Fast Food Grilled Chicken Sandwiches Ranked Worst To Best

Fried food isn't exactly what the doctor ordered. But boy, does it hit the spot when you want something greasy and fatty that's gonna coat your mouth with a burst of rich flavor and give you those coveted run-down-your-chin juices. Plunging something in a jacuzzi of hot oil makes for that wonderful crispy casing that gives the perfect textural crunch — especially if you improve your batter with rice or cornmeal flour. You can fry just about anything, so long as you coat it in the right amount of batter. When it comes to fast food restaurants, chicken is one of the main proteins that spend time relaxing in that bubbling vat of oil.

But, what happens when you're really craving a quality chicken breast recipe without all that extra grease? If you're lucky enough, you'll have the option to snag a grilled chicken sandwich. Sure, it may not have the same crunch and juicy feel a fried filet does, but if it's prepared properly and paired with the right ingredients, it can successfully satiate that craving for fried stuff. However, keep in mind that not every grilled chicken sandwich is created equal. We've compiled a list of grilled chicken sandwiches from some of the most popular chains around, so you know which ones to attack your hunger with full-force — and which ones you should kick to the curb.

12. Grilled Chicken Sandwich - Culver's

The website for Culver's has some pretty bold things to say about its grilled chicken sandwich. It proudly states the sandwich is the "thickest... juiciest... tastiest chicken sandwich you'll find anywhere." You have to be pretty darn confident in your product to flaunt that kinda message. The grilled chicken sandwich comes with a filet of chicken seasoned with salt and pepper, lettuce, tomato, and pickles. The sandwich doesn't try to pull any punches by tossing in an unexpected ingredient or texture, but it sure could use one to pull it up from the unappealing culinary depths where it exists.

We quickly found that we disagreed with the sentiment written on the website. The filet of chicken certainly isn't as juicy as you might expect it to be considering Culver's claims it's the "juiciest." And it definitely isn't as thick as you'd like it to be either. The salt and pepper seasoning on the chicken does give it some flavor, but the actual meat skews on the dry side. This is a huge issue considering there are no condiments on the sandwich, so you have nothing to give it any moisture. Yes, you can always add them, but you don't want to have to modify your meal to make it enjoyable. This is a disappointing menu item you want to avoid.

11. Grilled Chicken Sub - Subway

Subway knows its way around a sandwich, which is why it's a go-to spot for so many people craving a handheld vessel chock-full of proteins and fixings. The chain has a whole slew of menu options, and as you can imagine, not all of them are diet-friendly. However, there are ways to order that don't have you upping your caloric intake to an aggressive level. Ordering up a grilled chicken sandwich is certainly one of them, but think twice before dabbling in the grilled chicken here. Your appetite will thank you for it later.

The texture of the chicken is a complete turnoff. Every inch of it is super dry, and you're left with a parched mouth as soon as you bite down. The filet is also quite dense, so you really feel the force of that dryness. If you do decide to order this up for whatever reason, make sure you have a drink nearby to help wash every bite down. You can obviously add a bunch of other ingredients to the sandwich that'll give moisture to the chicken, but the protein is the star of the show, and as the lead performance is concerned, there's no Academy Award anywhere in the near or distant future for it.

10. Grilled Chicken Wrap - Wendy's

Wendy's is one of those fast food chains that many people choose when they want to feel like they're eating "healthier" fast food. Whether or not that's true, hey, it's still delicious, and that's what gets people penciling in their return trips shortly after they leave. If you are trying to eat something healthier than a cheeseburger and fries, you can always order up the grilled chicken wrap. You get chunks of herb-marinated grilled chicken rolled in a flour tortilla alongside shredded cheddar cheese, romaine lettuce, and a drizzle of ranch sauce. Is it a healthier option? Sure. But is it worth your money? Probably not.

The whole time you're eating the wrap you can't help but think, "This needs something else." There are only four ingredients, but the wrap could definitely use a couple more. The whole thing is rather bland. You really don't taste any of the herbs the chicken is marinated in, and the lettuce and cheese really don't add much in terms of flavor. The ranch does give the whole thing moisture, but even the taste of the ranch is super mellow and doesn't give you that burst of creamy herbiness you expect from the sauce. If you're looking for a flavor punch, seek it elsewhere.

9. Grilled Chicken Sandwich - Whataburger

When you order up a grilled chicken sandwich from anywhere, you expect the chicken to lead the charge in terms of flavor and overall enjoyment. It's the main focus of the meal, and it should do most of the heavy lifting in case some of the other flavors just don't pull their weight. However, this isn't the case at all when it comes to the grilled chicken sandwich at Whataburger. The protein actually takes a back seat role here, and it leaves much of the work to the sauce. Is that a good thing? It depends on how much of a condiment lover you are.

