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Where to Find The Healthiest Low-Calorie Fast Food Breakfast in 2024

Breakfast food is the absolute best food there is, but if you’re on a diet, it may feel like there are lots of breakfast options that are off-limits. I’m here to show you that there are plenty of healthy fast food and restaurant breakfast options out there.

Highlights

  • The fast food breakfast sandwiches with the most protein are the Egg McMuffin from McDonald’s with 310 and 17 grams of protein, and the Avocado, Egg White, & Spinach Sandwich from Panera with 350 calories and 19 grams of protein.
  • Many low-calorie breakfast options aside from sandwiches are available at fast food restaurants, such as oatmeal or parfait.
  • A simple way to save calories for a breakfast sandwich is asking for no cheese or swapping the eggs for eggs white where available.

If you’re on the road a lot of don’t have time to cook breakfast at home, you may have no choice but to turn toward fast food. The problem is that many fast food breakfast options are loaded with tons of calories.

Don’t worry, I’m here to help.

I’ve gone through every single fast food menu for all of the most popular chains in the United States to find the best healthy fast food breakfast for you.

I’m breaking this guide up into two categories: breakfast sandwiches, and non-sandwich breakfast options.

Personally, I love breakfast sandwiches, and they are by far the most common breakfast food to take on the go. But, those may not fit every diet, especially if you’re following a plant-based diet, so I wanted to provide some other options as well.

The healthiest fast food breakfast options

There are plenty of other fast food chains out there, especially at a regional level, so this is by no means an exhaustive list.

To help you identify the best healthy fast food breakfasts for your goals, I’ve put together a few infographics with various breakfast options. Seeing it all together in one graphic is a very useful way to digest the information, in my opinion!

First up, here are some low-calorie fast food breakfast sandwiches:

I’ll dive into the individual options below, but some other options not mentioned in this guide include the egg sandwich from Whataburger, which contains 310 calories, and the Breakfast Rollers from Del Taco, which contain 250 calories.

If you want to enjoy a low-calorie breakfast other than eggs, here are some additional low-calorie options:

Smoothies are often a great option for breakfast, and there are many low-calorie smoothie options out there.

I touched on Jamba in this guide below, but Tropical Smoothie Cafe and Smoothie King are two awesome options as well.

When it comes to non-sandwich options, it’s clear that some options are a bit more nutritious than others. For example, donut bites from Del Taco may not be as nutritious as a Greek yogurt parfait from Panera, but I wanted to present you with all the available options!

Low-Calorie Burger King Breakfast

Lowest Calorie Breakfast Sandwich

Burger King Egg & Cheese

Egg & Cheese Croissan’wich: 320 Calories, 18g Fat, 29g Carbs, 13g Protein

Burger King has a lot of breakfast sandwich options, but most of them aren’t very low in calories. In fact, the Egg & Cheese Croissan’wich is the only Burger King breakfast option under 350 calories. The next closest option is the Ham Egg & Cheese Croissan’wich, which contains 360 calories.

Burger King also offers the option to order breakfast sandwiches on biscuits, with the lowest calorie option being the Egg and Cheese Biscuit with 370 calories. Overall, it’s a very similar sandwich to the croissant version, but the biscuit itself adds some extra calories.

Other Lowest Calorie Breakfast Option

BK French Toast Sticks

3 Pc. French Toast Sticks: 350 Calories, 12g Fat, 57g Carbs, 3g Protein

Unlike many other fast food restaurants, Burger King does not offer alternative breakfast options such as oatmeal or parfaits.

If you’re looking for a low-calorie option that is not an egg sandwich, the French Toast Sticks are the way to go, although it won’t be the most filling of breakfasts.

Low-Calorie McDonald’s Breakfast

Lowest Calorie Breakfast Sandwich

Egg mcmuffin

Egg McMuffin: 310 Calories, 13g Fat, 30g Carbs, 17g Protein

I’m old enough to remember when McDonald’s offered an Egg White Delight McMuffin, which was a mere 250 calories. Sadly, the egg white delight option was discontinued, but the Egg McMuffin is still a great low-calorie option.

If eggs aren’t your thing, you can get a Sausage McMuffin for 400 calories, but those are your only 400 calories (or less) options.

If you want to make your own low-calorie Egg McMuffin at home, check out my recipe here.

