What to Eat at Ruby Tuesday: Healthy Menu Choices and Nutrition Facts

Ruby Tuesday

Verywell / Christian Alzate

Ruby Tuesday has long remained a sought-after gathering place for after-work happy hours, birthday parties, and Saturday family dinners. Offering a laid-back, sit-down environment, Ruby Tuesday provides carb-enthusiast menu items typical of family-friendly restaurants, such as topping-heavy burgers, fries, and a number of steak entrees with the ubiquitous loaded baked potato on the side.

This establishment isn’t well known for its healthy food offerings—rather the opposite as patrons often order high-calorie drinks and large-portioned meals. But the restaurant does cater to the health-conscious eater with a make-it-yourself salad bar and menu emphasizing “Fit & Trim” selections that contain 700 calories or fewer per serving.

What Experts Say

Ruby Tuesday has everything from fried foods to a salad bar to vegetable-based entrees and soups. The Fit & Trim section of the menu highlights items 700 calories or less per serving, such as the grilled salmon with vegetables and rice.

Barbie Cervoni, RD, CDE

Navigating the Menu

Ruby Tuesday offers the standard fare for a relaxed, casual restaurant, such as salads, burgers, fried appetizers, and seafood. The menu displays an “FT” next to the Fit & Trim selections that contain 700 calories or fewer and a star next to the signature items that are among the most popular with patrons.

The restaurant also provides alternatives directly on the menu on how to make an entrée healthier.

What to Order & Avoid at Ruby Tuesday
 Most Nutritious Options Least Nutritious Options
Chicken Wings (Appetizers) Ruby's Signature Sampler (Appetizers)
Chicken Fresco (Chicken) Hand-Breaded Buttermilk ChickenTender Dinner (Chicken)
Classic Barbecue Glazed Baby-Back Ribs (Ribs & Combos) Texas Dusted Baby-Back Ribs (Ribs & Combos)
Grilled Salmon (Seafood) Crispy Shrimp Platter (Seafood)
Chicken Carbonara (Pasta) Chicken & Broccoli Pasta (Pasta) 
Asiago Peppercorn Sirloin & Grilled Shrimp (Steaks) Rib Eye (Steaks)
Grilled Chicken Sandwich (Burgers & Sandwiches)  Smokehouse Burger (Burgers &Sandwiches)
Grilled Zucchini (Sides) Mac ‘n Cheese (Sides)
Chocolate Lava Cake (Dessert) Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet (Dessert)
Grilled Chicken (Kids Menu) Buttery Pasta (Kids Menu)

Most Nutritious Option

If you’re looking for the healthiest item at Ruby Tuesday, consider ordering the chicken fresco with the Fit & Trim selection that includes rice pilaf and grilled zucchini as your sides.

Appetizers

The appetizer menu at Ruby Tuesday features family-friendly favorites including cheese fries, wings, mozzarella sticks, spinach artichoke dip, and more. Consider sharing these dishes with the whole table to get a taste of these flavors while maintaining healthy portion sizes.

✓ Chicken Wings

An appetizer order of chicken wings at Ruby Tuesday contains 870 calories, 72g fat, 17g saturated fat, 10g carbohydrates, 46g protein, and 1640mg sodium. While not the lowest-calorie option on the menu (that would be the order of mozzarella sticks), the chicken wings are lower in sodium and higher in protein than other options. Consider skipping the included dipping sauce to further eliminate calories and fat.

✗ Ruby's Signature Sampler

The Ruby's signature sampler comes with soft pretzels, queso, spinach artichoke dip, and mozzarella sticks, and delivers 1,490 calories, 72g fat, 30g saturated fat, 157g carbohydrates, 48g protein, and 3,160mg sodium.

With nearly a day's worth of recommended sodium and calories, this appetizer sampler is best shared with the table. Alternatively, consider ordering any of the sampled dishes — the pretzels, dip, or mozzarella sticks — separately to enjoy on their own.

Chicken

The chicken dishes vary in cooking styles from grilled to double-dipped buttermilk battered. You can also order the garden salad bar with all the chicken dishes for an additional fee.

