The Truth About Subway's Turkey Breast Sandwich

Despite being considered average by Mashed, Subway's turkey breast sandwich has enjoyed some popularity. In 2018, QSR reported that turkey, along with tuna, holds the title as Subway's most popular sandwich in the United States. More specifically, Urban Matter placed the turkey breast sandwich at the top of its list of Subway sandwiches, explaining that while not flashy, the sandwich represents a good, reliable option. Similarly, Thrillist drops the sandwich at second in its list: "Subway has always gotten this lunchbox staple right."

This is more likely due to the growing popularity of turkey as a meat. In December, Stuff, the New Zealander news site, borrowed a piece from The Economist that the average American consumption of Turkey has doubled since the 1970s due, in part, to its appeal as a low calorie food. Spoon University, in fact, lists the turkey breast sandwich as one of the ten healthiest sandwiches Subway offers, citing how it only packs 280 calories while managing to include 18 grams of protein.

Subway set out to improve its meat quality

The image of Subway's meat selection has been somewhat tarnished though. In 2017, a Canadian research team discovered that only 50 percent of Subway's chicken counted as chicken, according to NPR. The DNA of the other half was soy. Similarly, CBS noted in 2011 that the meat consisted of meat and water held together by food starch and soy protein concentrate. That is before the introduction of artificial flavoring.

To be balanced, however, Subway did announce one month after the Canadian chicken findings that it would include turkey breasts as part of its premium ingredients. Nation's Restaurant News explained that this would mean that the slices of turkey breast meat would be free of artificial flavoring, artificial colors, and preservatives. Still, as New Food Magazine covered in October 2020, considering that its breads had been deemed as a type of cake by the Irish Supreme Court due to its excessive sugar contents, one may want to refrain before treating Subway's turkey breast sandwich as a healthier alternative than one made at home.