Other Lowest Calorie Breakfast Option

Fruit & Maple Oatmeal: 320 Calories, 4.5g Fat, 64g Carbs, 6g Protein

McDonald’s has always had one of the best fast food breakfast menus around, and the oatmeal is a large reason why.

If you don’t want to eat a breakfast sandwich but still need a simple breakfast to take on the go, a cup of fruit & maple oatmeal is a fantastic option. At just over 300 calories, it’s a very filling & delicious option.

Low-Calorie Wendy’s Breakfast

Lowest Calorie Breakfast Sandwich

Classic Bacon, Egg, & Cheese: 320 Calories, 17g Fat, 25g Carbs, 18g Protein

Wendy’s offers many different breakfast sandwiches on a breakfast roll, croissant, or biscuit. It comes as no surprise that the croissant and biscuit sandwiches are all a bit higher in calories, so your best bet is to stick with this “classic” breakfast sandwich on a roll.

At only 320 calories, it’s a fantastic low-calorie breakfast option. The same bacon, egg, & cheese on a biscuit will be 420 calories, and the croissant will be 410 calories. All in all, those are all decent options!

Other Lowest Calorie Breakfast Option

Small Seasoned Potatoes: 230 Calories, 10g Fat, 32g Carbs, 3g Protein

While a small side of potatoes may not be enough for a meal, it’s the lowest-calorie option Wendy’s has to offer.

A medium order of breakfast potatoes is still low in calories with just 330 calories, and a comparable option is a plain Honey Butter Biscuit with 310 calories.

Low-Calorie Chick-fil-A Breakfast

Lowest Calorie Breakfast Sandwich

Egg White Grill: 290 Calories, 8g Fat, 30g Carbs, 26g Protein

When it comes to low-calorie breakfast, Chick-fil-A is one of the best options out there. The Egg White Grill is the highest-protein option you’ll find out there, but they have plenty of other awesome low-calorie sandwiches to choose from…

Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Muffin: 310 Calories

Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Biscuit: 420 Calories

Chick-n-Minis: 360 Calories

See even more options in my full Chick-fil-A menu breakdown here.

Other Lowest Calorie Breakfast Option

Greek Yogurt Parfait: 270 Calories, 9g Fat, 36g Carbs, 13g Protein

Need a low-calorie & high-protein option for breakfast that doesn’t contain any eggs or chicken? Chick-fil-A has you covered with their parfait!

At under 300 calories and containing 13 grams of protein, the Greek yogurt parfait is an awesome option for a healthy breakfast.

Low-Calorie Dunkin’ Breakfast

Lowest Calorie Breakfast Sandwich

Dunkin egg and cheese sandwich

Egg & Cheese (English Muffin): 340 Calories, 15g Fat, 38g Carbs, 14g Protein

Dunkin’ used to offer more egg white options, but they are not currently on the menu.

If you’re looking for a low-calorie breakfast sandwich, the egg & cheese muffin is your best bet! If you order the same sandwich on a bagel or croissant, this same sandwich will be 460 and 500 calories, respectively.

Another great low-calorie option at Dunkin Donuts is the Wake Up Wrap, which will contain anywhere from 180-290 calories per wrap, depending on the type of meat you choose.

Overall, I find the muffin to be a bit more filling and enjoyable as a meal compared to the small wraps, but those are definitely a good option as well.

Other Lowest Calorie Breakfast Option

Bagel Minis: 240 Calories, 10g Fat, 32g Carbs, 7g Protein

A lot of the donuts at Dunkin’ are technically considered low-calorie (if we follow the 350-calorie rule in this post) but I wanted to present you with an option other than donuts.

Don’t worry, you can find the exact calories in each type of donut in my guide here.

For a low-calorie breakfast other than a breakfast sandwich or donut, the stuffed bagel minis are a solid option. With under 250 calories and a sneaky 7 grams of protein, it’s a great low-calorie treat.

Low-Calorie Starbucks Breakfast

Lowest Calorie Breakfast Sandwich

Starbucks egg white sandwich

Turkey Bacon, Cheddar & Egg White Sandwich: 230 Calories, 5g Fat, 28g Carbs, 17g Protein

When you’re picking up your Starbucks coffee first thing in the morning, odds are that you’re going to want to pair that with some food, too.

