14 Healthiest Items at Dairy Queen in 2024

Published on June 14, 2024 | 0 Comments
The healtiest items at Dairy Queen include salads, smoothies and desserts

Are you looking for a convenient meal and want to discover what the healthiest items at Dairy Queen are? If so, this list is for you! While it may seem unlikely at first glance, Dairy Queen does have a selection of items on its menu that are healthier than the rest. 

The healthier items on offer at this popular fast-food chain combine fresh ingredients to create a nutritious snack that can fuel the rest of your day. After all, there’s truly nothing better than a quick stop at Dairy Queen for a pick-me-up that’s both satisfying in taste and nutrition. To discover what is the best health-wise to order at Dairy Queen, keep reading for the 14 most nutritious menu items. 


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Is Dairy Queen Healthy?

While Dairy Queen isn’t necessarily known for being the healthiest fast food chain out there, its menu certainly offers healthy options for customers. Some of these healthier items are quite obvious, such as different kinds of salads or smoothies, while others are pleasant surprises like ice cream sundaes and burgers. 

Overall, it’s all about moderation and being intentional about your menu choices. While Dairy Queen shouldn’t be top of your list for healthy eating if you have a choice of places to go, you can eat relatively healthy if you need something on-the-go and it’s one of the only options. 

Chicken strips, fries and ketchup on a wooden board
via Canva

The 14 Healthiest Dairy Queen Items 

1. Crispy Chicken Strips Salad

First up on our list of the healthiest items at Dairy Queen is none other than the classic crispy chicken strips salad. This menu staple features perfectly fried crispy chicken strips of white meat atop freshly cut lettuce, diced tomatoes, savory bacon pieces and shredded cheddar cheese. 

You can also opt for Dairy Queen’s creamy homemade ranch sauce or choose another dressing of your choice to finish. Dressing can also be served on the side if you want to control the amount of dressing added to your salad.

With so many colorful vegetables and well-seasoned chicken pieces, this healthy item at Dairy Queen packs a ton of nutrients, including a good amount of protein. It’s also one of the lowest calorie menu options, at 530 calories, and can be made healthier by getting it without bacon. 

A salad with chicken, tomatoes and cheese
via Dairy Queen

2. Wild Alaskan Fish Sandwich 

While it is only a limited-time menu item, generally on offer around Lent, the wild Alaskan fish sandwich is among some of the healthiest items at Dairy Queen when available. This tasty sandwich features crispy fried wild Alaskan pollock that’s packed full of protein and healthy omega-3 fats. The sandwich also includes freshly cut lettuce and creamy tartar sauce on a perfectly toasted bun. 

Compared to other sandwiches at Dairy Queen, it is also quite low in calories and you can ask for no sauce or sauce on the side if you prefer. As one of the best fast food fish sandwiches on the market, trying this relatively healthy Dairy Queen item is a must when it’s on the menu.

The fish sandwich is one of the healthiest items at Dairy Queen when available
via Dairy Queen

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3. Chicken Strip Basket 

The chicken strip basket is a popular choice among the healthiest items at Dairy Queen because it satisfies almost everyone’s taste buds. This classic meal comes with either four or six golden-fried chicken strips of white meat, along with a side of crisp fries, Texas toast and a dipping sauce of your choice. Sauce options include classics like barbecue, ketchup and honey mustard. You can change the calories and fat content of your meal based on which sauce you go for.

As one of the healthiest items at Dairy Queen, this meal is low in carbohydrates and is a good source of protein. The chicken strip meals are also lower in cholesterol than the other meat menu items, such as beef hamburgers and pork hot dogs.

If you want a quick and lower-calorie snack, you can get three chicken strips that have 430 calories total. One thing to note about the chicken strip options is that they are all quite high in sodium, so keep that in mind if you're looking for the healthiest items at Dairy Queen that are also low in salt.

A basket with chicken strips, bread and fries
via Dairy Queen

4. Chicken Strip Sandwich

Another of the healthiest items at Dairy Queen featuring chicken as the protein is the chicken strip sandwich. This menu item features crispy chicken strips, lettuce, tomatoes and mayonnaise between a soft, toasty bun. A spicy version, featuring spicy mayonnaise instead of regular, is also available.

With this healthy item at Dairy Queen, you get a similar amount of protein, plus carbohydrates from the bread, that you get when ordering the chicken basket but at about half the calories of that meal (assuming you don't add a side of fries). The salad vegetables also add some extra nutrients. These two sandwiches additionally have about half the sodium and half the saturated fat of the chicken basket. To make it a fuller meal, add a side salad.

