Chili's Low Calorie Options

Chili's is, without a doubt, my favorite casual dining option. Their chips and salsa are to die for and there are times when I absolutely cannot live without a serving of their honey chipotle chicken crispers. That said, neither of those are at all friendly to a person who is counting calories, so I tend to avoid them when I'm on a diet. I have more recently discovered, though, that their Sweet N' Spicy Chicken on their "Lighter Choices" menu is crave worthy, so I'm leaning back towards them, even as a diet friendly stop.

Lighter Choices At Chili's

The "Lighter Choices" Menu is a great place to start- all of their 7 plates are under 700 calories, 3 of them are under 500 calories and one of them is 550 calories. They are the:

  •  Classic Sirloin (served with Pico de Gallo and steamed broccoli) for 260 calories 
  • Grilled Chicken Salad for 420 calories 
  • Grilled Salmon (served with rice and steamed broccoli) for 480 calories
  • Margarita Grilled Chicken (with rice, black beans and pico de gallo) for 550 calories
  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich (with steamed broccoli) for 610 calories
  • Sweet and Spicy Chicken (with onions and peppers, rice and broccoli) for 670 calories
  • Sante Fe Chicken Wrap (with steamed broccoli and ranch) for 680 calories. 

Salads at Chili's 

Loaded, meal sized salads tend to have out-of-this-world calorie counts, like the Quesadilla Explosion Salad with it's 1300 calories, but Chili's does a great job keeping their salads light. While the Boneless Buffalo Chicken Salad (with 990 calories) and Quesadilla Explosion Salad (Which, of course, is my favorite) are out of the question for a dieter, 3 of the other 4 salads on their menu are under 700 calories, and the Cobb Salad can be enjoyed if you're willing to fudge your diet a tiny bit, at just 720 calories. 

  • Caribbean Salad with Grilled Shrimp - 590 Calories (Caribbean Salads include:   pineapple, mandarin oranges, dried cherries, green onions, cilantro, sesame seeds and honey-lime dressing) 
  • Caribbean Salad with Grilled Chicken - 610 Calories
  • Chicken Ceasar Salad - 670 Calories

Custom Combinations at Chili's

If you're wanting to make your own plate it is possible to do so and stay under the 700 calorie mark. The following are entrees under 400 calories and sides under 300 so that you can create your own combo. 


  • Spicy garlic and Lime Grilled Shrimp - 130 Calories
  • Margarita Grilled Chicken - 160 Calories
  • Classic Sirloin - 240 Calories
  • Fried Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce - 240 Calories
  • Grilled Salmon with Garlic Herbs - 280 Calories
  • Monterey Chicken - 470 Calories  - HIGH, but if you're very careful with your sides you  can do it! 

  • Steamed Broccoli - 80 calories
  • Rice - 190 Calories
  • Corn on the Cob - 200 calories
  • Cole Slaw - 240 Calories 
  • Mashed Potatoes with Black Pepper Gravy - 280 calories
  • Cinnamon Apples -280 calories

Chili's Southwest Grill

It is possible to order your favorite fajitas and stay on your calorie budget, if you're careful! Eating your fajita combo with a fork instead of in your tortillas can make all the difference! Check out how this works:
  • Beef Fajitas with condiments but no tortillas - 620 calories - with tortillas - 910 calories.
  • Chicken Fajitas with condiments but no tortillas - 580 calories- with tortillas - 850 calories

Drinks at Chili's 

One of my favorite things in this world is the Chili's Strawberry Lemonade. Unfortunately, it's an expensive treat... if you're talking calories and not dollars. Also unfortunately, Chili's does not have any low-calorie alcoholic beverages, so you'll have to stick with your typically diet drink or unsweetened tea if you want to maintain your calorie count here. That's not enough pain for me to lose sight of the gain, but it wouldn't hurt my feelings if they wanted to make a sugar free version of their Strawberry lemonade...

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