What to Eat at O’Charley’s: Healthy Menu Choices and Nutrition Facts

O'Charley's menu items: asparagus, salmon, steak

Verywell / Christian Alzate

A popular casual dining restaurant chain, you’ll find O’Charley’s franchises in 17 Southern and Midwestern states and in more than 175 locations. Known for their Southern-style cuisine served with old-fashioned hospitality, O’Charley’s focuses on their meat offerings, ranging from honey-drizzled fried chicken, finger-licking BBQ ribs, and burgers with all the fixings.

O’Charley’s follows a mission of cooking food that brings people together, hearkening back to the days when people gathered around the dinner table and shared stories and special occasions as they ate comfort food. You will see this type of food represented in their numerous entrée and side offerings.

What the Expert Says


"The O'Charleys menu is protein-focused but does offer multiple ways to add vegetables to your meal. The entrees are animal protein-based, so if you are a vegetarian, you would have to choose from appetizers or sides only. The sodium levels of many dishes are quite high (more than a day's worth of sodium), so if you eat here regularly it may be worth opting for some of the lower sodium dishes."

Willow Jarosh, MS, RD

Navigating the Menu

The majority of the food options at O'Charley's are high in sodium and high in fat, without much attention to vegetarian choices. If you’re looking to follow a low-fat, low-calorie diet, ordering any of the salmon picks with broccoli and grilled asparagus will provide you with a lean protein and multiple servings of vitamin C.

O’Charley’s does have salads, but they contain between 43g to 110g of fat, with the exception of the house salad. For the budget-conscious, the best choice under $10 is the Low Country Shrimp with Rice. If you pair this entree with a side of grilled asparagus, you will get a full meal of greens and proteins.

Most Nutritious Option
  • Chips & Spicy White Queso (Appetizers)

  • Steak & Grilled Atlantic Salmon, 6 oz (No Sides) (Classic Combos)

  • Honey-Drizzled Southern Fried Chicken (Chicken and Pasta)

  • Grilled Top Sirloin, 6 oz (No Side)
    (Steak and Ribs)

  • Fresh Atlantic Grilled Salmon Blackened, 6 oz (No Side) (Seafood)

  • Grilled Asparagus, 1 Portion (Sides)

  • French Silk Pie, Slice (Desserts)

Least Nutritious Option
  • Loaded Potato Skins (Appetizers)

  • Ribs & Chicken Tenders, Nash Hot (no sides) (Classic Combos)

  • Chicken Parmesan (Chicken and Pasta)

  • O’Charley’s BBQ Ribs, Platter (Steak and Ribs)

  • Seafood Platter (Seafood)

  • Classic Bleu Cheese Wedge (Sides)

  • Brownie Lover’s Brownie (Desserts)

Most Nutritious Option

The Grilled Asparagus is the most nutritious option on O’Charley’s menu. This is on the Sides menu, however, and won’t likely fill you up. If you want a full meal, ordering the Fresh Atlantic Grilled Salmon Blackened with grilled asparagus and broccoli is the most nutritious option. This combination totals 550 calories and provides omega-3s, folic acid, potassium, and fiber.

Appetizers

With the high-calorie and high-fat entrees at O’Charley’s, you should skip the appetizers and stick to ordering the meal only. If you visit simply for appetizers, the chips and cheese dip, artichoke and chip dip, or fried green tomatoes have the lowest number of calories. Consider sharing them with others to stave off extra calories.

✓ Chips and Spicy White Queso

The Chips and Spicy White Queso contains 529 calories, 38g fat, 17g saturated fat, 31g carbohydrates, 16g protein, and 1,590mg sodium.

✗ Loaded Potato Skins

The Loaded Potato Skins contain 1,400 calories, 109g fat, 41g saturated fat, 44g carbohydrates, 62g protein, and 2,180mg sodium.

Classic Combos

The combos come with a choice of ribs or steak paired with chicken tenders or salmon. The steak combo with either salmon or baby back ribs has the lowest calories.  

✓ Steak and Grilled Atlantic Salmon, 6 oz (no sides)

The Steak and Grilled Atlantic Salmon has 750 calories, 33g fat, 8g saturated fat, 5g carbohydrates, 73g protein, and 1,740mg sodium.

✗ Ribs and Chicken Tenders, Nash Hot (no sides)

The Ribs and Chicken Tenders, Nash Hot contain 1,230 calories, 87g fat, 21g saturated fat, 42g carbohydrates, 58g protein, and 3,300mg sodium. 

Chicken and Pasta

Most of the pasta entrees come with the option of adding a house salad or a bowl of soup. The O’Charley’s House Salad contains 150 calories without dressing and the most nutritious soup is the Chicken Tortilla with 190 calories.

✓ Honey-Drizzled Southern Fried Chicken

The Honey-Drizzled Southern Fried Chicken contains 430 calories, 25g fat, 5g saturated fat, 18g carbohydrates, 30g protein, and 980mg sodium.

✗ Chicken Parmesan

The Chicken Parmesan has 1,320 calories, 64g fat, 16g saturated fat, 122g carbohydrates, 66g
protein, and 3,200mg sodium.

Steak and Ribs

All steakhouse classics come with your choice of two sides of which the grilled asparagus and broccoli are the most nutritious. You can also add a house salad or a bowl of soup. If you really want a carbohydrate on the side, the regular baked potato (without toppings) has 200 calories.

