The Surprising Truth About Chick-Fil-A's Grilled Nuggets

Chick-fil-A Grilled Nuggets look like bite-sized versions of the chicken breast found in the fast food restaurant's popular Grilled Chicken Sandwich, hailed as superior among its competitors by Redditors, who say things like "Chick-fil-A grilled chicken sandwiches are, by far, the best." The juicy, flavorful nuggets have their own fan followings on Reddit, of course. One first-time nugget customer wrote: "[T]he greatest chicken I ever had. [Chick-fil-A] grilled nuggets in one swoop changed everything i (sic) knew about nuggets." In the same thread, another fan called them "underrated" and "great."

What started as a kid's menu item in 2012, Grilled Nuggets quickly gained popularity among adults, prompting the Atlanta-based chain to put them on the regular menu, according to The Chicken Wire, Chik-fil-A's official blog. So what's the story with Chick-fil-A's Grilled Chicken Nuggets? Whether you're already a fan of these simple bits of chicken or just curious, here's everything you ever wanted to know about this yummy offering. You might be surprised by what you find.

The secret to Grilled Nuggets' success

According to The Chicken Wire, Chick-fil-A's current grilled chicken items, including the nuggets, took seven years and more than $50 million to develop. Much of that investment went to the design of a new grill with cast iron grates. It was designed to mimic a backyard grill but cook in less time.

Chick-fil-A also says the secret to the Gilled Nuggets' popularity is good ingredients, starting with the chicken. Crew members in each restaurant make the nuggets from "real, fresh chicken breast" every day. The secret to the tender meat and delicious flavor also lies in Chick-fil-A's proprietary marinade of lemon, sea salt, garlic, and herbs.

Another interesting fact: Grilled Nuggets are one of the healthiest and lowest-calorie options on the menu. (They're also keto-friendly, according to the company.) Each 9-count serving has only 140 calories and an impressive 25 grams of protein. Paired with a side salad and Light Italian dressing, they create a 325-calorie meal, Chick-fil-A's nutrition information. In 2016 when they suggested a "Chick-fil-A diet," Chick-fil-A took some ribbing, but as HuffPost pointed out, the fast food company was actually onto something.

An even more delicious way to eat Chick-fil-A's grilled nuggets is with one of the chain's seven signature dipping sauces, including Polynesian, Sweet and Spicy Sriracha, Zesty Buffalo, and of course the classic original Chick-fil-A sauce.