Review: New! Grilled Chicken Nuggets from Chick-fil-A

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Impulse has been known to get the better of me. Always attracted by the next shiny object on the endcap, I have a strange and unfortunate affliction to feel the need to try any and everything in the world.

So it’s no wonder that on a recent lunchtime run to Chick-fil-A  I couldn’t hold back from ordering the new, ‘healthier’ Grilled Chicken Nuggets from the kids menu. Besides, having received mostly boring stuff for Christmas, I felt entitled to a youthful plaything.


The Grilled Chicken Nuggets come in Kid’s Meal choices of 4 or 6 nuggets. Obviously I chose the latter, and decided to also give the new applesauce a go as well. Total Calories with a small (and dear God is it small) Coke Zero? 170. First impressions right off the bat? At $4.39, this is the most expensive snack I’ve bought in a while. Second thought after pulling them out of my meal bag? Dang, that’s it?

Coming in the same pre-portioned mini-container Chick-fil-A uses for their small fruit cup, it’s not hard to question the mere 110 calories in six nuggets based on size alone. Described as “gluten-free” and coated in a “salt and pepper spice blend” that is ”grilled to perfection”, I was expecting to be treated to bite-sized versions of the exceptional Chick-fil-A Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich. I was wrong. The predominant flavor is salt, and the one note garlic spice blend doesn’t do much to offset it. As for that black pepper, it’s there, but what’s the point? All it does is bring out more salt, and I found myself missing the vinegar tang of the sandwich version, as well as the chewy sweetness provided by the whole wheat bun and juicy, sweet relief of tomato coupled with the bitterness from the lettuce.Compared to the regular nuggets, these lack the evolving flavors and sweet, nutty backnotes of the pressure cooked morsels. Despite avoiding the dreaded dryness everybody fears with grilled chicken, they don’t do anything for me from a flavor angle, and are, at best, a vehicle for sauces — including Chick-fil-A’s exceptional Honey Mustard Sauce. But given that packets of all but the Buffalo sauce pack at least 45 calories, doesn’t that defeat the purpose for people really watching what they eat?

Obviously this “meal” was not made to represent as much to a young adult male with caloric needs in excess of the “average” 2000 or even 2500 recommendations often quoted. But even I couldn’t see it filling up a moderately active grade-schooler, who, if they are like me, will instead feel the need to dip and dunk in sauces with reckless abandon, as well as trade-in that cow watch for an Ice Dream cone. Not that I’m complaining. At 170 calories the Ice Dream cone is an exceptionally healthy dessert, and keeps the whole meal under 350 calories. But if you’re looking for a healthy option for your little guy or girl, I still cannot recommend the grilled nuggets. The lack of whole grains and healthy fats keep this meal incomplete, and despite a decently tasting applesauce option, the entire effort needs to go back to the drawing board.

Taste: 4.00/10
Value: 5.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.00/10
Price: $4.39

Overall GrubGrade: 4.50/10

More Info: Chick-fil-A.com
Nutrition Facts:
Chick-fil-A Grilled Nuggets (6-count)
Calories – 110
Fat – 1.5 grams
Saturated Fat – 0 grams
Cholesterol – 65 milligrams
Sodium – 840 milligrams
Carbs – 0 grams
Dietary Fiber – 2 grams
Sugars – 0 grams
Protein – 25 grams

42 comments on “Review: New! Grilled Chicken Nuggets from Chick-fil-A

  1. Clevegal42 says:

    Why in heaven’s name do they look slimy? What is that? They don’t look very appetizing.

  2. SmoledMan says:

    Once again proof that fast food is a nutritional wasteland.

  3. Billy says:

    “The lack of whole grains and healthy fats keep this meal incomplete”

    They’re chicken nuggets. They’re not covered in bleached flour and they’re not deep-fried. To say it’s “incomplete” is incredibly inaccurate. You’re supposed to compare them to breaded nuggets. In which case — considerably lower in fat and calories.