✓ Grilled Top Sirloin, 6 oz (No Side)

The Grilled Top Sirloin has 270 calories, 18g fat, 7g saturated fat, 0g carbohydrates, 25g protein, and 850mg sodium. 

✗ O’Charley’s BBQ Ribs, Platter

The BBQ Ribs Platter contains 4,960 calories, 249g fat, 89g saturated fat, 381g carbohydrates, 269g protein, and 18,300mg sodium.

Seafood

The most nutritious seafood options are the 6 ounces of cedar-planked salmon, the fresh Atlantic grilled salmon, and Low Country Shrimp. They each contain no more than 520 calories and are low in carbs and high in protein.

✓ Fresh Atlantic Grilled Salmon Blackened, 6 oz (No Side)

The Blackened Grilled Salmon contains 340 has calories, 21g fat, 4g saturated fat, 3g carbohydrates, 34g protein, and 610mg sodium.

✗ Seafood Platter

The Seafood Platter contains 1,950 calories, 121g fat, 22g saturated fat, 141g carbohydrates, 71g protein, and 2,970mg sodium.

Sides

The Grilled Asparagus is the most nutritious option on O’Charley’s menu. For other nutritious sides, the broccoli, sweet potato, or baked potato are your best bets.

✓ Grilled Asparagus

The Grilled Asparagus has 60 calories, 5g fat, 2g saturated fat, 3g carbohydrates, 2g protein, and 290mg sodium.

✗ Classic Bleu Cheese Wedge

The Bleu Cheese Wedge contains 580 calories, 57g fat, 13g saturated fat, 10g carbohydrates, 13g protein, and 1,370mg sodium.

Desserts

O’Charley’s is famous for its pies, offering both slices and whole pies to go. The slice with the least amount of calories is the French Silk. If this pie isn’t to your liking, the cherry and apple pies offer vitamin C and fiber. Although you should know that they also contain quite a bit of sugar.

✓ French Silk Pie, Slice

A slice of French Silk Pie contains 580 calories, 43g fat, 22g saturated fat, 49g carbohydrates, 5g protein, and 310mg sodium.

✗ Brownie Lover’s Brownie

Brownie Lover’s Brownie contains 1,650 calories, 77g fat, 45g saturated fat, 227g carbohydrates, 24g protein, and 1,420mg sodium.

Diet-Specific Options

Arming yourself with knowledge of O'Charley's nutrition menu will help you stick to your diet. You can find entrees and sides that meet the following diets:

Vegetarian

There are a few meatless options O'Charleys but you may have to combine a few things in order to create a meal. Vegetarian items include the following:

  • Baked Potato
  • Broccoli
  • Grilled Asparagus
  • Sweet Potato Fries
  • Mac and Cheese
  • O’Charley’s Fried Green Tomatoes
  • Crispy Pickle Chips
  • Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Low-Carb

If your goal is to consume high-protein and low-carb dishes, you might find the following menu items appealing:

  • Cedar-Planked Salmon
  • Fresh Atlantic Grilled Salmon Blackened
  • Filet Mignon With Garlic Butter
  • Ribeye Steak
  • Slow Roasted Prime Rib

Low-Fat

If you are following a low-fat diet, you may find the following low-fat meals and sides align with your nutritional goals:

  • Peach Chutney Chicken
  • Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • Baked Potato
  • Seasoned Rice Pilaf
  • Broccoli
  • Grilled Asparagus
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  • Ham Steak, Side

Low-Sodium

Most of the menu items at O'Charley's contain significant amounts of sodium. These menu items are the lowest sodium items on the menu, but may still not be considered "low sodium":

  • Cedar-Planked Salmon
  • Fresh Atlantic Grilled Salmon Blackened, 6 oz
  • Fresh Atlantic Grilled Salmon Chipotle, 6 oz
  • Baked Potato
  • Broccoli
  • Grilled Asparagus
  • Sweet Potato Fries
  • Mac and Cheese

 Food Allergies and Safety

If you have food allergies or food sensitivities, you know how important it is to make sure what you or your children are eating is safe. To protect yourself from having a food allergic reaction, you may want to do your own research. On O’Charley’s allergen website, you can see a complete ingredient list of each item and toggle different allergens on and off.

Once you arrive at the restaurant, O’Charley’s website encourages you to ask questions of staff. Keep in mind that sometimes website information can be outdated. So, you want to determine what is safe to eat and request any modifications you might need.

You also should be aware of cross-contamination. In fact, their website says: “Because of the handcrafted nature of our menu items, the variety of procedures used in our kitchens, and our reliance on our suppliers, we can make no guarantees of its accuracy and disclaim liability for the use of this information.”

This means if you are trying to avoid tree nuts, there is still a possibility that your food could come in contact with tree nuts in the kitchen. Sometimes speaking to a manager when ordering helps ensure that your food is prepared in a safe way.

Some restaurants will even go so far as to use special pans when preparing your food. Of course, you cannot guarantee this beforehand, but it is certainly worth talking about once you arrive.

A Word From Verywell

When you do patronize O’Charley’s, you can choose from a few healthy sides and lean proteins (namely, grilled salmon) that are full of vitamins, minerals, flavors, and textures to satisfy your palate.

If you really want dessert—for which O’Charley’s is famous—order a slice of fruit pie or chocolate silk pie and split it with the table. You also can take the dessert home and eat it later if you want to keep your meal’s calorie count down.

 

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  1. O’Charley’s Restaurant & Bar. Allergen information.