9 Of The Healthiest Items At Arby's, Ranked

At Arby's, where the slogan is "we have the meats" and where they've claimed they'll never offer plant-based options, you might assume healthy food choices are pretty limited unless you're specifically trying to boost your protein intake. However, the Arby's menu might just surprise you with its array of healthful offerings, made possible thanks to the chain's broad use of turkey across its sandwiches and salads, as well as its relatively simple menu items, like the classic roast beef sandwich that's straightforward and to-the-point, without a lot of hidden calories lurking in sauces and toppings. You can even find Arby's classics, like those oh-so-tasty curly fries, among the chain's healthiest menu items.

That said, while trying to eat relatively healthy at Arby's is possible, some of the healthier menu options are a little lackluster or, in some cases, not even that great. To help you decide what to order the next time you swing through the Arby's drive-thru, here are some of the healthiest items at Arby's, ranked by both overall nutritional value and general tastiness.

9. The grand turkey club

The grand turkey club sandwich is a bit tricky in that it looks a little healthier than it is. After all, it's just a turkey sandwich, so how unhealthy could it be? But this option has other ingredients like bacon and mayo that add how much overall fat, cholesterol, sodium, and sugar the sandwich has. 

While the grand turkey club is still the healthiest turkey sandwich or wrap option on the Arby's menu, it might not be entirely fulfilling. For example, if you're feeling hungry and are craving a really hearty sandwich, there are other options on the menu that will fill you up, like the classic roast beef sandwich — plus, that one also has less amounts of fat, cholesterol, and sodium in it.

One other thing you might want to keep in mind when going down this route, is that it's not widely available in all locations. As of late 2022, a Redditor posted, "Looks like Arby's is going to remove some of the turkey sandwiches," citing turkey shortages. Hopefully, we see more of this sandwich soon or another healthier replacement. 

8. The chopped farmhouse roast turkey salad

It has probably been said more times than we can count, but it's worth repeating: Ordering a salad when you're dining at any restaurant, fast food or otherwise, does not guarantee that you're actually ordering something healthy. When you start adding in sugar-laden ingredients like dried fruits and fat-heavy ingredients like bacon and avocado, or you smother the entire thing in a creamy dressing, you can end up with a meal that's actually less healthy than a burger and fries.

At Arby's, there are a few salad options, but the healthiest of them all is the chopped farmhouse roast turkey salad. This salad does have 13 grams of fat and 780 milligrams of sodium, which is nothing to scoff at since the recommended daily sodium intake is a max of 2,300 milligrams per day. The American Heart Association also urges consumers to aim for 1,500 milligrams per day, which might be an indicator worth following. However, the salad does come loaded with just as much protein as you'll find in some of the Arby's sandwiches. So, if you modify this option the right way — no creamy dressing or extra toppings — you might have a decent and healthy lunch option on the go. 

7. The ham, egg, and cheese on sourdough

While Arby's might not typically be your first pick for a fast-food breakfast, you might just be pleasantly surprised if you can get your hands on the restaurant's array of breakfast sandwiches. Do keep in mind that not all Arby's locations serve breakfast. If you can find it, the breakfast menu offers differing combinations of breakfast meats, eggs, and cheese, served as a wrap or on a biscuit, croissant, or sourdough bread.

For your healthiest option, you'll want to go with the ham, egg, and cheese on sourdough for less fat than much of the breakfast menu, as well as less sodium than many other items. This sandwich also contains more protein than any other breakfast item and doesn't contain any trans fat, as you'll find in some of the croissant-based sandwiches. Though, if you're trying to primarily cut back on sodium, you could alternatively go with the lowest-sodium option in the pack, the French toast sticks. Redditors call Arby's breakfast "underrated" and say this particular sandwich "hits on a whole other level."

6. The roast beef 'n cheese slider

While Arby's sliders may not be the most familiar items on their menu, they're worth a try. There are a few different slider options for you to choose from, with a range of interesting flavor combos, from the jalapeño and roast beef slider to a buffalo chicken slider. However, if you're looking to reduce your overall sodium and fat intake, you'll want to go with one of the roast beef options rather than the chicken options.

The sliders come nestled in the same slider boxes that you might see served up at a White Castle or Krystal. As a Fewd Snobs review noted, these sandwiches are on the simple side, with just a few ingredients, but that's what makes them tasty. If you like the full-sized sandwich, you'll most likely enjoy the slider version. The review further stated that the roast beef sliders are far superior to the chicken sliders, which are scant on the chicken and big on the bun, though the fluffy, light bun is admittedly good.

