Keto Best Bets at Chick-Fil-A

In a perfect world I’d never have to eat out. If I didn’t feel like preparing dinner, my personal chef would whip up something amazing for me. In my current reality, sometimes exhaustion and convenience win out over giving my very best to dinner prep. Travel also happens from time to time and when flying, sometimes fast food is the only option.

If I must eat fast food, I have to say Chick-fil-a is my favorite. My old standby used to be the classic chicken sandwich meal. Considering that meal has 86 carbs, not including a drink, I’ve scoured the CFA website to figure out what my new best options are.

With a few tweaks, some menu options become an acceptable low-carb friendly meal. With a little planning, dare I say, even keto-friendly. (Keep your head on your shoulders; CFA food still contains MSG, soy, preservatives, etc. so I don’t recommend making it a habit.)

My top recommendations:

Get the Cobb Salad with grilled nuggets and Herb Ranch dressing. Do not eat the crunchy red bell peppers – give them to someone in need. You can also avoid a few more carbs if you don’t eat the cherry tomatoes. (I think they’re kind of nasty so I never eat them anyway, but they are about 1/2 carb each depending on how big they are.)

Cobb Salad

The breakdown:

Cobb Salad as per the CFA Website: 22 carbs, 4g fiber, 20g fat, 35g protein, but this includes the Crunchy Red Bell Peppers. So there is 6g carbs, 1g protein and 6g fat that you WON’T be eating.

(Again, if you don’t eat the cherry tomatoes you can take off about ½ carb per tomato.)

22 carbs – 4g fiber – 6g carbs = 12g net carbs for just the salad.

Herb Ranch Dressing (31g fat, 2g carb, 1g protein)

The percentages:

67% fat, 9% carb, 23% protein

Not bad for straight off the menu. You can improve these ratios by bringing your own pecans (more on that below.) This option is also VERY filling.

Another Choice: Market Salad with Grilled Filet

A slightly less keto-friendly option on the menu (because of lower fat content and higher carbs) is the Market Salad. If you get it with the grilled chicken and do not add the Harvest Nut Granola (adding the almonds is okay!) the breakdown becomes:

10g fat, 16g carb, 4g fiber, 27g protein (a little more fat and protein and maybe 1 additional carb if including the almonds – CFA did not offer a nutritional breakdown on the almonds). Net carbs: 12g.

Market Salad

The percentages: 37% fat, 20% carb, 44% protein

The challenge with this salad is finding a dressing that works. They recommend the Apple Cider Vinaigrette, but it has 16 carbs on its own, and I’m not sure how well a ranch-style dressing would work on a salad with fruit. If you experiment let me know how it goes!

A Plan-Ahead Alternative:

Side salad, Herb Ranch dressing and 8-count grilled nuggets. Bring your own pecans (one ounce) to round out the salad and boost the good fat content.

Side Salad

The breakdown:

Side salad with Herb Ranch Dressing, without crunchy bell peppers: 7g carb (if you don’t eat the tomatoes take off about 1/2 carb each), 3g fiber, 4g fat, 5g protein

Grilled nuggets: 3g fat, 1g carb, 25g protein

Herb Ranch Dressing (31g fat, 2g carb, 1g protein)

1 oz of pecans from home: 20g fat, 3.9g carb -2.7g fiber, 2.6g protein

The percentages:

71% fat, 5% carb, 23% protein (as is)

78% fat, 4% carb, 18% protein (if you bring your own 1oz of pecans)

Once you add the DIY pecans, the macros even out pretty nicely. Not bad if you are able to plan ahead!

Other dressing/sauce options:

Creamy Salsa: 2g carbs, 31g fat, 1g protein (same carbs as Herb Ranch)

Avocado Lime Ranch: 3g carb, 32g fat, 1g protein (one carb higher than Herb Ranch; one additional gram of fat)

Zesty Buffalo is 1g carbs, but only 2.5g fat so Herb Ranch, Avocado Lime Ranch or Creamy Salsa are better keto options.

I hope this helps you make some good decisions the next time you find yourself dining at Chick-Fil-A. If you’ve found any other good finds there, let me know!

Are there any other chain restaurants you’d like to see me review?

Published by kitchenkungfu

Writer, Toastmaster and tireless champion for the benefits of a ketogenic diet!

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