Are Chick-Fil-A Fried/Breaded Nuggets Healthy? (All Nutrition Facts) Updated December 2022


Last updated on September 8th, 2022 at 07:03 pm

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Wanting to grab a quick lunch while you’re out, you see the red and white sign featuring the word Chick-Fil-A. Of course they are a popular fast food restaurant that has many chicken options to choose from including their famous fried chicken sandwich.

Chick-Fil-A also has healthier choices like a variety of salads, grilled chicken sandwiches, grilled chicken nuggets, and more.

So, since Chick-Fil-A is your favorite fast-food restaurant, you pull into the drive thru and decide to grab yourself a nice meal. Should you get the chicken strips, chicken sandwich, or what about that ice cream for dessert?

Scanning over the possible menu items you remember you are trying to eat a bit healthier. The breaded chicken nuggets stand out to you as a great option as surely they must be better for you than all of the carbs in a normal chicken sandwich.

But then you begin to wonder if these are really a healthier option for your meal.

I mean they might not be the healthiest option on the menu (as they certainly aren’t healthier than a salad) but they can’t be too bad for you… right?

Are these fried boneless chicken nuggets healthy at all? Can you still eat them and not blow your daily diet entirely?

Are Chick-Fil-A Fried/Breaded Nuggets Healthy?

Chick-Fil-A’s breaded nuggets are delicious, but unfortunately they aren’t very healthy. This is because of one main reason… the sodium content. A 12 piece breaded Chick-Fil-A nugget has 1820mg of sodium which is a whopping 80% of your recommended daily intake in a day.

When experts recommend only getting 2300mg of sodium in a day, getting 1820mg in a 12 piece breaded nugget just is not even close to healthy. 

Although Chick-Fil-A’s breaded nuggets are pretty low calorie with a 12 piece coming in at only 380 calories and it also only has around 20% of your daily fat and saturated fat, with such a high sodium content these breaded nuggets just can’t be considered healthy. 

If you want to get the healthiest meal with nuggets then the only real option for you is to get Chick-Fil-A’s grilled nuggets instead. For the same 12 chicken pieces but with grilled chicken instead of breaded, it has way fewer calories coming in at only 200 and has far less sodium as well with 660 mg of sodium instead of 1820 mg. 

Sodium is an issue with many items at Chick-Fil-A that otherwise wouldn’t be too bad for your health. Whether you are considering a salad (Cobb Salad, Market Salad, or Spicy Southwest Salad) or chicken nuggets you always need to make sure that your sodium intake isn’t way too high.

Chick-Fil-A 12 Piece Breaded Nuggets Nutrition Facts

In each of the nutritional tables below I will give the amount of and daily value for:

  • Calories
  • Grams of fat
  • Grams of saturated fat
  • Milligrams of cholesterol
  • Milligrams of sodium
  • Grams of carbs
  • Grams of fiber
  • Grams of sugar
  • Grams of protein

I will also break each one up depending on how many of these fried chicken nuggets that you order.

A large order (12 piece) of Chick-Fil-A’s breaded nuggets has the following nutritional facts: 

Chick-Fil-A 12 Piece Breaded Nuggets Nutrition Facts
Nutritional table created by GetEatin.com

As you can see from the above nutrition information everything looks pretty good and is in line with not being horrible for your health… until you get to the cholesterol and sodium. The cholesterol is a bit high but the sodium is sky high! 

And the above nutrition information is without any of Chick-Fil-A’s famous dips added in as well. If you use a couple of dips these nuggets go from alright on everything but the sodium to being just unhealthy in almost every category. 

But what if you get a smaller package of nuggets? Well let’s take a quick look at the nutritional value in those as well.

Chick-Fil-A 8 Piece Breaded Nuggets Nutrition Facts

A medium order (8 piece) of Chick-Fil-A’s breaded nuggets has the following nutritional facts: 

Chick-Fil-A 8 Piece Breaded Nuggets Nutrition Facts
Nutritional table created by GetEatin.com

Although the sodium content of an 8 piece nugget is lower than the 12 piece (since there are 4 less nuggets) it is still over 50% of the recommended daily sodium intake. So even an 8 piece breaded nugget from Chick-FIl-A would not be considered healthy. 

