The Most Nutritious Subway Sandwiches, Ranked

In today's world, everyone knows the importance of eating a healthy diet. The CDC reports that a balanced diet should include whole grains, lean proteins, and fruits and vegetables, but meeting these daily requirements can be difficult for many people with a busy, on-the-go lifestyle. Healthy fast food options are few and far between. However, the popular sandwich chain Subway has stepped in to offer nutritious alternatives to greasy fast food with its veggie-packed sandwiches.

Subway has made a name for itself as a place to get a sandwich with all the fixings. Over the years, its advertising campaigns have focused on healthy eating. The chain has advertised "Eat Fresh" at its many locations (via Restaurant News), changing the fast food landscape with its healthy subs. The brand even introduced a Fresh Fit menu in select locations, with sandwiches low in saturated fats and calories (via Subway). And, of course, you can make your own creations with fresh veggies like ripe tomatoes, shredded lettuce, cucumber slices, green peppers, jalapenos, and banana peppers.

Subway makes it easy to eat well, but some sandwiches on its menu are a better choice than others. The next time you find yourself craving a sub but want to stay on the healthy eating train, choose one from our list, which ranks the least to most nutritious sandwiches the franchise offers.

12. Meatball marinara

Subway's meatball marinara sub is filled with meat swimming in rich, tomato-based marinara. And it's not a bland sauce either — it has a host of spices like garlic, parsley, and Italian herbs and is simmered with onions for a delicate flavor. The meatballs, made with beef and pork, are added and cooked in the marinara (via The U.S. Sun). The whole shebang is then laid out on Subway's fresh bread with melted mozzarella cheese. 

The brand's standard six-inch meatball marinara sub comes in at 410 calories (via Subway), but it is healthier than it sounds. Obviously, when thinking about healthy eating, meatballs don't usually make the lean protein list. However, in this case, the sandwich has a few things going for it.

This hearty sandwich is healthy due to the marinara. Tomatoes, which make up the sauce's base, have high levels of lycopene, a plant compound connected to a host of health benefits (via Healthline). Plus, tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, and the sub boasts 25% of the recommended daily amount. And if that wasn't enough, the meatballs provide 20 grams of protein. So, while this is not the healthiest option on the list, it still ranks among Subway's more nutritious menu items, so grab some napkins and enjoy this mighty messy meatball sandwich.

11. Italian BMT

According to QSR, the Italian BMT (which, today, stands for "Biggest, Meatiest, Tastiest") was once voted Subway's most favored footlong sub. While it may not still hold the title as the brand's best-selling sandwich (that claim now belongs to the sweet onion chicken teriyaki), the Italian BMT is still a popular choice for sub lovers that love a little extra meat.

The Italian-themed sub is piled with spicy pepperoni, salami, and smoked ham. These meats add up to 19 grams of protein and a 360-calorie sandwich (via Subway). Despite the lower calories of the sub, it is still fairly high in sodium, so if you are watching your salt intake, this may not be the best option. But if you are making advances towards a healthy lifestyle through a regular fitness routine and following a diet like one based on the 80/20 rule, then the decadent Italian BMT makes for a health-conscious, cheat-day sandwich.

10. Buffalo chicken

According to Time, Buffalo wings, the spicy staple synonymous with football games and fun, come from Buffalo, New York, where the dish was created in 1964. Nowadays, the popular sauce is used for more than just chicken wings. Buffalo chicken dip, casseroles, and pizzas have taken over, and it seems everybody loves this spicy dressing.

Subway is always paying attention to the trends and, as a result, has created a Buffalo chicken sub comprised of grilled chicken slathered in the brand's own version of this well-loved hot sauce. And lucky for you, it makes our list of nutritious sandwiches, so you will never have to give up buffalo chicken to pursue a healthy diet.

According to Subway, this menu item has only 340 calories and a whopping 24 grams of protein to keep you satiated. Plus, the heat from the hot sauce, which comes from the capsaicin, has health benefits connected to raising metabolism and consuming fewer calories (via The New York Times). So sidle up to your sandwich artist and get yourself a healthy Buffalo chicken sub.

