When someone asks if you want to go to Cheesecake Factory, it’s hard to say no. And it can be even harder to keep your calorie count in check while you’re there. Here are the top 10 meals to avoid next time you dine at Cheesecake Factory, and check out page 11 for the unhealthiest cheesecake.
Plus, check out the restaurant’s lowest-calorie meals, starting on page 12.
10. Chicken & biscuits
- Calories: 1,930
The chicken & biscuits dish is made with sautéed chicken breasts topped with gravy. It’s served with mashed potatoes, vegetables, and the “best” buttermilk biscuits. But while the meal does come with a few veggies, that certainly doesn’t make up for the nearly-2,000 calories. Add any kind of side, and you’ve already gone over a full day’s calorie count.
Next: This seafood dish is one you’ll want to avoid.
9. Fish & chips
- Calories: 1,930
Fried fish and french fries are almost never a healthy combination. Although Cheesecake Factory does not specify what type of fish they use on the menu, we can assume it’s probably cod or haddock, which are not as nutritious as, say, wild-caught salmon. According to the menu’s definition, the fish are hand-battered and fried. They’re served with tartar sauce, fries, and cole slaw. The only nutritious part about this meal is the cabbage in the slaw — that’s covered in mayo.
Next: The first of many pasta dishes on the list.
8. Fettuccine alfredo
- Calories: 1,960
Creamy and rich, fettuccine alfredo is not a surprising item on the list. This would likely be the case at any restaurant. Alfredo sauce is typically made with a heavy cream and butter base, which also means this dish has plenty of fat, plus tons of carbs from the pasta. And if you want to add chicken, tack on an additional 270 calories.
Next: The addition of bacon to this dish definitely ups the calorie count.
7. Pasta carbonara
- Calories: 2,010
The second (but not the last) pasta dish on this high-calorie list is the pasta carbonara. It packs more than a day’s worth of calories with its heavy cream sauce and the addition of bacon. The only saving grace are the green peas, which don’t make much of a difference in nutrition. And if you want to add chicken, you’re looking at a much higher calorie count.
Next: This Mandarin-style dish packs more than a day’s worth of calories.
6. Spicy cashew chicken
- Calories: 2,040
If you’re interested in spice, you’ll like this dish — but that doesn’t mean you should order it. The menu describes it as a very spicy, Mandarin-style dish. It’s served over rice with green onions and roasted cashews. But often, American-style Mandarin dishes involve a lot of soy sauce and additional ingredients that are full of sodium. Too much sodium can lead to heart attack and other types of heart disease. In addition to the calorie count, sodium is another reason to steer clear of this dish.
Next: Another cream-based dish makes the list.
5. Farfalle with chicken and roasted garlic
- Calories: 2,170
This farfalle pasta dish (farfalle is also known as bowtie pasta) features pasta topped with chicken, mushrooms, tomatoes, pancetta, peas, and caramelized onions. It’s served over a creamy, roasted garlic Parmesan sauce. And while it sounds delicious, frequently eating dishes filled with all that fat and calories is a recipe for health problems down the road.
Next: The fried shrimp in this dish put it well above 2,000 calories.
4. Bistro shrimp pasta
- Calories: 2,190
The fried shrimp in this dish are likely what drive up the calorie count. If you can’t help but order it, ask for grilled shrimp instead. Besides the shrimp, it has fried mushrooms, tomatoes, and arugula. A spicy Parmesan cream sauce seals the high-calorie deal.
Next: This is the final pasta dish on the list — we promise.
3. Louisiana chicken pasta
- Calories: 2,210
Pasta dishes are clearly the ones to avoid at Cheesecake Factory. The fifth and final pasta dish on this high-calorie list, the Louisiana chicken pasta, has the most calories of any pasta dish on Cheesecake Factory’s menu. Its Parmesan-crusted chicken and spicy New Orleans sauce drive up its calorie count. And the mushrooms, peppers, and onions it also comes with are likely fried and don’t provide much nutritional value.
Next: This Cheesecake Factory version of fried chicken definitely isn’t healthy.
2. Cajun chicken ‘littles’
- Calories: 2,280
They might be called littles, but they definitely have a big calorie count. This is essentially the restaurant’s version of fried chicken, so it’s no wonder why it’s so unhealthy. It’s spiced, breaded, and fried boneless chicken breasts. Plus, the mashed potatoes it comes with are not the healthiest side.
Next: This is the highest-calorie menu item.
1. Factory nachos with chicken
- Calories: 2,900
The bad news: These nachos are 2,900 calories (with chicken). The good news: You probably won’t eat an entire order yourself. But even splitting them with another person is still an absurd amount of calories for an appetizer. These tortilla chips are covered with melted cheese, red chili sauce, sour cream, jalapeños, green onions, salsa, and guacamole. In order to make these healthy, you’d have to eliminate everything except the jalapeños, green onions, and salsa — yikes.
Next: And here is the highest-calorie cheesecake.
The highest-calorie cheesecake: Oreo Dream Extreme cheesecake
- Calories: 1,640
This place is called Cheesecake Factory, after all, so we thought it was important to include the highest-calorie cheesecake. Sometimes, the cheesecake selection varies by location. But if this one is on the menu, you should probably avoid it. Instead, opt for one of their low-carb cheesecakes, which are only about 600 calories.
Next: But don’t worry, there are some lower-calorie dinner options.
4. Super antioxidant salad
- Calories: 840
If you’re looking for something with fewer calories and more health benefits than the rest of the menu, try this superfood salad. Although 840 isn’t exactly a small amount of calories, the salad does come with spinach, kale, broccoli, grapes, and blueberries, among other healthy ingredients. While you may be taking in more calories than you planned, you’ll also be getting nutrients from the various fruits and veggies it contains.
Next: This popular meal is low in calories and high in nutrients.
3. Avocado toast
- Calories: 830
It’s hard to go wrong with avocado toast — it’s all the rage these days, and Cheesecake Factory is on board. Their avocado toast is made on artisan bread and topped with tomatoes, watercress, radish, and other veggies. It’s a great brunch option and also a good alternative if you’re in the mood for something a little more filling than a salad.
Next: This dish combines the best of avocado toast and salad.
2. California guacamole salad
- Calories: 820
If you can’t make up your mind between avocado toast and a salad, Cheesecake Factory rescues you with an option offering both. Their California guacamole salad comes in at 820 calories and a Southwestern flare with its guacamole, corn, black beans, and crispy tortilla strips.
Next: You may be surprised by the lowest-calorie menu item.
1. White chicken chili
- Calories: 510
The lowest-calorie option on Cheesecake Factory’s menu is not a salad. It’s actually their white chicken chili, so if you’re craving comfort food, you’re in luck. At more than 300 calories less than the next-healthiest item, this option is the best by a long shot. It’s a bowl of chicken with white beans, roasted green chiles, onions, and garlic. A touch of cream, white rice, and salsa serve as garnishes.
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