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Calories in Every Fast Food Chicken Sandwich | Which is the Healthiest?

What started as a simple “chicken sandwich war” between Popeyes and Chick-fil-A has turned into seemingly every fast food joint spinning up its own fried chicken sandwich. But which is the healthiest of them all? Let’s find out.


  • The lowest-calorie fried chicken sandwich can be found at Chick-fil-A, containing just 420 calories.
  • Most fried chicken sandwiches come topped with a signature sauce which can often add 100 calories or more. If calories are a concern, opting for no sauce and adding your own low-calorie sauce like ketchup or mustard can make a big difference.
  • Most fried chicken sandwiches offer roughly 30 grams of protein regardless of calories. If you want to maximize your protein, opting for a grilled chicken sandwich where available will go a very long way.

Back in 2019, Popeyes launched its now-famous chicken sandwich. It seemed like overnight the world became split on which sandwich was better: Chick-fil-A, or Popeyes.

Now here we are, many years later (but man, 2019 feels like yesterday), 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. I’ve compiled a list of the most popular fast food fried chicken sandwiches out there to compare them all.

If you’re here for Popeyes chicken sandwich calories, KFC chicken sandwich calories, or any fried chicken sandwich in between, you’ll find it all below.

There are a few more honorable mentions that continue to pop up, so I’ll be sure to include them in the full breakdown below.

And while I can’t say definitively which fried chicken sandwich is the best, I can help break them down nutritionally to compare them. Below is every fast food fried chicken sandwich listed in order from the fewest calories to the most calories.

Table of Contents

    Chick-fil-A® Chicken Sandwich Nutrition

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    Original Chicken Sandwich: 420 Calories, 16g Fat, 41g Carbs, 29g Protein

    Spicy Chicken Sandwich: 450 Calories, 19g Fat, 45g Carbs, 28g Protein

    Arguably the second most popular fast food chicken sandwich after Popeyes, this Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich is considerably lower in calories than its rival. At only 420 calories, Chick-fil-A has the lowest-calorie chicken sandwich out there. With nearly 30g of protein, which is higher than a lot of other options out there, 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.

    Culver’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich Nutrition

    Culvers crispy chicken sandwich
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    Crispy Chicken Sandwich: 460 Calories, 14g Fat, 56g Carbs, 25g Protein

    Spicy Chicken Sandwich: 490 Calories, 17g Fat, 57g Carbs, 25g Protein

    Culver’s is best known for their burgers and fries, but the crispy chicken sandwich deserves a huge shoutout! The crispy chicken sandwich from Culver’s contains only 460 calories, making it one of the lowest-calorie fast food chicken sandwiches available. With just 14g of fat, it’s also the lowest-fat option you’ll find.

    Description from the Culver’s website: Our Crispy Chicken Sandwich is made with a whole white meat chicken breast. Coated in our very own Southern-style breading, seasoned with onion, garlic and a pinch of cayenne. Served with crispy lettuce, ripe tomato and pickles on a toasted Kaiser bun. Guaranteed crispy on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside.

    McDonald’s McCrispy Chicken Sandwich Nutrition

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    McCrispy Chicken Sandwich: 470 Calories, 20g Fat, 45g Carbs, 27g Protein

    Spicy McCrispy Chicken Sandwich: 530 Calories, 26g Fat, 47g Carbs, 27g Protein

    Early in 2021, McDonald’s rolled out their 3 new chicken sandwiches to select markets- the crispy chicken sandwich (pictured above), the spicy crispy chicken sandwich, and the deluxe crispy chicken sandwich.

    Now, years later, it looks like they’re here to stay! The McDonald’s McCrispy Chicken Sandwich contains 470 calories, making it one of the lowest-calorie fast food fried chicken sandwiches.

    Description from McDonald’s website: The McDonald’s McCrispy™ is a southern-style fried chicken sandwich that’s crispy, juicy and tender perfection. It’s topped with crinkle-cut pickles and served on a toasted, buttered potato roll.

    Wendy’s Classic Chicken Sandwich Nutrition

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    Classic Crispy Chicken Sandwich: 490 Calories, 21g Fat, 49g Carbs, 28g Protein

    Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich: 500 Calories, 19g Fat, 51g Carbs, 28g Protein

    Late in 2020, Wendy’s also decided to revamp their chicken sandwich to get in on the action.

    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.

    The original crispy chicken sandwich on the menu is more of a chicken patty, containing 330 calories and 14g protein for the entire sandwich (you can see my full Wendy’s menu breakdown here).

    Description from Wendy’s websiteA 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.

