The Top 10 Worst Restaurant Salads


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/5/2013 6:00 AM   :  399 comments   :  313,302 Views

Everyone loves a top 10 list and many of them provide a good chuckle or two. Today we bring you a more serious top 10 list that instead of a chuckle, may make your gasp. Why? Here are 10 seemingly innocent salads that contain more than 1,000 calories each!

Here is a top 10 list of some of the worst restaurant salads you just might be eating.

Number 10

Romano's Macaroni Grill Chicken Florentine Salad – 1,020 calories/17 grams/2,830 mg sodium

Number 9

Quiznos Chicken Caesar Flatbread Salad – 1,020 calories/69 grams fat/2,120 mg sodium

Number 8

Quiznos Roasted Chicken Flatbread Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing – 1,070 calories/71 grams fat/1,770 mg sodium

Number 7

Chili's Boneless Buffalo Chicken Salad – 1,070 calories/77 grams fat/4,380 mg sodium

Number 6

Chili's Southwestern Cobb Salad – 1,080 calories/71 grams/2,650 mg sodium

Number 5

Ruby Tuesday's Carolina Chicken Salad – 1,129 calories/71 grams fat

Number 4

Baja Fresh Charbroiled Steak Tostada Salad – 1,230 calories/63 grams fat/2,380 mg sodium

Number 3

Chili's Quesadilla Explosion Salad – 1,390 calories/89 grams fat/2,710 mg sodium

Number 2

Chevy's Fresh Mex Grilled Fajita Salad made with Chicken, Carnitas, Shrimp or Steak - 1,450-1,620 calories/27-37 grams fat/1,570-2,530 mg sodium

And the Number 1 worst restaurant salad you may be eating is….

Chevy's Fresh Mex Tostada Salad with Chicken, Carnitas or Steak - 1,550-1,720 calories/37-47 grams fat/2,480-3,310 mg sodium

Sometimes you eat at restaurants that do not provide nutrition information for their recipes. You can evaluate how healthy a salad is based on the ingredients it includes to help you make a wise choice.

Be honest – which one of these salads have you had? Are there any on the list that surprised you? Are there others over 1,000 calories that we missed?

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  • 399
    I make my own salads at home. Way cheaper and I know what's in them. - 6/20/2016   12:27:29 PM
  • 398
    I have KNOWINGLY eaten the Carolina Chicken Salad and the Southwestern Cobb. I just LOVE them, and so I budget for them and splurge! - 6/16/2016   7:31:42 PM
  • 397
    I get Togo's asian chicken salad (190 calories). The dressing is 370 calories, so I use 1/4 to 1/2 of the amount they provide. - 10/7/2015   12:54:08 PM
    I had a Grilled Shrimp and Spinach Salad at Applebee's Saturday night thinking I was doing so well on my diet....HA Not only loaded with calories but carbs also!
    I am doing low carb so I figured the Bacon vinegarette would be fine...WRONG! 48 CARBS! - 10/5/2015   4:02:20 PM
  • 395
    These are perfect examples of why I choose to not eat out very often... they use the word salad and people think "healthy" when its not. - 10/5/2015   9:56:12 AM
  • 394
    most restaurant food is over the top with sodium and the calories can be ridiculous. I have gotten in the habit of checking them out on line first since I really do not eat a lot of salt and have not for almost 40 years. I have even been known to e-mail restaurant chains to discuss the menu items. People think they are getting healthy food choices because of marketing techniques but lots of hidden dangers in most restaurant food. Even Chipotle Grill having gone organic... way too high in the sodium and they told me that would not be changing... so I told them I would not be eating at their restaurant. I have even asked some "in good conscience, how can you promote these items and healthier choices when a large portion of America is either diabetic or prediabetic and the sodium is really not good for them?" - the response... NONE!!! - 9/17/2015   3:04:54 PM
  • 393
    Kind of shocked to see that Chevy's fajita salads is over 1,000+ calories especially when the portion size is kinda small (unless the dressing plays a big part of it). Might as well just order their plain fajita dish on its own! - 4/2/2015   10:28:35 PM
  • 392
    How many of those salad calorie counts include the dressing? It would be nice to include counts w/ and w/o the dressing.

    Note to save calories: have the dressing on the side. Stick your fork in the dressing, then stab the lettuce onto your fork. It won't be as flavorful at first but when you get used to it, it tastes pretty good.