✓ Chicken Fresco

Chicken fresco, a dish with one grilled chicken breast topped with tomatoes, lemon butter, and balsamic vinaigrette, contains 320 calories, 19g fat, 7g saturated fat, 3g carbohydrate, 33g protein, and 1,420mg sodium. You can also make this a Fit & Trim option with healthy, low-calorie sides; you can also save one of the grilled chicken breasts for another meal.

You can add a second chicken breast to the dish for an additional 280 calories and 33g protein. If you would prefer a little more cream to your chicken dish, the asiago bacon chicken also comes with two grilled chicken breasts.

✗ Hand-Breaded Buttermilk Chicken Tender Dinner

This buttermilk, breaded, heavy-carb chicken tender dinner has 690 calories, 40g fat, 6g saturated fat, 35g carbohydrate, 43g protein, and 2,380mg sodium.

Chicken enthusiasts might want to try the hickory bourbon chicken, which includes two grilled chicken breasts with a hickory bourbon glaze.

Ribs & Combos

Ruby Tuesday ribs are slow cooked for hours to the point they fall off the bone. You can choose from a number of flavors from the traditional BBQ to Nashville hot. All are relatively healthy, as they are low in calories, high in protein, and fairly low in sodium when compared to other protein dishes on the menu.

✓ Half-Rack Baby-Back Ribs - Classic Barbecue

The classic barbecue baby-back ribs have 470 calories, 24g fat, 9g saturated fat, 21g carbohydrate, 44g protein, and 370mg sodium. You are best to order the half rack with two healthy sides instead of overeating the full rack.

✗ Texas Dusted Baby-Back Ribs

Most of the ribs contain approximately the same amount of calories, making your selection a matter of taste preference. However, the option with the highest amount of calories is a full rack of the Texas dusted baby-back ribs, which contain 1,100 calories, 69g fat, 22g saturated fat, 30g carbohydrate, 88g protein, and 1,080mg sodium.

Seafood

The seafood dishes include cream, cheese, and fried fish. The only healthy options are the grilled salmon and blackened tilapia, but you can add a salad bar to all the seafood entrees to fill up on vegetables before consuming a heavy dish.  

✓ Grilled Salmon

The grilled salmon has 330 calories, 22g fat, 6g saturated fat, 0g carbohydrate, 39g protein, and 470mg sodium. You can order this dish with two sides; the Fit & Trim selection comes with grilled zucchini and rice pilaf.

✗ Crispy Shrimp Platter

The crispy shrimp platter contains 640 calories, 36g fat, 6g saturated fat, 54g carbohydrate, 25g protein, and 3,080mg sodium. This dish also comes with two sides, which you can make healthier by ordering grilled zucchini, steamed broccoli, or rice pilaf off the Fit & Trim menu.

Pasta

All pasta dishes are served with a garlic breadstick, which you can exclude to lessen the carbs. You can also make two pasta dishes, the shrimp scampi pasta and veggie basil pesto (the only vegetarian pasta option), gluten free for a small fee.

✓ Chicken Carbonara

The chicken carbonara has 1,060 calories, 47g fat, 20g saturated fat, 102g carbohydrate, 61g protein, and 3,050mg sodium.

✗ Chicken & Broccoli Pasta

Although this sounds like a healthy dish, the chicken & broccoli pasta contains 1,640 calories, 100g fat, 33g saturated fat, 128g carbohydrate, 60g protein, and 4,030mg sodium. This dish is a reminder to check the nutritional information before you order (as you might think this is the healthiest pasta entree on the menu).

Steaks

Meat enthusiasts might prefer to order off the steak menu, which includes top cuts of rib eye and sirloin. You can also order the salad bar for a nominal fee, which can add some fresh vegetables to your meal. Also, you can order healthy sides with any steak dish and skip the loaded baked potato and fries.

✓ Asiago Sirloin and Grilled Shrimp

The 6-ounce asiago sirloin and grilled shrimp is a protein-packed meal that contains 470 calories, 30g fat, 10g saturated fat, 7g carbohydrate, 43g protein, and 1,780mg sodium. For the two sides, ordering the grilled or steamed veggies and rice pilaf can keep the calories down.