Chick-Fil-A 5 Piece Breaded Nuggets Nutrition Facts

A medium order (5 piece) of Chick-Fil-A’s breaded nuggets has the following nutritional facts: 

Chick-Fil-A 5 Piece Breaded Nuggets Nutrition Facts
Nutritional table created by GetEatin.com

The 5 piece breaded nugget pack’s sodium is in line with the recommended daily sodium intake when looking at a single meal. However, you are not likely to be anywhere close to full when only eating 5 of Chick-Fil-A’s fried nuggets. 

If you pair these nuggets with a side salad with a low sodium dressing then this wouldn’t be too bad for you but only if you are careful with the dressing that you use. The salad dressing with the lowest sodium at Chick-Fil-A is the Fat-Free Honey Mustard (only 330 mg of sodium). A couple of other good choices are the Light Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (360 mg of sodium) and the Light Italian Dressing (470 mg of sodium).

Although the light italian dressing is higher in sodium than the other two options it is the lowest in terms of calories with only 25.

Even when you go with the smallest pack of breaded nuggets (the 5 piece) they still aren’t a healthy choice since they won’t fill you up. If you want to get healthy nuggets at Chick-Fil-A you will want to avoid the breaded ones and choose the grilled nuggets instead.

They are far lower in sodium and fat and fit in with a healthy meal. 

How Are Chick-Fil-A Breaded Nuggets Made?

If you love Chick-Fil-A’s breaded nuggets you might want to know how they are made.

First of all Chick-Fil-A starts with small pieces of boneless chicken breast. This is what makes their nuggets stand out from the competition since they use real chicken breast for their nuggets and not a random mix of ingredients. 

These chunks of boneless chicken breast are then seasoned and breaded. Then the nuggets are pressure cooked in peanut oil (which is debatable how healthy that is) right after you order so they can be served hot and fresh right to your table. 

Chick-Fil-A’s breaded nuggets are dipped in a fat free milk and egg before they are breaded with salt, sugar, flour, and a special mix of spices. Since the chicken is not ground up or any other random things added to it you can rest assured that these chicken nuggets are actual chicken. 

What Makes Chick-Fil-A Breaded Nuggets Healthy Or Not?

When looking at the breaded nuggets from Chick-Fil-A and trying to decide if they are a healthy choice there are a few different nutritional items that you should take a look at. Looking at a single nutritional value isn’t a good option either as you really want to look at many of them before deciding if something is healthy. 

So in the sections below I will dive into the calories, fat, saturated fat, and sodium content of Chick-Fil-A’s fried (breaded) nuggets. 

Chick-Fil-A Breaded Nuggets Calories

Deciding whether something is healthy based on the calorie content can be difficult since the amount of calories you should consume in a day varies considerably. Experts from the DGA recommend getting between 1300 and 3000 calories a day depending on many life factors such as your current height, weight, gender, whether you are trying to gain, maintain, or lose weight, and more. 

For most people who have a normal lifestyle (at least here in the USA) you will likely want to eat between 1500 and 2000 calories a day. 

With a 12 piece breaded nugget containing 380 calories that is not out of line with the amount you should likely consume. Even though it isn’t super low in calories it certainly isn’t too many where it would be a major issue.

However you should remember that the dipping sauces from Chick-Fil-A also have a good number of calories in them. So if you use 2 or 3 Chick-Fil-A sauces with your breaded nuggets your calories will increase dramatically. 

3 packages of Chick-Fil-A sauce have 420 calories in them which is more than the entire 12 piece nugget does! So make sure to check out the calories in the dipping sauce that you are using as well. 

Breaded nuggets by themselves are not so high in calories that they would be deemed unhealthy based on that alone. 

Chick-Fil-A Breaded Nuggets Fat

Some experts (such as these from Livestrong) recommend that you get between 44 and 78g of fat if you are on a 2000 calorie diet. A 12 piece breaded nugget has 17g of fat in it which is 38% of the lower recommended fat amount and 22% of the higher recommended fat amount. 

Between 22-38% of your recommended fat intake for the day would not be out of line for a single meal. However if you also get a waffle fry or use a bunch of dips the fat content can easily get far above the recommended range for a single meal if you aren’t careful 

Chick-Fil-A Breaded Nuggets Saturated Fat

The American Heart Association recommends that you get 13g of saturated fat if you are on a 2000 calorie diet. A 12 piece breaded nugget from Chick-Fil-A has 3.5g of saturated fat which is 27% of that recommended 13g. 

Since it is under 33% of the recommended daily saturated fat then these nuggets are not out of line in that regard. Again, dipping sauces or adding fries, shakes, or drinks could cause your meal to become far higher in saturated fat but just the breaded nuggets themselves are not too bad for you. 