    Arby’s Classic Crispy Chicken Sandwich Nutrition

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    Classic Crispy Chicken: 510 Calories, 25g Fat, 48g Carbs, 24g Protein

    Buffalo Crispy Chicken: 500 Calories, 23g Fat, 48g Carbs, 24g Protein

    Arby’s is certainly known for their “meats”, but their crispy chicken sandwich flies mostly under the radar. Nutritionally, this fried chicken sandwich is similar to that of Wendy’s at right around 500 calories.

    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.

    Shake Shack Chicken Shack Nutrition

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    Chicken Shack: 550 Calories, 31g Fat, 34g Carbs, 33g Protein

    From what I’ve heard, the Chicken Shack sandwich is one of the better ones out there, and it seems like it really flies under the radar. Nutritionally, the Chicken Shack is also relatively low calorie with only 550 calories in the entire sandwich.

    If you decided to leave off the mayo, the chicken sandwich would contain only 460 calories.

    Whataburger Spicy Chicken Sandwich Nutrition

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    540 Calories, 20g Fat, 42g Carbs, 32g Protein

    After Chick-fil-A’s and Culver’s chicken sandwiches, Whataburger’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich used to be the next lowest-calorie option with only 465 calories, but has bumped up to 540 calories this year.

    This is largely due to the protein going from 24 grams all the way up to 32 grams, which we definitely can’t complain about.

    While I haven’t heard much about this sandwich in terms of taste (I do not have any Whataburger locations near me), you’ll have to let me know where it lands on your ranking.

    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.

    Dairy Queen Crispy Chicken Sandwich Nutrition

    DQ crispy chicken sandwich
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    550 Calories, 28g Fat, 49g Carbs, 25g Protein

    While Dairy Queen is most known for the ice cream and Blizzards, that hasn’t stopped them from getting in on the chicken sandwich action.

    The Crispy Chicken Sandwich from Dairy Queen contains 550 calories, which is lower in calories than a lot of other options out there.

    Description from the Dairy Queen website: A crispy chicken fillet topped with crisp chopped lettuce, thick-cut tomato and mayo served on a warm toasted bun.

    Sonic Crispy Chicken Sandwich Nutrition

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    580 Calories, 32g Fat, 51g Carbs, 23g Protein

    Sonic’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich falls right in the middle of all the options out there with 580 calories. However, with only 22g of protein, it contains the lowest amount of protein you’ll find.

    Description from the Sonic website: Our Classic Crispy Chicken Sandwich is made with a lightly seasoned and breaded 100% all-white meat chicken breast and topped with crisp lettuce, ripe tomatoes and creamy mayo all served on a warm brioche bun.

    Burger King Royal Chicken Sandwich

    BK Chicken Royal Sandwich

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    BK Royal Crispy Chicken: 600 Calories, 31g Fat, 54g Carbs, 31g Protein

    BK Royal Spicy Crispy Chicken: 760 Calories, 47g Fat, 58g Carbs, 31g Protein

    Burger King has replaced their previous Ch’King Sandwiches for Royal Crispy Chicken sandwiches, and it may be a very welcomed change for most people.

    When originally released in 2020, the Ch’King sandwiches were listed to have over 1,000 calories! After about a year, it seems that Burger King corrected that error, with the sandwiches being changed (on the Burger King website) to having between 700-900 calories.

    New as of 2022, Burger King has Royal Crispy Chicken, which brings the calories down by a couple hundred overall for both the original and spicy versions.

    Zaxby’s Signature Sandwich Nutrition

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    600 Calories, 32g Fat, 45g Carbs, 31g Protein

    How does Zaxby’s chicken sandwich stack up against the others? Nutritionally, it’s right in the middle of the pack.

    When Zaxby’s first launched their chicken sandwich, it was advertized as having 45 grams of protein, but at the time of writing this, that number has changed to 31 grams.

    What was previously an amazing source of protein is now on-par with most other chicken sandwiches out there.

    Description from Zaxby’s website: A big ol’ white breast meat fillet that’s been double hand-breaded in our new, extra crispy breading, dressed with our famous Zax Sauce® and three thick-cut pickle chips on a buttery, toasted, split-top potato bun.

    Jollibee Original Chicken Sandwich Nutrition

    Jollibee Chicken Sandwich
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    Original Chicken Sandwich: 620 Calories, 34g Fat, 43g Carbs, 31g Protein

    Spicy Chicken Sandwich: 570 Calories, 28g Fat, 45g Carbs, 31g Protein

    Jollibee is taking the world by storm, and they are currently expanding across the US. If you haven’t seen one pop up yet, it’s only a matter of time!