This turkey bacon & egg white sandwich is the lowest calorie option you’ll find, with just 230 calories, and it contains quite a bit of protein for those low calories. Starbucks offers quite a few breakfast options (aside from their baked goods), and many of them are also pretty low-calorie:

Spinach, Feta, & Egg White Wrap: 290 Calories

Egg Bites: 250-300 Calories

Bacon, Gouda, & Egg Sandwich: 360 Calories

Impossible Breakfast Sandwich: 420 Calories

For more options, you can find my full Starbucks menu breakdown here.

Other Lowest Calorie Breakfast Option

Berry Trio Parfait: 240 Calories, 2.5g Fat, 39g Carbs, 14g Protein

Starbucks has plenty of baked goods that also fit the category of being low-calorie, but this parfait is one of the best options for a healthy breakfast at Starbucks.

If you want something low-calorie but also higher in protein, this parfait will not disappoint.

Low-Calorie Tim Hortons Breakfast

Lowest Calorie Breakfast Sandwich

Bacon, Egg, & Cheese: 350 Calories, 17g Fat, 28g Carbs, 20g Protein

Tim Hortons has a handful of solid breakfast sandwiches available, but the bacon, egg, and cheese is one of the best.

Which just 350 calories and an impressive 20 grams of protein, it’s actually one of the higher-protein sandwiches you’ll find.

Other Lowest Calorie Breakfast Option

Mixed Berry Oatmeal: 210 Calories, 3g Fat, 44g Carbs, 6g Protein

With right around 200 calories, the oatmeal from Tim Horton’s is a great low-calorie option in the morning.

Low-Calorie Taco Bell Breakfast

Lowest Calorie Breakfast Sandwich

Potato Breakfast Burrito: 340 Calories, 14g Fat, 44g Carbs, 9g Protein

When people think of Taco Bell, they don’t typically think about breakfast. But Taco Bell has some surprisingly decent options!

While Taco Bell’s Grande Breakfast Burritos and Crunchwraps are higher in calories, the standard breakfast burritos are all solid choices.

The Cheesy Breakfast Burrito also has bacon or sausage options, with both containing 350 calories.

Other Lowest Calorie Breakfast Option

Cinnabon Delights: 160 Calories, 9g Fat, 17g Carbs, 2g Protein

Sure, stuffed Cinnabon bites may not be the healthiest breakfast, and not very filling either, but it is currently the only low-calorie breakfast option that does not contain any eggs.

You’re likely adding Cinnabon Delights as a side to your meal, but if you need a low-calorie option, it works in a pinch.

Low-Calorie Panera Breakfast

Lowest Calorie Breakfast Sandwich

Panera breakfast sandwich

Avocado, Egg White, Spinach & Cheese on Multigrain Bagel Flat: 350 Calories, 14g Fat, 40g Carbs, 19g Protein

Panera Bread has a breakfast sandwich for everyone with its wide selection, and since they specialize in bread & bagels, there are tons of substitution options you can make

If you order as-is, the avocado, egg white, and spinach sandwich is the lowest-calorie option you can order at just 350 calories.

Other Lowest Calorie Breakfast Option

Greek Yogurt Parfait: 240 Calories, 8g Fat, 27g Carbs, 15g Protein

You can’t go wrong with a Greek yogurt parfait, and if you need a little extra protein to get your morning started, it’s a great option.

Low-Calorie Jack in the Box Breakfast

Lowest Calorie Breakfast Sandwich

Breakfast Jack

Breakfast Jack: 350 Calories, 18g Fat, 30g Carbs, 16g Protein

Jack in the Box has a wide variety of breakfast sandwich options, but none of them are particularly low calorie.

The “Breakfast Jack” sandwich is the lowest calorie option with exactly 350 calories. This sandwich contains ham, egg, and cheese on a roll. If you prefer bacon, you can order a Breakfast Jack with bacon instead of ham, and it will only bump the calories up slightly to 380 total.

Other Lowest Calorie Breakfast Option

Mini Pancakes: 260 Calories, 1.5g Fat, 59g Carbs, 4g Protein

If you want a fun & delicious breakfast other than a breakfast sandwich, the mini pancakes are the route to go!

These mini pancakes are 260 calories, and that includes syrup. Without the syrup, the serving is only 140 calories in total, so feel free to go for multiple orders.