Chick-Fil-A Breaded Nuggets Sodium

Ahhh sodium, the one nutritional value that so many fast food restaurants struggle with. Whether it’s because of the breading, spices, or just the way Chick-Fil-A makes these nuggets I’m not sure. What I am sure of is that a 12 piece nugget is WAYYYYY too much sodium based on how much sodium experts say we should get a day (2300mg). 

A 12 piece breaded nugget has 1820 mg of sodium in it which is 79% of the recommended DAILY intake of sodium. Yes, you read that right. A 12 piece breaded nugget is almost 80% of the amount of sodium you should eat in a day. 

This is really where these breaded nuggets become unhealthy because of their high sodium content. If the sodium content was lower in these nuggets and closer to 30-40% of the recommended daily sodium intake then these nuggets wouldn’t be too bad for you. 

But with such a high sodium amount they simply can’t be considered healthy. 

Key Takeaway

Unfortunately Chick-Fil-A’s breaded nuggets are not a very healthy menu item mainly because of how high in sodium that they are. If these nuggets were lower in sodium then although they still wouldn’t be the healthiest thing for you to eat they wouldn’t be too bad. 

However with sodium of 79% of the recommended daily intake these are not a healthy choice for anyone let alone for the kids that often end up ordering and eating them. 

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

Now I don’t want to just look at Chick-Fil-A’s breaded nuggets without comparing them to other popular fast food restaurants. Unfortunately Chick-Fil-A serves their nuggets in odd sizes when compared to the other fast food restaurants so making a head to head comparison is difficult. 

So what I actually had to do to make this comparison as even as possible was figure out the nutritional value for a single Chick-Fil-A breaded nugget and then multiply it by 10 since all of the other fast food places have 10 piece nuggets and Chick-Fil-A doesn’t. 

So although you can’t order a 10 piece nugget from Chick-Fil-A the below information is how much each nutritional value would be if you ate 10 nuggets from each of the different fast food restaurants. 

Breaded
Chicken
Nuggets
(10 Pieces)
Chick-Fil-A
Breaded
Chicken
Nuggets
Wendy’s
Breaded
Chicken
Nuggets
Jack In The Box
Breaded 
Chicken 
Nuggets 
Mcdonalds
Breaded
Chicken
Nuggets
Burger King
Breaded
Chicken
Nuggets
Calories317450480410430
Total Fat14g29g33g23g27g
Sat. Fat3g6g4.5g4g4.5g
Cholesterol 105mg80mg50mg70mg115mg
Sodium1517mg950mg1210mg750mg780mg
Carbs14g23g26g26g27mg
Sugar1g0g0g0g1g
Protein33g25g19g26g20g

Key Takeaway

Chick-Fil-A breaded nuggets are healthier than all of their fast food competitors when it comes to:

  • Calories
  • Fat
  • Saturated Fat
  • Carbs

However Chick-Fil-A’s breaded nuggets are worse than the competition when it comes to cholesterol and sodium. Chick-Fil-A is worse than every single competitor when it comes to the amount of sodium in a 10 piece nugget while they are second to last when it comes to cholesterol (only behind Burger King). 

So overall Chick-Fil-A’s breaded nuggets are healthier than all of the other fast food restaurants however their high sodium content is once again a major issue. With Chick-Fil-A’s 10 piece nugget coming in at 66% of the recommended daily sodium intake they are almost 30% higher in sodium than the next highest 10 piece nugget (Jack In The Box) and have 2x more sodium than the lowest sodium option (Mcdonalds). 

If Chick-Fil-A would figure out how to lower their sodium and cholesterol in their chicken nuggets they would be the winner by a mile when compared to other fast food restaurants in regards to health. However with such high sodium content it’s hard to call them the winners in regards to being healthy. 

What Is The Healthiest Thing At Chick-Fil-A?

Looking to cut back on those calories while also getting the proper nutrition your body needs, you have decided to eat a little healthier. When you are deciding on a quick place to eat you choose Chick-Fil-A knowing they have good and healthier options on their menu. 

So, what is the healthiest thing to eat at Chick-Fil-A?

When eating at Chick-Fil-A you can also be eating healthy. The healthiest thing on their menu is the Kale Crunch Salad. 

The Kale Crunch Salad is only 120 calories and features curly kale and green cabbage topped with crunchy roasted almonds. It is not only delicious but also nutritious! 

