Top Mediterranean Fast Food Meal Choices At Common Chains

by | May 7, 2024

Let’s explore some of the top Mediterranean fast-food choices that’ll keep you energized and satisfied throughout your busy day.

Do you often find yourself in a rush, craving something quick and tasty while you’re out and about, but worry it won’t align with the Mediterranean diet? It happens to the best of us. The good news is, that fast food doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your health goals. 

In fact, with the rise of Mediterranean fast food options, you can enjoy delicious and nutritious meals on the go. So, whether you’re running errands, on a road trip, or simply looking for a convenient bite to eat, there’s something out there for you! 

What fast food can I eat on the Mediterranean diet?

When dining out on the Mediterranean diet, look for dishes that incorporate ingredients such as whole grains, beans, lean proteins (such as fish, shrimp, chicken, tofu, or edamame), and plenty of fruits and vegetables. 

Limit fried foods and opt for grilled or baked options when available. Don’t forget that those sugary beverages can really add up. Try going for water or unsweetened tea to limit added sugars. 

How to make a healthy Mediterranean fast food order

  1. Focus on options that include plenty of veggies and lean protein. Many fast-food chains have salads, wraps, and grain bowls that fit the bill
  2. Choose grilled proteins like chicken, shrimp, or fish
  3. Opt for whole grains like whole wheat bread and wraps and brown rice 
  4. Limit creamy sauces and dressings, opting for vinaigrettes, guacamole, or hummus 
  5. Be mindful of your portion sizes—even healthier options at fast-food restaurants can be higher in salt and sugar than the meals we enjoy at home

What are some Mediterranean fast food chains?

Mediterranean fast-food chain restaurants are becoming increasingly popular, offering convenient and nutritious options for those on the go. Some well-known chains include:

These establishments offer a variety of Mediterranean-inspired dishes, from customizable bowls to flavorful wraps and salads.

Do I have to choose a Mediterranean diet fast food restaurant? 

While going with a Mediterranean fast food chain might make it easier to stick to your dietary goals, you don’t have to limit yourself to just these places. Most fast-food restaurants offer options that can be modified to fit a Mediterranean diet, such as grilled chicken salads, vegetable wraps, and bean-based soups. With a little creativity and flexibility, you can enjoy a Mediterranean-inspired meal almost anywhere.

What are some Mediterranean diet fast food options? 

View 10 of the most popular chains and meals you can enjoy while on the Mediterranean diet. As you’ll see, it’s all about focusing on the key components of the Mediterranean diet plate. We’ve also included nutrition information for more insights.

1. Panera Bread: Mediterranean Greens with Grains 

Panera Bread Mediterranean Greens with Grains

This Mediterranean Greens with Grains features a variety of crunchy vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. It’s ideal for a quick and satisfying meal. For those looking to limit their sodium intake, simply ask to hold the feta and opt for the dressing on the side to customize the meal according to your dietary preferences and needs.

Nutrition Facts

  • Total Calories: 660
  • Protein: 31g
  • Total Fat: 40g
  • Total Carbs: 45g
  • Dietary Fiber: 7g
  • Total Sugars: 6g
  • Sodium: 1350mg 

2. Cava: Tahini Ceasar Bowl 

Cava_ Tahini Ceasar Bowl fast food for mediterranean diet

This delicious Tahini Ceasar Bowl is filled with protein, veggies, and heart-healthy fats. It is a little higher in sodium than we’d suggest, so go easy on the dressing and skip the pickled onions and feta to make this an even better-for-you option. 

Nutrition Facts

  • Total Calories: 550
  • Protein: 37g
  • Total Fat: 31g
  • Total Carbs: 28g
  • Dietary Fiber: 4g
  • Total Sugars: 6g
  • Sodium: 1200mg 

3. Taco Bell: Power Bowl 

Taco Bell_ Power Bowl

We love modifying the Taco Bell Power Bowl to amp up the nutrition. We swap the rice for more lettuce and ask for no sour cream and cheese to help limit the saturated fats and sodium. With grilled chicken, black beans, lettuce, tomatoes, and guac- this power bowl is sure to keep you nourished and satisfied when on the go. 

Nutrition Facts

  • Total Calories: 220
  • Protein: 20g
  • Total Fat: 11g
  • Total Carbs: 12g
  • Dietary Fiber: 6g
  • Total Sugars: 2g
  • Sodium: 790mg  

4. Chipotle: Create Your Own Burrito Bowl or Salad 

Chipotle_ Create Your Own Burrito Bowl or Salad

Create Your Own Burrito Bowl or Salad at Chipotle. There are plenty of nourishing foods to choose from like brown rice, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, fajita veggies, and lean proteins. However, it can be hard to find low-sodium options there. 

Go with a bowl filled with mostly greens, a small portion of beans/ brown rice, and protein. Then, be mindful of the toppings like sour cream, cheese, dressings, and even salsas. Many of their salsas pack a big sodium punch. The Tomatillo Green Chili Salsa is the lowest in sodium of all the salsas (at 260 mg). 