✗ Rib Eye

One of the top cuts of meat, the rib eye offering has 730 calories, 56g fat, 25g saturated fat, 0g carbohydrate, 56g protein, and 950mg sodium. To lessen the caloric impact of your meal, order the steamed or grilled veggies and rice pilaf as your sides.

Burgers & Sandwiches

Containing the most popular menu items at Ruby Tuesday, the Burgers & Sandwiches selections come dripping with fat from the protein and mayonnaise topping. To make any burger healthier, you can switch out the red meat for a plant-based protein for a small fee.

✓ Grilled Chicken Sandwich

This grilled chicken sandwich contains 540 calories, 22g fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 36g carbohydrate, 40g protein, and 1,510mg sodium.

Asking the server for no mayo on this sandwich will reduce the fat content by about 6 grams. If you still want a liquid condiment as a topping, using ketchup and/or mustard will have fewer calories.

✗ Smokehouse Burger

The smokehouse burger has 980 calories, 54g fat, 20g saturated fat, 63g carbohydrate, 50g protein, and 1,700mg sodium. You can order the basic cheeseburger to stave off the fat from the bacon and ask for no mayo if you prefer a red meat option. You can also order the Garden Salad Bar as a starter to add more vegetables to the meal.

Sides

The sides range from the healthy grilled zucchini, steamed broccoli, and rice pilaf to the higher calorie loaded baked potato and tater tots. You can upgrade to premium sides for a nominal fee, and these range from the healthier soup of the day and roasted baby bellas to the lesser nutritious macaroni and cheese and loaded fries.

✓ Grilled Zucchini

The grilled zucchini side, also part of the Fit & Trim menu, contains 20 calories, 0.5g fat, 0g saturated fat, 3g carbohydrate, 1g protein, and 260mg sodium. Other healthy options include the steamed broccoli and rice pilaf.

✗ Mac ‘n Cheese

The mac 'n cheese side has 480 calories, 27g fat, 16g saturated fat, 43g carbohydrate, 19g protein, and 1,130mg sodium. This has almost the total amount of calories you eat in a meal. If you do want a carb-based side, the baked potato or the soup of the day is a healthier option.

Dessert

Ruby Tuesday offers a few chocolate options, including its famous chocolate chip cookie skillet with vanilla ice cream. All desserts contain a high amount of fat and calories; you won’t find any healthy, nutritious options.

✓ Chocolate Lava Cake

The chocolate lava cake will serve as your most nutritious option (even though this isn't healthy) with 620 calories, 33g fat, 18g saturated fat, 77g carbohydrate, 9g protein, and 430mg sodium. If you aren’t a chocolate person, the pineapple upside down cake will provide some fruit to end your meal on a sweet note (even though the cake isn't exactly healthy either).

✗ Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie


This chocolate chip skillet cookie dessert contains 1,350 calories, 71g fat, 39g saturated fat, 174g carbohydrate, 21g protein, and 1,140mg sodium, almost the total amount of calories you’d eat in a day. For the sweet toothed-patrons who must order dessert, you could eat a few bites and save the rest for another day.

Kids Menu

The kids menu at Ruby Tuesday includes homestyle favorites, in smaller portions. From mac 'n cheese and marinara pasta to crispy shrimp and grilled chicken (plus more), you can satisfy plenty of cravings by ordering from this menu.

✓ Grilled Chicken

The kids grilled chicken includes a smaller grilled chicken breast with your choice of side. It also will deliver 180 calories, 7g fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0g carbohydrate, 31g protein, and 470mg sodium. For maximum nutrition, order it with the grilled zucchini or broccoli and skip the mashed potatoes, French fries, and tater tots.

✗ Buttery Pasta

The kids buttery pasta, on the other hand, which contains cooked penne pasta with margarine, will run about 590 calories, 26g fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 78g carbohydrate, 11g protein, and 850mg sodium. If craving a pasta dish, consider ordering the marinara pasta for 130 fewer calories and 19g less fat.

