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How many calories are in a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich?

Quick Answer

The number of calories in a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich can vary depending on the size of the sandwich and how it is prepared. However, on average, a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich contains around 700-1200 calories.

Calories in Different Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich Options

Here is a look at the calorie count for some popular buttermilk fried chicken sandwich options from various restaurants:

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich Calories
Chick-fil-A Original Chicken Sandwich 440
Wendy’s Homestyle Chicken Sandwich 670
McDonald’s Southern Style Crispy Chicken Sandwich 460
Burger King Crispy Chicken Sandwich 660
KFC Crispy Colonel Sandwich 760
Popeyes Classic Chicken Sandwich 690
Hardee’s Charbroiled Chicken Sandwich 570
Carl’s Jr. Hand-Breaded Chicken Sandwich 730
Jack in the Box Buttery Jack 1120

As you can see, calories range from 440-1120 depending on the restaurant. Fast food chicken sandwiches are often fried in oil high in saturated fat, which significantly increases the calorie count.

Calories in Homemade Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich

If you make a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich at home, you may be able to control the calories better by managing the portion sizes and frying method.

Here is a breakdown of the approximate calories for a homemade buttermilk fried chicken sandwich:

Ingredient Calories
4 oz chicken breast, buttermilk marinated and fried 220
1 hamburger bun 120
2 tbsp mayonnaise 200
1 tomato slice 5
1 lettuce leaf 1
2 pickle slices 4
Total 550

By choosing healthy cooking methods like oven-frying instead of deep frying, you can further reduce the calories in a homemade sandwich. Portion control is also key – sticking to single sandwich servings instead of larger sandwiches or multiple sandwiches will keep calories in check.

Factors That Influence Calorie Count

There are a few key factors that determine the number of calories in a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich:

Chicken Portion Size

Larger chicken breast portions contain more calories. Most fast food chicken sandwiches contain a fried chicken breast that weighs 4-5 oz. Choosing a sandwich with a smaller 3-4 oz portion of chicken can save 70-140 calories.

Breading and Frying Method

Some breading mixes and frying methods add more calories than others. Buttermilk marinated chicken tends to have a lighter breading than heavily breaded “crispy” style chicken sandwiches. Deep frying also adds more fat and calories vs oven frying.


The bun or bread choice impacts calories too. A plain hamburger bun or seeded bun saves calories compared to a buttered, sweetened, or cheese-infused specialty bun.

Condiments and Toppings

Mayonnaise, seasoned mayo spreads, cheese, bacon, avocado, and other condiments quickly increase the calorie count. Opting for lighter toppings like mustard, pickles, and tomato can cut back on calories.

Side and Beverage Choices

Ordering a fried chicken sandwich as part of a meal combo that includes fries and a sugary soda results in a very high calorie meal. Selecting a side salad and water makes for a lighter calorie option.

Low Calorie Options

Here are some tips for ordering or making a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich with fewer calories:

– Choose grilled or oven-fried chicken instead of deep fried

– Opt for a plain chicken breast without crispy coating or thick breading

– Pick single sandwich instead of double or triple decker

– Skip the specialty bun and choose regular bun, wheat bun, or lettuce wrap

– Limit higher calorie toppings and condiments

– Select lighter side items like apple slices or side salad

– Drink water or unsweetened tea instead of soda

Making some simple swaps and customizations when ordering can help cut back on calories while still enjoying a crispy buttermilk fried chicken sandwich.

Nutritional Value Beyond Calories

When considering a fried chicken sandwich, it’s important to look at nutrients beyond just calories:


A chicken sandwich provides a good amount of lean protein (around 25-35g). This helps you feel full and provides fuel for your muscles.


Fried chicken sandwiches often contain 15-25g of mostly saturated fat from frying oil and high fat condiments like mayo. Look for ways to reduce unhealthy fats.


The bun and any breading or batter contribute a fair amount of carbs (30-60g). Look for ways to reduce refined carbs and increase fiber.


Expect a high sodium content (800-1600mg). Limiting condiments and salty fried coatings can reduce sodium intake.

So in addition to calories, pay attention to the overall nutritional quality of your sandwich choices.

Healthier Preparation Tips

Here are some cooking tips to lighten up a homemade buttermilk fried chicken sandwich:

– Use whole grain flour in breading mix

– Substitute nonfat Greek yogurt for some mayo

– Marinate chicken in buttermilk, herbs, spices – skip salty brine

– Fry in olive oil or canola oil instead of vegetable oil

– Oven “fry” chicken on a wire rack at 450°F to make it crispy

– Use cooking spray on the bun before toasting for crunch without added fat

– Load up the sandwich with veggies like lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles

Taking steps to reduce calories, unhealthy fats, refined carbs, and sodium can lead to a more nutritious and waistline-friendly buttermilk fried chicken sandwich!


A buttermilk fried chicken sandwich can range widely in calories based on portion sizes, cooking method, and toppings – anywhere from 440 calories to over 1120 calories at restaurants. Making it at home opens up more possibilities to control calories and increase nutritional value. Follow portion control, choose healthy ingredients and cooking methods, and limit high calorie add-ons to keep your buttermilk fried chicken sandwich as part of a balanced, lower calorie meal.