The almonds topping the salad are half of the dish calories. Still this menu side option is the healthiest the restaurant offers. 

Then they have the Egg White Grill. With only 290 calories and 26 grams of protein, this breakfast entree does feature melted American cheese which accounts for 50 of those calories it contains. 

Another healthy option at Chick-Fil-A is the grilled chicken sandwich with only 320 calories and 6 grams of fat making it the healthiest sandwich at Chick-Fil-A. 

Most fast food sandwiches don’t have less than 400 calories but also aren’t as tasty as this one making it a great pick for a healthier  meal.

I already mentioned the grilled chicken nuggets that are one of the healthy options at Chick-Fil-A. They have 16 calories per nugget and are the healthiest entree option on the menu. 

Chick-Fil-A has spent a great deal of time perfecting the recipe of these wonderful little bites of chicken to make them healthy and delectable. 

Then there’s the fruit cup which is a small side with only 50 calories and no fat at all. It’s a hard decision to swap out fries for fruit but the waffle fries have a lot more calories and are a lot more unhealthy than the fruit cup. 

Choose the fruit cup as a healthier and fresher side. 

The Chick-Fil-A Market Salad with the grilled filet option is 540 calories and 41 carbs so just because you are getting a salad doesn’t mean that you are not eating many calories. 

Chick-Fil-A has many salads to choose from for a healthier meal but just be sure to check the calories on the different options before deciding. 

Lastly, we have chicken noodle soup. As one of the best diet choices on their menu, this soup is only 120 calories and is the healthiest soup at Chick-Fil-A. 

These are some of the healthier options you can pick from when eating at Chick-Fil-A. They will give you the nutrition you need without having tons of calories while also being quite tasty. You do have to be careful with the dipping sauces and dressings though as they can often be high in sodium and fat as well. 

So just make sure to check out all of the nutritional information whether you are getting a Spicy Southwest Salad or anything else. 

Are Chick-Fil-A Nuggets Real Chicken? 

Anyone who’s been to or heard of Chick-Fil-A knows that they serve real chicken. This accounts for how good their food is and if you have been to Chick-Fil-A, you know their food is one of the best among fast food. 

But are the nuggets at Chick-Fil-A real chicken too?

Chick-Fil-A nuggets are absolutely real chicken whether it is the grilled or breaded nuggets. All of their chicken is 100% real. 

Over the years, Chick-Fil-A has perfected their grilled chicken nuggets recipe. Even though these little bites of chicken were first on the Kids Meal menu, they were soon added to the regular menu because adults love them just as much. 

The marinade of the grilled nuggets is sea salt, lemon, garlic, and herbs that give it its pleasant flavor. 

If you are looking into eating something healthier the grilled chicken nuggets are calling your name. They are only 130 calories (for 8 of them) and don’t contain any trans fat. It’s even been said that these nuggets are so good you will forget that they are healthy. 

The nuggets are made with real and fresh chicken and are pressed by Chick-Fil-A team members every day. Since they are so low in calories you can easily pair them with a medium waffle fry and still be far below your calorie, fat, and sodium goals for your meal.

Chick-fil-A Breaded/Fried Nuggets Macros

If you are trying to live a healthier life then you might be counting your macronutrients. If so then this section is for you.

Below are the macronutrients for Chick-fil-A’s breaded/fried nuggets for all of the available sizes.

Chick-fil-A 5 ct Breaded/Fried Nuggets Macros

Below are the macronutrients for Chick-fil-A’s 5 piece breaded/fried nuggets entree.

  • 7 g of fat
  • 7 g of carbs
  • 17 g of protein

Chick-fil-A 8 ct Breaded/Fried Nuggets Macros

Below are the macronutrients for Chick-fil-A’s 8 piece breaded/fried nuggets entree.

  • 11 g of fat
  • 11 g of carbs
  • 27 g of protein

Chick-fil-A 12 ct Breaded/Fried Nuggets Macros

Below are the macronutrients for Chick-fil-A’s 12 piece breaded/fried nuggets entree.

  • 17 g of fat
  • 16 g of carbs
  • 40 g of protein

Chick-fil-A 30 ct Breaded/Fried Nuggets Macros

Below are the macronutrients for Chick-fil-A’s 30 piece breaded/fried nuggets entree.

  • 43 g of fat
  • 41 g of carbs
  • 100 g of protein

Hannah R.

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

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