toasted brioche bun – brushed with the brand’s famous honey-butter for a bit of sweetness – and toasted to perfection, the Chicken Sandwich is topped off with crunchy pickles and a dollop of creamy mayo, creating an instant classic.
Jack in the Box Cluck Sandwich
At the end of 2020, Jack In The Box also threw in their entry to the Chicken Sandwich Wars with the Cluck Sandwich. At 490 Calories and 23g of protein, this is one of the “healthier” options out there. If your goal is to eat high-protein, this one is not all that impressive, but at under 500 calories, it’s definitely one of the easiest to fit into your day if calories are a concern.
Description from Jack In The Box website: This all-new, thicker, crispy, juicy chicken fillet topped with two pickles and mystery sauce, and cradled in a fluffy brioche bun is the best thing since…well, ever.
Arby’s Classic Crispy Chicken Sandwich
Arby’s is certainly known for their meat, but their crispy chicken sandwich flies mostly under the radar. Nutritionally, this sandwich is on par with many of the other contestants in the Chicken Sandwich Wars- on the lower end of the spectrum with protein, but right around the 500 Calorie mark that many others are hovering around.
Description from Arby’s website: Meatcraft® means letting the ingredients speak for themselves. Crispy chicken breast is topped with lettuce, mayo, and tomato and served on a star top bun. Nothing fancy. Just real good taste.
Whataburger Spicy Chicken Sandwich
In September 2020, Whataburger decided to get in on the action too! While I haven’t heard much about this sandwich (I do not have any Whataburger locations near me) I have heard nothing about great things about this chicken sandwich. Does it take the crown? As a fairly new entry, we’ll have to wait and see how it fares!
Description from Whataburger website: The sandwich starts with a perfectly marinated, crispy chicken filet, topped with fresh, cool leaf lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and mayo, finished with a toasted four-inch bun.
Boston Market Nashville Hot Crispy Chicken Sandwich
At the time of writing this, Boston Market is testing out their new Nashville Hot Crispy Chicken Sandwich to enter the Chicken Sandwich Wars. When I got in contact with the company, they sent along the nutrition info that you see above. While higher in calories than any other chicken sandwich we compared, it has by far the most protein! When I did the quick math to add up all the macros (the fat, carbs, and protein) the calories seem like they should be higher, so we’ll see if they get adjusted at any point.
Description from Detroit Free Press website: According to Boston Market, the sandwich is a crispy chicken breast with smoky Nashville Hot sauce, pickles and ranch dressing on a brioche bun.
The final verdict
I don’t think we’ll ever quite know who wins the Chicken Sandwich Wars, but it doesn’t seem like the debate is ever going to stop!
As more players enter the Chicken Sandwich Wars, I’ll do my best to keep this page updated with the most up-to-date nutrition info possible.
Want to make your own crispy chicken sandwich?
Well, you’re in luck! I put together a recipe for an extra crispy chicken sandwich, and you can make it in the air fryer with absolutely no oil at all!
This sandwich has 485 Calories, 11g Fat, 51g Carbs, and 46g Protein!
Click here to check out the full recipe and throw your hat into the ring for the Chicken Sandwich Wars.
Want more content like this?
Grab yourself a copy of my brand new e-book: The (Unofficial) Official Nutrition Guide! This e-book contains 150+ pages of everything you could possibly want to know about the basics of nutrition. We’re going to cut through all the nonsense and get right to the things that you actually WANT to know.