Chick-fil-A is a popular fast food restaurant chain known for its chicken sandwiches and nuggets. Many customers enjoy the flavor and quality of Chick-fil-A’s chicken. However, some people wonder if Chick-fil-A’s chicken contains dairy ingredients.
Most Chick-fil-A chicken does not contain dairy. The original Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich, nuggets, and strips are made simply with chicken, seasonings, and a wheat bun. Some menu items do contain dairy such as cheese or butter. But the main chicken items are dairy-free.
Examining the Ingredients
To understand if there is dairy in Chick-fil-A chicken, we need to examine the ingredients. Let’s look at some of the most popular chicken items on the menu:
Original Chicken Sandwich
The original Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich contains just chicken, pickles, and a toasted wheat bun. According to the company, the ingredients are:
- Toasted multigrain bun
- Breaded chicken breast filet
- Dill pickle chips
None of these ingredients contain any dairy derivatives. The chicken is simply breaded in wheat flour and seasoning then fried in refined peanut oil. There is no milk, cheese, butter, or cream added.
Chick-fil-A’s bite-sized Chicken Nuggets are also dairy-free. The ingredients include:
- Breaded chicken breast meat
- Seasoning (salt, monosodium glutamate, spices, paprika)
- Peanut oil
Again, the chicken is breaded with wheat flour and some seasonings without any dairy additions. The nuggets are fried in pure refined peanut oil.
Chick-fil-A’s Chicken Strips are also free of milk ingredients. The strips contain:
- Chicken breast meat
- Breading (enriched bleached wheat flour, water, wheat gluten, salt, leavening, spice, yeast, soybean oil, dextrose, extracts of rosemary)
- Peanut oil
The ingredients list doesn’t show any dairy components. It’s just lean chicken strips breaded in wheat flour and spices then fried in oil.
Menu Items with Dairy
While the main chicken items at Chick-fil-A are dairy-free, some menu options do contain milk ingredients. These include:
- Chicken sandwiches with cheese
- Chicken salads with cheese or cream dressing
- Cookies and cream milkshake
- Frosted coffee drinks
- Grilled chicken club with cheese
- Chicken parmesan
- Chicken soup with cream
When ordering any of these menu items, those with dairy allergies or avoidance should take note. But the classic fried chicken sandwiches and nuggets can be ordered dairy-free.
Frying Oil Contains No Dairy
Another important thing to note is that Chick-fil-A fries its chicken in 100% refined peanut oil. Unlike some fast food chains that use vegetable oil blends, Chick-fil-A’s frying oil contains absolutely no dairy derivatives.
Those with peanut allergies need to avoid Chick-fil-A’s fried items. But people with dairy issues don’t have to worry about the oil. Chick-fil-A also confirms their oil is non-hydrogenated with no trans fats.
Preparation and Cross Contact
When preparing dairy-free orders, Chick-fil-A restaurant staff follow protocols to avoid cross-contact with ingredients containing dairy:
- Change gloves before handling dairy-free orders
- Use clean trays and utensils
- Separate grill areas for cooking dairy-free items
However, they don’t have dedicated dairy-free prep areas in the kitchen. Some cross-contact may occur from shared storage, prep spaces, and cooking equipment.
Those with severe dairy allergies may want to inquire about preparation protocols at their local restaurant. They may also wish to avoid visiting during busy times when cross-contact risks increase.
Nutrition Info Shows No Milk Ingredients
Examining Chick-fil-A’s nutrition information also confirms that their original chicken items are dairy-free.
For example, the nutrition facts for Chick-fil-A’s Chicken Sandwich lists only:
There are no micronutrients related to dairy such as calcium listed. The same applies to all the original chicken items without cheese or creamy sauces.
Why Chick-fil-A Chicken is Dairy-Free
There are a few reasons why Chick-fil-A chicken contains no milk ingredients:
- Simple whole muscle chicken breast meat contains no dairy naturally.
- The wheat flour breading avoids milk ingredients common in batter recipes.
- Frying in peanut oil avoids dairy-containing vegetable oil blends.
- There is no cheese, butter, or creamy sauces added.
In comparison, some fried chicken recipes call for buttermilk marinades or melted butter in the batter. Chick-fil-A avoids these dairy additions to keep their original chicken dairy-free.
How to Order Dairy-Free at Chick-fil-A
To order dairy-free chicken items at Chick-fil-A, stick to these menu options:
- Original Chicken Sandwich
- Chicken nuggets
- Chicken strips
- Grilled chicken sandwich or nuggets
- Chicken soup without cream
- Waffle fries
- Iced tea, soda, lemonade, or water
Avoid any items with cheese, milkshakes, creamy sauces, or buttery flavors. Also note that while side options like waffle fries are dairy-free, some Chick-fil-A locations cook them in shared fryers with buttermilk biscuits. So those with dairy allergies may wish to avoid.
Dining Out Tips
Here are some extra tips for safely dining out dairy-free at Chick-fil-A:
- Tell staff you have a dairy allergy when ordering.
- Ask about their ingredient sourcing and prep procedures.
- Modify menu items to remove cheese, butter or creamy sauces.
- Check labels for allergen warnings if ordering packaged items.
- Avoid busy meal times if highly sensitive to cross-contact.
- Bring approved dairy-free meal items for young children.
With careful ordering and clear communication, most people who avoid dairy can enjoy Chick-fil-A’s famous chicken worry-free.
Chick-fil-A’s original chicken sandwich, nuggets, and strips do not contain any dairy ingredients. These menu items are made simply from chicken, wheat flour breading, seasonings, and frying oil. However, those with dairy issues need to avoid menu options with cheese, butter, milkshakes, and creamy sauces.
By examining the ingredients lists, nutrition info, and preparation practices, we can confirm Chick-fil-A’s breaded chicken is dairy-free. People with milk allergies or intolerance can feel safe ordering the classic fried chicken items when avoiding dairy. With proper dining out strategies, most patrons can enjoy Chick-fil-A’s famous chicken without worry.