20 Best High-Protein Fast Food Items

Whether you're working extra hard in the gym and feel like you need more to fuel you during your workouts or you're just looking for meals that will keep you fuller for longer, protein may be the answer you're looking for. If you know where to look, you'll discover that many of your favorite fast food restaurants offer high-protein meals that will keep you full for longer and help you get those gains in the gym. You just have to know what to order.

That's why we've compiled this list of some of the best high-protein fast food items you can find when you're looking for a quick meal. After all, getting the protein you need for the day shouldn't be an unpleasant, punishing experience, and many of us have to rely on fast food from time to time. Order these items, and you can feel good about meeting your protein goals.

El Pollo Loco Double Avocado Salad with Chicken (48 g protein)

If you're looking for a fast food meal that will have you feeling your best, you should look no further than El Pollo Loco. The chicken chain appeals to young and lower-income customers, and for that, we're grateful. When you want something that tastes refreshing but still packs in the protein, you have to turn to the Double Avocado Salad with Chicken, which delivers a whole 48 grams of protein.

You're not just getting a ton of chicken-based protein, though. This salad is also packed with veggies, from avocados (of course) to corn to tomatoes. It all comes on a bed of lettuce, which delivers the perfect crunch. Even if you're not usually a big fast food salad person, you should give this El Pollo Loco option a try.

Chipotle High Protein Bowl (82 g protein)

There are few fast food meals that are going to deliver as much protein as the Chipotle High Protein Bowl. Coming in at 82 grams of protein, this meal isn't messing around. It starts with a base of white rice, which is then loaded with a double serving of chicken, which accounts for a large portion of that protein count. The black beans come next, also providing a delicious source of protein, along with romaine lettuce, red salsa, and cheese. Mix it all together, and you have a high-protein meal that's sure to delight Chipotle lovers everywhere.

Keep in mind that, like most dishes at Chipotle, this bowl is customizable, which means you can adjust it to your tastes. Want to add some guac for a creamy element to the dish? Go for it. Not a big fan of salsa? Ask them to leave it off.

KFC Classic Chicken Sandwich (34 g protein)

Fried chicken lovers, you're in luck. KFC is a great fast food restaurant to visit if you're looking for high protein options. We particularly love the Classic Chicken Sandwich, which comes in at 34 grams of protein. It's pretty simple as far as chicken sandwiches go. The extra crispy chicken breast filet offers a generous serving of meat in every bite, and the soft, pillowy brioche bun complements the texture well. It also comes served with pickles and mayo, but that's it. You won't find a bunch of other ingredients in this sandwich because, apparently, simplicity is key.

We love this high protein option because it's quick to grab on the go. Of course, you can always get fried or grilled chicken from KFC if you're looking for a high-protein option, but it's not always easy to eat when you're in a hurry.

Arby's Half-Pound French Dip Sandwich with Au Jus (54 g protein)

If you're craving a sandwich but want to make sure you're getting enough protein in every bite, there's one fast food joint you should head to: Arby's. The Half-Pound French Dip Sandwich with Au Jus isn't just one of the tastier items on the menu — it's also one that boasts a lot of protein. This sandwich offers 54 grams of protein in a single serving, so you know you'll meet your protein requirements for the day.

A lot of the protein in this sandwich comes, of course, from the mountains of roast beef they've layered on an Italian roll. If that isn't enough, they also add plenty of Swiss cheese on top, which provides an extra dose of protein but also a lovely creaminess to the sandwich. The French au jus sauce finishes it all off with a luscious touch.

Chick-fil-A Cool Wrap (43 g protein)

On a hot day, there's not much better than a Chick-fil-A Cool Wrap. It just so happens that this wrap is also one of the highest protein offerings on the menu at 43 grams of protein per serving. Most of that protein comes from the generous serving of grilled and sliced chicken breast that comes in the center of the wrap. They really don't skimp on the chicken here, so don't worry about getting a small portion. It also comes with a cheese blend and lettuce, all wrapped in a flaxseed flour flatbread. If you want to add more flavor to your wrap, dip it in the restaurant's avocado lime ranch dressing.

When you're on the go and you need to grab a quick, satisfying meal that will keep you full, Chick-fil-A's Cool Wrap will have you covered.

Wendy's Apple Pecan Salad (33 g protein)

Here's a salad that you're not going to want to miss out on — Wendy's Apple Pecan Chicken Salad. This is actually one of our all-time favorite fast food salads, and it happens to pack in the protein. You'll get 33 grams of protein in this dish, but you're also getting a ton of nutrients from the other ingredients in the mix. You'll find red and green apples, roasted pecans, cranberries, and blue cheese atop the lettuce blend. We're also obsessed with the vinaigrette this salad comes with. It's a pomegranate vinaigrette that really complements the fruit-forward tone of this meal.