Low-Calorie Sonic Breakfast

Sonic breakfast burrito

Jr. Breakfast Burrito: 270 Calories, 14g Fat, 22g Carbs, 13g Protein

Sonic’s breakfast burrito packs fluffy eggs, bacon, and cheese, all for just 270 calories! If you order the same Jr. Breakfast Burrito with sausage, it will be slightly higher-calorie with 300, but that’s still quite low for a breakfast burrito.

Since this is a junior burrito, it is on the smaller side, but that’s the price you pay for a lower-calorie option. If you order the full-size breakfast burrito, it will be 470 calories, which is quite a large difference.

Low-Calorie Subway Breakfast

Lowest Calorie Breakfast Sandwich

Subway egg white flatbread

Egg White & Cheese Flatbread: 350 Calories, 11g Fat, 44g Carbs, 18g Protein

Subway’s breakfast menu is quite limited, with the only current options being breakfast flatbreads. The lowest-calorie breakfast option at Subway is actually the egg & cheese flatbread, which contains 450 calories. However, they offer the option to swap the eggs for egg whites, which brings the calories down to 350 calories total.

If you make that same egg white swap for the Bacon, Egg, & Cheese, as well as the Ham, Egg, & Cheese, those options will be 430 and 390 calories, respectively.

Other Lowest Calorie Breakfast Option

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie: 200 Calories, 8g Fat, 30g Carbs, 3g Protein

Since Subway is all about sandwiches, you won’t find many non-sandwich breakfast options on the menu.

That being said, Subway does have delicious cookies! The oatmeal raisin cookie contains 200 calories, which may not be the “healthiest” of breakfast options, but certainly works for a quick low-calorie breakfast on the go.

Low-Calorie White Castle Breakfast

White castle breakfast slider

Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Slider: 260 Calories, 17g Fat, 15g Carbs, 12g Protein

This White Castle breakfast option is low calorie because the portion is quite small, but it deserves a mention on this list.

A slider is unlikely to fill you up for a full meal, but many other breakfast sandwiches out there are quite small, so you may be able to make it work!

White Castle also offers waffle breakfast sliders, which speaks directly to my heart. Surprisingly, the egg & cheese breakfast slider contains only 330 calories, and the bacon, egg, & cheese version is still only 390 calories. Not bad at all!

Unfortunately, White Castle does not offer any non-sandwich breakfast options such as oatmeal or parfaits, so the sliders will be your only option.

Low-Calorie Auntie Anne’s Breakfast

Lowest Calorie Breakfast Sandwich

Egg & Cheese Pretzel Sandwich: 240 Calories, 8g Fat, 29g Carbs, 13g Protein

Auntie Anne’s doesn’t offer breakfast in their mall locations because most people aren’t visiting shopping malls first thing in the morning. However, at select locations like airports, Auntie Anne’s offers delicious breakfast sandwiches.

With only 240 calories, I would never turn down a buttery pretzel breakfast sandwich!

Other Lowest Calorie Breakfast Option

Soft Pretzel Without Butter: 310 Calories, 1g Fat, 65g Carbs, 8g Protein

Sure, maybe a soft pretzel isn’t a typical breakfast, but you could certainly do much worse!

Select Auntie Anne’s locations offer smoothies, but that nutrition information is not easily accessible online, so I’m including a classic pretzel here instead.

At Auntie Anne’s, you have the option to ask for no additional butter on your pretzel, which will help to bring the calories down a bit overall.

Low-Calorie Jamba Breakfast

Lowest Calorie Breakfast Sandwich

Sausage, Egg, & Cheese: 320 Calories, 23g Fat, 14g Carbs, 12g Protein

Jamba began as Jamba Juice, and they were originally all about the smoothies. Now, they have a very impressive menu outside of smoothies, and this breakfast sandwich is no exception.

With just over 300 calories, this is a fantastic low-calorie breakfast option, especially when paired with a low-calorie smoothie.

Other Lowest Calorie Breakfast Option

Strawberries Gone Bananas Smoothie: 150 Calories, 0g Fat, 36g Carbs, 1g Protein

Jamba has a ton of smoothie options that are extremely customizable, so this is just one of many options available to you.

