How to Eat Low-Calorie in Carrabba’s: 2024 Update

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Helen Foster
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Heading to Carrabba’s Italian Grill tonight and wondering what the best options are on the menu if you’re counting your calories. Well, we’ve done the hard work for you and found not only the lowest calorie options in Carrabba’s – if you’re also making your diet healthy in other ways, we’ve also found the healthy choices at Carrabba’s that are low in calories and important factors like saturated fat or salt. Here’s what you need to know…

Illustration of three bowls of pasta in a row. A mint green oval above them reads 'Best Low Calorie Choices in Carrabbas'

What’s the Lowest Calorie Meal at Carrabba’s?

The lowest calorie meal at Carrabba’s Italian Grill is from the entrees menu – and it’s the Tuscan Grilled Chicken, which has 270 calories.

When you order off this part of the menu, you also add either a side salad or a soup and one extra side dish. To keep your calories low, pick a cup of Minestrone Soup for 210 calories and a side of Grilled Asparagus for 45 calories. This brings your whole meal to just 525 calories.

The 12 Next Lowest Calorie Meals at Carrabba’s

If you don’t feel like chicken, what else can you order at Carrabba’s and keep things within a sensible calorie range – well, it’s good news – since we first wrote this post, there are a lot more lower-calorie options in Carrabba’s (although it’s still not brilliant for pasta lovers).

The numbers below don’t include any soups or sides (where relevant), though, so you’ll need to add at least 255 more calories to the totals to get the final amount for your meal.

Or skip the soup and just pick the Asaparagus side and you can eat any of our 12 choices for under 600 calories. See it is possible to eat low calorie at Carrabbas – with a little bit of willpower!

DishCalories
Tuscan Grilled Sirloin (ex topping)350 calories
Grilled Pork Chop (ex topping)400 calories
Veal Piccata410 calories
Chicken Marsala460 calories
Spiedino di Mare, Shrimp460 calories
Tuscan Grilled Sirloin, 10oz (ex topping)480 calories
Chicken Bryan490 calories
Mahi Wulfe490 calories
Spiedino di Mare, Shrimp and Scallops500 calories
Veal Marsala520 calories
Simply Grilled Salmon540 calories
Speidino de Mare Scallops540 calories
Pollo Rosa Maria550 calories

5 Other Calorie Cutting Tips For Carrabba’s

If you don’t feel like any of the above, here are a few extra tips to keep calories down at Carrabba’s.

If You Want Pasta

Pasta dishes are the highest calorie item on the Carrabba’s menu – mostly because the portions are pretty huge. So, either get a to-go box and split it in half before you start eating – or the lowest calorie choice where you can enjoy the whole portion is the Lobster Ravioli at 680 calories. Add a cup of Minestrone Soup for another 210 calories.

Another option would to be to add a side of Penne Pomodoro to the Tuscan Chicken or 7oz Sirloin – that would actually have fewer calories than eating a whole pasta dish.

Swap Your Salad Dressing

The Carrabba’s nutritional information doesn’t tell you how many calories the normal dressings add to the salads, but looking at the nutritional breakdown, my rough guess is it’s about 250. They do give you the option to swap to Light Balsamic Dressing, which is 80 calories – my estimate suggests this would take the salads down to about 160 calories a serving – slightly lower than the soup.

Lunch on a Sandwich

At first glance, lunching at Carrabba’s seems to save calories – but then, you realize that each meal comes with soup and a salad – and the salads are pretty high in calories. Even if you order the lowest calorie option, you’re looking at a minimum of 430 calories on top of the calories in your dish. The sandwiches, however, come with just one side. You can have a Caprese Sandwich and soup for 600 calories.

Skip the Sauce

As you saw on our list of low-calorie entrees, the steak and pork chop options are pretty low – but these come served with a sauce that adds between 100 and 250 calories. Skip this – or, pick the Spicy Sicilian Butter, which is the lowest calorie choice.

Pick Specialities or Seafood over Steaks and Chops

If you just look at the numbers above, you might think you should do the opposite – but, the Steaks and Chops not only come with that topping that increases calories, they also come with soup or salad, and two side dishes. The Specialities or Seafood come with just one side.

Considering the next lowest side dish at Carrabba’s is the Sauteed Broccoli, which adds another 140 calories, you’re now looking at 570 calories on top of your meal – unless you have good willpower and say no to the extras.


Healthy Options at Carrabba’s

Counting calories is one way to change your diet, but if you’re also trying to eat healthily and cut back on things like fat, sugar or salt, what then should you eat at Carrabba’s? We’ve found the answers.

