Just 56+ Ingredients in Chick-fil-A’s Chicken Sandwich

So here’s another reason not to eat at Chick-fil-A: its food just isn’t good. Like other fast food franchises, Chick-fil-A may offer a few token healthy items, but its signature “Classic” Chicken Sandwich isn’t one of them. It’s a heavily processed product. Take a look at the ingredients list posted on the company’s website, copied below. It’s hard to tell where the chicken ends and the bun begins. (Photo above shows the Chicken Sandwich dressed with cole slaw.)

Chicken (100% natural whole breast filet, seasoning [salt, monosodium glutamate, sugar, spices, paprika], seasoned coater [enriched bleached flour {bleached wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid}, sugar, salt, monosodium glutamate, nonfat milk, leavening {baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate}, spice, soybean oil, color {paprika}], milk wash [water, whole powdered egg and nonfat milk solids], peanut oil [fully refined peanut oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness and dimethylpolysiloxane an anti-foaming agent added]), bun (enriched flour [wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate {Vitamin B1}, riboflavin {Vitamin B2}, folic acid], water, high fructose corn syrup, yeast, contains 2% or less of each of the following: liquid yeast, soybean oil, nonfat milk, salt, wheat gluten, soy flour, dough conditioners [may contain one or more of the following: mono- and diglycerides, calcium and sodium stearoyl lactylates, calcium peroxide], soy flour, amylase, yeast nutrients [monocalcium phosphate, calcium sulfate, ammonium sulfate], calcium propionate added to retard spoilage, soy lecithin, cornstarch, butter oil [soybean oil, palm kernel oil, soy lecithin, natural and artificial flavor, TBHQ and citric acid added as preservatives, and artificial color]), pickle (cucumbers, water, vinegar, salt, lactic acid, calcium chloride, alum, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate [preservatives], natural flavors, polysorbate 80, yellow 5, blue 1).

I re-organized the list (Chick-Fil-A Chicken Sandwich Ingredients) so that it’s easier to see which ingredients go with which of the various components of the sandwich.

The chicken’s made with 25 different ingredients, the bun with 33 and the pickle with 13. Note that to make a good bread, you only need flour, water, salt and yeast, and to make good pickles, only cucumbers, water, salt and a combination of spices to suit your taste.

Many of the ingredients in the Chicken Sandwich are used more than once, which is how I get a total of 56 (or thereabouts) for the sandwich as a whole. Or, you can count every ingredient separately and get 71 or more. But this isn’t just about numbers. Some of the choicest ingredients in the sandwich include monosodium glutamate (MSG), whole powdered egg, dimethylpolysiloxane, fully refined peanut oil, calcium peroxide, artificial flavor and color, and I could go on. It’s a parade of industrial substances combined to make a foodlike product.

Also, for what’s supposed to be a savory food, a fair amount of sweetener is used; there’s sugar in the seasoning and the seasoned coater for the chicken and high fructose corn syrup in the bun. Added sugar is everywhere in the American diet.

The problem is, whether it’s fast food or casual style or fine dining, restaurant items don’t come with labels, making it easy for consumers to order and eat foods they may not otherwise order and eat. Most Americans know fast food is bad for them, but this bad?

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Photo Credit: Termin8er


Teresa W.
Teresa W2 years ago

What a mouthful!

Carole R.
Carole R2 years ago

Thanks for posting.

Pamela A.
Pamela A2 years ago


H D.
H D2 years ago

YEE-UCK! Keep your ingredients simple, folks.

Fi T.
Past Member 2 years ago

Choose smart

Sherry P.
Sherry Post2 years ago

Who cares? we walk down the street every day and breathe in all the carbon monoxide from the cars, we breathe filthy air. Our drinking water has god knows what in it, our chickens and cows are LOADED with antibiotics and steroids, our fish are loaded with chemicals from factory run offs, our soil is poisoned...and you're going to b*tch about a fast food chicken sandwich? Get your priorities straight! You could eat five of these sandwiches a day every day for the rest of your life and your body wouldn't be as poisoned as it is from every day things. You're only harping on Chick-Fil-A because Michelle Obama is trying to control what everyone eats. You're really siding with a Nazi StormTrooper and making yourselves look extremely ignorant and sycophantic.

Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Dave C.
David C4 years ago

thanks......try to avoid all fast food as much as able.......our exception being Subway when we travel.

Wendy Schroeder
Wendy Schroeder4 years ago

I don't think Chick-fil-A is any better or worse than any other fast food restaurant. It's all cheap food filled with filler and food flavoring to make it taste good.

Lika S.
Lika P4 years ago

Okay, so now because it's out of the bag that the top guy in Chic fil a is a staunch conservative who discriminates against gays, now we're going to post this stuff?

So make it at home -
buy your own chicken, make sure it's pure.
Coating -
1 cup flour, 6 TBS powdered sugar, 1 tsp salt, paprika to taste
Mix up an egg w/ 3/4 cup of milk.
Dip chicken into egg/milk mix, and dredge it in the coating.

Deep fat fry in a closable fryer in peanut oil.
Go to the bakery department at your local Piggly Wiggly. But the whole wheat buns, or bread if you're not picky, and it's relatively healthy with their short list of ingredients.

Enjoy. And no preservatives.