Fast Food Review: Southwest Chargrilled Salad from Chick-fil-A

So this will officially wrap up our reviews of Chick-fil-A salads until a new creation emerges.  Previously, we have reviewed the Chargrilled & Fruit Salad, the Chargrilled Chicken Garden Salad and the Chick-n-Strips Salad.  The Southwest Chargrilled Salad is the fourth and final of the CFA salad reviews here on GrubGrade and this one is a great pick.

Southwest Chargrilled Salad from Chick-fil-AThe Southwest Chargrilled Salad from Chick-fil-A is described like this:

Slices of spicy grilled chicken breast on a fresh blend of Romaine and Iceberg lettuce, with shredded red cabbage and carrots, vine-ripened grape tomatoes, a roasted corn and black bean relish and a subtle blend of Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses.  Served with tortilla strips and spicy dressing.  Made fresh daily.

Right off the bat I’ll just say that every single ingredient with this salad comes off as fresh and quality. It’s hard to believe that this is a fast food item.  Everything seems to be carefully thought out and together.  I won’t go into every single ingredient because one after another, I’m just going to say “it’s fresh”, “it’s crisp”, “it’s quality”.  That’s the way to imagine this southwest-style salad.  You’ve got all your veggie standards like two types of lettuce, tomatoes, carrots and cabbage, but the true standout is the roasted corn and black bean relish. A harmonious duo that I’d like to keep table-side next to my salt and pepper. Roasted corn and black beans are great salsa ingredients and added another layer to the multiple dimensions of the “southwest” taste. My only gripe would maybe be that there just wasn’t enough of it, but there are plenty of other ingredients that had to make appearances.  The Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese blend seems to be in all CFA salads and it’s never dried out and old, thankfully (I’ve found issues with other fast food places and their salad cheeses). The slices of grilled chicken are described as “spicy” but I don’t think that cayenne/red pepper/chili seasonings truly can turn something really spicy. This is a good thing actually because it’s flavorful and you’ll get a little spice from the dressing. The seasoned chicken strips are the same use in the Spicy Chicken Cool Wrap and again, the chicken alone doesn’t make the meal all that spicy. A little spicy does make an appearance with the dressing. Simply called “Spicy Dressing”, this creamy topper blends in smokey flavors of chile peppers and chipotle peppers.  Your mouth won’t be on fire but it has a flavorful little kick to it. Of course you could always opt for one of CFA’s other dressing options but that might be an odd mix.  Another way to top your Southwest Chargrilled Salad is with Tortilla Strips. You get a little bag of these corn chip strips that are seasoned like a less-cheesy version of a Dorito.  I loved these strips and the added crunch they provided the meal. Note to Chick-fil-A: You should add these Tortilla Strips to the Spicy Chicken Cool Wrap. If you notice from the pictures below, CFA accidentally threw in a little bag of Honey Roasted Sunflower Kernals that I gladly threw in the mix, but they don’t normally come with this salad.

Chick-fil-A Southwest Chargrilled Chicken Salad

CFA Southwest Salad (closeup)

In the Chick-fil-A salad hierarchy, I’m always in a quandary over whether to pick this Southwest salad or go with the Chargrilled & Fruit version.  They are my top two favorites but I usually give the nod to the Chargrilled & Fruit.  From a calorie/fat perspective, the Southwest Chargrilled Salad without Tortilla Strips and Spicy Dressing comes out to be only 240 calories and 9 grams of fat. I recommend the entire bag of tortilla strips and about half of the package of dressing.  By doing this you will be adding 150 calories and 11 grams of fat.  So 390 calories and 20 grams of fat of a good-sized quality salad.  I paid $5.39 for my salad and it satisfied me well into dinner time. Definitely worth a buy.

Chick-fil-A Southwest Chargrilled Salad

Pros: Tasty blend of ingredients. Love the dressing and tortilla strips. Made fresh daily. Filling. Nice packaging.

Cons: Some may not want to spend $5.39. More roasted corn and black bean relish please.

Taste: 8.75/10
Value: 7.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 5.50/10
Price: $5.39

Overall GrubGrade: 8.50/10

More Info: ChickfilA.com
Nutrition Facts:
Southwest Chargrilled Salad (with entire amounts of Spicy Dressing and Tortilla Strips)
Calories - 460
Fat - 27 grams
Saturated Fat - 6 grams
Cholesterol - 65 milligrams
Sodium - 1000 milligrams
Carbs - 28 grams
Dietary Fiber - 6 grams
Sugars - 8 grams
Protein - 27 grams

17 comments on “Fast Food Review: Southwest Chargrilled Salad from Chick-fil-A

  1. Pooter says:

    I’m a big fan of Chick-Fil-A, and I’ve gradually moved from their original and best, the classic Chicken Sandwich onto the grilled offerings and salads. This salad just recently crossed my radar and I will be sure to try it soon, the grilled and fruit has become a new favorite. Great review.

