12 Healthy Fast-Food Breakfasts You Can Grab at Dunkin’, Starbucks and More

The jury is still out on whether breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but in our experience, starting the morning with a nutritious meal sets the tone for a healthier day overall. Though we have been known to indulge in a stack of pancakes on special occasions, our favorite breakfasts provide a boost of energy that keeps us full without weighing us down.

In an ideal world, we’d cook an elaborate spread every morning. But in reality, fast food is sometimes the only option. Luckily, a bunch of fast-food chains have breakfast options that won’t blow your healthy-eating goals before 10 a.m. From Starbucks’s savory wraps to Panera’s sweet (but not too sweet) oats, here are the healthiest (or, um, healthy-ish) breakfast choices at some of the most popular chains around.

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panera breakfast
panera bread

1. Panera Bread: Steel-cut Oatmeal With Almonds, Quinoa & Honey

  • 320 calories
  • 8g fat
  • 51g carbs
  • 7g sugar
  • 10g protein

Oatmeal seems like a nutritious enough choice, right? Not always. Frequently, oatmeal is loaded with unnecessary sugar—dried fruit is often the culprit—which kind of negates the many health benefits of oats (steel-cut oats, for example, are high in fiber and other vitamins). On the other hand, Panera’s steel-cut oats contain a totally reasonable seven grams of sugar. Better yet, it only has five, easy-to-pronounce ingredients: steel-cut oats, organic quinoa, honey, toasted almonds and cinnamon. It’s sweet, but not too sweet. Yum.

egg mcmuffin

2. Mcdonald's: Egg Mcmuffin

  • 300 calories
  • 12g fat
  • 30g carbs
  • 3g sugar
  • 7g protein

We’re lovin’ it: One of Mickey D’s most iconic breakfasts is also one of its best options from a health standpoint. The classic Egg McMuffin might not be groundbreaking, flavor-wise, but it’s a tasty way to jump-start your morning without expending a ton of calories. To lighten it up a bit, ask for it without ham, which doesn’t add a ton of protein anyway. Another word to the wise: Be careful with McDonald’s coffee drinks, many of which are brimming with added sugar.

pret frittata
pret a manger

3. Pret A Manger: Egg White Greek Frittata

  • 210 calories
  • 6g fat
  • 8g carbs
  • 4g sugar
  • 28g protein

Pret has tons of healthy breakfast options that fit a variety of dietary choices (including two vegan-friendly oatmeals). This frittata is made with cage-free egg whites, feta, Parmesan, red peppers, spinach, seasoning and a touch of milk. In addition to being delicious—the feta really makes it—we love this grab-and-go meal for its punch of protein—28 grams will keep your stomach from grumbling until lunchtime.

jack in the box egg sandwich
jack in the box

4. Jack In The Box: Breakfast Jack

  • 350 calories
  • 18g fat
  • 30g carbs
  • 4g sugar
  • 16g protein

This breakfast sandwich from Jack in the Box is similar to a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin, but on a hamburger bun instead of an English muffin–type thing. With egg, cheese and ham, it packs a solid protein punch. (And again, we suggest you ditch the ham to cut back on fat and calories.)

subway egg sandwich

5. Subway: Egg And Cheese Flatbread

  • 380 calories
  • 15g fat
  • 44g carbs
  • 3g sugar
  • 19g protein

In a world full of breakfast sandwiches, be a breakfast flatbread. With just egg and cheese, this guy is no-nonsense, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Because this sandwich does have quite a few carbs, consider going light on the bread and pasta for the rest of your meals today. (As in, don’t eat this and a meatball sandwich from Subway in the same day.)

wendys breakfast sandwich

6. Wendy's: Classic Bacon, Egg And Cheese Sandwich

  • 330 calories
  • 18g fat
  • 24g carbs
  • 2g sugar
  • 18g protein

Featuring eggs, applewood-smoked bacon and American cheese on a warm breakfast roll, Wendy’s BEC is a classic crowd-pleaser. Think a breakfast sandwich from your local deli, but procured from the drive-through. Yes, it’s a little high in fat, but the 18 grams of protein and low sugar count balance things out.

starbucks breakfast new

7. Starbucks: Spinach, Feta & Cage Free Egg White Breakfast Wrap

  • 280 calories
  • 8g fat
  • 34g carbs
  • 5g sugar
  • 20g protein

Avoid the temptation to start your day with a cake pop and opt for a savory hot breakfast from Starbucks, like this tasty wrap. While its carb count is on the higher side, it’s also packed with protein, meaning you won’t be as tempted to snack in between meals. And of all the sandwich and wrap options on this list, Starbucks’s egg white wrap tastes the closest to something you’d make at home.

whataburger egg sandwich1

8. Whataburger: Egg Sandwich

  • 310 calories
  • 12g fat
  • 34g carbs
  • 5g sugar
  • 15g protein

A satisfying but no-frills pick, Whataburger’s egg sandwich is admittedly very plain. As in, it’s just an egg and melted American cheese on a toasted bun. But still, we’re not mad about the 310 calories and not-unsubstantial 15 grams of protein. (We might add a little hot sauce for a kick, though.)

jamba juice breakfast wrap
jamba juice

9. Jamba Juice: Spinach N' Cheese Breakfast Wrap

  • 240 calories
  • 7g fat
  • 30g carbs
  • 1g sugar
  • 15g protein

You might be thinking, "Wait. Juice is literally in the name of this chain. Why are they recommending a breakfast wrap?" Well, that's because Jamba Juice's smoothies, no matter how tasty, are loaded with sugar (we're talking 55 grams in a small Caribbean Passion). That means solid food is your best bet from a nutritional standpoint. Luckily, there are quite a few items to choose from, including this wrap with scrambled egg whites, spinach, mozzarella cheese, asiago cheese spread and caramelized onions on a whole wheat tortilla.

sonic burrito

10. Sonic: Jr. Breakfast Burrito

  • 290 calories
  • 17g fat
  • 22g carbs
  • 0g sugar
  • 12g protein

Sonic’s all-day breakfast menu isn’t that big, and it’s heavy on the breakfast burritos. This mini version has eggs, sausage and cheese, and while it isn’t super substantial (and quite high in fat), it’s preferable to, say, Cinnabon Cinnasnacks with Cream Cheese Frosting, which are also an option from the drive-through franchise.

starbucks sous vide bites

11. Starbucks: Egg White & Red Pepper Sous Vide Bites

  • 170 calories
  • 7 fat
  • 13g carbs
  • 2g sugar
  • 13g protein

These cute little bites are another fabulous option from Starbucks. Cage-free eggs whites are prepared using the French sous vide technique. Creamy Monterey Jack cheese, spinach and fire-roasted red peppers are added into the mix to make for a high-protein breakfast that's so easy to eat on the go.

dunkin donuts breakfast

12. Dunkin': Veggie Egg White Sandwich

  • 240 calories
  • 10g fat
  • 25g carbs
  • 5g sugar
  • 14g protein

It may have dropped the “Donuts” from its name, but this chain is still best known for its sugary sweets. And while we’d never argue that breakfast pastries aren’t delicious, they’re not necessarily the healthiest option. Luckily, though, Dunkin’ has healthier menu items, like this egg white sandwich with diced red and green bell pepper, mushrooms and green onions. Topped with a slice of American cheese and served on your choice of bread, it’s a great way to get a few extra veggies into your system first thing in the morning.

sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...