Top Restaurants - 11 min read

15 Best Fast Food Salads in America (Skip The Burgers And Fries!)

Tara Ivey

Tara Ivey, Updated September 23, 2022

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Americans love their fast food, and when it comes to fast food, healthy options are often overlooked. Sometimes you need to grab something quickly, but you don’t want to sacrifice nutrition.

There are plenty of fast food restaurants specializing in salads as part of their menu, and many fast food joints you might not expect to have good salads.

Today’s fast food restaurants understand people care about what goes into their bodies. So they now offer healthy options on their menu, like salads. Fresh blends of greens and balanced ingredients are not just tasty and flavorful but also filling. From sweet and savory to bold and spicy, there’s a fast food salad to appeal to any taste.

Many of these fast food restaurants have perfected their salads and make them fresh when you place your order. In addition, you have meat options, as well as vegetarian and vegan choices.

We have collected the best salads at some of the most popular fast food restaurants. So whether you are getting delivery, drive-thru, or dine-in, these are the places that serve fresh salads.

Let’s explore the best fast food salads in America.

1. Panera Strawberry Poppyseed Salad

Credit: Panera Bread

Find a Location: Panera Bread | Phone number: 855-3-PANERA (855-372-6372)

You can’t talk about salads to-go without talking about Panera. They have such good salads. They’re going to be mentioned again later in this list.

Panera’s Strawberry Poppyseed Salad is made with fresh ingredients and has a variety of flavors that will tantalize your taste buds.

They use antibiotic-free organic chicken. This refreshing salad is topped with strawberries, mandarin oranges, blueberries, and pineapple.

The fresh fruit is tossed with roasted pecans and romaine lettuce in Panera’s signature poppyseed salad dressing.

The Strawberry Poppyseed Salad offers a perfect blend of savory and sweet, and it’s a healthy choice that will leave you satisfied.

  • Yelp Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Cost: $$
  • Cuisine: Sandwiches

2. Chipotle Build Your Own Salad

Credit: Chipotle

Find a Location: Chipotle | Phone number: 833-860-0467

Chipotle is a fast-casual Mexican restaurant that has gained a large following for its unique build-your-own salads.      

Chipotle’s Build Your Own Salad is an amazing way to customize your meal. You can choose from a variety of ingredients, meats, and toppings.

Chipotle offers a variety of meat options, including chicken, steak, barbacoa, carnitas, and any limited-time specials that change. As of this article, they’re offering Garlic Guajillo Steak.

Chipotle’s plant-based meat alternative is sofritas, and you can get that in place of meat or go veggie. In addition, you can choose between adding brown or white rice and black or pinto beans.

Additionally, you have a choice of salsa options: Fresh Tomato Salsa, Roasted Chili-Corn Salsa, Tomatillo-Green Chili Salsa, and Tomatillo-Red Chili Salsa.

Top off your Chipotle salad with guacamole and sour cream, or you can opt for the signature Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette.

  • Yelp Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Cost: $
  • Cuisine: Mexican

3. Chick-Fil-A Cobb Salad

Credit: Fast Food Nutrition

Find a Location: Chick-Fil-A | Phone number: 866-232-2040

Chick-Fil-A has a delicious cobb salad that you should definitely try for a healthier option on their menu.

The Chick-Fil-A Cobb Salad is made with the chicken nuggets Chick-Fil-A is known for on a bed of mixed greens.

It’s topped with roasted corn, bacon, shredded cheese, sliced hard-boiled eggs, and grape tomatoes. You can also add red bell peppers and charred tomatoes.

The menu recommends pairing this salad with their Avocado Lime Ranch dressing for a perfect balance of flavors.

The salads at Chick-Fil-A are prepared fresh daily and an ideal quick and healthy lunch option for those on the go.

  • Yelp Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Cost: $
  • Cuisine: Chicken

4. Wendy’s Apple Pecan Salad

Credit: Fast Food Source

Address: Wendy’s Restaurants | Phone number: 888-624-8140

Have you heard about Wendy’s Apple Pecan Salad? Fresh and crispy, this salad is a definite must-try for anyone looking for a quick healthy fast food salad.

Wendy’s Apple Pecan Salad has fresh flavors and crunch. It’s loaded with chicken, apples, and roasted pecans.