You may assume that you can't get a good salad at the drive-thru, but this Wendy's option would prove you wrong, whether you're thinking about your protein intake or not.

McDonald's McDouble (22 g protein)

Who knew that one of the simplest, most celebrated menu items at McDonald's offered 22 grams of protein? The McDouble, with its two beef patties, American cheese, and toppings is one of the brand's most iconic offerings, and it delivers a surprising amount of protein for such a small package. Is it the healthiest fast food option out there? Probably not. But the fact that it's so accessible, so convenient, and so easy to eat on the go makes it one of our favorite fast food protein sources.

Our favorite part of this sandwich is the chopped onions, but the ketchup and mustard play an important role as well. If you want to enjoy the most flavorful burger possible, make sure not to skip the condiments.

Starbucks Eggs and Gouda Protein Box (26 g protein)

If you're stopping by Starbucks to get an iced coffee, why not grab something for lunch later in the day? When you're looking for a higher protein option, the Eggs and Gouda Protein Box is a solid option. As the name suggests, you'll receive two eggs along with some gouda cheese, but the box also comes with multigrain crackers, dried apricots, and peanut butter as well. If you miss the days of bringing Lunchables to the school cafeteria, this may be the fast food high-protein meal for you. This box offers 26 grams of protein.

Not into eggs or gouda? No worries. Starbucks stocks other protein boxes with protein sources like salami, cheese, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with fruit and other snacks on the side.

Domino's Chicken Carbonara Pasta (30 g protein)

If you're craving pasta, you may assume that you have to make it at home, but that's not the case when you order from Domino's. The chain might be known for its pizza, but that doesn't mean you can't get a bowl of pasta there as well. If you're looking for a higher protein option, you may want to order the Chicken Carbonara Pasta. Is this a carbonara like the type you would find in Italy? Not exactly. But it packs 30 grams of protein and tastes pretty good too.

This pasta dish contains both bacon and chicken, which is responsible for delivering a lot of that protein. Onions and cheese give the pasta more flavor, and the mushrooms add an interesting texture that helps balance out the meat.

Taco Bell Power Menu Bowl (26 g protein)

Taco Bell may not be the first chain you think about when you're craving a protein-rich meal, but you may be surprised that they have a few higher protein options for you to check out. Our favorite is the Taco Bell Power Menu Bowl, which comes in at 26 grams of protein. Even if you're not a fan of the chain's beef, give the chicken in this bowl a try — it's actually pretty flavorful for such a budget-friendly restaurant.

The bowl also comes with black beans, cheese, seasoned rice, lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, and more, but you can also add on ingredients like potatoes, refried beans, and jalapenos. We love this meal when we're on the go because it feels healthy and filling.

Shake Shack Double Smokeshack Burger (58 g protein)

When you're feeling really hungry and all you're craving is a big burger, Shake Shack seems like the most logical place to end up. The chain has a long list of creative burgers on its menu, but we particularly like the Double Smokeshack Burger when we're looking for a higher protein option. At 58 grams of protein, it's likely to help you stay fuller longer than many other fast food options on the market.

This juicy burger comes with two Angus beef burger patties with cheese, applewood smoked bacon, chopped cherry peppers, and ShackSauce. This is the kind of burger that definitely needs some fries on the side, but it's a great way to get some protein into your diet when you're eating outside of the house.

Panera Bread Sausage, Scrambled Egg & Cheese on Asiago Bagel (33 g protein)

When you want to get your day off to a filling start, you may want to head to Panera Bread to get their Sausage, Scrambled Egg & Cheese on Asiago Bagel. Most importantly, this is one of the best breakfast sandwiches we've tried from a fast food chain, so it's worth a try whether you're looking for a higher protein option or not. If you are, though, you'll love the fact that it'll give you 33 grams of protein first thing in the morning.

The Asiago bagel is the cheesy bagel of your dreams, and stacking it with sausage and scrambled eggs doesn't hurt either. There's some American cheese there for added creaminess, and the garlic aioli brings it all together. A sprinkle of salt and pepper finishes it off.

Dunkin' Turkey Sausage, Egg, and Cheese (23 g protein)

If there's any fast food restaurant that's dedicated to breakfast, it's Dunkin'. When you're looking for a protein-filled start to your day, consider snagging the Turkey Sausage, Egg, and Cheese on an English muffin. It boasts 23 grams of protein, which is a lot considering the fact that this sandwich is relatively small. It's a basic breakfast sandwich that will keep you feeling full for a few hours before you're ready to grab some lunch.

We like the fact that this sandwich is a bit lighter than some of the options on the menu, as it helps us get our protein fix early in the morning but doesn't weigh us down when we're just getting our day started. Don't forget to grab a coffee while you're there.

