A Dairy Queen chicken strips basket is a popular menu item that provides a generous portion of crispy breaded chicken strips, served with french fries and Texas toast. With its combination of protein, carbs and fat, this meal can pack a hefty calorie count. So just how many calories are in a Dairy Queen chicken strips basket?
Let’s start by looking at the chicken strips portion of the meal. At most Dairy Queen locations, a chicken strips basket includes 4 or 5 chicken strips, depending on the size you order. Here is the calorie breakdown for Dairy Queen’s breaded chicken strips:
- 1 medium chicken strip (3 oz) = 230 calories
- 1 large chicken strip (4 oz) = 310 calories
So for a 4 piece medium chicken strips basket, the chicken strip portion contains about:
- 4 medium chicken strips x 230 calories (per strip) = 920 calories
And for a 5 piece large chicken strips basket, the chicken strip portion contains:
- 5 large chicken strips x 310 calories (per strip) = 1550 calories
As you can see, the chicken strips alone contribute a significant amount of calories to this meal.
Now let’s look at the french fry portion. A Dairy Queen chicken strips basket comes with a regular side of french fries. Here are the nutrition facts for Dairy Queen’s regular french fries:
- Small fries (117g) = 370 calories
- Medium fries (168g) = 530 calories
- Large fries (234g) = 750 calories
A regular side is approximately equivalent to a small or medium order of fries. So the fries add another 370-530 calories to this high calorie meal.
To complete the meal, a chicken strips basket comes with a slice of Texas toast. Here are the nutrition facts for Dairy Queen’s Texas toast:
- 1 slice Texas toast (71g) = 290 calories
So the Texas toast contributes about 290 additional calories.
Adding up the calories from each part of this meal gives us the following totals:
|4 medium strips basket
|5 large strips basket
As you can see, a full Dairy Queen chicken strips basket provides over 1500-2300 calories, depending on the size you order. That’s a very high calorie count for a single meal!
Now that we know the overall calorie content of a Dairy Queen chicken strips basket, let’s take a look at some of the other key nutritional information:
- Total Fat: A 4 piece medium basket contains about 80g of fat, while a 5 piece large basket provides around 130g of fat. The majority of these calories come from unhealthy saturated and trans fats found in the fried chicken strips and french fries.
- Cholesterol: A medium chicken strips basket has around 160mg of cholesterol, while a large basket has around 265mg. This significant cholesterol content comes primarily from the battered chicken strips.
- Sodium: Expect a chicken strips basket to deliver around 1700-2100mg of sodium. The combination of fried foods and high sodium condiments like ketchup and tartar sauce make this meal very high in sodium.
- Carbohydrates: With the french fries, Texas toast and batter on the chicken, a medium strips basket provides around 120g net carbs. A large basket has closer to 180g net carbs.
- Protein: You’ll get around 40-60g of protein from this meal, mostly coming from the chicken strips.
Overall, while the chicken does provide some protein, a Dairy Queen chicken strips basket is very high in calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium and carbs. It provides little nutritional value and is considered a processed food that should only be eaten occasionally as a treat.
Ways to Make This Meal Healthier
If you want to enjoy a chicken strips meal at Dairy Queen but reduce the calorie and fat content, here are some tips:
- Order a 3 piece small chicken strips basket instead of 4-5 large strips.
- Choose a side salad instead of fries.
- Ask for grilled chicken strips instead of breaded and fried.
- Opt for lighter dipping sauces like BBQ sauce instead of mayo-based sauces.
- Share the meal with a friend to reduce your portion size.
- Drink water or unsweetened tea instead of soda.
Making simple modifications like these can help turn an indulgent high calorie meal into a more balanced option.
A Dairy Queen chicken strips basket contains a very high calorie count, providing over 1500 calories for a medium 4 piece meal and 2300+ calories for a large 5 piece meal. This is mostly due to the battered and fried chicken strips, french fries cooked in unhealthy oils, and high-calorie Texas toast.
While an occasional indulgent meal is fine, a chicken strips basket should not be a regular part of your diet due to its high amounts of calories, fat, sodium and cholesterol. Simple modifications like choosing grilled chicken or salads can help make this meal healthier.
When dining out, be mindful of your portion sizes and the cooking methods used. Fried foods in large portions will sabotage any healthy diet. Balance any indulgences by emphasizing whole, unprocessed foods for the majority of your meals.