Pomegranate vinaigrette dressing tops everything off with the perfect savory and sweet flavors. It can be your main course or a side salad if you remove the chicken.

Made with fresh ingredients and tons of flavor, this salad is perfect for anyone looking for something new and refreshing in a fast food salad.

  • Yelp Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Cost: $$
  • Cuisine: Hamburgers

5. McAlister’s Chef Salad

Credit: McAlister’s Deli

Find a Location: McAlister’s Deli | Phone number: 888-330-4313

If you are looking for a delicious and huge chef salad, check out McAlister’s Chef Salad. This is one of their most popular salads on the menu.

Made with fresh ingredients, this salad is packed with flavor and is a quick healthy lunch choice if you’re limited on time.

This chef salad is made with mixed greens, cucumber, tomato, croutons, and shredded cheese and topped with diced ham, turkey, and crumbled bacon. Choose your dressing to complete the perfect chef salad.

One of the great things about McAlister’s Chef Salad is that it can be enjoyed as a main course or as a side salad. There’s even enough to share because it’s so big.

  • Yelp Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Cost: $$
  • Cuisine: Sandwiches, Deli

6. Zaxby’s Zensible Cobb Zalad

Credit: Sun Kissed

Find a Location: Zaxby’s  | Phone number: 866-892-9297

The Zensible Cobb Zalad from Zaxby’s gives a little something different in their version of the old Cobb Salad.

Red cabbage with their mixed greens, carrots, and cucumber offers an added crunch. Top it off with fried or grilled chicken for some protein.

The Zalad also features hardboiled egg, cheddar jack cheese, and Roma tomatoes. Finally, finish with a Lite Vinaigrette dressing that is a blend of red wine vinegar, onion, and garlic.

The Zensible Cobb Zalad is made to order to ensure that it’s always fresh, and you can customize it however you want it.

  • Yelp Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Cost: $
  • Cuisine: Chicken

7. Jack In The Box Chicken Club Salad

Credit: Buzzfeed

Find a Location: Jack In The Box  | Phone number: 800-378-5225

Bet you didn’t know Jack In The Box has a delicious Chicken Club Salad. Now you do, and you should try it the next time you’re looking for a fast food salad.

You can choose from Jack’s crispy or flame-grilled chicken. That’s all-white meat chicken that is full of flavor.

On a blended bed of iceberg and romaine lettuce, you get grape tomatoes and cucumbers topped with crumbled back and Jack In The Box’s gourmet seasoned croutons.

Mix it up with some creamy ranch dressing, or choose from one of the salad dressings that Jack In The Box offers.

  • Yelp Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Cost: $
  • Cuisine: Hamburgers

8. Subway Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Salad

Credit: Napsahaland

Find a Location: Subway  | Phone number: 800-888-4848

Everything but the bread! Turn any one of your favorite sandwiches into a salad. Add crunch to your meal with lettuce, red onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, and much more!

You don’t have to order sandwiches at Subway! What if you got your favorite sub without the bread? That’s Subway’s Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Salad.

They took a popular sandwich option and made it a salad. You already know Subway’s greens – your choice of lettuce, spinach, or both. You also can add red onions, tomato, cucumber, peppers, and all of Subway’s veggies.

Top it off with that Chicken Teriyaki and Sweet Onion dressing. Add shredded cheese, and you’ve got the perfect Subway Salad.

  • Yelp Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Cost: $
  • Cuisine: Sandwiches

9. Jason’s Deli The Big Chef Salad

Credit: Jason’s Deli

Find a Location: Jason’s Deli | Phone number: 409-838-1976

We can’t talk about fast food salads without Jason’s Deli on the list. However, Jason’s Deli has a fantastic salad bar, and they also offer the Big Chef Salad as a menu option.

Jason’s Deli has nitrite-free ham and roasted turkey in their Big Chef Salad. Then, on a bed of mixed salad greens, they add hard-boiled eggs, kalamata olives, grape tomatoes, and Asiago and cheddar cheese.

The Big Chef Salad is complimented by the creamy ranch dressing. However, you can choose your salad dressing if you’re not into ranch.

Jason’s Deli uses fresh ingredients, and each salad is made-to-order. So keep them in mind next time you’re looking for an excellent fast food salad.