Burger King Original Chicken Sandwich (28 g protein)

Even if there aren't a lot of other food options around, there's a good chance that you're never too far from a Burger King. For those times when you want to get your protein fix in chicken sandwich form, Burger King is a great place to be. One of the best protein-rich options there, if you ask us, is the Original Chicken Sandwich. Is it the newest, most exciting item on the menu? No. But it's classic, and it's there for a reason. Not only does it pack 28 grams of protein, but it's also one of the best-tasting sandwiches on the menu.

The breading on the chicken is very light, which gives it a soft, dense texture we can't help but love. It's stacked on a sesame seed bun and slathered with rich mayonnaise. Lettuce finishes it off.

Dairy Queen Triple Cheeseburger (40 g protein)

There are few things better than a massive, towering burger when you're feeling really, really hungry. That's exactly why we like ordering Dairy Queen's Triple Cheeseburger when hunger seriously strikes. This is a sandwich that's not messing around — three beef patties interspersed with slices of melting American cheese are topped with the essentials: ketchup, mustard, and pickles. It's all placed on a soft toasted bun that gives as you grip the burger to take your first bite.

As you can imagine, with three patties, this burger delivers in the protein arena. Finish the whole thing, and you'll have added 40 grams of protein to your intake for the day. Of course, if you're not quite that hungry, feel free to order the Double Cheeseburger instead. It comes in at 29 grams of protein.

Jack in the Box Grilled Chicken Sandwich (33 g protein)

Craving some Jack in the Box? If you're trying to pack in the protein the next time you go to the fast food joint, you should consider ordering the Grilled Chicken Sandwich. We like this option because it's lighter than most of the other offerings on the menu, which is ideal when you don't want to house a huge burger in the middle of the day right before you have to get back to work. Don't assume that means the Grilled Chicken Sandwich doesn't deliver on flavor, though. The chicken is topped with lettuce, tomatoes, and the chain's Good Good Sauce and served on sourdough bread.

If you eat your whole sandwich, you'll be getting about 33 grams of protein in your meal, which should be enough to get you to your next meal hunger-free.

Popeyes 5-Piece Tenders (63 g protein)

There are few fast food dishes that are going to deliver as much protein as Popeyes 5-Piece Tenders. At 63 grams of protein, it'll be easy for you to meet your protein requirements for the day. However, you'll want to keep in mind that this dish also contains a ton of sodium, so if that's something you're trying to limit in your diet, you may want to look for a different option.

All that salt must be working, though, because Popeyes' tenders have to be the best in the game. Unlike some tenders, they're juicy and succulent, and the breading is so good, we'd eat it all on its own. Order some dipping sauce on the side to make your tenders as flavorful as possible.

Whataburger Cobb Salad (44 g protein)

When was the last time you got a good Cobb salad? Well, if you live near a Whataburger, you're in luck, because the chain's Cobb Salad is one of the best items on the menu. It's nothing too out of the ordinary, but it's a reliably good salad, and sometimes, that's what you need when you're looking for a filling and healthy meal on the go. This salad is a clear choice for protein-conscious people because it offers a whole 44 grams of protein.

Not only are you getting protein from the chopped chicken filet, but you'll also get some more protein from hard-boiled eggs, shredded cheese, and bacon slices. Don't worry, though — there are plenty of vegetables to keep things fresh. You'll find lettuce, grape tomatoes, carrots, and more in your bowl.

Hardee's The Big Hardee (47 g protein)

Sometimes, you just need something simple but delicious — and packed with plenty of protein. That's exactly what you'll get when you order Hardee's The Big Hardee. Is it a little embarrassing to say when ordering your meal? Yes. But if you care about your protein intake, it may be worth it, because The Big Hardee contains 47 grams of protein.

The sandwich is simple enough. You'll get two beef patties topped with gooey American cheese. There's also some of the brand's special sauce along with a bit of lettuce, all of which goes on the bun. Sure, there are more exciting burgers on the market, but if you're guaranteed a reasonably enjoyable burger that meets your protein needs for the day, why not take advantage?

Zaxby's Grilled House Zalad (52 g protein)

Zaxby's is known for its top-notch chicken, so why not just order that chicken on a salad? The Grilled House Zalad is the way to go if you're trying to make sure you're getting enough protein into your diet. It'll offer diners 52 whole grams of protein, which is considerably more than many of the other dishes we've included on this list. Want to enjoy crispy, slightly crunchy chicken with your salad? Then order the classic breaded chicken. If, however, you're looking for a lighter option, you'll want to choose the grilled chicken instead.

This salad is packed with vegetables like mixed greens, red cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, and fried onions, and it provides the perfect bed for all of that protein-rich chicken you love.