If you’re on a specific diet, you’ve probably considered cutting out fast food altogether. Most people attempting to stick to a certain nutrition plan find it difficult to stay the course when greasy fries and milkshakes are on the line. However, the fast food industry has taken serious strides when it comes to accommodating consumers’ ever-changing dietary needs. And when it comes to the dietary segment we’re focusing on today – high-protein fast food – there are plenty of options.
We know many of you who are looking for high protein fast food are also looking for keto-friendly food, so you’ll be glad to know that most of these dishes are low carb, as well.
Note: This list contains all meat, so if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you’ll want to head over to our special diet pages.
Popeyes Handcrafted Blackened Tenders
43 g Protein
Popeyes is all about meat, but there are few options on the menu that aren’t covered in crispy fried batter. However, the Handcrafted Blackened Tenders are the perfect alternative for anyone looking for a healthy, high-protein option. These naked tenders are full of flavor, too. You can get a three- or five-count on their own or in a combo meal. Combo meals come with a side and a biscuit, so keep this in mind if you are on a low-carb diet, as well.
KFC Grilled Chicken
40 g protein
Like Popeyes, KFC has an alternative to its homestyle fried chicken. Rather than ordering a bucket of greasy goodness, opt for the Grilled Chicken bucket from KFC’s Healthy Menu to eliminate tons of carbs. The chicken is marinated, seasoned, and slow grilled so it remains juicy and flavorful, even without the thick layer of batter most of us are used to. You can snag the grilled chicken in a bucket meal, chicken combo meal, Big Box Meal, or a $5 Fill Up.
Chipotle High Protein Bowl
Chipotle is always trying to improve and diversify their menu with healthy, diet-friendly options, and that’s exactly what they did with their Lifestyle Bowls. There’s even a High Protein Bowl, which includes White Rice, Chicken, Steak, Black Beans, Tomatillo-Red Chili Salsa, Cheese and Shredded Romaine Lettuce. There’s also a Keto Salad Bowl that is high in protein with supergreens lettuce blend, steak or chicken, tomatillo-red chili salsa, cheese and guacamole. All of their Lifestyle Bowls can be customized to better accommodate your diet and taste buds, too.
PF Changs Gluten-Free Chicken Lettuce Wraps
31 g protein
Eating out can be challenging when you’re on an ultra-specific diet. Fortunately, finding high protein options is pretty simple, and PF Chang’s has one of the best appetizers for this kind of diet. The Gluten-Free Chicken Lettuce Wraps are absolutely delicious, healthy, and packed with protein. I’ll even order them for my meal sometimes. It’s a secret recipe, so while we don’t know exactly what’s in the wraps, we can assume a few ingredients: chicken, green onion, water chestnuts, lettuce, and a slightly spicy soy sauce blend.
Starbucks Smoked Turkey Protein Box
35 g protein
Starbucks’ protein boxes are some of the most nutritious, grab-and-go options in the fast food industry. And of course, they’re great options for high-protein eaters. This box is filled with smoked turkey and swiss sandwich, apples, carrots, and ranch dressing, making it the perfect lunch or afternoon snack.
Chick-Fil-A Grilled Nuggets
38 g Protein (12-count)
Chick-Fil-A grilled nuggets are severely underrated in the fast food world. They’re marinated in a delicious, smoky seasoning and grilled to juicy perfection. Plus, they pack a heck of a lot of protein and pair well with any of Chick-fil-A’s signature sauces. We always love rounding out a meal with waffle fries, but if you’re looking for a healthier alternative, opt for the Kale Crunch side. Grilled Nuggets come in four-, six-, eight-, and twelve count meals.
Core Life Power Plates
*Protein values vary
Core Life is a newer franchise, expanding its roots around the country and serving up some seriously healthy (and tasty) cuisine. It’s more of a fast-casual restaurant that’s similar in style to Chipotle. You can order in an assembly-line fashion, choosing which meats, veggies, and sauces you want in your bowl, or you can order one of the pre-set options on the menu. Core Life Power Plates are awesome for high-protein dieters because you can choose the protein source of your choice, a side, a house roasted vegetable medley, and a sauce to top it off.
Subway Rotisserie Chicken Sub
29 g Protein
This Subway sandwich is the best of both worlds. It’s high in protein and low in fat and sugar, which can be surprisingly hard to find at the sandwich shop. Many of the protein options are extremely high in sodium and fat, while the condiments come ridden with high amounts of sugar. If you’re looking for a clean, filling option, you can’t lose with the Rotisserie Chicken Sub with your favorite veggies.
In-N-Out Double-Double with Onion, Protein Style
33 g Protein
If you’re craving a classic, juicy burger, In-N-Out is the place to go. The Protein Style Double-Double with Onion will conquer any craving. When you order something “protein style” at In-N-Out, you’re asking to substitute the bun for a lettuce wrap. Many high protein dieters will make this swap to keep carb and sugar counts low and protein values high. The Double-Double burger includes two thick burger patties, two layers of cheese, onions, and special sauce, all wrapped in lettuce. For extra flavor, you can get your Double-Double “animal style,” as well, which adds a layer of creamy special sauce and caramelized onions.
Shake Shack Double SmokeShack
58 grams protein
Shake Shacks’s Double SmokeShack is a classic double cheeseburger topped with Niman Ranch applewood smoked bacon, chopped cherry peppers, ShackSauce™.
It’s a whopping 870 calories, 57 grams fat, and 3030 grams sodium, which is pretty hefty, so just be sure to alter your burger if you need to decrease some of those values. You can order it as a single SmokeShack to cut those values in half, or ask for it with a lettuce wrap instead of the bun. This guy is the single largest and highest-calorie burger on the menu, but if you’re not worried about the nutritional content, you’ll be enamored with this one.
60 grams protein (8 count)
Wings are an excellent source of protein and the perfect dinner to feed the whole family. Each wing at Wingstop contains around 7.5 grams of protein, so you can place an order depending on high your protein goal is. There are more than 12 sauces and dry rubs you can get to season your wings, like mango habanero, garlic parmesan, and lemon pepper. To lower the sodium count, opt for plain wings.
Boston Market Rotisserie Chicken & Ribs
64 grams protein
For high-quality meat and produce, Boston Market is the way to go. From rotisserie chicken to ribs to meatloaf, there’s no shortage of delicious dinner options that will accommodate your high-protein diet. The fast-casual restaurant serves up giant portions of indulgent dishes that taste like they came straight from Grandma’s kitchen. The Rotisserie Chicken and Ribs meal comes with 1/2 order of slow-cooked baby back ribs with Sweet Baby Ray’s® Hickory BBQ Sauce, 1/2 order of rotisserie chicken, two sides, and a roll. How’s that for good eating?
In addition to eating a high-protein diet, keto-friendly foods are typically low in carbohydrates. For more options, check out our page on low carb fast-food.