Did you know that the most fattening salads can contain more calories (and more of them from fat) than a bacon cheeseburger? We see the word “salad” and automatically think “healthy,” but in some cases, that’s just not the case, especially when you’re dining at a big chain restaurant. Whose menus feature these diet disasters, the most fattening salads? Let’s find out…
1. Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad
Calories from fat: 882 (98g)
I almost choked on my green tea when I read that calorie count — that’s half the calories you’re supposed to consume in an entire day, right there in this salad, landing it at the top of my list of the most fattening salads. Cut out more than half the fat by ordering it without the dressing.
2. California Pizza Kitchen Moroccan-Spiced Chicken Salad
Calories from fat: 739 (82g)
With several of their salads containing more than 1000 calories, California Pizza Kitchen is what I call a multiple offender. This particular salad, though, is the worst of the bunch, with tying with Applebee’s in number of calories, though slightly lower in fat. If you just can’t pass on this salad, share it (and half the calories) with a friend.
3. Chili’s Chicken Quesadilla Explosion Salad
Calories from fat: 801 (89g)
This salad is horrifyingly fattening, more so than the others because it contains grilled chicken, which may fool people into thinking it’s healthy. A better salad, with about half the calories, but just as much flavor, would be the Caribbean salad with shrimp. It’s still pretty calorie-rich, but it’s a much better choice.
4. Baja Fresh Chicken Caesar Salad with Black Beans & Flour Tortilla Strips
Calories from fat: 345 (37g)
Don’t let the grilled chicken and black beans fool you: this isn’t a healthy salad by a long shot. Yes, it’s lower in fat than most of the other salads on my list, but it’s still loaded with calories and sodium (3190g). Make this salad a little healthier by opting out of the tortilla strips and the Cotija cheese.
5. Ruby Tuesday Carolina Chicken Salad
Calories from fat: 414 (46g)
With such a tiny salad menu (only three!), I was surprised that Ruby Tuesday offers another of the most calorie-rich, fattening salads. Order it without the dressing, or at least order the dressing on the side, so you can choose how much you want to add (along with its calories)… or better yet, just order the sliced tomatoes with balsamic vinaigrette, with only 52 calories, and one gram of fat — lots of zing, a little calories.
6. PF Chang’s Thai Chicken Noodle Salad
Calories from fat: 342 (38g)
I love P.F. Chang’s, but I won’t order this salad! It’s tasty, sure, but so is their Thai Basil Green Salad w/Ginger Lime Vinaigrette, and it only has 140 calories, and less than 5 grams of fat. What a difference!
7. Outback Steakhouse Aussie Chicken Cobb Salad, Crispy Chicken
Calories from fat: 482 (54g)
Though few of us would expect a healthy meal at Outback, I was shocked at how fattening and calorie-rich this Cobb salad is! Bear in mind, this calorie count doesn’t include the dressing, should you choose to add it. Want to cut out about 225 of those calories from fat, and bring the overall calorie count to 526? Order the salad with grilled chicken instead of “crispy” (breaded and fried).
8. Panera Bread Steak and Bleu Cheese Chopped Salad
Calories from fat: 490 (54g)
Holy moly, that’s a lot of calories, and a lot of fat! If you love this salad, then cut out 180 calories (170 of them from fat!) by ordering it without the bleu cheese vinaigrette. Also consider asking for it without the Gorgonzola crumbles, which will save you another 130 calories, 90 of those from fat.
I wanted to see what the calorie counts were for the salads from The Cheesecake Factory, but they don’t publish their calorie counts on their website (!) so I’m assuming their salads are just as bad… as if these salads’ calorie counts weren’t shocking enough! I was so surprised at how fattening and unhealthy these salads are! Which of these salads have you eaten before, and will you eat it again? Or is there another surprisingly fattening salad you’ve heard of, that should make my list? Please share!