It’s not always easy being a server at Chili’s and being health conscientious. After a long night at work and getting off late, it often only makes sense to order a to-go meal with my half price shift discount. With the many delicious and calorie filled options on the menu, I could easily let this become a distraction to my health and fitness goals, but understanding the menu and knowing the lighter options helps me steer away from the yummy, yet heavier and calorie dense choices. Note that the healthiest option is always to meal prep or cook at home, but with our busy schedules we don’t always have time for that. We also don’t have to blow our diets when dining out, so keep the options below in mind next time you find yourself at Chili’s, and you’ll go home feeling guiltless about what you ate.
Smoked Bone-In Chicken Wings
NUTRITION: 560 CALORIES. 31 g FAT. 17 g CARBS. 55 g PROTEIN.
It can be a tough decision choosing an appetizer to share between the table with the many popular options on the menu including the triple dipper, Texas cheese fries, and southwest egg rolls, but when your goal is to eat healthy, you will want to skip over these choices right away and opt for a lighter option. Your best bet is to order the smoked bone-in chicken wings. With under 600 calories and 55 g of protein, your party will be sure to enjoy this snack and still save room for a full meal and dessert ahead.
Healthiest Alcoholic Beverage
Skinny Patrón Margarita
NUTRITION: 110 CALORIES. 0 g FAT. 7 g CARBS. 0 g PROTEIN.
Thirsty Thursday may have you ready to cut loose and responsibly enjoy an alcoholic beverage. Chili’s has a full bar, but is known for their margarita’s, which have long held the crown as “America’s most ordered cocktail.” When ordering, choose the Skinny Patrón Margarita, with less than half the calories and almost three times fewer carbs than in the Chili’s Presidente Margarita, it will not disappoint.
Grilled Chicken Salad
NUTRITION: 440 CALORIES. 23 g FAT. 23 g CARBS. 37 g PROTEIN.
At under 500 calories, this grilled chicken salad is loaded with lean protein and great flavor in every bite. It is filled with corn, tomatoes, black bean salsa, shredded cheese, and topped with honey-lime vinaigrette. As an even lighter option, you may even opt to skip the honey-lime vinaigrette, and your meal will be reduced by 130 calories, 6 g carbs, and 12 g fat. It would take a 36 minute walk to burn off the 130 calories in the dressing.
Mini Molten Chocolate Cake
NUTRITION: 570 CALORIES. 25 g FAT. 82 g CARBS. 7 g PROTEIN.
None of the dessert options are truly “healthy,” but when in need of satisfying your sweet tooth, your best option is the mini molten chocolate cake. It is loaded with carbs at 82 grams and contains no nutritional value, but when shared among the table, it won’t completely throw all your nutritional goals out the window like the skillet cookie would, with well over 1,000 calories and almost 200 grams of carbs. Remember though to only splurge on dessert occasionally.
My Personal Favorite Healthy Meal
Margarita Grilled Chicken
NUTRITION: 650 CALORIES. 68 g CARBS. 17 g FAT. 55 g PROTEIN.
The margarita grilled chicken is my personal favorite. It is on the guiltless grill menu, and while it is the least healthy option on the healthy menu, it is high in protein and absolutely delicious. I find myself ordering this to take home almost every night. It is high in carbs, so for an even healthier version, order this meal without the tortilla strips, and replace the black beans with steamed broccoli.
“Food is not just eating energy, it’s an experience.”Guy Fieri
Next time you find yourself dining at Chili’s, I hope you remember these healthier options and give them a try! If you do try them, or another option on the Guiltless Grill menu, be sure to drop a comment and let me know your thoughts. Happy healthy dining!