9. Sweet onion chicken teriyaki

If you enjoy the combination of sweet and savory, you will love the sweet onion chicken teriyaki sandwich on Subway's Fresh Fit menu. According to a 2021 survey, this sub was considered the brand's best. And not only does it win big in the taste category, but it also gets plenty of points for being another one of the healthy picks the franchise sells.

The sandwich combines Subway's grilled chicken, soaked in a tangy teriyaki glaze with all your favorite veggies, and a generous drizzle of zero-fat sweet onion sauce. There is so much flavor packed into this six-inch sandwich it's hard to believe that it is only 340 calories (via Subway). Another reason the sandwich makes the nutritious list is that it has 24 grams of protein, which is essential to optimum health. According to Healthline, protein performs many important roles in keeping your muscles, bones, and immune system in tip-top shape. You don't need to be a bodybuilder to reap the benefits of getting more of these amino acids in your daily diet.

8. Steak and cheese

Is there anything more American than a steak and cheese sandwich? Subway doesn't think so, so it added the sub to its menu. The brand's version of a steak and cheese sandwich is healthier than a Philly cheesesteak but just as tasty. With American cheese, the menu item is only 320 calories, with 25 grams of protein (via Subway). This cheese alone only adds 40 calories to the menu item; however, other types, such as Swiss and provolone, will up the count. While brightly colored American cheese sometimes gets a bad rap for its consistency and unnatural hue, it is designed for heat. When layered on Subway's steak and cheese sandwich, it melts perfectly into a cheesy glue that holds the whole thing together, making it easier to eat this classic lunch.

Regardless of the cheese you pick, if you love Subway but are watching your waistline, then this is a no-brainer. Make sure to pile your sandwich high with a combination of veggies to add a healthy crunch to this classic combo.

7. Subway Club

The classic club sandwich is a tower of a sandwich with strips of bacon layered between toasted white bread and turkey slices topped with juicy ripe tomatoes and crispy lettuce. The salty bacon is cut into thin strips while the three pieces of white bread are slathered with mayonnaise. The stacked club is always cut into triangles with colorful toothpicks holding the triple-layered snack together.

Subway has its own version of the sandwich, called the All-American Club, with the same classic ingredients on the brand's bread. However, now, it offers a new, healthier version of the sub called the Subway Club. The franchise decided to change things up a bit, as this sandwich features oven-roasted turkey, Black Forest ham, Angus roast beef, and veggies on multigrain bread (via Thrillest). Swapping out the sodium-rich bacon has helped lower the calorie count and the saturated fat.

According to Healthline, the Subway Club comes in at 310 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 23 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fiber, making this a low-calorie but filling sandwich. While this sub has a different look than the triangle-layered classic version, it's just as good and, more importantly, a healthier option.

6. Cold Cut Combo

Subway's Cold Cut Combo is a filling sandwich. It comes topped with ham, bologna, and salami and surprisingly comes in at only 280 calories (via Subway). Combining three types of meats on the sub makes it a decent protein source, with 17 grams of protein per six-inch sub. And the sodium level, while still high compared to some of Subway's other sandwiches, like Supreme Meats and The Monster, is moderately low.

Along with the classic mayonnaise, mustard, and other sauces the brand offers, you can add red wine vinegar. A splash of this dressing combined with the salami, ham, and bologna will perk up the sub's flavor and add a little extra flair. If you like extra heat, have your sandwich artist add some jalapenos to spice up your day. The often-overlooked tangy banana peppers are another way to add some intensity and depth to the Cold Cut Combo without adding extra calories.

5. Roast beef

A classic roast beef sandwich makes an excellent protein-rich lunch. Subway's sub version is the most expensive on its menu, but it is also one of the healthiest for those looking for an alternative to a greasy burger and salty fries. The roast beef sandwich has only 300 calories, an impressive 22 grams of protein, and only 5 grams of fat (via Subway). Plus, this menu item manages to keep the sodium lower than some of the franchise's other popular sandwiches, which helps your body keep the bloat down. Too much sodium in your diet can lead to heart disease and hypertension (via CDC). 

