16 NEW Low-Calorie KFC Meals & Combos (2022)

Kentucky Fried Chicken may not strike you as the healthiest place to eat, so you might be surprised to learn that they have multiple menu items that are low in calories that you can order when you’re trying to watch what you eat.

As a nutrition coach who teaches clients what to eat to reach their goals, I’ve outlined what meals you should order, how to customize them to reduce your calorie intake further, and what meals you should avoid altogether.

Tips For Ordering Low-Calorie Options At KFC

Tips for ordering low-calorie options at KFC

Here are a few ways to cut down on the calories at KFC:

  • Order individual items to build your own meal
  • Stick to drumsticks and whole wings
  • Choose Chicken Littles sandwiches
  • Choose vegetables as sides

Order Individual Items To Build Your Own Meal

To reduce your calorie intake at KFC you should order individual items to create your own meal rather than ordering one of their meal combos because their meal combos tend to be very high in calories.

For example, you could build your own meal with two original recipe chicken drumsticks, an individual side of green beans, and a bottle of water for a total of 285 calories.

However, if you were to order their pre-built meal of a 2-piece drum & thigh combo with mashed potatoes and gravy, and a 16 oz Pepsi then it would be around 740 calories.

When you’re building your own meal at KFC, your protein source will likely also be your carb and fat source since most proteins tend to be breaded and fried, so all you’re missing is a vegetable to make it a balanced meal.

Stick To Drumsticks And Whole Wings 

KFC offers chicken drumsticks, whole wings, thighs, or breasts, but the lowest calorie options are drumsticks and whole wings.

KFC’s Original Recipe Chicken drumsticks and whole wings are 130 calories each, whereas their Original Recipe Chicken thighs or breasts are 280 and 390 calories respectively.  

Therefore, to reduce your calorie intake at KFC, stick to their drumsticks and wings as your main protein source.

Choose Chicken Littles Sandwiches

If you prefer a handheld option, like a burger or sandwich, and you want to reduce your calorie consumption, then order the Chicken Little sandwiches.

The Chicken Little sandwiches range from 300-340 calories, depending on which flavor you choose; whereas other popular handhelds from KFC, like the Crispy Colonel’s sandwiches, ranging from 470-540 calories.

Choose Vegetables As Sides

To keep your calories low and to balance out your meal, choose vegetables as a side dish rather than other options that are higher in calories.

The vegetable side options available are:

  • green beans (25 calories per individual serving)
  • corn on the cob (70 calories per individual serving)
  • sweet kernel corn (70 calories per individual serving)
  • plain mashed potatoes (110 calories per individual serving).  

Sides to avoid include:

  • KFC cornbread muffin (210 calories per serving)
  • secret recipe fries (320 calories per serving)
  • potato salad (340 calories per serving)

The 8 Lowest Calorie Chicken Combo Options

Most chicken options at KFC come in a combo, meaning that they are not served alone and instead come with a drink and a side.

When ordering a combo at KFC, customizations to reduce calories will come in fours ways:

  • Choosing a lower calorie side (i.e. vegetables)
  • Choosing a lower calorie drink (i.e. water or diet soda)
  • Choosing the lowest calorie type of chicken and recipe (i.e. breasts or wings and an original recipe or Kentucky grilled chicken)
  • Choosing to include or omit the biscuit on the side

To help you get the best low-calorie options at KFC, I will show you how to order 4 different combo meals with the 2 lowest calorie options (below 550) for each. 

Please note that the calories for beverages are not included in these totals. To minimize calories from your drinks, choose water or a diet soda.

1. 2-Piece Breast & Wing Combo (350-545 calories)

2-piece breast & wing combo

This combo includes one breast, one whole wing, one individual side, one biscuit, and a medium beverage (beverage calories not included in totals below).

Option 1 - Kentucky Grilled ChickenOption 2 - Original Recipe (Breaded)
Kentucky Grilled Breast & Wing (280 calories) Corn on the cob (70 calories) Biscuit (180 calories) (included with combo)Original Recipe Breast & Wing (520 calories) Green Beans (25 calories) Biscuit (180 calories) (included with combo)
Total with a biscuit: 530 caloriesTotal without biscuit: 545 calories
Total without biscuit: 350 calories*This combo must be ordered WITHOUT the biscuit to be considered a low-calorie option

2. 2-Piece Drum & Thigh Combo (300-480 calories)

2-piece drum & thigh combo

This combo includes one drumstick, one thigh, one individual side, one biscuit, and a medium beverage (beverage calories not included in totals below).

Option 1 - Kentucky Grilled ChickenOption 2 - Original Recipe (Breaded)
Kentucky Grilled Drum & Thigh (230 calories) Sweet Corn (70 calories) Biscuit (180 calories) (included with combo)Original Recipe Drum & Thigh (410 calories) Green beans (25 calories) Biscuit (180 calories) (included with combo)
Total with a biscuit: 480 caloriesTotal without biscuit: 435 calories
Total without biscuit: 300 calories*This combo must be ordered WITHOUT the biscuit to be considered a low-calorie option

3. 2-Piece Drum & Thigh Big Box Combo (325-505 calories).

