Treatment Guide

Reformulated grilled chicken at Chick-fil-A


On April 14, Chick-fil-A introduced new and improved grilled chicken breast and nuggets to its lineup. This new grilled chicken is infused with a smoky taste by marinating it in a blend of sea salt, lemon, garlic, and savory herbs. According to the company, this technique creates a tender, juicy filet with just the right amount of smoky flavor.

According to the company, they spent seven years and more than $50 million to reinvent its grilled chicken recipe. The largest portion of the investment came as the company worked with Garland Grills to create a proprietary grill. This new grill sears the chicken on cast-iron grates like it was cooked on a backyard grill, only faster.

chick fil a nuggets gluten free“We started with a mission to create a best-in-class grilled sandwich, and after testing 1,200-plus recipes, we landed on a taste so remarkable that we decided to extend the flavor into a full grilled line,” said David Farmer, Chick-fil-A’s vice president of product strategy and development. “Our previous grilled entrees were good, but not remarkable. We wanted a grilled chicken recipe that is just as ‘craveable’ as our original Chick-fil-A® Chicken Sandwich.”

While driving back from Disney, we stopped at a Chick-fil-A that already has the new grilled chicken, so we got a sneak taste. The smells and appearance was the first clue that this grilled chicken is new and improved. The chicken is more flavorful, tender, and moist, and it has a naturally occurring sauce that makes it really juicy. The old chargrilled chicken was tougher and a bit dry with an unpleasant after taste.

The grilled chicken nuggets were added to their lineup in 2012 as a Kid’s Meal entree. They are made without gluten-containing ingredients, and they are free of trans fats. Now, if we could get Chick-fil-A to add a gluten-free bun to its lineup, I would finally be able to order a chicken sandwich to accompany my waffle fries.

Since Chick-fil-A is local, I would donate my consulting services to help them select a gluten-free bun. This menu addition would make them the only fast food chain (to my knowledge) in Georgia to make available a sandwich on a gluten-free bun.

Do you like Chick-fil-A’s grilled nuggets?



Author Information: Jennifer D. Harris, Atlanta, GA
Jennifer D. Harris,
Atlanta Gluten-Free Examiner
Program Chair, Atlanta Metro CeliacsTwitter@jenniferGFinGA

About Jennifer Harris

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Author Information: Jennifer D. Harris, Atlanta, GA Jennifer D. Harris, Atlanta Gluten-Free Examiner Program Chair, Atlanta Metro CeliacsTwitter@jenniferGFinGA


  1. Mary Fitzgerald

    Are you sure that the waffle fries are gluten free? Do they fry them in the same oil as any breaded product. I’d sure love to know!! Thanks for this good news about the nuggets.

    • I have had the fries. They are safe and done in dedicated fryers. I always ask when I go just to be safe but they have always told me they use a dedicated fryer.

  2. msg free too?

  3. I checked on the reformulated grilled chicken and was told that it has wheat in it. They even showed me a printout of the ingredients…

  4. First glance of this article, I assumed the new grilled chicken tenders were not gluten free. Having added them to my “safe” list you can imaging my reaction. I’m glad to see they are receiving publicity throughout our community. This menu item is not only delicious but a normal food. Unknowingly, I’ve converted my office from conventional to the new grilled. This is rarely the case with our dietary restrictions. Hooray for Chick-fil-a. Try them, they’re a no compromise food and taste great!

  5. I always order them “no marinade”. They may say gluten free, but the one time I had them I had a reaction. I order “gluten free, no marinade” and haven’t had a problem. You have to wait a little longer, but it is worth it.

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