Arby's, Subway, and Chicken Salad: Where's The Grapes?

May 17, 2011   36 Comments

Check out this sandwich! Guess where it is from? No, not my kitchen - this is a professional photo of an Arby's chicken salad sandwich.

Arby's Chicken Salad Sandwich

Notice all the healthy looking elements - lettuce, grapes, apples, maybe a little celery, and whole grain bread! Honestly, I couldn't believe that Arby's - famous for roast beef on bread - could create such a sandwich.

How did I learn about this sandwich? Well, Arby's contacted me with an offer of TWO free chicken salad sandwiches to do a taste-off. Yes, they sent me a gift certificate to both Arby's and Subway and asked me to compare the products.

There is nothing Snack Girl likes better than free sandwiches. Also, I thought I could see if these healthy offerings live up to their hype.

Here is the Arby's Grilled Chicken and Pecan sandwich:


Holy bananas, Batman! What happened to all those lovely grapes and apple bits?

Nutritional Facts:

840 calories, 44 g fat, 82 g carbohydrates, 34 g protein, 6 g fiber, 1220 mg sodium, 23 Points+

For 1/2 sandwich = 420 calories, 22 g fat, 41 g carbohydrates, 17 g protein, 3 g fiber, 620 mg sodium, 11 Points+

The taste was very good, but it lacked all those apple, grape, and celery chunks that I was looking forward to - also, mine didn't have one pecan in it. They make it at the store so I bet they vary quite a bit.

Here is the Subway Orchard Chicken Salad Sandwich:


Nutritional Facts:

For Footlong version: 730 calories, 16 g fat, 108 g carbohydrates, 40 g protein, 12 g fiber, 1110 mg sodium, 19 Points+

For 6 inch version: 370 calories, 8 g fat, 54 g carbohydrates, 20 g protein, 6.0 g fiber, 560 mg sodium, 9 Points+

This tasted very sweet - they use sweetened dried cranberries - and frankly they didn't work. This also lacked much celery or apples, and the chicken was tasteless. Also, the bread was soggy and the lettuce wasn't as nice as Arby's.

My Conclusion

Don't you dare eat an entire Arby's or Subway Footlong in one sitting unless you are a construction worker. These portion sizes are seriously out of control.

On average an adult is supposed to eat about 2000 calories per day. You are already at 840 and you haven't even touched that 24 ounce Coke yet.

Don't do it!

Now that you have put away half of your Arby's sandwich until tomorrow - umm, why is there so MUCH mayonnaise and chicken and so few fruits and veggies? This sandwich does not look as advertised and while it tasted great - it needs more of the healthy element that we were promised in the promotional photo.

Subway's sandwich is making up for its lack of fat (good going Subway) by an increased amount of sugar (awwwww :(.

Notice that it's 6 inch version has 54 grams of carbohydrates versus Arby's 41 grams. You can taste the sugar, and it really doesn't belong in a chicken salad sandwich.

You know, I really like my local sandwich shop. Their sandwiches are much fresher - and I like supporting small businesses. But, there is a cost difference:

  • 6 dollars local sandwich shop
  • 5 dollars (Footlong) Subway
  • 4.60 Arby's

Maybe I'll just make my own chicken salad :) Sounds like a great post for Snack Girl.

This product was received for review consideration. No other compensation was provided.

What do you think of these new chicken salad sandwiches?

Want to read about snacks?
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Why Don't Americans Serve Eggs Like This?

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 36 )

I am sad to say that the bottom line here is -- you just can't eat out and expect restaurants to care as much about your health as you do. It stinks, but this obviously shows they don't care about your health, only tricking you if you are health conscious. Those calorie counts are ridiculous!

I tried the Subway version when it was out briefly last year. I couldn't finish it, and not because of the size - it tasted like bad chicken salad someone had mixed candy into. It was dreadful.

I was soooo looking forward to the Chicken Salad at Subway and was so disappointed when I did! No grapes, no pecans, no celery and a few cranberries. I'll continue to make my own at home! What a disappointment.....

I just had a baby so I've been home quite a lot and my mother brought me lunch from subway. We both had the six inch chicken salad. It had fat chunks of apple and juicy- yet I agree, somewhat bland tasting chicken. On the whole It was tasty and filling but tended to fall out the the somewhat mushy bread it came it. I somehow think Quiznos could do this better with their "Toasty" sandwiches. But by happy accident i do have both chicken and pecans at home so I might whip up some chicken salad just to do a comparison. I might even do a video blog about it just to say thank you for all the support and great advice on diet you've shared with me through my pregnancy. Oh and fyi I gained 13 pounds and lost 18, yay me:)

Great article. Too much sodium, too. Unless an emergency I like to make my own food so that I know what's in it.

I try to avoid sandwiches like that unless they are from a small family owned sub shop. The quantity of mayo terrifies me.

I love chicken salad but I haven't had any in probably a year. I would rather make my own so I know what is in it. It is sad as consumers the restaurant industry cannot be trusted.

The commercials ALWAYS make the food looks so good, too bad reality bites! I have tried both the Arby's & Subway sandwiches you reviewed... sadly I would never purchase either one again. Brain fart for the day, too bad Jamie Oliver could not be appointed as fast food czar in the US... perhaps fast food would taste better and actually be way more healthy for us all? X-D

i make my own chicken salad with chopped chicken breast, small amount of fat free mayo, plain greek yogurt, chopped celery and red onion and a few dried cranberries. It tasted best when it is refrigerated overnight and the flavors blend together. mmmmmmgood:)

Glad I do not live near an Arby's or a Subway Sandwich shop.

i've never really been a fan of creamy dressed chicken/tuna/egg salads. i just prefer my meat plain (and then covered in mustard). it seems like it'd be a better idea to mix the meat w/ greek yogurt, celery, & grapes/apples/or cranberries.

however, when in a jam, i'll always choose subway because i know that i can customize a pretty healthy dish (salad w/ chicken & egg-whites!)

I had the Subway version last week and the chicken was mushy! I kept thinking that they mixed in some tuna because it was in such small pieces - not at all large chicken pieces like you'd expect in a chicken salad sandwich.

I had tried the Subway version last year and never finished it because it was still frozen! Sooo gross!

Shame on both Arby's and Subway in deceiving the average consumer in thinking that what they're getting is an alternative to the fat laden, fried foods offered by some other fast foods places. Their's is seriously no better!

My favorite and only chicken salad sandwich I will purchase in chick-fil-A.

DO you know the points plus amount of the chicken salad at NEWK'S EXPRESS CAFE ? It is byfar the best chicken salad I have ever put in my mouth!!!

What a shame that you received that disgusting looking sandwhich from Arby's. I've never been an Arby's fan until I tried their Chicken Salad sandwhich and when I order it, it always looks like the one in their promo picture. It really is good and delicious when made properly with lots of grapes and pecans! If you try another location, maybe they'll make it the right way for you. :)

I love chicken salad but am always afraid to order it from restaurants due to inconsistency. I finally found a recipe for a low cal chicken salad that is simply divine. I found it through Cooking Light --…

I was a little skeptical of the pineapples at first, but everyone I've served it to has LOVED it. Give it a try, you won't be disappointed!

Wow, talk about false advertising for both of those companies - yuck! The whole appeal of those sandwiches are the crisp apple, crunch celery & juicy grapes. Booo Arby's & Subway!

What startles me the most is the number of calories in that simple Arby's sandwich! Major yikes. I can't find an ingredients list anywhere, but I have to bet real mayonnaise must be involved. How else could so many healthy ingredients become such a disaster?

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