Once you get a taste for crispy fried chicken fingers or spicy wings, there’s not much you can do about it. If you’re not careful, a visit to Zaxby’s, a Southern classic, can rapidly develop into much more than you bargained for. So that you can still enjoy a quick and delicious dinner without going off the rails, we’ve selected the best options on Zaxby’s menu.
Traditional Bone-In Wings
Even if you enjoy boneless chicken, it is recommended to stay with traditional drums and flappers to save roughly 700 milligrams of sodium and 27 grams of carbohydrates. Even when dipped in Zaxby’s sweet and smoky or barbecue sauces, bone-in wings are a superior option to their breaded and deep-fried counterpart. “It’s one thing if the chicken was fried naked, but the breading on boneless wings adds not only extra calories but excess sodium and fat,” explains registered nutritionist Jane Ujoatu.
Grilled Chicken Sandwich
It should come as no surprise that the grilled option is the best here, with half the calories of the majority of other sandwiches. Compared to the alternatives, this honey mustard number is an acceptable choice. Ujoatu warns, however, that its high sodium level should be taken extremely seriously: This is a good option in terms of calories, but it includes far too much sodium for a single sandwich, let alone an entire meal, according to Ujoatu. The recommended daily amount of sodium is 2,300 milligrams, so you’ll need to accompany this sandwich with a tall glass of water and forget about making it a meal; adding fries would increase the sodium and calorie content to well over 1,780 milligrams and 900 calories, respectively.
Garden Caesar Salad
This combination of greens, bacon, and parmesan cheese is superior to other “zalads” on the menu that are filled with extraneous toppings such as fried onions, Texas Toast, and chicken fingers. Even though bacon contains a bit more sodium, Ujoatu has a pro tip: “Ask for the cheese on the side. That way you can sprinkle it sparingly and still get the flavor without the alarming amount of sodium.” She also recommends eliminating the croutons to reduce calories and carbohydrates. Just be sure to choose your condiments carefully.
Surprisingly, the Ranch dressing made with buttermilk is the finest option among all of Zaxby’s salad dressings. And while you may be tempted to choose Caesar salad as the finest option, you should reconsider: Specifically, it contains 440 milligrams of sodium. Sodium levels are also high in ostensibly healthful and “light” dressings such as vinaigrette and Lite Ranch. Ujoatu suggests lightly seasoning your own salad. The entire package is excessive, and half is sufficient since most are sodium traps, she says. In addition, when you already have cheese and bacon on your salad, you don’t need to add much more flavor than a hint of dressing.
Although some may find it tedious, celery is by far the best option for a side dish on Zaxby’s menu. Alongside calorie, fatty alternatives such as Texas Toast and french fries, these freshly sliced vegetables are the obvious choice to complement chicken wings or a chicken sandwich. Ensure that you avoid the Ranch. Otherwise, as Ujoatu points out, you are transforming a 10-calorie nibble into 200 calories by adding a side of sauce. Commercialization lets us need and feel the need for a side of sauce, she explains. However, there are superior condiments, such as hummus and peanut butter, that you may pair with them. Or consume it plain between pieces of hot wings.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookie for Dessert
Dessert is already an extravagance, so choosing wisely here is essential. In addition to calories and sugar, Ujoatu recommends that you pay particular attention to the amount of fat. In this instance, the oatmeal raisin is the healthiest option because it contains the least amount of fat, calories, and sugar while also providing some fiber. Dessert at a restaurant like Zaxby’s is really reserved for those who have made wise choices throughout the dinner, she explains. Oatmeal cookies are the smartest option because they are the only dessert on the menu that contain fiber.
Now that you know what to order at Zaxby’s, find Zaxby’s specials today, and don’t forget to redeem coupons when you order to enjoy discounts while savoring tasty and healthy foods from their menu.