Cheap Healthy Fast Food

Let’s be honest: cheat meals are inevitable. When you are in the middle of a hunger frenzy, wallet-conscious, yet craving something that won’t leave you feeling guilty, cheap healthy fast food might be the best trick. We got you.

When trying to look for cheap and healthy fast food, we’re going to be looking for an optimal balance between cost and nutritional value. Thankfully, many fast-food places today have healthy choices on their menu, like wraps, salads, and burritos.

Continue reading to find out 14 cheap and healthy fast food options when you are craving for something tasty yet wallet-friendly!

1. Taco Bell: Power Menu Bowl

A cheap and healthy fast food option featuring a bowl of chicken salad with rice and beans.

Coming in first for cheat healthy fast food is the power menu bowl by Taco Bell. A variety of flavorful high-protein items topped up with veggies and beans equals just 460 calories.

To make it more like a salad bowl, try swapping the rice for lettuce as the base; for the protein, opt for chicken (or meat-free) and savor the bowl’s veggies, beans, and ranch sauce.

  • Per serving: 460 calories, 21g fat (6g sat fat), 41g carbs, 3g sugar, 1250mg sodium, 26g protein. 
  • Protein per 100 calories: 5.65g
  • Price per 100 calories: $1.52
  • Price at Taco Bell Los Angeles: $6.99 

2. Qdoba: Paleo Chicken Salad

A cheap and healthy bowl of salad on a wooden table.

Next we have the Qdoba Paleo Chicken Salad. Packed with flavors, only 300 calories make a feast of grilled veggies, juicy chicken, zesty pico de gallo, and an irresistible guacamole.

This salad not only satisfies your cravings but also keeps things in check with lower sodium, less saturated fat, and carbs, while giving you an extra boost of fiber.

  • Per serving: 300 calories, 20g fat (4g sat fat), 18g carbs, 4g sugar, 830mg sodium, 27g protein. 
  • Protein per 100 calories: 9g
  • Price per 100 calories: $3.28
  • Price at Qdoba Los Angeles: $9.85 

3. Panda Express: Broccoli Beef

Affordable and nutritious Chinese stir fry, served in a black container on a table.

Introducing a timeless favorite: Panda Express’s Broccoli Beef where tender beef and crisp broccoli mingle in a savory ginger soy sauce. The best thing about this Cantonese classic is that it’s full of flavor yet remarkably light on calories (only 150 cal with 13g carbs, you won’t believe!).

Looking to level up your meal? Consider adding a side of their mixed veggies to complement the Broccoli Beef even further. And if you’re in the mood for a carb boost, they’ve got steamed brown rice on offer too.

  • Per serving: 150 calories, 7g fat (1.5g sat fat), 13g carbs, 7g sugar, 520mg sodium, 9g protein.
  • Protein per 100 calories: 6g
  • Price per 100 calories: $4.10
  • Price at Panda Express Los Angeles: $6.15 

4. Einstein Bros: Bacon, Avocado, & Tomato

A delicious and convenient bagel sandwich with bacon, eggs, and cheese.

Enough of the salads, sandwiches can be cheap and healthy too! Imagine fluffy egg whites, juicy tomato, crispy bacon, and the creamy goodness of avocado mash on a warm, toasty bagel, making just 420 cal in total.

Also, if you’re up for a nutritional boost, consider opting for a whole wheat or multigrain bagel to make it even healthier. And hey, remember this: ask them to scoop out a bit of the bagel’s center to treat yourself without going overboard.

  • Per serving: 420 calories, 17g fat (3.5g sat fat), 47g carbs, 7g sugar, 770mg sodium, 18g protein. 
  • Protein per 100 calories: 4.28g
  • Price per 100 calories: $1.61
  • Price at Einstein Bros Los Angeles: $6.79 

5. Chick-fil-A: Grilled Spicy Deluxe

Cheap and fast food presented with a McDonald's burger in a box next to a bowl of food.

If you’re a fan of the classic spicy sandwich, then Chick-fil-A’s Grilled Spicy Deluxe Sandwich is your healthier, lower-fat alternative that doesn’t compromise on taste.

