How Many Calories are in Chili’s Restaurant Food?!

First of all, I must clarify that I am not at all a calorie counter. I actually abhor counting calories (a reason I love the 6WBMO), because it feels so much like dieting. Also, if you look only at calories and not at nutrition, you could essentially exist on few calories, while those calories are coming from junk food.

With that being said, I do understand the meaning of calories 😉 , and when I learn that a certain meal contains an exorbitant amount of calories, it does get my attention. Especially when we’re talking about a restaurant that I used to love love love!

I was reading a post by Beth on her blog Finding My Voice in which she outlined a few of the Chili’s Restaurant menu items. Now, this is a place that I haven’t eaten at for years, but, as noted, I used to love it.

Beth tallied up a meal consisting of half an Awesome Blossom® with Seasoned Sauce, Buffalo Chicken Fajitas skillet (nothing extra), and a Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie® with Vanilla Ice Cream for dessert. The meal includes only water to drink, and totals a whopping 4,042 calories. See why this information caught my eye?

My favorite item was their chicken quesadilla appetizer. I looked up the nutritional info for it, and found that one serving contains 1830 calories. Even worse, it contains a ridiculous amount of sodium – 5300 mg!

This is astounding to me, and that’s not including my drink (I would have had cola) or sour cream. Then I would have gone for the Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie® w/ Vanilla Ice Cream (1600 calories, 950 mg sodium), or the Cheesecake (720 calories, 470 mg sodium) for dessert, giving me a preliminary total of 3430 calories – preliminary because my drink(s) and sour cream aren’t included. In fact, I remember those quesadillas coming with black beans and rice, which would raise the count even higher.

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I actually think that I didn’t want to be conscious of the nutritional content of Chili’s food when I ate there. I was operating under the guise of “ignorance is bliss”; all I cared about was the taste!

Besides reading Beth’s article, you can also check out the nutrition information for Chili’s full menu online: click here, enter your zip code, and click on “Find Locations”. On the next page, go to the bottom and click on the middle (red) bar that reads “Nutrition Information”. This will open a separate PDF file in which you will find not only calorie information for every item on the menu, but also sodium content (wait ’til you see that!), fats, carbs, protein, and fiber content.

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  • Beth

    Hey, thanks for the link!

    Sadly, I think my Chili’s days are behind me forever. Once I have that kind of information in my head, it’s really hard to put that kind of food in my mouth.

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  • JoLynn Braley

    Hi Beth,

    I know exactly what you mean….once I know, I don’t forget! I haven’t eaten there for years, but now if I even wanted to, I just don’t think I’d be able to do it! It’s better that I make my own healthy version of “chicken quesadillas” at home, anyway. 😉

  • Kim

    Hi JoLynn,

    I have been a long time lurker to your site and love everything that you write about. You have even inspired me to get off sugar and processed foods and I am on Day 24! Yippee!

    The link is very enlightening in many ways and I do think it is wrong for restaurants to put that much fat in food. But here is my problem, the restaurants don’t make us eat that food – we do. We have choices. My family goes to Chili’s all the time and they have a great “Guiltless” menu with reasonable portion sizes. You don’t have to order the Awesome Blossom; you can order the Lettuce Wraps at 300 calories and is a whole meal. You don’t even have to use the dipping sauces. And you most definitely don’t have to order dessert. Bottom line is that we shouldn’t have to give up going out to eat; we just have to make good choices, and ask for what we want! We are responsible for ourselves.

    Anyhow that is just my 2 cents! 😀

  • JoLynn Braley

    Hi Kim,

    Welcome, I’m glad you’ve been lurking, and thank you so much for your compliments! To hear that really gives me a boost and confirmation to keep on writing! :)

    I agree, we each must take personal responsibility for our actions. I just wonder how many people don’t realize just how calorie/fat/sodium dense this food is. I honestly did not know until this week, but like I said, I don’t believe I even wanted to know before. Now purely fast food, it’s generally known how unhealthy that is.

    If you can make those healthy choices when you go out to eat, you are on a much healthier track, and leading a healthy lifestyle in general. I’m still working on getting there myself, as far as not equating going out to eat with a “free for all”. Hence, I haven’t been going out to eat lately. 😉

    Thank you so much for your comments Kim, I’m glad that you added your 2 cents!

    And…Congratulations on getting off sugar and processed food!! Day 24, that is just awesome!! WTG Kim! 😀

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  • organ

    I like chili and eat it daily. 😆

  • Christina

    Well I have worked at Chili’s for six years, and yes a lot of the food is high calorie. But come on,its a restaurant, not your health food store. There is a guiltless menu and no one is forcing you to eat dessert!

  • JoLynn Braley

    Hi Christina,

    I always enjoyed Chili’s in the past, too, but I don’t think that most people think about the fat content of what they’re eating when they go there (or at least I never did). And you’re exactly right – no one forces anyone to eat anything – each of us has a choice of how healthy or unhealthy of a lifestyle we want to lead, it’s always up to us. 😉