The #1 Order to Never Make at Texas Roadhouse, Dietitian Says
When you get a craving for some red meat, feel like digging into some massive steakhouse-worthy portions, or just don't want to cook in the evening, nothing hits the spot like Texas Roadhouse. This restaurant has something for every carnivore in your life — the chain boasts a huge selection of gravy-smothered ribs, country-fried classics, and what seems like every cut of steak under the sun. Texas Roadhouse goes one step further than your typical steakhouse chain by allowing customers to top off their steaks with gravy, cheese, and more, while offering up a wide selection of deep-fried appetizers that have truly hit the mark with diners.
If you need to stick to a strict diet or simply want to avoid a ton of fat and salt, dining at Texas Roadhouse can feel like navigating a minefield. You could opt to order a salad or some grilled salmon if you want something that won't sink your eating plan for the week, but if you hit up this chain, you most likely want to dig into some fried pork chops or a large medium-rare sirloin.
Out of all the meal combinations and orders you could place at the restaurant, you might expect a porterhouse seared in butter or some deep-fried chicken to rank as the most unhealthy option on the menu. If you need to keep your diet on track, you can start by avoiding the appetizers and the least healthy Texas Roadhouse menu item.
Stay clear of this appetizer.
"After reviewing the nutritional information for the menu, the cactus blossom is the worst thing to order at Texas Roadhouse," Jesse Feder, RDN, CPT at My Crohns and Colitis Team told Eat This, Not That!
"This item is the worst for several reasons. It has the most calories (2,250 to be exact) on the menu and it is only an appetizer. 2,250 calories is more than what you should be eating in a day for the average person. It also comes with 135 grams of fat, 26 grams of saturated fat, and 36 grams of sugar! It has very little nutritional value and is the worst thing to order."
All the bad, all in one place.
The Cactus Blossom doesn't just come with over a day's worth of calories and fat — the item also loads up on salt. The item contains 5,000 mg of salt, meaning that you would consume over two days' worth of salt if you eat this whole appetizer in one sitting. While the Cactus Blossom looks incredibly bad from a health perspective, it only gets worse when you factor in dipping sauces.
You can make it a bit healthier if you try.
"Adding in extra dipping sauces can [add] several hundred more calories and grams of fat to your order," Feder explained.
Even if you hit up Texas Roadhouse with the intent of ordering a salad, grilled piece of fish, or another healthier menu item, you can undo all of your dietary progress with this one menu item. If you crave an appetizer but don't want to load up on a ton of fat, you can grab a cup of the Texas Red Chili with beans for an appropriately-portioned starter that doesn't feature a ton of calories or salt.
While the Cactus Blossom easily ranks as the unhealthiest item at Texas Roadhouse, it doesn't mean you can get away with eating everything else on the menu.
A version of this story was originally published on October 5, 2022. It has been updated to include new information.