It has marinated grilled chicken, packed with a spicy punch and topped with Colby-Jack cheese, fresh lettuce, and ripe tomato. All of this goodness comes hugged by a warm, toasted multigrain brioche bun, together they make 410 cal overall!

  • Per serving: 410 calories, 13g fat (6g sat fat), 42g carbs, 9g sugar, 1220mg sodium, 33g protein. 
  • Protein per 100 calories: 8.04g
  • Price per 100 calories: $1.63
  • Price at Chick-fil-A Los Angeles: $6.69 

6. McDonald’s: Egg McMuffin

A fast food breakfast sandwich with ham and cheese on a plate.

Can’t forget breakfast! Here is the iconic Egg McMuffin from McDonald’s, now with a creative spin. Packed with a punch of protein and essential nutrients, you get 29 grams of carbs per 290 calories.

You can make this lower-calorie, lower-carb breakfast even more healthier by asking for it without the bacon to keep your sodium levels in check – a smart move to keep within the recommended daily sodium intake.

  • Per serving: 310 calories, 13g fat (6g sat fat), 30g carbs, 3g sugar, 770mg sodium, 17g protein. 
  • Protein per 100 calories: 5.48g
  • Price per 100 calories: $0.90
  • Price at McDonald’s Los Angeles: $2.79

7. Subway: Rotisserie-Style Chicken Bowl

If you’re on the lookout for cheap and healthy on-the-go meals, this one’s got your back. One bowl gives you 220 calories per gram but the total nutritional value varies by your choices.

Plus, it’s all about options. Build your bowl just the way you like it. Start with the juicy rotisserie-style chicken that packs a protein punch, then take your pick from an array of vibrant veggies. And for an extra kick of flavor and healthy fats, why not toss in some avocado?

  • Per serving: 220 calories, 8g fat (3g sat fat), 8g carbs, 4g sugar, 810mg sodium, 31g protein.
  • Protein per 100 calories: 14.09g
  • Price per 100 calories: $2.40
  • Price at Subway Los Angeles: $5.29

8. Wendy’s: 4-Piece Chicken Nuggets

A tray with a cheap hamburger, fries and ketchup.

When it comes to quick and affordable bites, Wendy’s 4-Piece Chicken Nuggets takes the spotlight. They are not just about the satisfying flavor; it’s about the fiber, vitamin C, and potassium-packed within.

You are welcome to cherish this combo for just 170 calories and 11 grams of fat! It’s like a mini meal that won’t weigh you down, leaving enough room for your fruit and veggies intake throughout the day.

  • Per serving: 170 calories, 11g fat (2g sat fat), 10g carbs, 0g sugar, 340mg sodium, 9g protein.
  • Protein per 100 calories: 5.29g
  • Price at Wendy’s Los Angeles: $0.99

9. Carl’s Jr: Small Hamburger (Kids Meal)

A person holding a fast food hamburger.

Meet your next best lunch or dinner companion that’s both cheap and healthy: CARL’S JR Small Hamburger from their Kids Meal lineup. In the world of burgers, this one stands out with its balanced sodium intake: a manageable 710 per milligram.

Also, here’s a tip: consider pairing this small burger with a side salad. It’s a simple yet effective way to round out your meal, making it both fast and satisfying.

  • Per serving: 370 calories, 16g fat (5g sat fat), 39g carbs, 9g sugar, 710mg sodium, 18g protein.
  • Protein per 100 calories: 4.86g
  • Price per 100 calories: $1.32
  • Price at CARL’S JR Los Angeles: $4.89

10. Starbucks: Chicken and Hummus Protein Box

Starbucks lunchboxes - cheap, healthy fast food.

This savory option brings you the best of chicken and hummus rolled into one, ensuring you’re left feeling completely satisfied. Grilled sous vide chicken, vibrant carrots, snap peas, and a generous scoop of red pepper hummus, all paired with delightful naan bread make about 300 calories and a hearty 22 grams of protein!

And remember this: if you’re looking to amp up the nutrition, grab a banana or a bag of almonds from the checkout area. It’s a simple way to add an extra touch of nourishment to your meal.

