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

Ruby Tuesday

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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.

Most Nutritious Option
  • Classic Bangin Shrimp (Appetizers)

  • Avocado Grilled Chicken Sandwich
    (Burgers & Sandwiches)

  • Grilled Salmon (Seafood)

  • Garden Salad (Salad)

  • Asiago Peppercorn Sirloin (Steak)

  • Chicken Fresco (Chicken)

  • Cajun Chicken & Shrimp Pasta
    (Pasta)

  • Hickory Bourbon Chicken (Signature
    Hickory Bourbon BBQ)

  • Sweet Tea Glazed Baby-Back Ribs
    (Ribs & More)

  • Zucchini (Sides)

  • Molten Chocolate Lava Cake (Dessert)

Least Nutritious Option
  • Tater Totchos (Appetizers)

  • Bacon Cheeseburger (Burgers &
    Sandwiches)

  • Crispy Shrimp Platter (Seafood)

  • Crispy Chicken Ranch Salad (Salad)

  • Bella Peppercorn Rib Eye (Steak)

  • Hand-Breaded Buttermilk Chicken
    Tender Dinner (Chicken)

  • Chicken & Broccoli Pasta (Pasta)

  • Hickory Bourbon Bacon Burger
    (Signature Hickory Bourbon BBQ)

  • Texas Dusted Baby-Back Ribs (Ribs
    & More)

  • Mac & Cheese (Sides)

  • Chocolate Fall Cake (Dessert)

Healthiest Option

If you’re looking for the healthiest item at Ruby Tuesday, the Garden Salad Bar entrée allows you to completely control what you consume and load your plate with no-fat, low-calorie vegetables.

You might feel tempted to add calorie-laden dressings and carbs as toppings. For patrons who eat with their eyes, you should stick to the menu and skip the Garden Salad Bar.

Instead, you might want to consider ordering the Chicken Fresco with the Fit & Trim selection that includes rice pilaf and grilled zucchini as your sides.

Appetizers

The majority of appetizers contain a high amount of calories and starch, as Ruby Tuesday offers the typical starters of similar franchise restaurants, such as Mozzarella Sticks, Spinach Artichoke Dip, and Chicken Quesadillas loaded with sour cream and cheese. To avoid the extra calories, you should skip appetizers and desserts altogether, as the entrees are fairly large in size and you could end up overindulging.

Most Nutritious Option

Classic Bangin Shrimp

The Classic Bangin Shrimp, although high in cholesterol, has fewer calories than other appetizers, with a nutritional content of 549 calories, 38g fat, 6g saturated fat, 34g carbohydrate, 14g protein, and 1,372mg sodium.

Least Nutritious Option

Tater Totchos

This take on traditional tater tots comes topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, tomatoes, scallions, and sour cream. The Tater Totchos contain 1,450 calories, 94g fat, 24g saturated fat, 94g carbohydrate, 39g protein, and 3,942mg sodium.

If you must order a carb-based appetizer, you should consider ordering the Chicken Quesadilla and asking for no bacon or sour cream. This way you get a low-fat protein, even if it's a high-calorie appetizer. 

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.

Most Nutritious Option

Avocado Grilled Chicken Sandwich

This chicken sandwich contains 712 calories, 35g fat, 8g saturated fat, 38g carbohydrate, 46g protein, and 1,759mg sodium.

The avocado adds heart-healthy fat, potassium for electrolyte balance, and fiber to aid in sound digestion. Asking the server for no mayo on this sandwich will reduce the fat content. If you still want a liquid condiment as a topping, using ketchup and/or mustard will have fewer calories.

Least Nutritious Option

Bacon Cheeseburger

The Bacon Cheeseburger has 816 calories, 47g fat, 18g saturated fat, 36g carbohydrate, 47g protein, and 1,459mg 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.

Seafood

The seafood dishes include cream, cheese, and fried fish. The only healthy option is the Grilled Salmon, but you can add a salad bar to all the seafood entrees to fill up on vegetables before consuming a heavy dish.  

Most Nutritious Option

Grilled Salmon

The Grilled Salmon has 326 calories, 17g fat, 4g saturated fat, 0g carbohydrate, 42g protein, and 1,062mg sodium. You can order this dish with two sides; the Fit & Trim selection comes with grilled zucchini and rice pilaf.

Least Nutritious Option

Crispy Shrimp Platter

The Crispy Shrimp Platter contains 1,124 calories, 57g fat, 7g saturated fat, 137g carbohydrate, 32g protein, and 5,625mg 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.

Salad

Ruby Tuesday has an unusual option for relaxed, casual restaurants—a salad bar. You can control your portion and toppings, and loading up on vegetables can help fill you up with healthy foods full of vitamins and minerals and no saturated fat before consuming heavier, protein-based entrees.

Most Nutritious Option

Garden Salad Side Order

The Garden Salad side order has 263 calories, 18g fat, 7g saturated fat, 13g carbohydrate, 9g protein, and 393mg sodium. If you opt for the salad bar as your main entrée, the calories can vary substantially. Staying away from bacon bits, creamy dressings, and breadsticks will keep the saturated fat and calories down.

Least Nutritious Option

Crispy Chicken Ranch Salad

Not all salads are low calorie and healthy. The Crispy Chicken Ranch Salad contains 1,029 calories, 67g fat, 15g saturated fat, 56g carbohydrate, 39g protein, and 2,266mg sodium—more than half the calories you should eat in a day. Patrons wishing to skip the salad bar could order the Chicken Caesar Salad off the menu; the salad has 857 calories a serving.

Steak

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.

