Healthy Eating at Red Robin

Healthy eating at Red Robin is possible, but you’ll need a plan! This tasty burger joint has tons of calorie and sodium filled options that will trip up your diet. But healthier choices are available! 

One of my long-time favorite restaurants is Red Robin. It has a fun atmosphere, is affordable and their burgers are amazing!

We love eating there and it’s a place we frequent a lot with friend groups, family, or for date nights.

Like my other posts in my “healthy eating at…” series, I want to show that you can still make healthier choices, even when eating out at places we love!

Healthy Eating at Red Robin: tips for finding clean and diet friendly food at Red Robin!

I recognize that eating out is what it isβ€”lots of sodium, processed food, non-organic, perhaps questionable animal farming practices. My point is NOT to laud this at all, but I know MOST Americans eat out frequently and need help discovering the healthiest food options at your favorite restaurants.

Also, there are times when you are indulging and treating yourself and that’s okay too!

Healthy Restaurant Cheat Sheet on ipad on top of white plate against a gray background

Get my Healthy Restaurant Cheat Sheets with the top healthy choices at all my favorite fast food and casual dining places!!

Unhealthy Choice: Whiskey River Barbecue Burger

Okay, I’m going to get real with you and share my absolute favorite Red Robin meal in all it’s totally unhealthy glory.

It’s the Whiskey River Barbecue Burger (coming in at 1392 calories & 89 fat grams), with a side of sweet potato fries (569 calories & 806 mg of sodium), followed by a couple several bottomless freckled lemonades which each contain 37 grams of sugar (about 8 sugar cubes per glass).

Refreshing Ice Cold Strawberry Lemonade

Ack! Definitely an amazing treat or cheat meal, but if it’s not my birthday, I really shouldn’t be eating this.

It honestly doesn’t feel good in my body. The grease hurts my stomach. I feel bloated and lethargic afterward.

Knowing about all that sugar, sodium, and fat this unhealthy meal contains is convicting. My blood sugar and blood pressure don’t need that dump of sugar and salt.

Most of their burgers and sides fall into similar statistics…they’re frankly loaded with not-good-for-you stuff!

So what are some healthier choices?

Healthier Choices at Red Robin

You can find healthy meal options at Red Robin, you just have to be selective and undistracted by the assortment of fried foods, drink specials, and giant burgers.

1. Bunless Whiskey River Grilled Chicken

Since I love the whiskey river burger here is a ligher version that still carries the classic flavors. First, ask your server for a lettuce wrapped whiskey river grilled chicken burger and ask for no mayo (you won’t notice it’s missing, I promise). It will be 746 calories, saving you 646 calories (if you’re counting) without sacrificing the feel of the meal, aka the fried onion straws!

2. Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Burger

This is a good choice too! Or at least a decent one…with the bun and all the toppings it is 860 calories. But you can nix the toasted bun and mayo and do the lettuce wrap or just eat in with a fork and knife for 346 calories and a significantly “cleaner” meal.

3. Spicy Sombrero Salad

A great choice coming in at 622 calories, and while it seems a little silly to put fried jalapenos on your greens, it’s not a bad way to eat enjoy them! If you skip the fried jalapenos you have a very clean salad loaded with great protein and healthy fats!

4. Keep It Simple Burger

This classic burger is not a bad choice coming in at 624 calories, plus you can stack it high with lettuce, tomatoes, and onion.

You can also ask them to skip grilling the bun with margarine and just, you know, eat it without extra fake butter. (Gasp! How un-American!)

simple burger

Healthier Side Ideas

While your first instinct may be to hit the bottomless fries, there are much healthier side options at Red Robin that won’t have as many calories, saturated fat, and sodium. Here are some great choices! 

side salad on white background

1. Side Salads

Both the House and Insane Romaine side salads are good side options, but go light on the dressing or forgo it all together.

2. The Freckled Fruit Salad

I love this tasty fruit salad and it’s a great choice if you are trying to eat more fruits, watching your sodium or fat intake. 

3. Mandarin Oranges

If you’re craving something sweet Red Robin has another healthy side option: mandarin oranges. Although they may be served in sweet juice, it’s still much healthier than many of the side choices. 

Healthy Drink Choices at Red Robin

Here are a few of the healthier choices you can make at Red Robin when it comes to drinks.

skinny margarita in a tall glass with lime wedge

  • Skinny frozen strawberry margarita
  • Skinny strawberry lemonade
  • Vodka and tonic water
  • Diet soda
  • Unsweet Iced Tea
  • Water

Healthier Dessert Choices at Red Robin

Normally by the end of a Red Robin meal I am so stuffed I can’t even think about dessert!

kids gingerbread milkshake with small gingerbread man sticking out

  • One option is to get a kid size milkshake. It’s still loaded with sugar, but the smaller portion size goes a long way. 
  • If you do decide to have dessert try to split with someone else and just have a few bites. The first taste is always the best anyways.

So there you have some great healthier options for eating at Red Robin!

More Healthy Restaurant Breakdowns

Pin or bookmark this post so it’s close by when you are heading out to eat.

Another all-around tip for eating out would be to write down on a small notecard (or the notes of your smartphone) healthier choices at your favorite restaurants that you can reference when you go out.

There is nothing wrong with treating yourself every once in awhile, but there is also healthy food at most restaurants, including Red Robin!

Do you eat at Red Robin? Which of these healthier choices sounds good to you? Do you splurge at restaurants or try to stick to better-for-you choices? 

P.S. Red Robin doesn’t know me and is certainly not paying me for this post. Although, if they offered to pay me in Freckled Strawberry Lemonades I would have a hard time saying no. 

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19 Comments

  1. I wonder if the Canadian menu is the same. I woild be looking for G-F options and I do know they have some as my SIL loves RR.

    1. My sister is Gf and she normally does the whiskey river chicken sandwich in lettuce. If you have Celiac’s it may still have some gluten but it works for her.

    1. Right?! I think the wrap is a good choice as well. I like the sweet potato fries soo much too, definitely a worth-it indulgence to me.

    1. I did see they have a veggie burger too! (I don’t think I’ve ever noticed it on the menu before.) But it definitely doesn’t seem like a very veggie/vegan friendly place.

    1. What a fun memory! I don’t think I’ve ever had a milkshake from there, but I’m sure they are delicious!

  2. Glad to have found your blog. I’m always looking for yummy ways to eat a little healthier when eating out. I’ve never actually been to a red robin but now you’ve got me craving a burger.

  3. My husband LOVES Red Robin…and so do I. Although Panera is delicious too! It’s scary to look at the calories, so I drink water and try to make wise choices on those occasional eating out moments. Good list of options, Kate!

    1. Yes! Normally I try to decide if it’s a “treat, where we are celebrating something” meal or a “we don’t have anything to eat/feel lazy so we’re eating out” meal and eat accordingly. πŸ™‚

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