Mendocino Farms offers a variety of fresh, seasonal salads made with high-quality ingredients. One of their most popular salads is the Chinese Chicken Salad. This salad features chopped romaine lettuce, napa cabbage, red cabbage, shredded carrots, sesame seeds, crispy wontons, and grilled chicken breast tossed in a soy ginger dressing.
According to the Mendocino Farms website, here are the nutrition facts for a regular size Chinese Chicken Salad:
So a regular Chinese Chicken Salad from Mendocino Farms contains 520 calories.
Calories in Each Ingredient
To better understand where those calories are coming from, let’s break down the nutrition information for each ingredient:
1 cup of shredded romaine lettuce has about 8 calories.
1 cup of shredded napa cabbage has about 14 calories.
1 cup of shredded red cabbage has about 28 calories.
1 cup of shredded carrots has about 45 calories.
1 tablespoon of sesame seeds has about 50 calories.
4 small wonton strips (about 1 oz) has about 95 calories.
A 6 oz grilled chicken breast has about 230 calories.
Soy Ginger Dressing
2 tablespoons of Mendocino Farms soy ginger dressing has about 90 calories.
Adding up the calories from each ingredient:
- Romaine lettuce: 8 calories
- Napa cabbage: 14 calories
- Red cabbage: 28 calories
- Carrots: 45 calories
- Sesame seeds: 50 calories
- Crispy wontons: 95 calories
- Chicken breast: 230 calories
- Soy ginger dressing: 90 calories
The total calories come out to approximately 560. This aligns closely with the 520 calories listed on the Mendocino Farms website.
Factors that Influence Calories
There are a few factors that can cause the calories in a Chinese Chicken Salad to vary slightly:
The nutrition information is based on a regular salad portion at Mendocino Farms. Salads are available in small and large sizes too, which would alter the calories.
Adding any extra toppings like avocado, crispy noodles, or extra dressing would add more calories to the salad.
Using more or less dressing than the standard 2 tablespoons would raise or lower the calories.
If the chicken breast portion differs from the estimated 6 oz, the calories would be higher or lower.
Swapping any ingredients for higher or lower calorie options would also change the overall calorie count.
Weighed vs Estimated
There can be natural variability in calories when ingredients are weighed vs estimated.
Ways to Lower Calories
For those looking to lower the calories in their Chinese Chicken Salad, here are some modification suggestions:
- Order a small salad instead of a regular or large
- Use just 1 tablespoon of dressing instead of 2
- Skip the crispy wontons
- Choose grilled chicken instead of crispy chicken
- Ask for the salad with no cheese
- Substitute napa cabbage for some of the higher calorie red cabbage
- Opt for just 1 oz of sesame seeds instead of 2 tablespoons
- Request fewer avocado slices if added
Making some of these swaps can help reduce the calories, fat, and carbs in the salad.
Higher Calorie Options
On the other hand, if you’re looking to increase the calorie content, consider these higher calorie options:
- Upgrade to a large salad
- Add crispy wontons and crispy noodles
- Choose crispy chicken instead of grilled chicken
- Add extra cheese like feta or parmesan
- Use full-fat dressing rather than low-fat dressing
- Top with avocado slices or peanut sauce
- Mix in edamame or cashews for extra protein and healthy fats
Choosing some of these higher calorie ingredients can boost the calories, protein, and nutritional value of the salad.
While the calorie count is important to be mindful of, the Mendocino Farms Chinese Chicken Salad does provide many nutritional benefits, including:
- Protein – from the chicken breast as well as eggs in the wontons. Protein helps fill you up, builds and repairs muscle, and provides lasting energy.
- Healthy fats – primarily from the dressing, sesame seeds, and avocado if added. The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats support heart health.
- Fiber – from the variety of cabbage, lettuce, carrots and wontons. Fiber slows digestion to stabilize blood sugar levels.
- Vitamins and minerals – the fresh produce like cabbage, carrots and lettuce provide a range of vitamins like A, C, K as well as potassium and manganese.
- Antioxidants – from ingredients like carrots, cabbage, sesame seeds and ginger dressing. These help counter inflammation and oxidative stress.
While watching calories, be sure not to miss out on all the valuable vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, and antioxidants this nutrient-packed salad provides.
Cooking at Home
To recreate the flavors of the Mendocino Farms Chinese Chicken Salad at home, follow this recipe:
- 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 2 cups shredded napa cabbage
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 4 oz grilled chicken breast, sliced or diced
- 2 tablespoons soy ginger dressing (store-bought or homemade)
- 2-4 small crunchy chow mein noodles
- 1 tablespoon crispy wonton strips
- In a large bowl, combine the romaine, napa cabbage, red cabbage, carrots and sesame seeds.
- Add the cooked chicken breast on top.
- Drizzle the soy ginger dressing over the salad.
- Top with crunchy noodles and wonton strips.
- Toss everything gently until combined and coated in dressing.
- Enjoy immediately for maximum crunch and freshness.
Making this homemade allows you to control the portion sizes, ingredients and dressings to meet your own nutrition goals.
A regular Chinese Chicken Salad from Mendocino Farms contains approximately 520 calories. This comes from the combination of vitamin-rich produce, sesame seeds, wontons, chicken breast, and soy ginger dressing. There are many ways to adjust the salad to make it lower or higher in calories, fat, and carbs. While keeping calories in mind, be sure to enjoy all the nutritious benefits this salad has to offer. Recreate the flavors at home by following the simple recipe using your favorite fresh ingredients.