For many people trying to watch their calorie intake or follow a healthy diet, knowing the calorie counts of menu items at popular chain restaurants like Applebee’s is important. Applebee’s offers a diverse menu with American classics like burgers and pasta dishes, as well as Tex-Mex inspired options like fajitas and quesadillas. One of their Tex-Mex choices is the Fiesta Lime Chicken – grilled chicken breasts topped with chili lime sauce, house-made pico de gallo, tortilla strips, and lime wedges, served with cilantro lime rice and sautéed peppers and onions. But how many calories are actually in Applebee’s Fiesta Lime Chicken entrée? Let’s take a detailed look at the nutritional breakdown.
Calories in Fiesta Lime Chicken Without Sides
The Fiesta Lime Chicken entrée comes with two main components – the grilled chicken breasts topped with the chili lime sauce, pico de gallo, tortilla strips, and lime wedges, and the sides of cilantro lime rice and sautéed peppers and onions. First looking just at the chicken breast portion, without the sides, a Fiesta Lime Chicken entrée at Applebee’s contains approximately 320 calories.
This is based on Applebee’s own nutrition information for the standard grilled chicken entrée. Two grilled chicken breasts contain 260 calories. When you add the chili lime sauce, pico de gallo, tortilla strips, and lime wedges, this adds approximately 60 additional calories to the entrée for a total of 320 calories in just the chicken breast portion itself.
Nutrition Breakdown for Fiesta Lime Chicken (without sides)
|2 Grilled Chicken Breasts
|Chili Lime Sauce
|Pico de Gallo
As you can see, while the chicken itself is relatively low calorie, the additions like the tortilla strips, sauce, and pico de gallo boost up the calories a bit. Still, at 320 calories for just the chicken, this remains a relatively healthy entrée if you are watching your calorie intake.
Calories in Sides – Cilantro Lime Rice and Sautéed Vegetables
In addition to the Fiesta Lime Chicken itself, the entrée comes with two side dishes – cilantro lime rice and sautéed peppers and onions. Each of these adds additional calories to your meal.
The cilantro lime rice side contains approximately 160 calories in a standard side portion size at Applebee’s. Rice contains a moderate amount of calories and the lime juice or other seasonings add minimally to the total.
The sautéed peppers and onions side dish contains approximately 50 calories for a typical serving. Onions and bell peppers are low calorie vegetables, making this a light side option.
So in total for both side dishes together, you are getting about 210 additional calories.
Nutrition Breakdown for Sides
|Cilantro Lime Rice
|Sautéed Peppers and Onions
Total Calories in Fiesta Lime Chicken with Sides
Putting this all together – the 320 calories in the Fiesta Lime Chicken itself, plus the 210 calories for the two side dishes – the total calorie count for a full Fiesta Lime Chicken entrée at Applebee’s comes out to approximately 530 calories.
This offers a moderate calorie meal, considering it contains both the protein from the grilled chicken breasts, carbohydrates from the rice, and additional nutrients from the sautéed vegetables. It can fit well into a daily calorie target around 2000 calories per day.
Total Nutrition Breakdown for Fiesta Lime Chicken with Sides
|Fiesta Lime Chicken
|Cilantro Lime Rice
|Sautéed Peppers and Onions
So in summary, a full order of Fiesta Lime Chicken with the cilantro lime rice and sautéed peppers and onions sides contains about 530 calories total. This makes it a solid medium-calorie meal for those looking for Tex-Mex flavors while keeping calories in check.
Ways to Reduce Calories in Fiesta Lime Chicken
If you are looking for ways to lighten up the Fiesta Lime Chicken entrée, there are a few simple options:
- Order a single chicken breast instead of two – this cuts the chicken calories in half
- Skip the cilantro lime rice and order a side salad instead
- Ask for steamed veggies instead of sautéed
- Order corn tortillas instead of regular flour tortillas
- Use a bit of the sauce instead of getting it on the whole dish
- Skip the tortilla strips and lime wedges as garnish
Making some of these swaps allows you to remove 200-300 calories from the total meal, while still enjoying the core flavors of lime, chicken, and Mexican spices.
If you do make some lower calorie substitutions, you can get the total meal down to around 300-400 calories while still filling up on a generous portion of food.
Fiesta Lime Chicken Nutrition Facts
To summarize, here are some of the key nutrition facts for Applebee’s Fiesta Lime Chicken entrée:
- Serving Size: 1 entree with chicken and sides
- Total Calories: Approximately 530 calories
- Total Fat: 15g
- Protein: 47g
- Carbohydrates: 59g
- Sodium: 2,100mg
It provides protein from lean chicken, fiber from the rice and vegetables, and a range of nutrients. It’s a balanced meal that can fit into a healthy diet in moderation. Limiting some of the high sodium additions can make it even healthier.
Comparing Fiesta Lime Chicken to Other Applebee’s Options
How does the Fiesta Lime Chicken entrée compare calories-wise to some other options at Applebee’s? Here is a quick comparison:
|Applebee’s Menu Item
|Fiesta Lime Chicken
|Classic Bacon Cheeseburger
|Chicken Tenders Platter (4 pc)
|Classic Fajitas (chicken)
As you can see, while not Applebee’s lowest calorie choice, the Fiesta Lime Chicken clocks in well under dishes like burgers, fajitas, shrimp, and chicken tenders. For the large portion size with rice and veggies, it’s a fairly balanced moderate calorie option on the menu.
Tips for Dining Out and Making Healthy Choices
The Fiesta Lime Chicken is one example of how you can enjoy delicious flavors dining out while still maintaining your health goals. Here are some additional tips for making healthy choices when eating at restaurants like Applebee’s:
- Review nutrition information online and choose lighter options with grilled protein, veggies
- Request dressings and sauces on the side
- Ask for substitutions like salad instead of fries, or broccoli instead of creamed spinach
- Practice portion control – split meals or take half home
- Avoid deep fried and heavily breaded options
- Stick to water or unsweetened tea instead of soda, juices, shakes
- Balance your meal with veggie sides and eat slowly to feel full
Choosing home cooking is typically the healthiest, but dining out 1-2 times per week shouldn’t derail your diet if you practice these tips. Analyze nutrition info, make smart swaps, control portions, and balance indulgences with lighter choices.
Applebee’s Fiesta Lime Chicken provides a solid lighter option for those watching their calories and fat while dining out. With approximately 530 calories for the entire meal including the chicken, rice, and veggies, it fits well into a balanced diet. Compare nutrition info, make healthy substitutions where possible, control portions, and balance the meal with activity – and you can enjoy these Tex-Mex flavors without overdoing your daily calorie intake. Analyze the nutrition numbers, make smart choices, and don’t be afraid to customize your order. With planning andbalance, you can eat out and still meet your nutrition goals.