Church’s Chicken is a restaurant chain that’s on par with Kentucky Fried Chicken, Chick-Fil-A, and Popeye’s Chicken, which all have one thing in common – they love their breaded, fried chicken! So, can you eat keto at Church’s Chicken?
Unless you peel off the outer breading, none of the chicken is keto friendly. Selected branches offer breakfast, so we suggest you go for a bunless bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich.
In addition to serving up large portions of breaded meat, Church’s Chicken offers mashed potatoes with gravy and French fries as its side dish options.
As you can see, these options aren’t very low-carb friendly and should be avoided (even if you aren’t trying to watch your carb intake!)
Since all of the chicken on the menu is breaded, we recommend avoiding Church’s Chicken and eating at home whenever possible. Instead, use keto breadcrumb alternatives when preparing your dish.
However, if you’re in a pinch, we’ll show you how to get through a meal at Church’s Chicken without completely sabotaging your low-carb journey.
Tips For Ordering Low Carb at Church’s Chicken
There is almost nothing on the menu that you can safely eat at Church’s Chicken if you want a low-carb meal.
#1. Choose a different place to eat if you can (or eat at home!)
At Church’s Chicken, you might find yourself picking the breading off your chicken if you truly want to keep it low-carb. And don’t even get us started on the side dishes! There’s no grilled chicken here and forget about a low carb menu.
The problem with eating out is that it strips you of the opportunity to prepare a low carb friendly dish at home using high-quality ingredients.
There is nothing wrong with eating fried chicken, but it needs to be prepared in a healthy way with keto friendly foods, such as in our crispy keto fried chicken recipe or our keto fried chicken tenders with almond flour. These recipes use low-carb ingredients in place of enriched flour breading and cheap vegetable oils.
#2. Use the nutrition calculator on the website.
Per the nutritional information, the chicken that is lowest in carbs (even though it’s breaded) is the original leg at six grams of carbs per leg and tender strips at five grams of carbs per strip.
You can also get the boneless wings without sauce at six grams of carbs per wing.
Here is a nutritional breakdown of some of the lowest carb options we found at Church’s Chicken, based on the nutrition information:
- Original leg (6 grams carbs)
- Original wing (8 grams carbs)
- Tender strip (5 grams carbs)
- Boneless wing without sauce (6 grams carbs)
- Sausage patty (<1 gram carbs)
- Bacon (2 strips) (0 grams carbs)
- Sandwich egg (0 grams carbs)
- Platter eggs (0 grams carbs)
- Coffee (0 grams carbs)
#3. Ask about your preparation options.
There are several ways you can order your chicken at Church’s, but all of them are breaded. This greatly limits your food options.
Our best advice is to grab a few pieces of chicken thighs or wings and scrape off the breading. Make sure you hold the dipping sauces as well.
You’ll also want to avoid ordering any side dishes, which include mashed potatoes and gravy, honey butter biscuits, fries, baked macaroni and cheese, jalapeno cheese bombers, cole slaw, corn, green beans, corn nuggets, spicy rice, and fried okra.
#4. Just say no to sides.
Church’s Chicken doesn’t even have a side salad that you can order! For this reason, we strongly recommend you avoid eating here and hit up another fast food restaurant instead.
If you decide to give it a try, here is a quick breakdown of tips to remember the next time you order at Church’s Chicken:
- Order chicken thighs or wings and scrape off the breading
- Avoid combos meals and ordering any side dishes
- Order an unsweetened iced tea as your beverage of choice
- Hold all dipping sauces and hot sauce
#5. Ask what else you can get.
You may also want to ask your local Church’s Chicken what else is on the menu. We noticed that there are breakfast items listed on the nutritional menu that aren’t listed on the website’s regular menu.
We like breakfast foods because they generally come without sauce and contain low-carb items such as grilled meat, cheese, and eggs. If you can order a breakfast biscuit with bacon, sausage, cheese, and eggs, then do it and toss the biscuit.
The nutritional menu also lists platter eggs, bacon, sausage patties, and sandwich eggs with one gram of carbohydrates per serving, so you may want to ask about these as well. Of course, you’ll want to avoid the starchy breakfast foods such as grits, hash browns, and breakfast biscuits.
What To Order at Church’s Chicken
As we mentioned above, the only foods that you can order at Church’s Chicken to keep it low carb are a few pieces of chicken wings, breasts or thighs.
You’ll want to make sure you remove as much of the breading as possible before eating it. This can get messy, so we recommend grabbing some extra napkins with your order.
If this is too much of a problem, why not try other restaurants? Here’s a list of low carb restaurants you can try that have better options for low carb dieters.
There are no side dishes that you can order at Church’s Chicken. Therefore, in addition to a few pieces of fried chicken, you can safely order an unsweetened iced tea or water and that’s it!
If your local Church’s Chicken offers breakfast sandwiches, then order a bacon, sausage, cheese and egg sandwich without the biscuit.
Here are some of the lowest carb breakfast options you can order based on the website’s nutrition information:
- Two slices of bacon: 0 g carbs
- Sandwich egg: <1 g carbs
- Sausage patty: <1 g carbs
- Platter eggs: 1 g carb
If the Church’s chicken restaurant you are visiting offers breakfast items, then go with a breakfast sandwich and eat the eggs, bacon, and sausage only. You can also ask for a platter of eggs.
Again, we recommend eating at home or avoiding Church’s Chicken altogether.
Foods To Avoid at Church’s Chicken
Unfortunately, all of the chicken and fish offered at Church’s Chicken is breaded, which means you can’t eat it. We’ve made a list of foods here that you should avoid ordering at Church’s Chicken.
Here’s a hint: everything on the menu is normally off limits for a ketogenic diet! The only exception is chicken that you can remove the breading off of. Do NOT order the following foods.
- Original chicken (this is OK to order if you remove the breading)
- Spicy chicken (again, this is OK to order if you remove the breading)
- Boneless wings (you can order these and pick the breading off, but be sure to ask for no sauce as well)
- Tender strips (this is OK to order if you remove the breading)
- Chicken fried steak (if you decide to order this and remove the breading, ask for no sides)
- Original chicken sandwich (you would need to remove the breading on the chicken and hold the bun and sauce to keep this low carb)
- Crispy fish
- Hand breaded fish
- Popcorn shrimp
- Honey butter biscuits
- Mashed potatoes and gravy
- Baked macaroni and cheese
- Jalapeno cheese bombers
- Fried okra
- Green beans
- Spicy rice
- Corn nuggets
- Chicken nuggets
- Apple pie
- Creamy jalapeno
- Honey BBQ
- Honey mustard
- White gravy
When it comes to eating fast food, some restaurants are healthier than others. Church’s Chicken is one of those restaurants that you’ll want to avoid because all of the foods they serve are breaded and deep fried.
If you aren’t careful, you can easily sabotage your low-carb diet by eating a few pieces of breaded meat, which contain at least five or six grams of carbohydrates per serving.
For this reason, we recommend eating at home whenever you can and bringing your food with you throughout the day. Following your diet strictly is the best way to get results.
If you find yourself in a pinch and Church’s Chicken is the only place open, then go with a few strips of the chicken tenders or original wings. You’ll want to remove as much of the breading as possible.
Stay away from all side dishes! We also noticed that there are some items on the nutritional menu that aren’t listed on the regular menu, such as breakfast sandwiches. Ask your local Church’s Chicken if they can make you a bacon, sausage, egg and cheese biscuit and then toss the biscuit when it comes. Unsweetened iced tea, water or coffee are your only safe beverage options.
Photo credit: Mike Mozart/flickr.com