    But yes, they do look terrible.

  4. rondoman says:

    That might be the most disgusting thing I’ve seen on this site.

    They look horrible!

    • bkm says:

      Not only do these Grilled Chicken Nuggets look gross, the overall taste/texture are somewhat akin to (if not actually) processed chicken pieces. To say I was disappointed, would be a understatement. If your on a diet and can’t eat the excellent Chick-fil-A breaded Chicken Nuggets or Sandwich, I seriously suggest you look elsewhere for Grilled Chicken options.

      • bkm says:

        Quote:
        Originally Posted by — bkm
        “If your on a diet and can’t eat the excellent Chick-fil-A breaded Chicken Nuggets or Sandwich, I seriously suggest you look elsewhere for Grilled Chicken options.”

        *you’re

  5. missouri says:

    At first glance of the photo, I thought CFA had fish as a new menu item…

  6. Matt says:

    I have a feeling kids won’t mind. The adult male’s taste panel is much different from who this meal is intended for.

    PS: How was the applesauce?

  7. Rodzilla says:

    I’m disappointed – but even if they were great, I’d probably stick to the traditional chick-fil-a nuggets.

    “But given that packets of all but the Buffalo sauce pack at least 45 calories, doesn’t that defeat the purpose for people really watching what they eat?”

    not really -most would eat the heavier breaded option with the same sauces, and there is always ketchup.

  8. rob says:

    That looks like something I can make at home, and I’m a lousy cook.

  9. Lindsay says:

    That’s too bad, I was thinking – Wow, grilled nuggets – this could be yummy and healthy! Sad to know the chicken is just a vessel for the salt.

  10. Keith says:

    Am I the only one who thinks this is MADNESS? Someone kick me into a bottomless, Spartan pit… these are repulsive pieces of chicken that barely seem grilled to me. I grill up chicken at home all the time. A frozen bag of chicken tenderloins is fairly cheap, and you can make a healthy, delicious snack for your kids in literally minutes.

    But no, that’s too much work – now we not only want our food fast, but we want it healthy. There are trade offs in all things in life, and this search for the holy grail of delicious and healthy fast food is a joke. There is nothing even remotely appealing to me just in the concept of grilled chicken nuggets, which is really just more marketing buzzwords that don’t even make sense.

    If you want your kids to eat healthy, don’t go to Chick-Fil-A, McDonald’s, BK or any number of drive throughs. Either make it yourself, or pay more for something fresh and local from an independent restaurant.

    Why can’t fast food be an occasional indulgence, instead of painful, quasi-healthy experience? Every healthy item reviewed here, particularly from a fast food joint, has in my opinion been an epic fail.

    Personally, I’d rather feed my kids dog food than these rubbery looking chicken-like abominations.

  11. SPM says:

    Wow, talk about going out of your way to attack people who post here.

  12. Nick Rovo says:

    They look as if they were put in a indoor grill that wasn’t oiled at all. They have grill indents instead of mark.

  13. COBRA says:

    I went to CFA today and i have to admit i not only had seconds, i had fourths. I ate 24 of these grilled nuggets. They. Are. AMAZING. I recommend dipping them in the honey mustard and THEN into the applesauce. Im thinking about going back for a dinner as healthy as my lunch!

  14. Laura says:

    OK – that’s encouraging, Cobra…I really want to try these. They had grilled chicken skewers years ago – loved those. I admit, the picture doesn’t look too good, but I’m hoping it was just a bad batch!! :) Thanks for the review, though!

  15. Raiders757 says:

    I’m at a loss for words at how disgusting those, “things”, look. I’m shocked this came from CFA. This is exactly the reason why I agree with the “stick to what you do the best” theory. If you want grilled,or healthy, chicken, stay the fugg away from my CFA. MY kid turned 17 today, and I didn’t need nasty fake “healthy” alternatives to raise her into being who she is today. (A damn good kid by-the-way. Honor Student, to be exact, which shocks the PC world considering how we raised her.)

