For the second time in early 2016, Chick Fil A has made a 1 for 1 swap on their menu. Earlier this year, the cole slaw was swapped for their new Super Food Side and now just this week they have eliminated the Asian Salad and have brought back the Spicy Southwestern Salad. This is a departure from other fast food joints, who seem to just add more and more menu items, creating a hodge podge of options that never get ordered. Chick Fil A is keeping their menu neat and tidy, which seems like a smart idea in this new landscape. The Spicy Southwestern Salad was previously axed back in 2013 and is now returning to some fanfare. We decided to take a look and see how it is in its present form.
- Romaine lettuce/baby greens
- Sliced grilled spicy chicken breast
- Red cabbage and carrots
- Grape tomatoes
- Monteray Jack and cheddar cheese
- Roasted corn/black bean blend
- Tortilla Strips
- Chili Lime Pepitas
- Creamy Salsa Dressing
Chick Fil A has been offering premium salad options for some time. Their Market Salad with the mix of strawberries and blueberries is a great salad, but I never even tried the Asian Salad due to little interest. This Spicy Southwestern Salad is right up my alley based on description so this was pretty much a no brainer to try. The nutritional information on Chick Fil A’s site shows that this salad comes in at 420 calories (sans dressing) so it really comes in at the prime levels for a great protein filled (34g) lunch. Adding in cheese, corn,beans, spicy chicken, to the normal components of a salad, spices and invigorates things enough to make this interesting for most anyone. One thing to note before indulging is that the suggested Creamy Salsa Dressing is a mess nutritionally, encompassing 290 calories and 31 grams of fat. This is almost 70% of the entire salad’s calories and enough fat to be a burger. For review purposes I tried it this time, but most likely will look elsewhere in the future.
Chick Fil A Salads do in fact come somewhat disassembled, with the tortilla strips, pepitas, and dressing served on the side. This allows people to really customize and go even healthier eliminating the tortilla strips and nuts to avoid calories further. I threw all factors on the salad and did my best to mix everything up. The chicken breast was spiced but not particularly spicy, so those worrying about that shouldn’t worry. The chicken that I received really wasn’t sliced as much as it was shaved almost like a thick deli meat. There was an abundant amount though, covering almost the whole salad bowl’s top surface.
Among other toppings, I was impressed with all of the components frankly. The cheese is sharp and savory, the tortilla strips and pepitas create a dynamic crunch and texture blend, the bean and corn create a fire roasted southwestern vibe, the lettuce was fresh, crisp, and nutrient dense, and even the grape tomatoes tasted extremely fresh and juicy. I’m not typically a grape tomato fan, but these stood out to me for how tasty they were. The creamy salsa dressing was rather dynamic, almost like a zesty ranch type, although the burden of knowledge regarding it’s nutritional qualities were hard to ignore.
Chick Fil A Spicy Southwestern Salad – The Verdict
Chick Fil A’s new/old salad is top notch. It provides a largely nutritional salad, with a mix of fresh and dynamic ingredients and vibrant taste. The mix of fiber, protein, and veggies provide sustenance with the pepitas and tortillas strips bring a fun, fiesta train of flavor. Chick Fil A’s salads are not cheap, coming it at over $7 a pop, but you won’t be disappointed on this salad based on taste and fun factor. Maybe try to put your own salsa or Chick Fil A’s light Italian dressing instead to preserve nutritional sanctity.
Chick Fil A Spicy Southwestern Salad [Review]