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The #1 Unhealthiest Outback Steakhouse Order (& What To Eat Instead)

No, the Bloomin' Onion didn't make the cut.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

When you think of Outback Steakhouse, which famous dish do you think of? Maybe something like their Bloomin' Onion, Gold Coast Coconut Shrimp, Sirloin and Ribs Combo, or Bloomin' Burger? While this steakhouse chain is known for its burgers, steak, shrimp, and fried appetizers, it isn't known as being a place with many nutritious menu options. In fact, some of its unhealthiest menu items have more than a day's worth of calories, sodium, and fat.

For the most part, restaurant dishes aren't as healthy as what you can make at home because you don't have control over the ingredients used, and portion sizes are often much larger. This usually results in higher calorie, fat, and sodium content. To learn more about the unhealthiest dishes at Outback Steakhouse, we talked with Mary Sabat MS, RDN, LD, who looked through the menu and chose what she believes to be the unhealthiest dish to order. She also suggests a healthier alternative to order the next time you dine at this chain.

Read on, then check out the Best & Worst Menu Items at Outback Steakhouse.

The unhealthiest Outback Steakhouse order is…the Kingsland Pasta with Steak and Shrimp

plate of steak and shrimp pasta from Outback Steakhouse
Outback Steakhouse

This new Outback Steakhouse dish claims to be a "steakhouse twist" on their original Queensland Pasta—a dish made with chicken, shrimp, and fettuccine Alfredo. This dish takes it up a notch by replacing the chicken with grilled steak, but with this change comes extra calories, sodium, and saturated fat, making it one of the unhealthiest dishes on the menu.

The Kingsland Pasta with Steak and Shrimp is loaded with:

Nutrition (Per meal):
Calories: 1,900
Fat: 54 g (Saturated Fat: 20 g, Trans Fat: 0.5 g)
Sodium: 1,820 mg
Carbs: 237 g (Fiber: 12 g, Sugar: 17 g)
Protein: 103 g

"The Kingsland Steak and Shrimp Pasta at Outback Steakhouse stands out as one of the least advisable options on the menu due to its alarmingly high caloric content," says Sabat. Not only does it contain almost 2,000 calories, which is the same amount that is recommended for the average adult to consume in an entire day, but it is also "laden with 54 grams of fat, including saturated fats from the creamy alfredo sauce, contributing to an unhealthy fat intake," Sabat notes.

In addition to the high fat and calorie content, this dish contains 1,820 milligrams of sodium and 237 grams of carbohydrates, both of which Sabat says "can lead to adverse health effects such as high blood pressure and weight gain" when consumed regularly. When you think about the fact that the FDA recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, eating a meal that contains close to this number starts to sound like a risky idea.

"While it may offer a tempting combination of steak and shrimp," says Sabat, "the nutritional drawbacks of the rich, high-calorie sauce and excessive carbohydrate content make the Kingsland Steak and Shrimp Pasta an unwise choice for those mindful of their health when dining at Outback Steakhouse."

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A healthier alternative is the Grilled Chicken on the Barbie

chicken and broccoli from Outback Steakhouse
Outback Steakhouse

If you're skipping the Kingsland Pasta and searching for a more nutritious offering at Outback, look no further than the Grilled Chicken on the Barbie! This wood-fired chicken is served with barbecue sauce and your choice of a side, and this versatility gives you the option to make this meal fit with your personal health goals for the day.

The Grilled Chicken on the Barbie contains:

Nutrition (Per meal):
Calories: 520
Fat: 21 g (Saturated Fat: 5 g)
Sodium: 880 mg
Carbs: 22 g (Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 17 g)
Protein: 62 g

"With the grilled chicken alone providing 520 calories, 21 grams of fat (without any trans fat), and a substantial 62 grams of protein, it stands as a nutritious protein source," says Sabat.

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"But what sets this option apart as the healthiest on the menu," she notes, "is its versatility for customization. Pairing the chicken with asparagus and broccoli as sides adds just 140 extra calories while significantly boosting the fiber and antioxidant content of the meal."

When you consider the low calorie count, high protein levels, and moderate fat content, Sabat says "this is one of the most optimal choices at Outback for those seeking a wholesome and balanced dining experience."

Samantha Boesch
Samantha was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and now works as a writer in Brooklyn, NY. Read more about Samantha
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