    Jollibee is basically the KFC of the Philippines, and they’ve quickly become known for having some of the best fried chicken in the game- the fried chicken sandwiches are no exception! While their menu also contains some unique items such as spaghetti, the fried chicken is the star!

    The Jollibee Original Chicken Sandwich contains 620 calories, while the Jollibee Spicy Chicken Sandwich contains only 570 calories. While the original sandwich is comparable to that of Buffalo Wild Wings, the spicy version is on-par with the likes of Shake Shack in terms of nutrition.

    Buffalo Wild Wings Classic Chicken Sandwich Nutrition

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    Classic Chicken Sandwich: 620 Calories, 32g Fat, 54g Carbs, 30g Protein

    Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich: 810 Calories, 48g Fat, 63g Carbs, 31g Protein

    It took Buffalo Wild Wings until peak Chicken Sandwich Wars in the summer of 2021 to get in on the action, but they finally have their own version of the classic chicken sandwich.

    Before that point, they had the Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich on the menu, which I must admit, was pretty disappointing when I tried it. But based on the looks of the new classic version, it seems like they’re trying hard to win this war.

    Buffalo Wild Wings chooses to keep it simple, with the sandwich containing only fried chicken, mayo, and pickles. In terms of calories, the Classic Chicken Sandwich from Buffalo Wild Wings sits firmly in the middle of all the options at right around 600. If you do go for the Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich, be aware that the extra sauces add nearly 200 calories to that sandwich.

    Carl’s Jr. Hand-Breaded Chicken Sandwich Nutrition

    Carls Jr chicken sandwich
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    640 Calories, 33g Fat, 58g Carbs, 33g Protein

    Note: the official Carl’s Jr. website does not provide exact nutrition facts for this sandwich at the time of writing this article. I will update as soon as these numbers are confirmed.

    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: Premium, all-white chicken fillet, hand-dipped in buttermilk, lightly breaded and fried to a golden brown, deli pickle and mayonnaise served on a potato bun.

    KFC Chicken Sandwich Nutrition

    KFC Sandwich

    Original Chicken Sandwich: 650 Calories, 35g Fat, 49g Carbs, 34g Protein

    Spicy Chicken Sandwich: 620 Calories, 33g Fat, 49g Carbs, 34g Protein

    KFC decided to chase the popular fried chicken sandwiches with their KFC Original Chicken Sandwich. KFC used to have a Crispy Colonel Sandwich, but they decided to discontinue it in favor of this new and improved version. The KFC Chicken Sandwich contains 650 calories, putting it below Popeyes, but with slightly more protein.

    Here’s a quote from a press release that describes the sandwich way better than I ever could: The new KFC Chicken Sandwich is expected to delight the most discerning of chicken sandwich connoisseurs in every way – from the quarter-pound, all-white meat, double-breaded, Extra Crispy™ chicken breast filet, to its freshly-toasted buttery brioche bun, crispier, thicker pickles, and the perfect amount of the Colonel’s real mayo or spicy sauce. Each sandwich is made when ordered, so it is served piping hot every time. Fried chicken fans have never tasted a sandwich like this before.

    Church’s Chicken Sandwich Nutrition

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    Original Chicken Sandwich 650 Calories, 35g Fat, 53g Carbs, 32g Protein

    Spicy Chicken Sandwich 620 Calories, 31g Fat, 54g Carbs, 32g Protein

    Church’s Chicken is no stranger to fried chicken, so it’s no wonder they have their own fried chicken sandwich to compete in these “Chicken Sandwich Wars.” Church’s Chicken Sandwich contains 650 calories, making it nearly identical nutritionally to both KFC and Carl’s Jr.

    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 Nutrition

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    Cluck Sandwich: 670 Calories, 36g Fat, 60g Carbs, 28g Protein

    Jack’s Spicy Chicken: 620 Calories, 34g Fat, 50g Carbs, 27g Protein

    At the end of 2020, Jack In The Box also threw in their entry to the Chicken Sandwich Wars with the Cluck Sandwich. Jack In The Box’s Cluck Sandwich used to contain just 490 calories, but that has since been reformulated to contain a much steeper 670 calories.

    Are the extra 200 calories worth it? I’ll let you be the judge!

    Description from Jack In The Box website: 100% all-white meat crispy chicken fillet with pickles & Jack’s Good Good Sauce on toasted signature brioche. There’s nothing not awesome about this.

    Checkers Classic Mother Cruncher Nutrition

    Classic mother cruncher sandwich
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    700 Calories, 41g Fat, 62g Carbs, 28g Protein

    Checkers & Rally’s are hoping that the “Mother Cruncher” sandwich will win them some creativity points in this war. With 700 calories and 28g of protein, Checkers’ Mother Cruncher chicken sandwich is nearly identical to Popeyes Chicken Sandwich.