5. The vanilla handcrafted shake

While you can get a milkshake at quite a few fast food restaurants, Arby's milkshakes stand apart in a few key ways. As Cleveland.com pointed out, Arby's makes its milkshakes with real ice cream, and the result is a super-thick texture. That's why the site ranked Arby's chocolate milkshake as tenth best in a ranking of more than two dozen different milkshakes in the Cleveland area, with the Arby's performing better than shakes from Chick-fil-A, Five Guys, and Sonic.

The rave reviews don't end there. One Redditor claimed that Arby's makes the best chocolate shake they've ever had. They said, "I got one for the first time with my meal last week just to try it out, and I will never be going without one again. Its chilly, ice-creamy goodness smothered in cream and chocolate syrup, absolutely delightful, and beats out the competition shakes by a mile."

So, while a milkshake doesn't seem like the healthiest option, it's important to note that this does fall lower on our list and is actually better in terms of fat and calories over other menu items. So, for the healthiest milkshake, you'll want to opt for the vanilla flavor over the chocolate since it has less fat, sodium, carbs, and sugar.

4. Curly fries

If you have gone to Arby's but have not tried the curly fries, you might want to reconsider. No matter what you order for your entrée, the curly fries are the staple side. Try dipping those crunchy, crispy potatoes in some Arby's sauce, and you have a perfect snack — well, almost.

The fries are not as unhealthy as you might think, but they're also not a full meal. The snack-size curly fries come in at 13 grams of fat, no cholesterol, 570 milligrams of sodium, and no sugar. That's less than half the fat you'll find in Arby's loaded curly fries and about a third of the sodium you'd find in the mozzarella sticks. As for sugar? Well, these curly fries have less of it than the jalapeño bites with bronco berry sauce, so that's a plus.

Now, sure, the potato cakes that Arby's offers as a side are a little bit healthier than the curly fries when it comes to sodium and carbs, but you've got to think about how satisfying those curly fries are. As Prue Leith on "The Great British Bake Off" likes to say, some things are just "worth every calorie."

3. The turkey gyro

When Arby's first introduced its turkey gyro, it was intended to be a temporary item, but fans loved it, so this offering stuck around as an Arby's signature item. Real roast turkey is combined with lettuce, onions, tomatoes, and tzatziki for classic gyro flavors, but with turkey. And, yes, if you haven't tried it, we know what you're thinking. Turkey in a gyro? Don't discount it just yet — as one TripAdvisor reviewer noted, "I found a new favorite at Arby's and it's a turkey gyro. I ... like traditional gyros, having grown up around Greek restaurants, and to those people, turkey would be blasphemy at least — but, try it."

If you do take this reviewer's advice and give the menu item a try, you'll find that it's healthier than some of its gyro fellows packed with beef, as well as other Arby's signature items, like the Reuben sandwich. For example, the turkey gyro contains 20 grams of fat, which is less than half the fat you'll find in the traditional Greek gyro on the menu and no trans fat, compared to the trans fat you'll find in the roast beef gyro. And remember, the American Heart Association recommends cutting trans fat from your diet as much as possible.

2. Chicken tenders

Whether you're a picky eater or you're just looking for something basic, wholesome, and familiar, chicken tenders tend to be that staple fast food or fast casual menu item for many. Plus, it's nice to know that this Arby's item is sticking around in a fast food world where more restaurants are ditching their chicken strips and tenders for nuggets.

The three-piece chicken tender box is Arby's healthiest chicken option, with less fat, cholesterol, sodium, and carbs than any other options. However, the taste is debatable. Thrillist ranked the tenders in seventh place on its list of fast-food tenders, and while that might not seem very high, just consider that Arby's beat out other chains with chicken tender cult followings, like Dairy Queen, McDonald's, KFC, and Jack in the Box. As a review on Menu and Price noted, Arby's chicken tenders are big, with an ideal breading-to-meat ratio and none of that weird mystery meat that you'll find in some other tenders.

1. The classic roast beef

The classic roast beef sandwich is what Arby's is known for, and, yes, you can enjoy this fast-food icon even while trying to eat healthily. In short, it's thanks to the sandwich's simplicity. The sandwich is made of sliced roast beef on a sesame seed bun — that's it. Sure, you can add on extras, like horsey sauce or Arby's sauce, but there's really no need to, flavor-wise, and if you opt to go sauce-less, you can save yourself some sodium, sugar, carbs, and fat.

As it stands, the no-sauce, classic roast beef sandwich is your healthiest roast beef option on the Arby's menu, with just 14 grams of fat, 970 milligrams of sodium, and 23 grams of protein. That's nearly half the daily recommended protein intake if you follow a 2,000-calorie diet and just about half the recommended sodium intake for the day. In other words, this is a fast-food sandwich that you don't have to feel too bad about. It's a little bit of indulgence without a ton of unhealthy stuff.