We are aware of this. Who eats a salad at a fast food restaurant? The last thing most of us want to order when there are a variety of burgers, crispy chicken sandwiches, and French fries available is a bowl of lettuce. Fast food salad options have long been mocked for being out of place on the menu. On social media, in stand-up comedy routines.
And for a while, it appeared as though national chains were also laughing along. Fast food restaurants no longer provide many salad options, which were often made up of all the same vegetables as their burgers. Maybe they’d throw in a few handfuls of cheese shredded if they were feeling especially kind. It almost seems as though they weren’t interested in our initial order.
Since the fast food salad craze of the early 2000s, we’ve mostly given up on the notion that burger franchises must serve some sort of leafy green. Over the past few years, restaurants including Burger King, McDonald’s, and Taco Bell have covertly dropped salads from their menus. We estimate that the availability of fast food salads will continue to decline as quick-casual salad chains like Panera, Sweetgreen, and Just Salad grow in popularity.
However, we’ve gathered all the salads available at big fast food restaurants and graded them all from worst to best fast food salads for when you’re on the go and need a quick, economical salad fast. We took into account elements like ingredient diversity, quantity, and general quality. So you can get your greens the next time you go through the drive-through without giving up flavour.
Rotisserie-Style Scared Tastes Salad Bowl from Dairy Queen
Dairy Queen’s salads would be the entry for “sad fast food salads” in the dictionary. The bland iceberg lettuce and watery tomatoes can’t be saved by the combination of bacon, cheddar, and roasted chicken.
Crispy Chicken Strip Salad from Dairy Queen
This salad is essentially the same as the other one offered by Dairy Queen. The fact that the chicken strips’ crispy covering resembles a crouton is the only reason this is ranked higher. Get a cone and call it a day; don’t waste time.
Club Salad from Jack in the Box
When it comes to fast food salads, Jack In The Box’s club salad is quite typical because it can be ordered with grilled or crispy chicken. There are a few improvements, though, that you won’t find in Dairy Queen’s menu.
You receive grape tomatoes rather than soggy diced tomatoes. In principle, there shouldn’t be much of a difference, yet the grape tomato’s crisp texture makes a significant impact. They also boost the ante by adding some thinly sliced cucumbers, which gives the salad as a whole additional crispness and textural interest. And perhaps most significantly, it includes croutons.
Whatever Is From Subway
We all stopped thinking of Subway as a healthy fast food restaurant a long time ago, thanks to a bogus tuna lawsuit and accusations about yoga mat bread. There always seems to be a question about the quality of the ingredients. Their market share is declining year after year for a cause.
Additionally, they provide the most salad options of any national fast food restaurant. Although it may appear impressive, it is really just lazy. Every Subway salad consists solely of a bed of lettuce topped with the sandwich ingredients. Better ingredients and more creativity are required.
Market Salad from Chick-fil-A
Fruit in a salad is absolutely not something we are against. In fact, we adore enhancing a traditional caprese salad or even a simple spinach salad with a hint of sweetness. But even we believe that this Chick-fil-A salad is excessive.
Strawberries, blueberries, and two varieties of apples are included in their market salad. Additionally, this salad is topped with a sweet and salty granola and an apple cider vinaigrette that tends towards sweetness, as if it weren’t already too sweet. Each salad has a whopping 26 grammes of sugar. You might as well skip lunch altogether and have dessert.
Taco Salad from Wendy’s
This salad would be easily in the middle of the pyramid if this ranking were done in the vein of Dance Moms. We adore every single ingredient, including the crisp lettuce, salty Mexican chips, dab of sour cream, and of course, their world-famous chilli.
But when they’re combined into a salad, that’s when we start to have trouble. The lettuce wilts from the spicy chilli, and the chip bits are too big and awkward to consume with a fork. It resembles a half-baked bowl of nachos with lettuce thrown in as a last-minute addition. It certainly doesn’t taste horrible, but a salad shouldn’t include this.
Salad from Jack in the Box, Southwest
Although the southwest salad at Jack In The Box is worth stopping for, the club salad there is just ok. You also receive cheddar cheese, grape tomatoes, fire-roasted corn and crispy tortilla chips in addition to your option of grilled or crispy chicken. We’re sold after they add their rich, smoky Southwest dressing.
Apple Pecan Fast Food Salad from Wendy
By a wide margin, Wendy’s fruit-forward salad beats Chick-fil-A’s. They substitute dried cranberries for the blueberries and strawberries, which offers a pleasant texture variation. Overall, the fruit is definitely detectable, but it isn’t a sugar explosion.
Additionally, the pecans in this salad have a more intriguing texture and flavour than the salad from Chick-fil-A. Through and through, the salad is good.
Parmesan Caesar Fast Food salad from Wendy
One of the most delicious foods ever created is a Caesar salad. Crisp romaine and salty Parmesan go perfectly with the creamy, anchovy-scented dressing. And Wendy’s rendition nails the familiar and beloved flavours.
They boost the ante by adding crispy Parmesan croutons to the salad’s existing Italian combination. This salad is for cheese lovers.
Salad Spicy Southwest from Chick-fil-A
The Southwestern-inspired salad at Chick-fil-A is overflowing with garnishes. In addition to the chilli lime pumpkin seeds, there are corn, black beans, grape tomatoes, cheddar, crunchy tortilla strips, poblano and red peppers.
The accompanying creamy salsa sauce did not particularly wow us, which is the only reason we are demoting it to third place. We weren’t very fond of the creamy texture when combined with cumin. If you do decide to have this salad, we advise requesting the avocado lime ranch.
Cobb salad from Wendy
Cobbs are at the top of our list because they contain the most toppings and textural variety of any salad we could find. And Wendy’s rendition is a solid choice.
We adore how the diced egg is placed evenly over the bowl. The ranch is traditional, tangy, and creamy. Not to mention those deliciously crunchy fried onions.
Cobb salad from Chick-fil-A
We only gave Wendy’s Cobb a nine in order to give Chick-fil-A’s a ten. This salad is the most well-liked item offered by the restaurant for a reason. It fulfils every requirement and then goes above and beyond.
The initial affection we feel? You have an almost limitless selection of proteins, including nuggets, fillet, spicy, mild, crispy, grilled, and even cauliflower! We’re in salad bliss when we add their avocado lime ranch on top.