Dining Out Guide

Eating Healthy at Applebee's

From SparkPeople’s Editors

"Eatin' good in the neighborhood" is the slogan at Applebee's. They're right; it's good, but it's not always healthy. This chain has plenty of deluxe burgers, tempting fried appetizers and oversized platters. Skip those and look for the Weight Watchers items, along with a few other lighter specialties.

  • While Applebee's often offers deals like 2 for $20 and Pick 'N Pair lunch combos, these aren't the best deals for your waistline. Those specialty menus are full of fried appetizers and heavy burgers.

  • The salads here are large and covered with tasty--and often high-calorie--toppings. The light and tasty Chili-Lime Chicken Salad is your best bet. If you want a different salad, request grilled chicken and choose bacon, hard-boiled egg or cheese--not all three. Skip the croutons and crispy toppings, too.

  • The majority of the appetizers are fried, cheesy and creamy, which is code for high-fat. Even the safe-sounding Veggie Patch Pizza has 900 calories!

  • Garlic Herb Chicken, Cajun Lime Tilapia, Steak and Portobellos, and the Italian Chicken Portobello Sandwich (which comes with a whole wheat bun and fresh fruit) are other healthy choices.

  • The fajitas are tasty but not exactly light. Save calories by skipping the flour tortillas, cheese and sour cream altogether. Ask for extra pico de gallo and lettuce, and eat the chicken or steak and vegetables with salsa, a small portion of rice and heart-healthy guacamole.

  • Desserts here are pretty decadent, but they do have shooters, which are tiny portions of desserts. While these aren't low in calories or fat, they are a better treat than the full-size desserts.

  • Applebee's provides limited nutritional info on its website.

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