Are Chick-Fil-A Grilled Nuggets Healthy? (The Whole Truth) Updated August 2022


Everybody loves eating out but when it comes to our waistline… not so much. It would be awesome to be able to find some fast food that is actually healthy. Is that the case with Chick-Fil-A’s grilled nuggets? 

Are they healthy? 

Chick-fil-A grilled nuggets could certainly be considered healthy based on their protein and calories.. This is especially true when you compare them to the battered and fried nuggets from Chick-Fil-A and other fast food restaurants. 

Are Chick-fil-A Grilled Nuggets Healthy? (The Whole Truth)

However the Chick-Fil-A grilled nuggets are pretty high in sodium. So if you are trying to stay within the expert recommended 2,300mg or less of sodium per day you will need to be careful with what else you eat with these grilled nuggets. 

If all you eat at Chick-Fil-A is their grilled nuggets then you won’t have to worry too much about the sodium. However even if you just pair it with a Chick-Fil-A side salad (which has 690mg of sodium) you will be at over 50% of the recommended daily sodium intake! 

And that’s when paired with a side salad! Remember just because you are eating a salad doesn’t mean that it is always healthy.

Surprisingly if you pair your Chick-Fil-A Grilled nuggets with a medium waffle fry it will give you less calories and less sodium than if you pair those nuggets with a side salad. (of course that doesn’t take into account any Chick-Fil-A sauce though) Crazy right?

A 12 piece container of Chick-fil-A grilled nuggets has: 

  • 200 calories
  • 4.5g of fat
  • 2g of carbs
  • 38g of protein

With experts recommending people trying to get between 1,600 and 3,000 calories a day (depending on your goals and body type) Chick-fil-A grilled nuggets coming in at only 200 calories puts them firmly in the running for one of the healthiest fast food options out there. 

Whether you are getting grilled nuggets or a salad you do have to be careful what you put onto it though as often the dressing or dips can have as many calories or fat as what you are actually eating. I will show you what I mean in just a minute.

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Chick-fil-A Grilled Nuggets Nutrition

A large order (12 piece) of Chick-fil-A’s grilled nuggets has the following nutritional content: 

Chick-fil-A Grilled Nuggets 12 piece Nutrition

The Chick-Fil-A grilled nuggets are incredibly low in calories especially when you compare them to the traditional Chick-Fil-A nuggets. Battered Chick-Fil-A nuggets have 380 calories for a 12 piece so choosing to go with grilled nuggets instead will save you almost half of the calories. 

Chick-Fil-A grilled nuggets really shine when you compare the fat they contain vs their traditional nuggets. Chick-Fil-A’s traditional nuggets contain 17g of fat whereas the grill nuggets only have 4.5g. That means that the normal Chick-Fil-A nuggets have 3x more fat in them than the grilled nuggets do. 

In every nutritional value Chick-Fil-A’s grilled nuggets are far healthier than their traditional nuggets are. So if you are trying to be health conscious while eating out then the grilled nuggets are a much better choice. 

One thing that you have to know is that you can easily take these mostly healthy nuggets from decently healthy to horrible for you… all by dipping them in your favorite sauce!

One small container of Chick-Fil-A’s famous sauce has:

Chick-Fil-A Sauce Nutritional Information

Yes, you read that right, a single tiny Chick-Fil-A sauce container has almost as many calories as their 12 grilled nuggets do! Now I don’t know about you but I love that Chick-Fil-A sauce and I will typically use at least 2 or 3 of them with my nuggets (whether grilled or deep fried). 

If you only use 3 Chick-Fil-A sauce containers with your 12 piece grilled nuggets you will consume

  • 620 calories
  • 43.5g of fat (between 75-100% of the recommended daily intake for most people)
  • 7g of saturated fat
  • 160mg of cholesterol 
  • 1,170g of sodium (almost 50% of your recommended daily intake)
  • 23g of carbohydrates
  • 19g of sugar

So if you aren’t careful with your sauces you can easily take those delicious Chick-Fil-A grilled nuggets from pretty healthy to absolutely horrible for your diet! 

How Are Chick-Fil-A Grilled Nuggets Made?

Chick-Fil-A took over 7 years and 50 million dollars to perfect their grilled chicken nugget recipe, and it shows. Most places sell very few of their grilled sandwiches or nuggets because they simply don’t taste very good. 

However, Chick-Fil-A’s grilled sandwiches and grilled nuggets are delicious on their own even without the high calorie and high fat dipping sauces. 

Chick-Fil-A’s grilled chicken nuggets are made with real fresh chicken that is marinated in sea salt, garlic, herbs, and lemon. The real fresh chicken that is used helps explain the great taste that Chick-Fil-A’s grilled nuggets have

These grilled chicken nuggets are actually cooked on a real grill just like the one you might have on your back deck. The grills in the Chick-Fil-A restaurant are designed to cook the nuggets far faster however which means you get your order much faster as well. 

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What Makes Chick-fil-A Grilled Nuggets Healthy Or Not?