    Ask them to leave off the fried tortilla strips, too. - 4/2/2015   2:39:55 PM
  • 391
    If the name is complicated it is a signal and designed to lure you into believing you are having a healthy meal. - 4/2/2015   1:18:41 PM
  • 390
    Oh my God! Salad is always my go to meal in restaurants. It just goes to show you their is salad and then their is salad. - 4/2/2015   10:07:32 AM
  • 389
    I've never had any of those salads. I typically don't eat salads in restaurants because I usually go for hot food, but it's good to know to stay away from these. - 2/6/2015   4:30:11 PM
  • 388
    NNNNNOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! The quesadilla explosion salad is my favorite!!! BUT! I'm wondering if mine is different (please say yes)!? I order the lunch portion, do not get the dressing it comes with and I opt for their house dressing, and ALWAYS have them put sliced avocado on it. It's just so yummy! - 9/3/2014   9:04:17 AM
  • 387
    I knew that chilis quesadilla explosion salad was going to be on that list. My family loves Chilis and it's one of the hardest places to find heathy option, though I know they have a few now. - 8/17/2014   9:11:02 AM
    Why don't they ever post the carbs ? To me, carbs are the most important. they are the hardest to burn, and retain the longest. Seriously, people eat bread and load on cranberries. People need to understand carbs are the # 1 reason for weight gain. - 8/16/2014   11:13:43 PM
  • 385
    I get salads at Salsarita's and Moe's because I can tell them exactly what I want on it and their websites have a nutrition builder where I can type in what I am having and they add it right up for me. - 8/16/2014   9:43:34 PM
    I get the Grilled Chicken Salad at Chilis. Yummy. I don't remember the nutritional info but it's a lot healthier than the salads mentioned here. I get it without the corn and bean salsa because I prefer it that way. I get the dressing, which is a lime vinaigrette and a little sweet, but nutrition is still not bad. - 8/15/2014   9:07:56 PM
    We rarely eat out now. I used to like the Fajita Salad at On The Border with salsa instead of dressing but it makes me so thirsty afterwards that I cannot eat it anymore. What is the reason the sodium is so high in these salads? What every it is I'd love to know so I can stay away from it! - 8/15/2014   5:48:13 PM
  • 382
    I do eat out and I have no problem finding salads that are 230 cal or less. Wendy's strawberry fields salad-no cheese, seeds, or dressing is delish. Many restaurants have interactive nutrition calculators so you can see the nutrition info and add or remove ingredients and see the results - these are my favorites. Look for salads with dark greens/spinach and skip the cheese, croutons, dressing and other high calorie items that we are all aware of and you can find salads that will keep you satisfied and on plan.. - 8/10/2014   9:09:03 PM
  • 381
    I make my own greek salad with home made salad dressing. And if I'm having it for dinner I add one chicken breast sliced on top. It is very filling and taste great. - 7/17/2014   9:48:37 AM
  • 380
    Glad I rarely eat out!!! - 6/26/2014   8:25:17 PM
  • 379
    i'm surprised at how many people are still choosing 'fat-free' dressing as a 'healthy' choice. that crap is loaded with sugar in addition to the weird stuff they put it to thicken it up. enjoy modest amounts of olive oil and leave the fat free alone. - 6/26/2014   9:32:33 AM
  • 378
    really the only place i'v bought a salad is denny's or mcdonalds hope their okay i cot the grilled chicken from denny's and the plain sid from micky d's - 6/25/2014   12:30:44 PM
  • 377
    My new fav is Wendy's Asian Cashew Chicken Salad. The half size comes in at only 230 calories. And since I usually use only half the dressing it comes down to about 210. The full size is great for dinner and under 500 calories. - 6/25/2014   10:55:33 AM
  • 376
    My favorite salad BEFORE I started looking at calorie/fat/sodium was always California Pizza Kitchen's Thai Crunch. They do offer a "half" version, but I used to get the full salad: 1230 calories, 83g fat, 1560mg sodium.
    Delicious, but deadly! - 6/25/2014   9:01:06 AM
  • 375
    Boston Pizza Crispy Chicken Pecan Salad! - 6/25/2014   8:37:48 AM

    Friday's Pecan-Crusted Chicken Salad has 1020 calories and 1650 sodium and a total fat count of 71. Loved it.... until I saw the numbers. - 6/25/2014   6:47:23 AM
  • 373
    These numbers are why I so rarely order salads at restaurants. Even when you are trying to make a good choice there are tons of added calories. It is getting harder and harder to find a good mixed green salad without the extra toppings that add all the calories.