  • Yelp Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Cost: $
  • Cuisine: Deli

10. Salata Mango Pomegranate Salad

Credit: Salata

Find a Location: Salata | Phone number: 844-725-2821

Salata has 86 salad kitchen locations across five states. If you’re looking for a good fast food salad and come across a Salata, you must try their Mango Pomegranate Salad.

Along with pomegranate, you can choose from over 50 fresh salad ingredients and a dozen signature salad dressings.

With Salata, you can customize your salad however you want or turn it into a wrap. However you eat it, this is a deliciously sweet and savory salad.

  • Yelp Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Cost: $
  • Cuisine: Salad Bar

11. Chopt Mexican Cesar Salad

Credit: QSR

Find a Location: Chopt Creative Salad Co. | Contact: support@choptsalad.com

Chopt Creative Salad Co. is famous for creating unique salads you can customize to your taste. They use the highest quality, freshest ingredients.

Chopt’s Mexican Cesar Salad is one of the menu favorites. This salad puts a Mexican twist on the classic Cesar salad.

The Mexican Cesar Salad is made with romaine lettuce, but instead of croutons, you get tortilla strips. In place of Parmesan cheese, you get cotija cheese.

For some spicy kick, the salad is topped off with jalapenos and their signature salad dressing. In addition, you can replace the romaine lettuce with kale if that’s more to your taste.

  • Yelp Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Cost: $
  • Cuisine: Salad, Vegetarian

12. Panera Asian Sesame Salad With Chicken

Credit: Tamara Leigh

Find a Location: Panera Bread | Phone number: 855-3-PANERA (855-372-6372)

If it’s from Panera, you know it’s good. Their Asian Sesame Salad with Chicken is another tasty fast food salad on our list.  

This salad offers you something a little different in taste. If you like Asian flavors, this is a good salad for you to try.

The Asian Sesame Salad has romaine lettuce, and cilantro tossed together with sesame seeds, toasted almonds, and wonton strips. The Asian sesame vinaigrette pulls it all together for a savory, tangy taste.

All of Panera’s salads are made to order with the freshest produce. Panera uses only chicken that’s raised without antibiotics.

  • Yelp Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Cost: $
  • Cuisine: Sandwiches

13. Qdoba Citrus Lime Chicken Salad

Credit: Qdoba

Find a Location: Qdoba Mexican Eats | Phone number: 888-378-9029

Qdoba has a flavorful salad that will blow your taste buds away. The Citrus Lime Chicken Salad is a healthy fast food salad packed with flavor.

The salad features grilled adobo chicken and fresh ingredients, including fresh romaine and black beans. Toppings are chile corn salsa and crispy tortilla strips.

The finishing touch to this delectable fast food salad is the Citrus-Lime Vinaigrette that pairs well with the freshly made pico de gallo.

  • Yelp Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Cost: $
  • Cuisine: Mexican

14. Quizno’s Honey Mustard Chicken Salad

Credit: Quizno’s

Find a Location: Quizno’s  | Phone number: 866-4-TOASTED (866-486-2783)

Quizno’s is a popular fast food chain specializing in sandwiches and salads. One of their most popular salads is the Honey Mustard Chicken Salad.

This salad features chicken breast, Swiss cheese, bacon, and vegetables tossed in a creamy honey mustard dressing.

The great thing about Quizno’s salads is you can order a half size or full size, depending on how hungry you are. Choose the half size for a lighter version.

  • Yelp Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Cost: $
  • Cuisine: Sandwiches

15. Panera Green Goddess Cobb Salad

Credit: Brand Eating

Find a Location: Panera Bread | Phone number: 855-3-PANERA (855-372-6372)

We had to finish off with Panera’s Green Goddess Cobb Salad because it’s just so good, and we love Panera for their salads.

This Green Goddess Cobb Salad is chalked full of greens with arugula, romaine, baby kale, and red leaf blend.

In addition, it comes with hard-boiled eggs, apple-wood smoked bacon, cherry tomatoes, and avocado, but the homemade pickled onions really set this salad apart.

All of those fresh ingredients get drizzled with a creamy dressing. Of course, since it’s from Panera, you know this will be a freshly made, delicious salad.

  • Yelp Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Cost: $
  • Cuisine: Sandwiches

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