When trying to determine if Chick-Fil-A’s grilled nuggets are healthy or not it is important to look at the calories, fat, saturated fat, and sodium. 

Chick-Fil-A Grilled Nuggets Calories

In a 12 piece grilled nugget entree from Chick-Fil-A there are 200 calories. In comparison Popeyes Blackened Chicken Tenders have 170 calories in a 3 piece while Buffalo Wild Wings Naked Chicken Tenders have 160 calories for a 3 piece. 

All three of these entrees are comparable in the amount of chicken that you get vs the calories in the dish so when it comes to calories Chick-Fil-A’s grilled nuggets are on par with what you can get from other fast food style chains with their grilled chicken (although BWW is far more of a sit down restaurant than both Popeyes and Chick-Fil-A). 

Chick-Fil-A Grilled Nuggets Fat

In a 12 piece grilled nugget entree from Chick-Fil-A there is 4.5g of fat. Popeyes Blackened Chicken Tenders have 2g of fat in their 3 piece entree while Buffalo Wild Wings Naked Chicken Tenders have 1g of fat. 

Looking at this comparison it is easy to see that Chick-Fil-A’s grilled nuggets are slightly higher in fat than the grilled chicken tenders from Popeyes and Buffalo WIld Wings. Again, all three of these options will give you approximately the same amount of chicken in each. 

Chick-Fil-A Grilled Nuggets Saturated Fat

The next nutritional value of the Chick-Fil-A grilled nuggets that I will go into is the saturated fat. The American Heart Association recommends only eating 13g of saturated fat per day if you are on a 2,000 calorie diet. 

A 12 piece Chick-Fil-A grilled nugget entree has 1g of saturated fat. Popeyes Blackened Chicken Tenders have 0g of saturated fat while Buffalo Wild Wings Naked Chicken Tenders have 0g of saturated fat as well. 

So when it comes to saturated fat Chick-Fil-A’s grilled nuggets have more than their competitors chicken does. 

Chick-Fil-A Grilled Nuggets Sodium 

It is recommended that you don’t get more than 2,300mg of sodium per day. But how much sodium does Chick-Fil-A’s grilled nuggets have in comparison to other similar products?

A 12 piece Chick-Fil-A grilled nugget entree has 660mg of sodium in it. A 3 piece Popeyes Blackened Chicken Tender entree has 550mg of sodium and the 3 piece Naked Chicken Tenders from Buffalo Wild Wings has 1,140mg of sodium. 

When it comes to sodium, Chick-Fil-A’s grilled chicken nuggets compare favorably to Popeyes entree while the grilled chicken from BWW has far too much sodium in it (almost 50% of the recommended daily intake). So if you are concerned about your sodium intake you should be fine with Chick-Fil-A or Popeyes but should avoid Buffalo Wild Wings Naked Chicken Tenders. 

Are Chick-Fil-A’s Grilled Nuggets Healthier Than Other Fast Food Chains?

Nuggets
Or
Tenders
Chick-Fil-A
Grilled Chicken Nuggets
Popeyes
Blackened Chicken Tenders
Buffalo Wild Wings
Naked Chicken Tenders
Mcdonalds
Breaded Chicken Nuggets
Burger King
Breaded Chicken Nuggets
Calories200170160410430
Total Fat4.5g2g1g23g27g
Sat. Fat1g0g0g4g4.5g
Cholesterol 130mg25mg0mg70mg115mg
Sodium660mg550mg1140mg750mg780mg
Carbs2g2g0g26g27mg
Sugar1g0g0g0g1g
Protein38g26g37g26g20g

Key Takeaway

Chick-Fil-A’s grilled chicken nuggets are far healthier than any breaded alternative from Chick-Fil-A, Mcdonalds, Burger King, or any other fast food restaurant. However, when compared with other grilled options like those from Popeyes and Buffalo Wild Wings they are not healthier than those two options are.

If you are looking for the healthiest grilled chicken nuggets/tenders that are currently available from a fast food restaurant then you will want to head to Popeyes as their Blackened Chicken Tenders are healthier than the grilled chicken nuggets are from Chick-Fil-A. 

Just because something comes from Chick-Fil-A doesn’t automatically mean that it is the healthiest option available. If trying to be health conscious you have to take the time to look at the nutrional information whether you are getting grilled nuggets or a Southwest Salad from Chick-FIl-A.

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What Fast Food Restaurants Have Grilled Chicken Nuggets/Tenders?

If you want to see what options you have available for grilled chicken when you are headed out to a fast food restaurant then you are in the right spot. 

As of right now the only fast food restaurant that serves grilled chicken nuggets is Chick-Fil-A. Both Popeyes and Buffalo Wild Wings have grilled chicken tenders available on their menu. 

Popeyes grilled chicken tenders are called “Blackened Chicken Tenders” and BWW grilled chicken tenders are called “Naked Chicken Tenders”. 

Beyond those three restaurants there are currently no other national fast food chains that offer grilled chicken nuggets or grilled chicken tenders. All other fast food restaurants only offer breaded options. 

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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