    Description from the Checkers website: Classic Mother Cruncher® chicken sandwich – made with an all-white meat chicken breast that is coated in a super crunchy breading and lightly fried then topped with our new signature Squawk Sauce, crinkle-cut pickles, crisp iceberg lettuce, roma tomato and served on a flour-dusted bun.

    Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Nutrition

    Popeyes crispy chicken sandwich
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    Popeyes Classic Chicken Sandwich: 700 Calories, 42g Fat, 50g Carbs, 28g Protein

    Popeyes Spicy Chicken Sandwich: 700 Calories, 42g Fat, 50g Carbs, 28g Protein

    The chicken sandwich that started it all when it went mega-viral in 2019. The Popeyes Classic Chicken Sandwich contains 700 calories, putting it on the higher end when it comes to fast food fried chicken sandwiches. The spicy chicken sandwich also contains 700 calories and is identical in nutrition to the classic chicken sandwich.

    Description of the Classic Chicken Sandwich 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.

    Boston Market Nashville Hot Crispy Chicken Sandwich Nutrition

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    780 Calories, 37g Fat, 75g Carbs, 55g Protein

    When trying to hunt down the nutrition facts for this sandwich at Boston Market, the official website brings you to a broken link. I got in contact with the company, and they sent along the nutrition info that you see above.

    While Boston Market’s chicken sandwich is higher in calories than many other chicken sandwiches, 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 (the math comes out to about 850 calories total), so we’ll see if they get adjusted at any point.

    Description from Boston Market website: Crispy Chicken Breast, topped with a smoky Nashville Hot sauce, pickles and Ranch dressing on a brioche bun.

    Raising Cane’s Chicken Sandwich Nutrition

    Raising cane's chicken sandwich combo
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    780 Calories, 39g Fat, 66g Carbs, 48g Protein

    Raising Cane’s has built their menu around its world-famous chicken fingers, and the chicken sandwich is no exception. While every other fried chicken sandwich out there is made up of a single piece of chicken, Raising Cane’s chicken sandwich contains 3 chicken tenders on a bun. Technically speaking, it’s still a fried chicken sandwich though!

    Raising Cane’s chicken sandwich contains 780 calories, making it one of the higher-calorie fried chicken sandwiches out there.

    Chili’s Big Mouth Crispy Chicken Sandwich Nutrition

    Chili's crispy chicken sandwich
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    1,040 Calories, 56g Fat, 90g, 45g Protein

    Better late than never, Chili’s debuted their Big Mouth Crispy Chicken Sandwich in the Fall of 2021 once the Chicken Sandwich Wars were in full swing.. With over 1,000 calories, Chili’s crispy chicken sandwich is easily the highest-calorie fried chicken sandwich out there.

    I suppose it also has the most protein, but with 1,000 calories, that’s not all that impressive to say.

    Chili’s is hoping this sandwich will be set apart from the rest because of their “secret sauce,” which they recommend getting on the side to put on everything because it’s that good. According to them, anyway.

    The final verdict: which fast food fried chicken sandwich is the healthiest?

    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. I mean, we’re going on year 4 of these wars, and there are no signs of slowing down.

    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 so we can continue to compare ’em as the years progress.

    And since nutrition facts are always changing, I’ll keep this as up-to-date as possible! If you’re curious just how much has changed, here’s the rundown from 2022, and you’ll see quite a lot of these numbers have changed…

    Fast food fried chicken sandwich comparison from 2022

    Want to make your own healthier fried 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!

    Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Sandwich

    This sandwich has 485 Calories, 11g Fat, 51g Carbs, and 46g of Protein!

    Click here to check out the full recipe and throw your hat into the ring for the Chicken Sandwich Wars.

    Or, spice things up with a Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich. Not to toot my own horn too much, but it’s amazing.

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    About Matt Rosenman

    With over 15 years of experience in health and fitness, Matt Rosenman is the expert voice behind Matt’s philosophy is simple: no foods are off-limits, and a healthy lifestyle shouldn't be complicated or restrictive. As a former certified personal trainer with a bachelor’s degree in Health Behavioral Sciences, Matt brings well-rounded expertise to his blog. From revamping classic recipes with a nutritious twist to breaking down fast food menus, his goal is make healthy living less confusing for everyone. Featured in major publications and with a strong following on social media, Matt is committed to making “healthy” uncomplicated—no matter where you are in your health journey. Join Matt on his mission to simplify health without sacrificing flavor. Learn More