Dish of chicken and penne pasta at Carrabba's
Image @Carrabba’s Press Gallery

Lowest Calorie, Lowest Sodium Choice at Carrabba’s

This is also the Tuscan Chicken which has just 400mg of sodium alongside it’s 270 calories.

Again, you need to factor in the soup/salad and sides. Sides are easy – pick the Sauteed Spinach, it has 95 more calories than the asparagus, but almost half the sodium. Even with that swap you’ll still add 300mg of sodium to your meal.

The soups and salads are tougher as both are high in sodium. With no dressing information it’s hard to extrapolate exact numbers but your best choice to keep things low would be to ask for a House Salad with no dressing.

Lowest Saturated Fat and Calories at Carrabba’s

Guess what you need to order? Yes, it’s the Tuscan Grilled Chicken again, this has just 2g of saturated fat.

You’ll also want to choose the Grilled Asparagus Side which as no saturated fat, and either have the Minestrone Soup, or, splurge a few more calories on Mama Mandola’s Sicilian Chicken Soup.

Both soups have just 3g of saturated fat. Even if you do upgrade to the Chicken Soup, your meal will still only have 635 calories and 5g of saturated fat.

Dish of spaghetti and meatballs sserved with a burgundy bowl at Carrabbas
Image: @Carrabbas press gallery

Lowest Sugar and Calorie Dish at Carrabba’s

Yes, it’s our old friend the Tuscan-Grilled Chicken again – not only is it very low calorie, it also has zero sugar.

For sides, go with Grilled Asparagus which has just 2g of sugar and the Minestrone Soup which has just 5g of sugar. The salads have more sugar, again probably because of the dressing, but whereas I’d normally suggest just swapping that, Balsamic is not normally a low-sugar choice so, stick with the soup.

Are There Any Low-Calorie Vegetarian or Vegan Meals?

The lowest-calorie vegetarian meal is the Grilled Vegetable Ravioli which has 710 calories. If you’re vegan, pick the Spaghetti Pomodoro with 730 calories.

For your sides choose a salad with Light Balsamic Dressing and the Grilled Asparagus – these are both vegan.

You will be consuming close to 1000 calories here though so, if you can split the pasta in half that’s a good idea.

What About Low Calorie Gluten-Free Options?

Aha, maybe this is why the Tuscan-Grilled Chicken has dropped calories since we last updated this post – before, it was not gluten-free, now it is – so, maybe they’ve removed some floury coating or something.

This therefore also makes this the best choice for those avoiding gluten! Although, as with all chain restaurants, there is a chance of cross-contamination so, do speak to your server for the best advice if you are coeliac.

With sides pick the Grilled Asparagus and the House Salad with Light Balsamic Dressing which is gluten-free – double checking this comes without croutons or any other relevant ingredient.

Plate of chicken and pasta served on a white plate. A glass of red wine in a Carrabba's wine glass stands behind it.
Image: @Carrabbas Press Gallery


Did this guide help you order your next meal at Carrabba’s Italian Grill? Let me know in the comments! If your favorite isn’t listed here, then you might also want to check the Carrabba’s Nutritional Information for more calorie counts.

What to Read Next?

You might want to check out some of our other calorie reports.

We’ve looked at the lowest calorie options in California Pizza Kitchen.

We’ve checked out the menu at Benihana and found out what’s best to order while you watch the fun on the grill. See what the best options are here.

And, if you’re looking for a hearty breakfast, we’ve also looked at the calories in IHOP and found a brilliant way to eat there and save a LOT of calories.

If you’re a salad fan, you might want to check out our guides to the calories in some of the salad-based chains. We’ve looked at the calories in Just Salad and found 33 options you can order under 500 calories – which is pretty impressive.

We also found out what the best options are if you’re eating at Tender Greens. And you might be surprised by them both.

2 thoughts on “How to Eat Low-Calorie in Carrabba’s: 2024 Update”

  1. Telling someone to eat an appetizer or a cup of soup as dinner is ridiculous.
    Also telling them to put half their meal in a to go box is a total cop out

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment, I get that it’s a cop-out to say ‘only eat half of it’, but what I aim to do in these posts is give people trying to stick to a calorie budget as many options as possible to eat at restaurants they like. And sometimes that can mean adapting meals or portion sizes – and that’s the case with certain dishes at Carrabba’s. The simple fact is there is not a pasta dish on the menu that offers a full serving under the suggested 600 calories. I could tell people they can’t have pasta at all there and stick to their calories, or I could give a suggestion that allows them to enjoy something they like within their calorie budget, and that’s the option I chose to pick.

      Reply

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