    I'd rather spend 1000+ calories on pizza and a good drink! - 6/6/2014   11:08:38 PM
  • 372
    I've never had any of the salads listed. I found out this past week, however, that the McDonald's southwest salad with grilled chicken and the whole packet of southwest dressing is only 390 calories! It's my new go-to when I don't feel like chopping veggies or I'm running short on time. - 6/6/2014   9:36:58 AM
  • 371
    Zaxby's salads -- worst sodium content ever. - 5/19/2014   9:47:39 AM
  • 370
    I love the Chili's salad and I am not surprised that it is so high in calories. I will have to save that one for a "treat". - 6/7/2013   10:10:26 AM
    I make my own salad. I don't go out and buy salads. Glad I don't looking at all those calories. - 6/5/2013   11:45:31 AM
  • 368
    I love the quesadilla explosion salad from Chili's but four or five years ago I learned about the nutritional values and that was it for me. I can't eat a whole days worth of calories in one meal. - 4/28/2013   1:20:52 PM
  • 367
    I love the quesadilla explosion salad from Chili's but four or five years ago I learned about the nutritional values and that was it for me. I can't eat a whole days worth of calories in one meal. - 4/28/2013   1:20:51 PM
  • 366
    This is shocking to me. I don't eat at any of these places, but I used to be a regular McDonald's guest. I thought I was making the right choices. Now the only time I go to McDonald's is to stop for a black coffee. Personally, I have learned the best way to judge the healthiness of a salad someplace is to think about where I am. Chili's and Ruby Tuesday? Really? If you walk in those places, counting calories is the least of your troubles. - 4/19/2013   11:54:50 AM
  • 365
    I didn't see Taco Bell salad in there I love their salad I know their salad have to be up there but all them salad you all had there do sound good . - 3/24/2013   9:49:25 PM
  • JILLO137
    Omg...!! I never thought any kind of salad could have sooooo much calories!! - 3/17/2013   9:49:36 PM
    Gasp! - 3/17/2013   6:10:55 PM
  • 362
    I have never eaten salads at any of these places. I prefer homemade because I have to watch my sodium intake. I'm appalled at these numbers! - 2/11/2013   9:48:51 PM
  • 361
    Wish I had read this article before ordering the Chili's Quesadilla Explosion Salad today. Good news is that I didn't eat the Quesadilla's, had 1/2 the salad for lunch and the other 1/2 for dinner and only used a small amount of dressing on the side. I will make a wiser decision next time. - 6/24/2012   8:38:17 PM
  • 360
    Never had any of those salads, never been to any of those places, hooray! - 6/24/2012   12:30:46 PM
    I love the Chili's Quesadilla Explosion. But I do make changes. I don't eat the quesadillas (most of the calories are probably in the cheese and flour). I ask them to leave off any cheeses on the salad. I also ask for dressing on the side. This makes it more tolerable for sodium and calories. - 12/13/2011   10:01:32 AM
  • 358
    WOW!!! That is a shame!!! I look at this stuff and I am not surprised I am obese. I never knew how horrible SALADS could be before SP. Nowadays, I normally ignore foods I can't find calories on. - 12/8/2011   4:24:34 PM
  • 357
    Wholly cow!!! I thankfully, have never eaten one of these salads. I've never even been to any of the restaurants. - 12/8/2011   4:17:17 PM
  • 356
    Its these salads that cause people to say "you can't make healthy food taste good without making it unhealthy". Why can't restaurants understand that when we want a healthy option, we don't just want a "vegetable". If you deep-fry broccoli then cover it in cheese, it is not healthy anymore!
    That being said, these "unhealthiest salads" are calculated using the unhealthiest options available. I'm sure some of the toppings or dressings could be modified to make them at least reasonable as an eating-out choice. - 8/8/2011   12:30:11 PM
  • 355
    Once you start really looking at what you're eating at some these restuarants, it's shocking how much salt and fat is in the selections. - 4/10/2011   5:00:21 PM
  • 354
    Wow! I'm sad to say that I've eaten a couple of these in my past. (Not recently) I would typically only eat half of huge salads like this and get dressing on the side (fat free if possible), but even then, they are still far from being healthy with all of the 'toppings.' - 4/9/2011   4:43:55 PM
  • 353
    OMG! Most of these salads, would leave me with 200 calories or less left for the day. The #1 salad is actually more than my upper calorie level. - 2/5/2011   5:54:44 PM
  • SUNSET09
    When I eat out, I hardly ever select the salads as there are so many other good and healthy options ot choose from. I enjoy the normal lettuce, tomato, carrots, cucumber and feta cheese salads, real simple. Thanx for the knowledge! - 5/10/2010   7:45:25 PM
  • 351
    I use to eat the Quiznos FlatBread Ceaser. While on Weight Watchers, I saw how many points one of those would cost me I decided I would stick to simple garden salads. - 5/10/2010   2:08:00 PM
    This made me nauseous, 1000+ for a salad! If your dieting thats at least half your daily allowance, and for and oil drenched salad. I'd rather have a big mac if I'm going to be that unhealthy. - 5/10/2010   10:27:17 AM

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