The grilled chicken sandwich is served on a brioche bun and comes with the grilled filet, lettuce, tomato, and Whatasauce. It's the Whatasauce that really takes the reins in terms of the flavor, as it does in many of Whataburger's popular menu items. The grilled chicken filet has a decent amount of moisture, but it's not packed with too much flavor. The lettuce and tomato taste exactly as you'd expect them to. But, the sauce here lassos in every taste and texture and makes this a worthwhile option if you don't mind the condiment acting as the main attraction. The sauce is super creamy and hits your palate with a lovely zestiness that seeps into the chicken and imbues it with a really moreish flavor. After your first bite, you'll immediately think, "Wow, what a sauce!"

8. Charbroiled BBQ Chicken - Carl's Jr.

A great barbecue sauce isn't always easy to find, but when one does enter into your life, you're treated to a condiment that's capable of making an ordinary dish extraordinary. A slather of barbecue sauce that slaps your taste buds with delight boosts any protein up several pegs on the taste ladder. This is exactly what happens with the Charbroiled BBQ Chicken sandwich at Carl's Jr. The sandwich itself is pretty ordinary, but it's the sauce that Carl's Jr. uses that makes this worth your time.

The sandwich is served on a squishy potato bun with charbroiled chicken breast, lettuce, tomato, and barbecue sauce. The charbroiled chicken has those really nice char lines on them that give a welcoming smoky flavor to each bite. But, when you pair the charred taste with the tangy barbecue sauce, you're walloped with an awesome barbecue sensation. The sauce is a little bit sweet and a little bit spicy, but it doesn't go too hard in either direction. There's a really nice balance here, and the tangy aftertaste that lingers in your mouth envelops all of the other ingredients, making this a simple but worthwhile menu option.

7. Grilled Chicken Club - Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A is the go-to spot for many people when a craving for a chicken sandwich strikes — even if you should probably never eat there again. The chicken can be super juicy and thick-cut, so you feel like you're getting the most out of your money. The crispy chicken sandwiches are a popular option, but for anyone trying to stay away from the fried stuff, the grilled chicken club is a solid choice that'll scratch that chicken itch with a bunch of great flavors.

The chicken filet used in the sandwich is marinated in lemon and herbs, and you can absolutely tell. There's the bright kick of citrus, but it's not overwhelming. The lemon flavor really helps the herbs come out full force. The chicken is also juicy, which means you're never left with a parched mouth after a bite. The protein is served on toasted multigrain brioche and topped with Colby Jack cheese, applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, and tomato. The Chick-fil-A website suggests pairing the sandwich with honey-roasted barbecue sauce, and we couldn't agree more. The salty punch of the bacon and lemony chicken really comes to life with the sweet and smoky sauce. Plus, you get a bunch of grains in your bread, and that's a score for your diet.

6. Charbroiled Chicken Club Sandwich - Carl's Jr.

Sometimes you don't need a bunch of unique or unexpected ingredients to make a perfectly satisfying meal. This is the case with the Charbroiled Chicken Club sandwich at Carl's Jr. The sandwich doesn't try to pull any sneaky punches with flavors or textures, and that's totally okay because the end result is an enjoyable one. You get a potato bun with charbroiled chicken breast, two strips of bacon, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayo. These simple ingredients come together to create a sandwich any grilled chicken enthusiast would be proud to eat.

The chicken is the star of the performance here, and it's thanks to the awesome amount of moisture it holds. It's not dried out at all, and every bite has those rich, smoky juice coating your tongue. The Swiss cheese is melted to perfection, lending a nutty creaminess to each bite, and the strips of bacon are rich, crunchy, and salty, which is everything you want bacon to be. Even though the chicken supplies so much moisture, the addition of the mayo also gives each mouthful a silky consistency. The mayonnaise warms up thanks to the temperature of the protein, and that makes it taste even creamier.

5. Chipotle Ranch Grilled Chicken Burrito - Taco Bell

As enticing as it is to stuff your face with ground beef tacos when you enter a Taco Bell, just know there are other items on the menu that are certainly worth exploring. Grilled chicken might not leap off the menu for you, but keep in mind the chipotle ranch grilled chicken burrito is a great option if you've been eating too much red meat and want a tasty change. Taco Bell urges you to think outside the bun, so instead, think inside this wrap.

