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Chick-fil-A Southwest Salad

My local Chick-fil-A again invited me to try out their new menu item, and I have to say, I’m definitely a fan of the Chick-fil-A Southwest Salad. I was not compensated aside from the salad I enjoyed, and all opinions are my own.
Chick-fil-A Southwest Salad review spicy

Growing up, I remember fast food restaurants pretty much had the same menus all the time. Nothing changed, nothing was new. Now? Menus are getting facelifts on a regular basis. Chick-fil-A is one of those restaurants that is continually making changes lately, and some of them I absolutely love. Honest Kids juice for the kid meals now? Not only is it organic, but it has less sugar, which is a win in my book. They are also getting rid of high fructose corn syrup and several other ingredients of questionable health benefit. These are the trends I love.

And, yes, they are changing up the flavors on their menus, too. Gone is the coleslaw. Gone is the carrot raisin salad. And now, gone is the Asian salad, replaced by the Chick-fil-A southwest salad. Why this new salad and not both? Well, Chick-fil-A test marketed the new salad with and without the Asian salad on the menu. And… the Asian salad didn’t sell. People bought either one or the other – it was essentially the same market for both salads in many cases, and that made it not worthwhile keeping both salads on the menu, as the ingredients wouldn’t be as fresh as they have to be with slower sales of each. I get that.

Delicious Chick-fil-A southwest salad ready to eat

While I know there are people who are bemoaning the loss of the Asian salad from the menu, the Chick-fil-A southwest salad is pretty tasty. It is spicy, and when I say that, know it comes from someone who enjoys spice and usually nods when people say things are spicy. This? It’s spicy. While the same spices are used to marinate the chicken as are used in the breading of the spicy chicken sandwich, without the buffering of the breading, it’s much stronger. I like it, but I also like it with the creamy salsa dressing. The chili lime vinaigrette is too acidic on top of spice for me. Go into it knowing that it’s spicy, and you’re good though.

Chili Lime Vinaigrette and creamy salsa dressings for the Chick-fil-A southwest salad

The salad is made with a fresh bed of chopped Romaine lettuce and baby greens, then topped with shredded red cabbage and carrots. The  grape tomatoes are added next, followed by a blend of Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses and a zesty combination of roasted corn and black beans.

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Adding tomatoes to the Chick-fil-A southwest salad

The chicken tops the salad, and as soon as you take a look at the Chick-fil-A southwest salad, you’ll notice something different. Go ahead…take a closer look.

spicy chicken on the new Chick-fil-A southwest salad

The chicken is no longer thick slices that you need to cut with your knife before enjoying your salad. Chick-fil-A got smart, and the chicken for the salads and wraps is now shredded (ok, they call it shredded, I say it’s sliced thinly – but the end result is the same). That means you can pick up a bite of salad with your fork and… it’s a bite of food and not something you have to cut. The chicken remains fresh and juicy, as it gets used so quickly that it never has a time to dry out. Smart, right?

Chick-fil-A now has shredded chicken for salads and wraps

You have the option to add tortilla strips to your salad – the same tortilla strips that come with the chicken tortilla soup. Honestly? I am just as happy without the tortilla strips on my salad. The Chick-fil-A southwest salad doesn’t need that extra crunch from them – or the 170 calories added to the salad, for that matter. That said, I did enjoy adding the pepitas – pumpkin seeds – as they were a good add of texture and flavor, and I like the health benefits from them. Yes, they add fat to your salad, but this is the good kind of fat.

What you get with the Chick-fil-A southwest salad

This is now a completely low calorie entree salad. The salad with the pepitas and tortilla strips is 420 calories, which isn’t bad. The creamy salsa dressing adds another 280, however. That said, I used maybe one-third of the dressing on my salad and felt like I had plenty of flavor. If I leave off the tortilla strips (which I have done after the first salad I tried), that still keeps me at or under 400 calories for a very filling salad with great protein at 34 grams.

Closeup of the new Chick-fil-A Southwestern salad

Do I miss the Asian salad? I do. I enjoyed it. It was a unique menu item that fit in well, but the Chick-fil-A southwest salad fills that void for me – something with a ton of flavor that is a healthy option for me to enjoy while eating at a fast food restaurant, which is something I do focus on, and I know I’m not alone.

Chick-fil-A southwest salad ready to eat without dressing

Have you tried the Chick-fil-A southwest salad yet? What do you think of it?

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Joseph Patrick Johnson

Monday 25th of November 2019

how could I order it and lower the 1,000 + MG of sodiumn content. Il'l start with the tortilla strips of course. Thanks for your reply.


Wednesday 4th of December 2019

The tortilla strips obviously will help. The pepitas will also make a difference, as they're definitely salted, as well. I hope that helps, but you may want to reach out to them directly, as I don't have access to the nutrition information for specific ingredients.


Wednesday 20th of March 2019

Commenting on this post a few years later - lol. Love the salad and Chick Fil A will substitute any of the chicken (my family likes it best with nuggets which only adds about 80 calories.) As for the dressing... I recommend replacing it with a pack of the Sweet and Spicy Siracha sauce (at only 45 calories)!!


Wednesday 3rd of April 2019

Chick-fil-A is really good about substituting, aren't they? I haven't tried it with the sriracha sauce, but now I want to. Thanks for the suggestion!


Sunday 7th of October 2018

Miss the Asian, but do love this. I’m a spice fan so totally fine with the heat. I have to have this every few months. Careful to put dressing on one side, finish the next day. Do not use all of the dressing, pepitas or tortilla chips. For me a healthier fast food option


Thursday 11th of October 2018

I'm with you. Less dressing totally works for me!


Tuesday 8th of May 2018

I love the spicy southwest salad. I used to combine the creamy salsa and chili lime vinaigrette. It was perfect! Why don’t you have the chili lime dressing anymore?


Tuesday 29th of May 2018

The chili lime dressing was good. I miss it, too! I can't tell you why CFA doesn't carry it any more, but ask your local restaurant!


Thursday 8th of February 2018

I absolutely love their southwest salad. The creamy salsa dressing is the best....I use all of it (and want more). The tortilla strips add a wonderful pop to the salad. I crush them as well as the pepitas into a fine powder. I cut the chicken into very small fragments. I cut the lettuce,greens and tomatoes up as well which I mix thoroughly with all other ingredients. I am going for equal distribution of all ingredients which makes this salad exceptional IMO. I do this at home and while all of this additional preparation takes some is well worth it! Try it.


Monday 12th of February 2018

It always tastes best when you get a little bite of everything all at once!

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