The Super Salads of Fast-Food

The Super Salads of Fast-Food

Jonesing for a salad when you’re in a fast-food joint? Some of them aren’t all that good, unfortunately. But some taste great, while others are actually healthy as well. Try these salads in the following restaurants: 


Yes, some people actually come to this fast-casual Mexican restaurant for just the salads. You can, too, but only if you’re a fan of Mexican flavors. And you might just be, since a lot of people consider the salads at Chipotle as the best in the fast-food (and fast-casual) industry. 

In Chipotle, the salads are widely recognized as the healthiest options (along with the burrito bowls). And you can customize it, so you can make sure you have only the ingredients you want. And you can also make sure you don’t load up on too many calories. 

You start with the meat options, such as the carnitas, steak, chicken, and several more options. Then, you can add other ingredients including beans, veggies, salsas, corn, and cheese. 

Chipotle has done a great job making sure their salads still end up both tasty and healthy. They’ve chosen these ingredients carefully, and they’ve taken out the unnecessary additives and preservatives. 


Yes, you probably know that the chicken here is delicious. Then you won’t have any trouble realizing that they also offer terrific salads, when they feature the chicken (grilled or fried). 

More specifically, if you’re in the mood for salad at Chick-fil-A, you really should try the Spicy Southwest Salad. You start with mixed greens, tomatoes, cheese, and then you have the topping made from corn, black beans, poblano chiles, and bell peppers. They then serve this salad with little bags of tortilla strips and pepitas, plus the creamy salsa dressing. 

With the grilled chicken, you’re getting a salad at just 450 calories, and that’s already including the dressing. And if you’re more into the flavor and you can deal with the extra calories, you can replace the grilled chicken on this salad with the nuggets. Those nuggets really enhance the overall flavor of the salad, and you still won’t completely sacrifice a lot in terms of nutrition. 

Panera Bread

At Panera Bread, the main features are the sandwiches, soups, and salads. That means they really know how to do these things, and that includes the salad. 

Of all the salads here, you really should consider the Asian Sesame Chicken Salad. It’s loaded with protein and reasonably low in calories, and that’s factoring in the dressing. It’s absolutely delicious. It may not be totally perfect, as it doesn’t have too many veggies with just cilantro and romaine. 

But when it comes to texture and flavor, it’s great. The perfectly grilled chicken is a great match with the crispy romaine and the zesty dressing. It’s a light dish, but it’s still filling. It’s not just a salad, it’s basically an experience to remember. 


The place is famous for its fried chicken, but it’s also steadily gaining a solid reputation for its salads. If you ever visit here, you should start with the Grilled Cobb Zalad (yes, that’s what they call their salads). It only has 440 calories, 8g of sugar, and 9g of saturated fat, while you’re getting up to 52g of protein. That’s more protein than a lot of burgers out there. 

Sure, it does have quite a bit of sodium. But then again, that’s a problem with most salads (or even with just about everything) when it comes to fast food. 


Here, you have 2 options for your salad. If you’re into just the flavor, then you have to go with the popular Apple Pecan Chicken Salad. It might be low in calories (even with the dressing counted in), but you do get lots of sodium, fat, and sugar. But for just the flavor, it’s fantastic. 

But if you’re really serious about your health, then go with the Apple Cranberry. It only has 421 calories, and they still minimize the sodium to just 840mg while you still get the 29g of protein. With the grilled chicken, lettuce blend, crisp apple chips, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, Italian cheese, and Pomegranate Vinaigrette dressing, you’re still get a lot of flavor. 

Newk’s Eatery

Newk’s is famous for its wide range of items, mainly fast-casual staples and comfort foods. And of course, they have this fantastic condiment bar called the “Roundtable” where the condiments simply make anything even better. Add the place’s insistence on fresh ingredients and freshly prepared meals, and it’s a great place for everyone. 

Here they offer boxed lunches, which contain some sort of salad. You might have a problem if you have to pick the salad yourself, since you have 28 of them to choose from. 

You can always go with Newk’s Favorite Salad, and it might become your favorite as well. You have mixed greens, grilled chicken, gorgonzola cheese, dried cranberries, grapes, artichoke hearts, pecans, and croutons tossed with sherry vinaigrette, and it’s just tasty. 

The Ultimate Salad has all-natural chicken, bacon, ham, turkey, mixed greens, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, cheddar, croutons, all tossed with honey mustard dressing. Or you can go with the Garden Salad, featuring mixed greens with grape tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, cheddar, herbed croutons, and your choice of dressing. 

With these salads, it’s all about feeling full while getting great flavors with your salad. 

About Ashley Rosa

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