The chicken sandwich is one of the healthiest items at Dairy Queen
via Dairy Queen

5. Hamburger 

Perhaps surprisingly, the classic hamburger is another one of the healthiest items at Dairy Queen when compared to other menu items. The patty features 100% real beef that’s been expertly seasoned and topped with crisp pickles, sweet ketchup and fragrant mustard on a soft bun. 

While this is one of the healthiest Dairy Queen menu items already, an even healthier version exists in its kids’ menu equivalent. Everything is the same except for the size which lessens the calories to only 320, compared to 350 for the regular burger. At a smaller size, the kids’ menu hamburger is yet another one of the healthiest items at Dairy Queen.

Although this is a high-protein option, the hamburger’s cholesterol and sodium levels are quite high. Also, keep in mind that processed beef products should be consumed in moderation, meaning this isn't one of the healthiest items at Dairy Queen that you will want to consume too frequently.

A hamburger is one of the healthiest items at Dairy Queen as it's under 350 calories
via Dairy Queen

6. Side Salad 

Of course, a list of the healthiest items at Dairy Queen would be remiss without a mention of the fresh side salad. You could grab this on its own (or make a larger meal by combining two side salads) or add it as a side with one of the other healthiest items at Dairy Queen.

This healthy choice features diced tomatoes and crunchy croutons on a bed of freshly cut lettuce, making for a refreshing and balancing palate cleanser as you enjoy your meal. The fresh vegetables provide a great source of vitamin A and also have some fiber.

At only 25 calories in total (without dressing), it makes sense that this nourishing option is one of the healthiest items at Dairy Queen. As an added perk, this item is also one of the tastiest vegetarian fast food items you can find around. If you want some extra protein (and aren't vegetarian), you could add an order of chicken strips. Opt for ranch dressing and you'll have a convenient dish resembling a Caesar salad.

A salad with lettuce, tomatoes and croutons
via Dairy Queen

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7. Strawberry Banana Smoothie 

With two fruits in its very name, there’s no question that the strawberry banana smoothie is among the healthiest items at Dairy Queen. This drink can be ordered as a premium fruit smoothie or an original Orange Julius. 

The smoothie is a little lower in calories at 260, 350 or 440 for small, medium and large, respectively. The Orange Julius variation has 330 calories for a small, 460 for a medium and 670 for a large, meaning you may want to go for a smaller size with this version of the banana and strawberry drink.

As some of the healthiest Dairy Queen items on the menu, both beverages have low fat and sodium, plus lots of vitamins from the fruit. However, being all fruit-based, the sugar content can be quite high, so this probably isn't a beverage you want to consume daily.

A pink smoothie in a Dairy Queen cup
via Dairy Queen

8. Mango Pineapple Smoothie 

Another of the healthiest items at Dairy Queen that’s a smoothie is the mango pineapple smoothie. This premium fruit smoothie blends tangy pineapple, sweet mango, creamy low-fat yogurt and sweetener to finish. The fruit and yogurt offer nutrients like protein and calcium to create a filling snack between meals. 

With its bright yellow shade, this fruity tropical drink is undoubtedly one of the healthiest items at Dairy Queen that’s also delicious and refreshing. It’s slightly lower in calories than the strawberry and banana version as well, with 250 calories for a small, 330 for a medium and 420 for a large. 

Smoothies are some of the healthiest items at Dairy Queen
via Dairy Queen

9. Tripleberry Smoothie 

To round out the drinks on this list of the healthiest items at Dairy Queen, the Tripleberry smoothie deserves a mention. This premium fruit smoothie includes an impressive blend of real strawberries, raspberries and blackberries along with low-fat yogurt and sweetener. While it’s not a regular item and only available at certain locations, this is definitely one of the healthiest items at Dairy Queen that you must try if it's on offer.

Just like the smoothies mentioned above, the fruit and yogurt ingredients make this item a great source of protein, calcium, vitamin C and fiber. It’s also relatively low in calories at 280 for a small, 370 for a medium and 440 for a large. There is an extra large version, but at 660 calories, you may find it takes up too much of your daily calorie intake. 

A purple berry smoothie in a Dairy Queen cup
via Dairy Queen

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10. Dilly Bar 

The Dilly Bar is up next on our list of the healthiest items at Dairy Queen. This classic frozen dessert is a popsicle of refreshing vanilla soft-serve inside a candy shell. While it’s not a regular item and only available at specific locations, the locations that do offer it will usually have delicious candy coating options like chocolate, cherry and butterscotch. 

