Magazine cover image Get the Fall Issue

8 Iconic Restaurant Breads and Biscuits, Ranked by Nutrition

Find out which of your favorite pre-meal bread baskets are tacking on the most calories.
8 Iconic Restaurant Breads and Biscuits, Ranked by Nutrition
Courtesy of Olive Garden

It's quite common at popular restaurant chains to start your meal off by splitting a basket of bread. Whether it be sweet cornbread, buttery rolls, or even thin crunchy breadsticks, some of your favorite go-to places serve their own version of the bread basket, which is why we chose to highlight some of the most popular ones and pick them apart, one piece of the nutrition label at a time.

Methodology: In order to rank complimentary bread baskets that are served at a few of the country's most popular chain restaurants by nutrition, we compiled a list of everything from bread slices, biscuits, and rolls from seven major chains. The types of bread with the most calories and highest sodium contents were considered the least healthy. To break ties, we chose the bread with a greater amount of saturated fat. Note: we excluded restaurant chains that offer bread loaves and baguettes because the serving size was not clear. We also did not consider rolls and biscuits from restaurants that do not publicly provide sufficient nutrition information.

Here are 8 of the most iconic restaurant bread baskets in the nation, ranked from worst to best in nutrition! Warning: this article will more than likely induce hunger and carb cravings.

From Worst to Best

8

Cracker Barrel's Corn Muffins

cracker barrel corn muffins
David C./Yelp

Nutrition (per muffin): 210 calories, 11 g fat (3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 510 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (4 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 4 g protein

Before your main meal comes, you may be served a basket full of biscuits and corn muffins. The Cracker Barrel corn muffin contains a whopping 210 calories and 510 milligrams of sodium. For perspective, the American Heart Association recommends that you consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. If you eat one of these, you essentially wipe out nearly a quarter of your day's worth of the salty stuff, and that's before the meal has even begun—and that's only if you eat one and don't put any butter on it either.

7

Texas Roadhouse Rolls With Honey Cinnamon Butter

Texas Roadhouse Rolls with cinnamon butter
Texas Roadhouse/Facebook

Nutrition (per roll with 1 oz butter): 220 calories, 11 g fat (3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 230 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (1 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 4 g protein

When it comes to iconic rolls served in restaurants, Texas Roadhouse's signature bread rolls served with honey cinnamon butter are without a doubt one of the most popular. Note that this calculation takes into consideration one ounce of the sweet butter, but without it, the roll itself only amounts to 120 calories and 105 milligrams of sodium. The roll by itself isn't too bad, but who can resist whipped butter?

6

Logan's Roadhouse Yeast Rolls With Butter

Logan's Roadhouse/Facebook

Nutrition (per roll with butter): 210 calories, 18 g fat (5.5 g saturated fat, 0.8 g trans fat), 198 mg sodium, 10 g carbs (0.3 g fiber, 2.7 g sugar), 1.3 g protein

Imagine sinking your teeth into a fluffy roll that's been graced with a generous swath of melted butter. It's no wonder this roll from Logan's Roadhouse—when topped with its whipped butter—packs 18 grams of fat and nearly 6 grams of saturated fat. The whipped butter alone tacks on 130 calories, 15 grams of total fat, and 5 grams of saturated fat. In fact, two Reese's Cups actually costs you slightly fewer grams of total fat and saturated fat. Just like the Texas Roadhouse rolls though, we have to ask: How could you resist that butter?

5

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

red lobsters cheddar bay biscuits
Christine B./Yelp

Nutrition (per biscuit): 160 calories, 10 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 380 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 3 g protein

Red Lobster is another crowd favorite for its biscuits. While equivalent in calories with Cracker Barrel's biscuits (see below), Red Lobster's version is slightly more unhealthy because of its higher sodium and saturated fat content. The hike in sodium is partially from the addition of cheddar cheese.

RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

4

Cracker Barrel Buttermilk Biscuits

cracker barrel buttermilk biscuits
Moe P./Yelp

Nutrition (per biscuit): 160 calories, 6 g fat (2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 310 mg sodium, 23 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 3 g protein

Cracker Barrel is the place to get breakfast favorites such as pancakes, bacon, eggs, and sausage platters, and, of course, biscuits. Just one buttermilk biscuit is about 160 calories, which likely won't spoil your meal, so long as you stick to eating just one.

3

Olive Garden Breadstick With Garlic Topping

breadsticks at Olive Garden
Courtesy of Olive Garden

Nutrition (per breadstick): 140 calories, 2.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 460 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 4 g protein

Olive Garden's all-you-can-eat soup, salad, and breadstick deal is truly one of a kind—and it's no wonder it's such a hit, as the breadsticks are a staple menu item at the restaurant chain. While one stick is 140 calories, the breadstick packs about 210 milligrams of sodium more than Domino's Stuffed Cheesy Bread (see below).

2

Domino's Stuffed Cheesy Bread

stuffed cheesy bread from Domino's
Domino's Pizza/Twitter

Nutrition (per slice): 150 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 250 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 6 g protein

When you think of Domino's, most likely, it's pizza that's the first thing that comes to mind, but the restaurant's cheesy bread is also a popular option when it comes to eating something before you dig into a pie. There are eight slices per loaf of stuffed cheesy bread, so as long as you limit your intake to one slice, you should still feel hungry enough to indulge in a slice of pizza, too.

1

Fazoli's Garlic Breadstick

garlic breadsticks from Fazoli's
Courtesy of Fazoli's

Nutrition (per breadstick): 130 calories, 8 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 320 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 3 g protein

Fazoli's is known for serving up Italian cuisine favorites such as chicken carbonara, lasagna, and baked ziti. Before you're served the main entrée, you have the option to nibble on one of their garlic breadsticks. At 130 calories and 320 milligrams of sodium per breadstick, this is one of the healthier bread options you can nosh on at a major nationwide chain.

Get the Fall Issue

Featuring delicious weight loss recipes, quick and easy sheet pan suppers, slow cooker tips and much more!

Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more
Filed Under