2-piece drum & thigh big box combo

This combo includes one drumstick, one thigh, two individual sides, one biscuit, and a medium beverage (beverage calories not included in totals below). I recommend ordering vegetables for your sides to increase your vegetable portions for the day and reduce the calorie content of these meals.

Option 1 - Kentucky Grilled ChickenOption 2 - Original Recipe (Breaded)
Kentucky Grilled Drum & Thigh (230 calories) Sweet Corn (70 calories) Green Beans (25 calories) Biscuit (180 calories) (included with combo)Original Recipe Drum & Thigh (410 calories) Sweet Corn (70 calories) Green Beans (25 calories) Biscuit (180 calories) (included with combo)
Total with a biscuit: 505 caloriesTotal without biscuit: 505 calories
Total without biscuit: 325 calories*This combo must be ordered WITHOUT the biscuit to be considered a low-calorie option

4. 1-Piece Breast Combo (355-535 calories)

1-piece breast combo

This combo includes one breast, one individual side, one biscuit, one cookie, and a medium beverage (beverage calories not included in totals below).

Option 1 - Kentucky Grilled ChickenOption 2 - Original Recipe (Breaded)
Kentucky Grilled Breast (210 calories) Green Beans (25 calories) Cookie (120 calories) Biscuit (180 calories) (included with combo)Original Recipe Breast (390 calories) Green Beans (25 calories) Cookie (120 calories) Biscuit (180 calories) (included with combo)
Total with a biscuit: 535 caloriesTotal without biscuit: 535 calories
Total without biscuit: 355 calories*This combo must be ordered WITHOUT the biscuit to be considered a low-calorie option

The 8 Lowest Calorie Sandwich Options

If you prefer a handheld option from KFC, then you can choose between one of these low-calorie sandwich options:

  • Chicken Littles (300-340 calories)
  • Crispy Colonel’s Sandwich (470-540 calories)

Chicken Littles (300-340 calories)

chicken littles

Chicken Littles are a great low-calorie sandwich option with crispy chicken, pickle chips, and mayo. The chicken portion is smaller than the regular Colonel’s sandwiches but is still packed with flavor. You can also enhance this sandwich by adding different sauces.

There are four flavors of Chicken Littles to choose from:

Flavorcalories
Chicken Littles - Original300 calories
Chicken Littles - Buffalo310 calories
Chicken Littles - Honey BBQ320 calories
Chicken Littles - Nashville Hot340 calories

Crispy Colonel’s Sandwich (470-540 calories)

crispy colonel’s sandwich

Another low-calorie sandwich from KFC is their Crispy Colonel’s Sandwich, which has 24 grams of protein to help you stay full and satisfied throughout the rest of your day. These sandwiches can also be customized to decrease their calorie content further.  

The Crispy Colonel’s Sandwich comes in 4 flavors:

FlavorCalories
Crispy Colonel’s - Original470 calories
Crispy Colonel’s - Buffalo500 calories
Crispy Colonel’s - Honey BBQ510 calories
Crispy Colonel’s - Nashville Hot540 calories

To reduce the calories of this sandwich further, you can:

  • Remove Colonel’s Mayo to save 90 calories
  • Try the sandwich without a bun and on a bed of lettuce to save 130 calories

Foods To Avoid At KFC

Although there are low-calorie options at KFC there are far more high-calorie options, so it’s important to know what options to avoid if you’re trying to reduce your calorie intake while eating at KFC.

The foods to avoid at KFC are:

  • KFC Famous Bowl (720 calories)
  • 3 Piece Chicken Box – 2 Breasts & 1 Wing (810-2150 calories)
  • 5 piece Tenders Combo (930-1610 calories)
  • 12 Kentucky Fried Wings (1160-1760 calories)

Even with certain customizations such as reducing sauces, gravies, or choosing grilled chicken, these meals are very challenging to reduce calories; so if you want to reduce your calorie intake, you’re better off sticking with the low-calorie meal options listed above. 

Frequently Asked Questions  

What Is The Lowest Calorie Item At KFC?

The lowest calorie chicken item at KFC is a Kentucky Grilled Chicken Whole Wing (70 cals), the lowest calorie sandwich is an Original Chicken Little (300 cals), and the lowest calorie combo meal is a Kentucky Grilled Chicken drum & thigh, green beans, biscuit, and water (460 cals).

Can You Eat KFC In A Calorie Deficit?

Yes, you can eat at KFC when you’re in a calorie deficit because there are many high-protein, low-calorie options available to help you stay within your daily calorie target and keep you feeling full and satiated throughout the day.

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About The Author

Caryn Watt
CARYN WATT

Caryn Watt is a certified personal trainer & nutrition coach. Working primarily with women all over the world, she focuses her time on helping clients learn more about nutrition and the importance of improving their relationship with food through tracking macros, movement, and mindfulness.