The flour tortilla comes stuffed with chunks of grilled chicken, fiesta (tortilla chip) strips, lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheddar, avocado ranch sauce, and creamy chipotle sauce. It's the one-two punch of sauces here that sends your taste buds into a tizzy of happiness. Both are super creamy, so this wrap never even comes close to feeling dry. The avocado ranch is packed with herbs and a hefty taste of avocado, and the chipotle sauce has a lovely kick of heat that any spice fiend would enjoy. The grilled chicken is juicy, the shredded cheddar adds a sharp flavor and melty texture, and the fiesta strips give each bite a wonderfully crunchy mouthfeel.

4. Grilled Chicken Sandwich - Jack-in-the-Box

The bread that holds all of the delicious fixings that make up a sandwich is just as important as the individual ingredients nestled inside. A terrible-tasting bun will immediately cancel out the enjoyment of everything else, and you're left with one big handheld disappointment. Luckily, the people at Jack-in-the-Box know exactly what they're doing when it comes to the sandwich vessels, and it's glaringly obvious when you order the grilled chicken sandwich. The sandwich innards are tasty on their own, but the bread really ups the ante.

You get a grilled chicken filet, lettuce, tomatoes, and a condiment called Good Good Sauce — a sweet and tangy mayo — all nestled in between two thick-cut slices of toasted sourdough. The filet is juicy, and the Good Good Sauce is a stellar spread that you'll want to add to just about everything after you try it. But the toasted sourdough really makes this a worthwhile product. The outside of the bread has a wonderful crunch, but the inside is super warm and soft, so the textural contrast feels perfect in your mouth. Combine that great texture with the sandwich flavors for one darn good time.

3. Colorado Grilled Chicken - Smashburger

If there's one thing Colorado does right, it's incorporating the awesome flavors of chiles into the cuisine. The right kind of chili elevates the flavor of whatever dish it's in, and a perfect example of this taste boost is in the Colorado grilled chicken sandwich at Smashburger. The sandwich comes with a juicy grilled chicken breast, pepper jack and cheddar cheeses, grilled Anaheim chiles, lettuce, tomatoes, and mayo on a toasted spicy chipotle bun, and it's worth every one of your hard-earned dollars.

One of the first sensations that hits your palate is the creaminess of both melted cheeses. This makes for a gorgeous mouthfeel. That creaminess seeps into the chicken, which is already juicy, so there's a burst of moisture with every bite. The Anaheim chiles lend a small kick of heat but nothing that will send your mouth into high alert. It's just enough to wake up your palate a bit. The chiles form a perfect partnership with the chicken and cheese, and they also join forces with the hint of spice that comes from the chipotle bun to give every bite a warm, tantalizing taste. Thank you, Colorado.

2. Signature Take Chicken Sandwich - Panera

Panera is one of those places that sometimes gets overlooked when you're trying to decide where to eat with friends. Many times the big names immediately come to mind — McDonald's, Taco Bell, Wendy's — but Panera serves up some solid stuff that does just as good of a job at leaving a big grin on your face after a meal. When you're trying to snag yourself a sandwich with grilled chicken, Panera offers its signature take on chicken sandwiches, and this thing is sure to hit all the right spots on your tongue and in your stomach.

The chicken on the sandwich is seasoned and seared, and whatever seasonings Panera uses make a lot of noise on your palate, and that's a good thing. The chicken is juicy and packed with flavor thanks to the blend of herbs and spices it's coated with. But, here's where the sandwich takes an interesting turn: Instead of sliced cheese, Panera uses Parmesan crisps to hit you with a wonderfully salty and nutty flavor. The crisps are super crunchy, so the cheese also lends a great textural contrast to the moist chicken and soft brioche bun. There's also a smear of garlic aioli to help give everything a zesty creaminess you'll never get tired of tasting.

1. Truffle Mushroom Swiss - Smashburger

When it comes to any ranking, there can only be one option that reigns supreme. Well, here it is folks. If you're looking for the absolute best grilled chicken sandwich you can get your eager little hands on, look no further than the truffle mushroom Swiss sandwich at Smashburger. As soon as you read the word "truffle" in the name, you know you're dealing with some high-level stuff, and this certainly checks off all the high-level boxes you need it to. If there's a Smashburger within driving distance from you, hop in your car and head there as soon as you feel even the slightest tinge of hunger and order this fantastic chicken sandwich pronto.

You get a grilled chicken breast topped with perfectly melted aged Swiss cheese, sauteed crimini mushrooms, and truffle mayo. The chicken is seasoned really well and almost melts in your mouth thanks to its tender, moist texture. The aged Swiss adds a sweet nuttiness that soaks into the chicken and mixes with the seasoning to give it an extra blast of flavor. The crimini mushrooms are super delicate and have a dissolving quality to them with each bite, so your jaw has to barely put in any work to reap the rewards. But it's the truffle mayo that wallops your mouth with a creamy, umami-drenched goodness that makes your head spin. This is what all sandwiches should strive to be.