  • Per serving: 300 calories, 9g fat (2g sat fat), 32g carbs, 6g sugar, 780mg sodium, 22g protein.
  • Protein per 100 calories: 7.3g
  • Price per 100 calories: $1.83
  • Price at Starbucks JR Los Angeles: $5.50

11. Dairy Queen: Kid’s Cone

A little girl enjoying a cheap ice cream cone.

Got a sweet tooth? It’s time for a treat: Dairy Queen Kid’s Cone. With just 4.5 grams of fat (and only 3 grams of saturated fat), it’s a refreshingly lighter option compared to other ice cream treats. And as far as sweetness is concerned, we have 18 grams of sugar that hits the spot just right.

Overall, it’s a mini delight that’s big on flavor and low on guilt, ideal for times when that ice cream craving strikes!

  • Per serving: 160 calories, 4.5g fat (3g sat fat), 25g carbs, 18g sugar, 65mg sodium, 4g protein.
  • Protein per 100 calories: 2.5g
  • Price per 100 calories: $1.24
  • Price at Dairy Queen Los Angeles: $1.99

12. Popeye’s: Chicken Blackened Tenders (3 Pcs)

A tray of fast food fried chicken sitting on a counter.

Looking for a crispy delight that’s light on the carbs and heavy on the flavor? Popeye’s Chicken Blackened Tenders (3 Pcs) serves around 170 calories, with a mere 2 grams of fat (each piece).

You can even level up the game by adding a touch of greens or a side of comfort like mashed potatoes. In the end, it’s a win-win for those watching their carb intake or keeping an eye on their diabetes.

  • Per serving: 170 calories, 2g fat (0g sat fat), 2g carbs, 0g sugar, 550mg sodium, 26g protein.
  • Protein per 100 calories: 15.29g
  • Price per 100 calories: $3.40
  • Price at Popeye’s Los Angeles: $5.79

13. Noodles & Co: Zucchini Pesto with Grilled Chicken

A bowl of cheap and healthy zucchini noodles with chicken, tomatoes and mushrooms

If pasta is your all-time favorite craving, you need to get your hands down on Noodles & Co’s Zucchini Pesto with Grilled Chicken. It’s delicious and savory but without the crab overload, around 510 calories with 30 grams of fat!

Yet, keep an eye on the sodium content – at 2,400 milligrams, it’s on the higher side. We recommend focusing on hydration and balancing it out with plenty of water.

  • Per serving: 480 calories, 29g fat (9g sat fat), 18g carbs, 9g sugar, 2310mg sodium, 39g protein.
  • Protein per 100 calories: 8.12g
  • Price per 100 calories: $2.70
  • Price at Noodles & Co Los Angeles: $13.00

14. Papa John’s: Garden Fresh Pizza

A cheap and fast food option served in a box.

Looking for a cheap and healthy dinner? Papa John’s Garden Fresh Pizza is your best option loaded with peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and olives. You can even add some extra spinach or hot peppers for an additional veggie boost.

Go for their thin crust to cut back on calories without compromising on the flavors. It’ll be just around 190 calories per serving and a balanced, nutritional, yet mouth-watering dinner.

  • Per serving: 190 calories, 6g fat (3g sat fat), 26g carbs, 4g sugar, 470mg sodium, 7g protein.
  • Protein per 100 calories: 7.7g
  • Price per 100 calories: $1.39
  • Price at Papa John’s Los Angeles: $21.49 for 8 slices or $2.65 for 1 slice


Eating well shouldn’t be heavy both on diet and wallet. From power-packed bowls to vibrant salads and tasty bites, there’s a world of cheap healthy fast food options you can enjoy. These on-the-go meals offer a balance of flavors and nutrients that won’t weigh you down. So, next time when you are craving for something delicious yet healthy and cheap, give yourself a treat with these tasty and wallet-friendly choices!

Cheap and healthy fast food options with a touch of the secret menu at Raising Cane's.

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1 Comment

  1. These are NOT ‘healthy’! Look at the sodium in most of the items.

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