Personally, I would also add some whey protein to this smoothie, which would keep the calories low while adding an extra boost of protein to make it even more filling.

Low-Calorie 7-11 Breakfast

Lowest Calorie Breakfast Sandwich

Sausage Biscuit: 330 Calories, 22g Fat, 28g Carbs, 8g Protein

Is 7-11 technically fast food? Well, you can get food very quickly, so I’d say so!

When you walk into a 7-11, there will be quite a few hot food options available to you, and it will vary a bit by location. A classic bacon, egg, and cheese comes in a little over 400 calories, so your best low-calorie option is the sausage biscuit, which contains just 330 calories.

Other Lowest Calorie Breakfast Option

Berry Parfait: 210 Calories, 2g Fat, 43g Carbs, 6g Protein

If you want a quick grab-and-go breakfast from 7-11, a parfait is a great option.

While 7-11 does have a ton of baked goods, such as muffins and donuts, they are all much higher in calories. For a low-calorie option, the parfait is a great choice.

Can you make substitutions to fast food breakfast sandwiches?

Sausage McGriddles
Just a quick shameless plug for my own homemade McGriddle recipe!

The short answer: yes, in most cases you can make substitutions to fast food breakfast sandwiches.

The longer answer: it depends on where you are ordering from and what you’d like to substitute.

For example, many restaurants you order from will have egg white options on their menu (although that’s not always going to be the case). Because of this, you can typically substitute eggs for egg whites on a sandwich even if it’s not specifically listed on the menu.

If you head to Dunkin’ and you want to grab yourself a bacon, egg, and cheese bagel, you can save yourself some calories by getting egg whites instead.

If egg whites are offered anywhere on a fast food restaurant menu, it’s typically a swap that can easily be made for you.

Another thing you can do to save some calories is to leave off the cheese. Fast food restaurants are not going to be using low-calorie or low-fat cheeses, so leaving the cheese off your sandwich can save you anywhere from 50-100 calories!

Of course, what’s a breakfast sandwich without cheese? It takes away some of the delicious flavor, but will work if you’re looking to save yourself calories.

Does low calorie mean healthy?

Low calorie isn't healthy

Just because an option is super low in calories, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is “healthy” in all senses of the word.

If you’ve read any other content on this site, you know that “healthy” is very much subjective, so it’s impossible to make a blanket statement about what is or isn’t healthy.

When you’re dieting, a low-calorie breakfast might be healthy for you. If muscle building is the goal, a high-protein breakfast may be healthy. For someone vegan, the plant-based option will be the healthy option for them.

For this guide, we are strictly looking at calories. Whether or not the option is “healthy” depends entirely on your goals.

For someone struggling with diabetes, hypertension, etc, you’ll want to look at much more than calories alone. Things like sodium, healthy fats, added sugar, and more, will be much more important in those cases.

That being said, even with limited information, it’ll quickly become clear that some options are better than others to choose on a regular basis (you’ll find donut holes on this list, which are a little bit less nourishing than oatmeal).

It’s also worth noting that I chose to cut off the options at 350 calories.

Does that mean an item with 400 calories is considered high-calorie? Not necessarily. I simply needed to draw the line somewhere, and as I went through the various menus, it became clear that 350 calories was a pretty common caloric value across the board.

Can fast food breakfast be healthy?

Mcdonald's big breakfast

I’m in a constant battle trying to convince people to not be afraid of fast food.

Sure, there are some very high-calorie, high-fat, and overall not-great options you can order, but there are also some solid options for any diet.

The quality of fast food may not be quite as great as if you made your own sandwich at home, but you could do much worse than eating some fast food breakfast.

And when you break the food down into the macronutrients, you’ll see that fast food may really not be quite as “unhealthy” as you previously thought.

Instead of assuming a sandwich from McDonald’s is automatically bad, break down the macros (nutrition facts) of the food, and you’ll quickly see that it’s not all bad.

This is why I love breaking down different options into their macronutrients- it can turn an option you would have previously avoided into something you can enjoy guilt-free.

Ultimately, what is “healthy” is totally up to you and your dietary preferences, but I hope you can see through this post that there are some great fast food breakfast options out there.

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About Matt Rosenman

With over 15 years of experience in health and fitness, Matt Rosenman is the expert voice behind Cheatdaydesign.com. 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