    • Raiders757 says:

      Sorry, I’m already three sheets into the comma wind. ,,,,,,

      Cheers fuggers!!!!!!!11

    • Thomas says:

      Congratulations on your kid. But I don’t think there is any research being done on fast food and intelligence though. So I don’t think your “point” is very relevant.

      I personally haven’t like the grilled sandwhich the times I got it, so I doubt I’d like these. But I should give them (and the sandwhich) a shot.

  16. [...] chicken nuggets? They look more like boiled chicken nuggets. (via Grub [...]

  17. maynardb61 says:

    Definitely look like they need more cooking and lots of ketchup!

  18. insp says:

    These things look sickening. And I’m not too fond of the regular nuggets either. Been a fan at first but quickly changed my mind.

  19. Allokago says:

    This review seems to mostly forget that this is for children. Kids get bland nuggets and small portions because, well, they’re kids. You might be missing the vinegary flavor of their sandwich, but I know many children who don’t exactly like the flavor of vinegar. And kids love those sauces, because they’re messy. Kids love messy. Half the fun of getting to eat fast food nuggets is dunking them!

    It kind of seems to me you had a lot of preconceived notions. If they had claimed that they took their sandwich version and downsized it for the kids, then yes, I could understand you expecting the nuggets to taste like that. But they didn’t say that. No one thinks McDonalds’ nuggets taste like their crispy chicken sandwich, or at least I don’t, so I’m not sure why you’d make that assumption here. Kids’ food, for better or for worst, tends to be oversimplified and bland, because they need to appeal to the greatest common denominator. Just look at those microwave dinners for kids.

    But, I do agree w/the posters who talk about parents who want their kids to eat healthy, so they take them to a fast food place and get the smallest, blandest meal money can buy. That’s stupid. When I was young, going out was a treat, a time to indulge a little, and that was okay, because we only did it occasionally. Since I still look at it that way, it was a good lesson to learn, one kids aren’t getting.

  20. Chefprotoss says:

    I’m not speaking for Adam, but I think your comment is fairly insulting to children. I don’t ever remember a sense of whimsy derived from dipping nuggets in bbq sauce. It tasted good. Thus I liked it. Still do too. The only reason kids food is over simplified and bland is because of weak spined parents that take their kids desires seriously. Your goal is to develop their brain and palate, not just feed them cake because they demand it. The McChicken tastes like a McNugget on a bun to me, and grilled nuggets should taste good too. “Sure it’s crap, but it’s for the kids” is a rediculous notion.

    I know a lot of late 20/ early 30 somethings that will only eat pizza and ice cream because their parents did no parenting. A year ago a 30 year old girl a friend of mine was dating wouldn’t try some salsa I made because it had “green stuff” in it. She sounded like a spoiled 4 year old when she said it too. I think we can all guess where that response came from. I also found out that her parents let her eat whatever she wanted so there you go. One example of many. If we dumb down our kids, we dumb down our future adults. The concept of new food being fun is lost and it sickens me.

    Anyways, tasty grilled chicken should be easy for CFA, not an after thought because it is for kids.

    Where did the vinegar thing come from too? Pickles? Who would connect those dots and be unsatisfied?

    “This corned beef and cabbage dinner doesn’t at all taste like a reuben!”

    Sheesh…

  21. Yummy says:

    Those nuggets are Great!
    Sodium is still kinda high, but these nuggets were awesome.

    They weren’t dry or bland.
    my younger siblings enjoyed them as well.

  22. Ashley says:

    Although these nuggets do not “look” particularly appetizing, they are, surprisingly, very tasty. I usually do not eat fast food, but, when I do, it’s always Chick Fil A. I was used to getting the traditional breaded nuggets but decided to try out the healthier version. I was expecting them to be fairly bland but they were actually nicely seasoned. People are all commenting on the look of the nuggets, but they pretty much look like any piece of simple grilled chicken. The chicken breast on the sandwiches would look the same if you pulled it out of the sandwich. Chicken breasts you make at home and only season with salt and pepper look exactly like that. I’m not sure what all the fuss is about concerning the look. I’d rather have something on the more natural side than have them attempt to make the nuggets visually appealing by adding a bunch of artificial elements.