  2. SkippyMom says:

    I’d pay that easily – it is still cheaper than a sit down restaurant – the calories are pretty much on point for a [filling] meal – and it is what you would pay for a combo at McD’s or BK.

    Thanks for the review [I am now craving sunflower seeds. lol]

  3. Jonathan says:

    This looks much better than the McDonalds southwest salad. I wish there were a chickfila near me!

  4. Spark says:

    Oh wow that looks awesome! It sort of reminds me of the Southwest Taco salad from wendys. The one from wendys has spiced tortilla chip strips, as well as a really good “spicy” dressing. The wendys one comes with chili though. It’s my favorite fast food salad.
    I wish there were more CFLs here, their stuff looks great from the reviews I’ve seen here on GG.

  5. Natalie says:

    I worked at CFA in high school and this was my favorite salad. I’d always top it with extra black bean and corn relish that I’d sneak from the back..that was the best part.

  6. Natalie says:

    Oh, and I remember we had a Caesar salad too. It wasn’t on the menu, but there was a button on the register and there were always a few in the cooler. It was just your basic Caesar though, nothing worth reviewing (if it’s still around.)

  7. you should compare this salad to jack in the box’s southwest salad. I’ve been getting that one for years…but alas, I’m a sucker for those chick fil a billboards and might move my business elsewhere.

  8. sherryd says:

    Just tried this salad today and it was WONDERFUL. However, i do question the info above about using an entire pkg. of Spicy dressing on the salad and it still only being 460 calories! I had it with the dressing and the pkg. alone said 2 tablespoons = 140 calories and I didn’t even use a serving and almost had an entire pkg. of dressing left. Might want to check into that so as not to possible mislead others.

  9. Qween says:

    Eating one now!! Sub dressing for italian light w/o the bread strips, DELISH!! Chicken not dry, just enough spice w/o needed water to cool it down, salad very fresh! Will try again.

    p.s. if you like alot of meat in your salad like my spouse does you may want to add extra.

    Overall I think the price was well worth it!

  10. Ginger says:

    I used to love this salad, but the last several months, the lettuce has been nasty, mostly ribs with severely bruised leaves, brown where the ribs are cut. Can’t do them anymore.

  11. Helen says:

    I just tried it…everything is waaaay too salty, from the chicken to the tortilla strips to the relish. Put it all together and it’s just way too much.

  12. kelly says:

    i need the recipe for chick fil a roasted corn and black bean relish anybody have or even close is good i love this stuff and i want to make it myself

  13. Amy says:

    I was attempting to get google to give me a cheap grocery store substitute for the dressing to mimic this glorious meal and I landed here. Be proud. I did a decent job replicating this for lunch today. However, nothing is as good as the real thing!

  14. [...] a less cheesy version of Doritos).  Chick-fil-A already uses the tortilla strips on their Southwest Chargrilled Salad (I’m a fan), so I would’ve liked something more interesting and new. With the tortilla strips, I was left [...]

  15. John Lyons says:

    I have a bottle of the Chick-Fil-A, Corn and Black Bean Salad Dressing in my hand. Product #83511. It comes in a 1 gallon container. Here are the list of ingredients, in order that they appear on the bottle. Keep in mind that, according to truth in labeling in the US, ingredients are listed in order of quantity with the most being first and the least being last. Here goes… I’t a pretty long list.

    Soybean Oil, green onions, water, lime juice concentrate (preserved with sulfites), red and green chili peppers, distilled vinegar, tomato paste, high fructose corn syrup, cilantro, tomatoes, onion (including dehydrated), salt sugar, jalapeno peppers, green bell peppers, chipotle peppers, dextrose, red bell peppers*, green pepper juice, garlic juice, wheat germ, maltodextrin, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate added as preservatives, garlic*, xanthan gum, natural flavors (including smoke flavor), cocoa powder, citric acid, polysorbate 60, propylene glycol alginate, calcium disodium EDTA added to protect flavor, pimentos. *Dehydrated

    Well, there ya go. Some seems pretty easy to get, but I’m betting Poly 60 and the alginate is going to be hard to find.

  16. adaj says:

    i picked one up today and treated my man to a sandwich combo from the very new chic fil a by his job…he is ecstatic!!! of course I watched him eat because the window attendant did not provide utensils! :( i picked at it and the chicken was cold, i didn’t expect it to be chilled. Anyway, now that I am finally eating it at my desk at my own job I find myself really enjoying it. Especially, since the chicken is not as cold it’s softer and tastier this way. My main problem is, although it is quality, as the review states…the chicken is way too condimented. I want to believe that those of us who choose to eat salad do it because we prefer ‘healthier’ choices. i didn’t add any other dressing except for what it came with. I guarantee you this would still be a wonderful salad and a great seller minus a little salt…my 2 cents.