Nutritional Facts: Vary based on your personal combo. The nutrition facts listed below represent a salad we created with lettuce, chicken, fajita veggies, black beans, and tomatillo green chili salsa.

Nutrition Facts

  • Total Calories: 343
  • Protein: 41g
  • Total Fat: 9g
  • Total Carbs: 30g
  • Dietary Fiber: 9g
  • Total Sugars: 5g
  • Sodium: 800mg

5. Starbucks: Egg and Cheddar Protein Box 

Starbucks_ Egg and Cheddar Protein Box

There’s a Starbucks on almost every corner, and thankfully, they have great snack boxes like their Egg and Cheddar Protein Box for when hunger strikes. It has fruit, cheese, multigrain bread, and peanut butter—the perfect combo of protein, fiber, and healthy fats to keep you satisfied. 

Nutrition Facts

  • Total Calories: 460
  • Protein: 22g
  • Total Fat: 24g
  • Total Carbs: 40g
  • Dietary Fiber: 5g
  • Total Sugars: 21g
  • Sodium: 450mg 

6. Chick-fil-A: Grilled Chicken Sandwich 

Chick-fil-A_ Grilled Chicken Sandwich

When dining out, consider Chick-fil-A: Grilled Chicken Sandwich as a satisfying grab-and-go option that’s a departure from the typical salad choice. Bursting with flavor, the chicken stands out on its own, allowing you to skip the honey-roasted BBQ sauce for a healthier, low-sugar, and low-sodium alternative. For an added veggie boost, pair it with their refreshing kale crunch side salad.

Nutrition Facts

  • Total Calories: 390
  • Protein: 28g
  • Total Fat: 12g
  • Total Carbs: 44g
  • Dietary Fiber: 3g
  • Total Sugars: 12g
  • Sodium: 770mg 

7. Panda Express: String Bean Chicken Breast 

Panda Express_ String Bean Chicken Breast

This String Bean Chicken dish features tender chicken breast, crisp string beans, and savory onions, delivering a satisfying blend of protein and fiber. Pair this flavorful chicken with brown rice for a delicious, balanced meal at Panda Express.

Nutrition Facts

  • Total Calories: 190
  • Protein: 14g
  • Total Fat: 9g
  • Total Carbs: 13g
  • Dietary Fiber: 4g
  • Total Sugars: 4g
  • Sodium: 590mg 

8. SweetGreen: Guacamole Greens

SweetGreen_ Guacamole Greens

Enjoy this nutritious and flavorful Sweet Greens Guacamole Greens Salad featuring roasted chicken, avocado, tomatoes, red onions, shredded cabbage, tortilla chips, and a refreshing lime cilantro jalapeño vinaigrette. Packed with protein, healthy fats, and a variety of vitamins and minerals, this salad is a delicious and satisfying choice for a balanced meal.

Nutrition Facts

  • Total Calories: 515
  • Protein: 27g
  • Total Fat: 31g
  • Total Carbs: 27g 

9. Wendy’s: Parmesan Caesar Salad 

Wendy’s_ Parmesan Caesar Salad

Protein and veggies are the name of the game here! It’s worth noting that the Wendy’s Parmesan Caesar Salad tends to be a bit higher in salt and fat than our usual recommendations, so go easy on the dressing and perhaps skip the Parmesan crisps. With a few adjustments, you can still enjoy this quick grab while keeping your meal balanced and satisfying.

Nutrition Facts

  • Total Calories: 530
  • Protein: 33g
  • Total Fat: 37g
  • Total Carbs: 15g
  • Dietary Fiber: 4g
  • Total Sugars: 4g
  • Sodium: 1340mg 

10. Subway: 6-Inch Veggie Delight 

Subway_ 6 Inch Veggie Delight

Navigating Subway while keeping an eye on your sodium intake can be tricky due to the deli meats. However, the 6-Inch Veggie Delight offers a nutritious option packed with veggies for a satisfying grab-and-go meal. With 10 grams of protein on its own, consider upping it by 3-4 grams by adding a lower sodium cheese like Swiss or Monterey Cheddar. 

Nutrition Facts

  • Total Calories: 220
  • Protein: 10g
  • Total Fat: 2.5g
  • Total Carbs: 40g
  • Dietary Fiber: 4g
  • Total Sugars: 6g
  • Sodium: 360mg 

Ready to learn how to eat healthier when you’re dining out? 

I often get questions from clients about making better choices when they eat out. And the truth is, it’s not as hard as it may seem! With my simple tips and tricks, staying healthy while eating out is doable.

We also have a whole module in our course just for this! So, if you’re interested in enjoying tasty food without ditching your health goals, why not give it a try – sign up for our Living Fully Mediterranean Course

Looking for More Mediterranean Diet Resources?

Here are a few articles to show you what the Mediterranean Diet is all about!


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