  23. Cadye says:

    I am thoroughly disappointed in these “nuggets”. They are quarter-inch (if that) fragments of illy-seasoned and poor quality chicken breast. This was SUCH an astronomical waste of almost five dollars, as I was left still hungry and extremely unsatisfied with the whole chick fil a ordeal. The fact that they are okay with charging people regular price for chicken bits that may as well be fed to dogs is absolutely highway robbery.

  24. Brooke says:

    Clearly a man is writing this Blog
    Any woman/ dieter is saying hallelujah right now! And it’s a terrific option for my celiac fiancé. Don’t be so tough when a fast food restaurant is actually trying unlike all the other fattening and disgusting fast food places!

  25. Jesse says:

    Just tried these for dinner (you can order 12 of them as you would a standard nugget meal). I agree – not very good. Chick Fil A needs to go visit a Buffalo Wild Wings and order the “Naked Tenders” – now THAT is how you do grilled chicken as a finger food.

  26. John says:

    I don’t understand why everyone is ragging on these. I’m a bodybuilder and my options for eating out are severely limited, especially when I am cutting. My carbs are seriously restricted and eating a salad is not a “healthy” option for me. 12 of these nuggets and I get my per meal protein intake of 50g. These are an awesome option for me when I get out of the gym and I’m too tired to cook something for myself and don’t feel like having a protein shake.

  27. TxChickenMan says:

    Hey y’all. Your resident CFA insider here (though I haven’t posted in a long time!). While I agree that they aren’t nearly as tasty as the fried nuggets (a lot of the flavor and moisture are precisely because of the batter) they do serve a nice niche.

    They are 100% real chicken breast – we “sprinkle” these guys raw on the grill to cook. They’re the exact chicken we use for the regular nuggets. The reason I feel they’ve been a good addition to the menu is that the gluten-free community is raving about them. It actually surprised me how many folks come into our restaurant who have children who are gluten free. We even got several thank-you letters from parents who were thrilled to see a gluten-free option on the menu. One lady said that it meant a lot to here because her little boy could feel normal ordering a kid’s meal just like his friends. Little things can mean a great deal to people.

    Also, like John said above, we get a fair amount of adults who love these things just for the healthier option when they’re on the fly.

    I personally don’t enjoy the taste but mix these grilled nuggets with a packet of buffalo sauce and a packet of honey and eat a medium fruit cup on the side to make a good, healthy little meal when I’m tired of Chargrilled Sandwiches or salads.

  28. Seirously? says:

    Folks, this is not a review of a five star restaurant. Fast food is generally trash. YOU are making the choice to eat it, which means you don’t have to eat it. Make your own effing food if you don’t like the overpriced crap from fast food places. Grow up.

  29. Christian says:

    What the hell, seriously. These guys are judging a food by a picture taken on probably a mobile phone, in bad lighting of a fast food joint. Seriously guys. It’s just the the Chicken Tortilla Soup they had a few months ago. The picture on this website made it look very unappetizing. When you had it in person and ate it, it was the best thing ever.

    It’s the same scenario for these. I’m not saying these grilled nuggets are the BEST things ever, but at a filling eight pieces packing only 160 calories, they are very healthy.. Look at all that protein! And yes, they actually are good. With BBQ sauce, amazing.

    Stop judging books by their covers you immature brats.

  30. I like 'em says:

    I just tried them today. At first, yes, they didn’t look like much sitting in the cup. But these are not deep fried chicken nuggets – they are simply grilled chicken breast cut up into nuggets. If you like grilled chicken, these are just fine. They are tasty and I like ‘em. Good for dieters on the go who need a hit of protein without all the carbs.

    But of course when you can afford some calories, their sandwichs are grrreat!