When you think about ordering a meal from Chick-fil-A, is salad the first thing that comes to mind? Probably not, but the fast food chain is hoping to change your mind about that. Chick-fil-A is working hard to provide healthy options for the on-the-go consumer, taking their cue from restaurants like Chipotle and Panera Bread. After years of testing, they believe they have landed on the perfect salad dressing recipes to position themselves at the top of the fast food salad game.
In order to keep costs down, U.S. fast food and so-called "fast casual" restaurant chains have gained a reputation for feeding us less-than-healthy food options, even when it comes to veggie-packed menu items. But some of them are working hard to flip this reputation around. This year, we've seen their marketing campaigns and news briefs reflecting this change. The biggest news this year comes from the commitment to using antibiotic-free meats and a more conscious sourcing of ingredients.
In a survey done earlier this year, Chick-fil-A earned a "B" on the Chain Reaction II Survey and Scorecard, landing it in the top five fast food chains making responsible choices. This reflects their noticeable attempts to reduce antibiotics in their chicken. This year, they converted "more than 23 percent of its chicken supply to chicken raised entirely without antibiotics."
So it's no surprise to see chicken featured prominently on their salad menu. Each salad has the choice of grilled and fried options. But it's not just the chicken that makes the salad - each option comes with a surprising two dressing choices. Chick-fil-A has consciously paired two salad dressings with each salad, making their options a step above the competition. Christy Cook, a food technologist at Chick-fil-A's test kitchen, says "one dressing pairing is a lighter option, while the other is more indulgent."
So let's take a look at our exciting options!
1. The Market Salad
The Market Salad is Chick-fil-A's go-to salad option. This superfood rich salad will satisfy your taste buds and keep you full. The lean protein of grilled chicken breast, antioxidant-rich blueberries, strawberries and green apples sit on top of a fresh bed of mixed greens. It's also served with crunchy, harvest nut granola and a roasted nut blend.
Salad dressing options include Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette for a full-flavored option, or the low-calorie Light Balsamic dressing with real balsamic vinegar sweetened with orange juice.
2. The Cobb Salad
The Cobb Salad is Chick-fil-A's best-selling salad, packed with crispy, sliced Chick-fil-A nuggets, Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese, corn kernels, bacon, grape tomatoes and hard-boiled eggs. The salad dressing options include the most popular dressing on the menu - the Avocado Lime Ranch Dressing.
The only thing that could possibly make ranch better is adding creamy avocado to the mix! For a leaner option, go for the deliciously tangy flavor of the Fat-Free Honey Mustard dressing. You can also swap in a grilled filet or grilled nuggets instead.
3. The Spicy Southwest Salad
The zesty Chick-fil-A salad option is almost too beautiful to eat! A fresh bed of mixed greens is topped with spicy grilled boneless chicken breast, Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses, poblano chilies, red bell peppers, roasted corn kernels and black beans. It's also served with crispy tortilla strips and the guest's choice of dressing. Choose from the saucy Creamy Salsa Dressing (which adds a little bit of dairy creaminess to cool down the salad). Or go for the 60 calorie light option, Chili Lime Vinaigrette.
4. Kale Crunch Side Salad
For a healthy side salad to go with your entrée and waffle fries, the Kale Crunch Salad is the way to go. It's a blend of curly kale, green cabbage, roasted almonds and your choice of dressing.
5. Side Salad
Another low-calorie menu item offered at Chick-fil-A is their Side Salad. Mixed greens, Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses, grape tomatoes, crispy charred tomato, crispy red bell peppers and the guest's choice of dressing.
What do you think, would you order a salad from Chick-fil-A? Or would you rather whip up one of these 13 salad dressings at home?
The post was published on May 4, 2018.