Served since 1955 and clocking in at only 220 calories, this is undoubtedly one of the healthiest items that Dairy Queen has to offer when it comes to sweet desserts after a delicious meal. Some locations also have a non-dairy Dilly Bar if you’re looking for the best vegan fast food desserts.

A Dilly Bar is a classic treat that is one of the healthiest items at Dairy Queen
via Dairy Queen

11. Strawberry Sundae 

Sweet and simple, the small strawberry sundae is definitely one of the healthiest items at Dairy Queen for those craving a sweet treat. Ordering this fast food dessert will get you a cup of creamy soft-serve topped with a gorgeous drizzle of strawberry topping, which includes real fruit pieces. 

Compared to other toppings, the strawberry version has fewer calories overall. In fact, when it comes to the sundae category of the menu, this sundae has the least calories at 240 calories for one sundae. That makes it deserving of a spot among some of the healthiest items at Dairy Queen. If fruit toppings aren’t your thing, the chocolate sundae is only an extra 30 calories, with the hot fudge and caramel variations both having 300 calories in total.

A soft serve ice cream sundae with strawberry sauce
via Dairy Queen

12. Mini Blizzards

If you want to treat yourself to a classic Blizzard while going for the healthiest item at Dairy Queen in this category, opting for a mini version is the best option. Total calories, fat and sugar will depend on the flavor you choose, but there are some relatively low-calorie (for a dessert) options like the Picnic Peach Cobbler or Snickers flavors at 350 calories or Oreo at 380 calories. 

When you keep in mind that a small, which is the next size up, has close to double the calories of a mini Blizzard, you’ll realize that this is the healthiest option when you’re craving this classic DQ treat. If you’ve tried most of the Blizzard flavors, you can also find lots of fun combinations on the Dairy Queen secret menu, many of which may be healthier than the regular menu Blizzards. 

Three Dairy Queen Blizzard ice cream treats in blue cups
via Dairy Queen

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13. Kid’s Ice Cream Cone

Another of the healthiest items at Dairy Queen for those with sweet treat cravings is an ice cream cone in the kids’ size. You can get DQ’s famous vanilla soft serve in a wafer cone for only 160 calories. Alternatively, the chocolate-dipped cone is 200 calories or you can try the confetti cake version with 210 calories. Being ice cream desserts, these all have quite a high sugar content, and interestingly, around 70 mg of sodium per treat. 

Again, if you want a sweet ice cream treat from Dairy Queen, while not healthy, the kid’s size ice cream cone is without a doubt near the top of the list for healthiest desserts at Dairy Queen. With this option, the jump from kids’ size to a small isn’t as bad as with the Blizzards. A small ice cream cone has 220 calories for the vanilla version and 320 for the other two. For the most part, the ice cream cones are the healthiest items at Dairy Queen on the desserts menu.

A vanilla soft serve ice cream cone
via Dairy Queen

14. Kids’ Meal

We’ve already mentioned a few specific items that can be ordered in kids’ size, but another healthy option at Dairy Queen if you’re looking for a quick and low-calorie meal on the go is to opt for a full kids’ meal. 

You can get a hamburger, chicken strips or a hot dog (with chicken strips being the healthiest choice of the three), plus a healthy side like a banana or applesauce and your choice of bottled water or a milk carton. A dessert can also be included, with options like a kids’ ice cream cone, Dilly Bar or dairy-free Dilly Bar.

The total calories for this item will be between 420 and about 650, depending on which dishes you opt for. Sodium and fat can also be a little high, but both are much lower than if you ordered a similar meal from the regular menu. 

A kids' meal is one of the healthiest items at Dairy Queen
via Dairy Queen

Learn To Cook Healthy Dishes at Home 

While this collection of the healthiest items at Dairy Queen is helpful to keep in mind for the next time you find yourself at this beloved food chain, you can also create a healthier lifestyle by learning to cook nutritious dishes at home.

One of the best ways to do this is by exploring some cooking classes near you. If you’re interested but want to learn these skills from the comfort of your own home, taking one of many online cooking classes is the perfect solution. Taught by expert chefs, these comprehensive classes can help bring your cooking skills to the next level so that you can enjoy a healthier and more fulfilling diet.

The next time you’re craving a snack or meal on the go, this list of the healthiest items at Dairy Queen is sure to come in useful. Whether you want something savory or sweet, big or small, there are many relatively healthy options available at this popular fast food chain.

For even more ways to explore your favorite foods, check out other experiences happening on Cozymeal.