Diet-Specific Options

A popular casual restaurant found throughout the U.S., Ruby Tuesday doesn’t offer the most heart-healthy options, but with their Fit & Trim menu and Garden Salad add on, you can stick to specific diets, including vegetarian, low-fat, low-sodium, and gluten-free. However, the restaurant does not offer many options for diners on a low-carb, diabetes-friendly, low-FODMAP, or vegan diet.

Gluten-free

  • Garden Salad Bar
  • Shrimp Scampi Pasta with Gluten-Free Penne
  • Veggie Basil Pesto with Gluten-Free Penne
  • Chicken & Broccoli Pasta with Gluten-Free Pasta Marinara
  • Classic Burger with Gluten-Free Bun

You can stick to a gluten-free diet at Ruby Tuesday, especially when eating from the salad bar (the only opportunity to completely control your meal at this restaurant). The restaurant allows for a number of gluten-free substitutions. For a nutritious meal, order the veggie basil pesto and make sure to request the gluten-free penne.

Low-Fat

  • Chicken Fresco Fit & Trim
  • Avocado Turkey Burger with Garden Salad Bar Add On
  • Steamed Broccoli
  • Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Grilled Salmon Fit & Trim

Although Ruby Tuesday is known for the Signature Hickory Bourbon BBQ, burgers, and pasta—not exactly entrees with a low amount of fat—you can order low-fat sides and Fit & Trim items to lessen the fat and sodium count. Stick to a low-fat diet and opt for the chicken fresco, fit and trim style, with grilled zucchini and rice pilaf, for only 22g fat.

Low-sodium

  • Chicken Fresco Fit & Trim
  • Grilled Salmon Fit & Trim
  • Garden Salad Bar
  • Chicken Caesar Salad
  • Top Sirloin Fit & Trim

A low-sodium diet is possible at Ruby Tuesday when you choose the Trim & Fit offerings and order the Garden Salad Bar on the side. For only a low-sodium dish, order the grilled salmon with grilled zucchini and rice pilaf.

Vegetarian

  • Garden Salad Bar
  • Mozzarella Sticks
  • Spinach Artichoke Dip
  • Veggie Basil Pesto
  • Marinara Pasta

You can follow a vegetarian diet at Ruby Tuesday, despite the popular offerings of burgers and BBQ. Ruby Tuesday has a “plant-based awesome patty” for a nominal, additional cost as a substitute for the red meat burgers. If you're craving pasta, order the veggie basil pesto — a good vegetarian-friendly option.

Food Allergies and Safety

For patrons with food allergies, Ruby Tuesday offers entrees that can fit within their allergen-specific needs. You might encounter some cross contamination, as the chefs cook in an environment in which allergens can mix.

To ensure your safety, you can do the following:

  • Check out Ruby Tuesday's Interactive Allergen & Nutritional Menus. These menus allow you to choose your food allergens and restrictions, lifestyle options, and nutritional goals. The site will then display food options based on your input.
  • Order a modification and swap out items to dishes from the Fit & Trim section. Switch out regular pasta and sauce for gluten-free options and substitute red meat for a plant-based burger.
  • Stick to the Garden Salad to have full control over what you eat.
  • Ask the wait staff any questions you may have about the menu.

A Word From Verywell

You can eat at Ruby Tuesday and stick to a healthy diet, but you shouldn’t make visiting this restaurant a habit. Instead, save this establishment for special occasions.

When you do go to Ruby Tuesday, following these tips can help you stave off extra calories and consume a nutritional meal:

  • Skip the appetizers and desserts.
  • Cut the meal in half and ask for a takeaway box as soon as you get your meal from the server. This will remove the food off your plate and the temptation to overeat.
  • Order the salad bar right away and load up on vegetables. You can control the amount you eat and fill up without consuming any of the heavy protein entrees.
  • If the salad bar doesn’t meet your food interests, ordering a number of healthy sides can offer you a good dose of vitamins and minerals. These sides include the steamed broccoli, grilled zucchini, and rice pilaf (if you must have carbs with your meal).
  • Look for the green circle "FT" on the menu. These are the Fit & Trim menu items that contain 700 calories or fewer.
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