Most Nutritious Option

Asiago Peppercorn Sirloin

This sirloin contains 354 calories, 16g fat, 7g saturated fat, 7g carbohydrate, 43g protein, and 1,326mg sodium. For the two sides, ordering the grilled or steamed veggies and rice pilaf can keep the calories down.

Least Nutritious Option

Bella Peppercorn Rib Eye

One of the top cuts of meat, the Rib Eye offering has 1,034 calories, 81g fat, 42g saturated fat, 5g carbohydrate, 58g protein, and 1,649mg sodium. To lessen the caloric intake, cut the meat in half and immediately put the half in a takeaway box (keeping the food out of sight and avoiding the enticement to eat), and order the steamed or grilled veggies and rice pilaf as your sides.

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.

Most Nutritious Option

Chicken Fresco

Chicken Fresco, a dish with two grilled chicken breasts topped with tomatoes, lemon butter, and balsamic vinaigrette, contains 368 calories, 22g fat, 7g saturated fat, 2g carbohydrate, 32g protein, and 1,246mg 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.

If you would prefer a little more cream to your chicken dish, the Asiago Bacon Chicken also comes with two grilled chicken breasts.

Least Nutritious Option

Hand-Breaded Buttermilk Chicken Tender Dinner

This buttermilk, breaded, heavy-carb chicken tender dinner has 1,069 calories, 56g fat, 7g saturated fat, 94g carbohydrate, 36g protein, and 3,268mg sodium.

Chicken enthusiasts might want to try the crispy chicken wings off the appetizer menu instead, if the healthier Chicken Fresco doesn't appease your taste buds. The wings contain between 550 and 800 calories per flavor and serving.

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.

Most Nutritious Option

Cajun Chicken & Shrimp Pasta

The Cajun Chicken & Shrimp Pasta has 599 calories, 21g fat, 4g saturated fat, 40g carbohydrate, 46g protein, and 2,668mg sodium. If you’re looking for a high-protein meal, this might be nice for your palate as the dish contains a creamy consistency and is carb-based—not standard for an entrée with almost 50 grams of protein.

Least Nutritious Option

Chicken & Broccoli Pasta

Although this sounds like a healthy dish, the Chicken & Broccoli Pasta contains 1,395 calories, 81g fat, 28g saturated fat, 101g carbohydrate, 53g protein, and 3,533mg 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).

Signature Hickory Bourbon BBQ

Many frequent patrons visit Ruby Tuesday for the hickory bourbon-based, high-on-flavor dishes with proteins such as chicken, ribs, and salmon. You can order all the hickory dishes with the salad bar starter for a nominal fee, and you can order two vegetable sides.

Most Nutritious Option

Hickory Bourbon Chicken

The Hickory Bourbon Chicken comes with two grilled chicken breasts and Ruby Tuesday’s signature hickory bourbon glaze. The dish has 250 calories, 5g fat, 0g saturated fat, 18 g carbohydrate, 31g protein, and 696mg sodium. You can also make this meal a Fit & Trim option by choosing grilled zucchini and rice pilaf.

Least Nutritious Option

Hickory Bourbon Bacon Burger

The Hickory Bourbon Bacon Burger has 570 calories, 53g fat, 18g saturated fat, 45g carbohydrate, 50g protein, and 1,654mg sodium. You can order the Garden Salad Bar as a starter to add more vegetables to the meal.

Ribs & More

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.

Most Nutritious Option

Sweet Tea Glazed Baby-Back Ribs

The Sweet Tea Glazed Baby-Back Ribs have 463 calories, 22g fat, 11g saturated fat, 18g carbohydrate, 43g protein, and 205mg sodium. You are best to order the half rack with two healthy sides instead of overeating the full rack.

Least Nutritious Option

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 the Texas Dusted Baby-Back Ribs, which contain 591 calories, 33g fat,13g saturated fat, 24g carbohydrate, 43g protein, and 673mg sodium.

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.

Least Nutritious Option

Grilled Zucchini

The zucchini side, also part of the Fit & Trim menu, contains 22 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 2g carbohydrate, 1g protein, and 260mg sodium. Other healthy options include the steamed broccoli and rice pilaf.

Most Nutritious Option

Mac & Cheese

The Mac & Cheese side has 560 calories, 29g fat, 18g saturated fat, 46g carbohydrate, 24g protein, and 1,253mg 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 their 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.

Most Nutritious Option

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

The lava cake will serve as your most nutritious option (even though this isn't healthy) with 622 calories, 31g fat, 17g saturated fat, 76g carbohydrate, 8g protein, and 433mg 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).

Least Nutritious Option

Chocolate Fall Cake

This chocolate cake contains 1,376 calories, 59g fat, 29g saturated fat, 180g carbohydrate, 11g protein, and 627mg 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.

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, such as the following: 

  • Vegetarian
  • Low-fat
  • Low-sodium
  • Gluten-free

Vegetarian

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.

Meatless menu items include the following:

  • Garden Salad Bar
  • Steamed Broccoli
  • Grilled Zucchini
  • Rice Pilaf
  • Mozzarella Sticks
  • Spinach Artichoke Dip
  • Veggie Basil Pesto
  • Garlic Breadsticks
  • Marinara Pasta
  • Burgers with the Plant-based Patty Substitute

Low-Fat Diet

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.

Low-fat menu items include the following:

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

Low-Sodium Diet

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.

Low-sodium items include the following:

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

Gluten-Free Diet

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.

Gluten-free menu items include any of the following:

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

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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  1. Ruby Tuesday. Ruby Tuesday Website Updated January 13, 2021.

  2. Ruby Tuesday. Interactive Allergen and Nutritional Menus. Updated January 15, 2021.