Enjoying Subway's roast beef sandwich on your lunch hour will provide you with 20% of your recommended daily iron. While some stay away from red meat to avoid bad cholesterol and fat, beef is an iron-rich food that, according to Nourish, offers some health benefits and can be enjoyed in moderation.

4. Rotisserie-style chicken

Rotisserie chicken is one of those foods that can be turned into a variety of lunches and dinners, and there is no denying the health benefits of chicken as an excellent choice for lean protein. Subway's rotisserie-style chicken sandwich tastes great and is one of the few options on its menu with a lower sodium level, coming in at 710 grams per six-inch sub. So, if sodium is on your mind, you can feel good about this lean protein meal. And if calories are on your mind, then we have a treat for you: This sandwich is 300 calories with 6 grams of fat.

If you need even more reasons to try this tasty sandwich, Nourish explains that chicken is high in protein and associated with healthier bones and muscles. In addition, it's one of those mood-boosting foods thanks to the high levels of tryptophan, which is shown to improve serotonin levels. This increases good feelings and a positive mood, so when you are hungry and feeling down, head to Subway for a healthy rotisserie-style chicken sandwich.

3. Black Forest ham

The Black Forest is not some mythical wood in a children's fairy tale; it is a real place in Germany that makes delicious Black Forest ham. The meat is dry-cured for three months and smoked, giving it its signature flavor (via Bar S). Of course, ham isn't always associated with healthy eating, but this featured sandwich from Subway is a surprisingly balanced choice. The humble sandwich is only 270 calories and has 18 grams of protein and 4 grams of fat (via Subway).

Chicken and fish seem to get all of the accolades for being healthy meats, but ham has its health benefits too. According to Healthline, ham is higher in thiamine, iron, and other B vitamins than proteins like chicken and fish. And besides having vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids, ham is a selenium-rich food. Selenium is a mineral that helps your body fight infection and keeps your thyroid in check. So enjoy your Black Forest ham sandwich at Subway, knowing you are fueling your body with a nutritious treat.

2. Oven roasted turkey

Turkey isn't just on the menu in November; it should be a regular protein in rotation in your weekly diet. And Subway's oven roasted turkey sub is an excellent choice when you find yourself out and about looking for a convenient and healthy lunch. Subway reports its turkey sandwich is only 260 calories with only 1 gram of saturated fat and a filling 20 grams of protein, making quite the healthy serving.

It's not surprising that one of the healthiest Subway subs has tasty turkey. The poultry is known for its health benefits as it is a lean meat that is an excellent source of protein, B vitamins, and minerals (via Healthline). And nutritious subs don't have to be boring — not with all of the sauces and extras that Subway has. The brand offers spicy chipotle, creamy peppercorn ranch, tangy honey mustard, and bold garlic aioli to give this basic turkey sandwich some legs.

 So, don't be fooled into thinking turkey is just for the holidays; it's an excellent choice year-round at Subway.

1. Veggie Delite

The number one healthiest and most nutritious sandwich Subway has to offer is the veggie-packed and aptly named Veggie Delite. According to Subway, this sub has 2 grams of fat and only 200 calories, which is the chain's lowest-calorie option. But, of course, low-calorie foods aren't automatically healthy. The thing that really makes this menu item nutritious and tasty is the layers of fresh veggies, like crunchy green peppers, salty black olives, tangy red onions, crisp cucumbers, and shredded lettuce. The Veggie Delite is so filling that you won't even miss the meat.

You don't have to be vegetarian to enjoy this sandwich. Getting more vegetables in your diet helps ensure you get essential vitamins and minerals daily. Plus, eating vegetarian meals just one day a week can help reduce your carbon footprint (via Meatless Monday). So, every time you enjoy a healthy, tasty Veggie Delite from Subway, you are saving the planet, making you basically a superhero.