How many calories are in a grilled Caesar salad from Zaxby’s?

A grilled Caesar salad from Zaxby’s contains between 320-750 calories, depending on the size and specific ingredients. The small size with grilled chicken contains around 320 calories, while the large size with fried chicken tenders can contain up to 750 calories. The exact calorie count depends on factors like dressing, croutons, and protein choice.

Some key questions about the calories in a Zaxby’s grilled Caesar salad include:

  • Does the size of the salad affect the calorie count?
  • Do different dressing choices change the calories?
  • What are the calories for grilled chicken vs fried chicken?
  • How many calories are in the croutons?
  • Does adding bacon or cheese increase the calories?

Calculating Calories in a Zaxby’s Grilled Caesar Salad

To determine the calories in a Zaxby’s grilled Caesar salad, we need to look at the nutrition information for each component and then add them together. The calorie range comes from different sizes, protein choices, dressings, and additional toppings.

Base Salad Calories

The base Caesar salad at Zaxby’s contains romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese, and croutons. According to Zaxby’s nutrition information:

  • A small side Caesar salad has 80 calories
  • A regular salad has 120 calories
  • A large salad has 220 calories

So the base salad calories range from 80 for a small side up to 220 calories for a large.

Dressing Calories

Zaxby’s offers a few dressing choices for their Caesar salads:

  • Light Caesar Dressing: 45 calories per 2 oz
  • Caesar Dressing: 140 calories per 2 oz
  • Blue Cheese Dressing: 160 calories per 2 oz

A full-size salad typically comes with around 4 oz of dressing. So the dressing can add:

  • 90 calories for Light Caesar
  • 280 calories for regular Caesar
  • 320 calories for Blue Cheese

Protein Calories

For the protein on a Caesar salad, Zaxby’s offers grilled chicken and fried chicken tenders. According to their nutrition info:

  • Grilled chicken (4 oz) = 140 calories
  • Fried chicken tenders (3 pieces) = 420 calories

So grilled chicken adds 140 calories, while fried tenders add 420 calories to the salad.

Additional Toppings

Some additional toppings that can be added to a Zaxby’s Caesar salad include:

  • Bacon: 45 calories for 2 slices
  • Extra Cheese: 50 calories for 1 oz shredded parmesan

So bacon can add about 90 calories, and extra cheese 50 calories more.

Calorie Ranges for Different Caesar Salads

Putting this all together, we can calculate calorie ranges for different Caesar salad options at Zaxby’s:

Salad Calories
Small Caesar Side Salad with Grilled Chicken ~320 calories
Regular Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken ~500 calories
Large Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken ~600 calories
Small Caesar with Fried Chicken Tenders ~520 calories
Large Caesar with Fried Chicken Tenders ~750 calories

As you can see, the small side Caesar salad with grilled chicken has around 320 calories. But the large sized salad with fried tenders, bacon, and extra cheese can contain up to 750 calories or more.

Factors Affecting Calories

In summary, here are some of the factors that affect the calorie count in a Zaxby’s grilled Caesar salad:

  • Salad size: Small vs regular vs large
  • Dressing choice: Light vs Caesar vs Blue Cheese
  • Protein: Grilled chicken vs fried chicken tenders
  • Extra toppings: Bacon, extra cheese

Choosing grilled chicken, a light dressing, and no extra toppings will result in the lowest calorie Caesar salad. Going for a large size, fried tenders, blue cheese dressing, bacon, and extra cheese leads to the highest calorie count.

Tips for a Lower Calorie Zaxby’s Caesar Salad

If you want to enjoy a tasty Caesar salad from Zaxby’s while limiting calories, here are some tips:

  • Choose the small Caesar side salad as your base
  • Opt for grilled chicken as the protein
  • Use light Caesar dressing instead of regular Caesar or blue cheese
  • Avoid extra bacon or cheese toppings
  • Request dressing on the side and use sparingly
  • Split a regular or large salad with a friend

Adopting some of these simple tweaks allows you to cut down the calorie count substantially while still enjoying the classic flavors of a Zaxby’s Caesar salad.

Nutritious Salad Additions

To make your Zaxby’s grilled Caesar salad even more nutritious and filling, consider adding any of the following lower calorie items:

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Sliced red onions
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Sliced avocado

These salad bar vegetables and toppings will boost the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in your salad without significantly increasing calories.

Comparing to Other Caesar Salad Options

Zaxby’s grilled Caesar salads provide a convenient fast food option for when you’re craving this classic salad. But how do they compare calorie-wise to Caesar salads from other restaurants or homemade?

Restaurant Caesar Salad Calories

Here’s how a regular size Zaxby’s grilled chicken Caesar stacks up against some other popular restaurants (without dressing or toppings):

Restaurant Caesar Salad Calories
Zaxby’s ~500
McDonald’s 490
Wendy’s 470
Subway 310
Panera Bread 490

Zaxby’s is very comparable to most major fast food chains. Only Subway’s Caesar comes in significantly lower due to smaller portion size.

Homemade Caesar Salad

Making Caesar salad at home allows you to control ingredients and portions for a lower calorie option:

  • Romaine lettuce – 20 calories per cup
  • Light dressing – 50 calories for 2 Tbsp
  • Grilled chicken breast – 140 calories for 4 oz
  • Parmesan cheese – 50 calories for 2 Tbsp
  • Croutons – 60 calories for 2 Tbsp

This equals around 320 calories total for a homemade Caesar salad with grilled chicken. You can further reduce calories by using less dressing, cheese, and croutons.


A grilled Caesar salad from Zaxby’s contains 320-750 calories depending on size and ingredients. Sticking with a small salad with grilled chicken, light dressing, and minimal toppings keeps calories on the lower end, around 320-500. While not the lowest calorie option, Zaxby’s Caesar can be a tasty and convenient choice for when you’re craving this classic salad.

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