I loved Red Lobster when we used to visit the US – I still think about the cheesy biscuits! But if you want to eat at Red Lobster while counting calories, what are the best options to order that won’t leave you feeling crabby? Our guide to Red Lobster calories can help you narrow it down. And it doesn’t just cover general calorie counting – it’ll also help you find your perfect low-calorie meal if you’re also watching fat, sodium, sugar – and more.
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The Absolute Lowest Calorie Meal in Red Lobster
The lowest calorie main meal (with sides) at Red Lobster is the 6oz Filet Mignon Steak (250 calories) paired with Coleslaw (110 calories) and either a House Salad from the Premium Sides Menu (160 calories) or Mashed Potatoes (210 calories). This hearty meal comes in at 520-580 calories.
This is different from our 2023 update – as the side dishes have gone up a bit in the last menu update, which will push up the general calorie counts, so watch out for those – but yay! Mashed potatoes!
15 Other Red Lobster Dishes Under 600 Calories
If you don’t fancy Filet Mignon, you might wonder what else you can order – well, here are your options. Remember, these don’t include the extras, and dishes come with one or two sides – so add another 110 calories for coleslaw, 160 for House Salad or 210 calories for mash.
Plus, it excludes the delicious Cheddar biscuits. More on those in a minute!
|7 oz Sirloin Steak
|Simply Grilled Scallops and Shrimp Skewers
|Live Maine Lobster (steamed)
|Bowl of Clam Chowder
|Shrimp Your Way x 2 – Garlic, Walt’s Favourite
|Shrimp Your Way x 2 Garlic and Sirloin
|Grilled Rainbow Trout
|Shrimp Your Way x 2 – Sirloin and Walts Favourite
|Shrimp Your Way x 2 – Garlic and Skewer
|Twin Maine Tails
|Plain Caesar Salad
|Maple Bacon Chicken
|Salmon New Orleans (half)
|10 oz NY Strip
Calories in the Cheddar Biscuits
These are my favorite things in Red Lobster – crumbly, cheesy, buttery – and every entree in Red Lobster comes with two.
So, what difference do these make to things, you might wonder… well, each Red Lobster Cheddar Bay biscuit is 160 calories, so your side serving is 320 calories.
None of the numbers above include the crumbly biscuits of joy, so you’ll need to factor them in if, like us, you can’t leave them.
Or maybe ask your server not to bring them (hahahahaha – not happening on our table).
Steak and seafood are also two of the most popular choices to eat at Benihana – and if you want to know what to order there without busting your calorie budget, you need our Benihana calorie guide.
8 Ways to Cut More Calories at Red Lobster
If you want to try and reduce the calories a bit further in your favorite at Red Lobster, there are a few ways to do it.
Start with the Black Tiger Shrimp Cocktail
This is your pick if you’re out with a group ordering appetizers. It’s the lowest-calorie starter by far, with just 180 calories.
Do the Soup Boost
Or, have a cup of Clam Chowder. People who start their meal with soup or salad eat 20 percent less at their main course, says one study. Admittedly, this does require you to use willpower to leave some of the big portions that come next so you don’t have to be rolled out of the restaurant.
Pick Shrimp Your Way Over CYO Feast
They have similar ingredients, but Shrimp Your Way comes with just one side, not two, so, it immediately contains fewer calories.
Cut Dressing, Add Chicken
If you choose the Plain Caesar Salad, it has 560 calories – but the dressing is 300 calories of that. Ask for this on the side and only eat half, and you can add chicken to the salad and make a meal for just 580 calories.
Swap the Loaded Potato for Baked Potato and Sour Cream
The loaded baked potato side has 520 calories – a plain potato with a dollop of sour cream has just 295 and will taste pretty much the same. Oh, and the sour cream also has fewer calories than the butter.
Fill Up on Shrimp
If you have a bigger appetite, add more protein to your meal rather than carbs to feel fuller faster and for fewer calories. Adding a Garlic Shrimp Scampi Skewer to your meal will only add 110 calories, less than most of the side dishes, but it has an extra 12g of protein – or go all out and add the Sirloin. It’s just 260 calories but has 41g of protein.
If you’ve used this post to decide what to pick, make sure you order first – people get swayed by others in their group. If everyone else is ordering Fried Shrimp, you might feel left out ordering a steak – get in first, though, and they might follow you!
Get Your To-Go Box First
Portions in Red Lobster are pretty filling, so the easiest way to reduce your calories is to take half of it home for lunch or dinner tomorrow. But, do not wait for willpower to kick in or for you to start feeling full and leave food before you decide what to takeout; both reactions occur more slowly than you can eat! Get your box first and put half your meal in it before you start.
Low-Calorie, Healthy Options at Red Lobster
Sometimes, it’s not just calories that you’re counting but also fat or sodium – and as details for fat or salt aren’t on the average restaurant menu, it can be hard to work out what to choose if that’s the case, so that’s where we come in very handy – we’ve done the maths to find the lowest calorie, healthy options at Red Lobster for other types of diet.
The Low-Calorie and Low-Fat Choice To Pick
Turn to the Shrimp Your Way menu for this one – pick the Garlic Shrimp Scampi and the Walts’s Favorite Shrimp, and you’ll take in just 480 calories and 4g of saturated fat.
The Rainbow Trout is a close second at 490 calories and 4.5g of saturated fat.
For your side dishes, stick with the Coleslaw but choose the Orzo Rice as your second side. It has a few more calories (230), but it has zero saturated fat.
Low Calorie – and Low Sodium – at Red Lobster
This would be the Rainbow Trout which has 490 calories – but just 170mg of sodium – by far the lowest sodium item at Red Lobster.
If you’re not a trout fan, though, take a look at our guide to eating at Red Lobster when watching your salt, as that has a big list of options.
Obviously, you also have to add your sides to this, and the two lowest calorie and lowest sodium choices are the Coleslaw and the House Side Salad, which adds 270 calories and 370mg of sodium to your meal.
The Lowest Calorie Vegetarian Option at Red Lobster
There aren’t really any balanced vegetarian options at Red Lobster. On the menu itself, you have only one option – a Caesar Salad at 560 calories per meal – but it will be low in protein.
Otherwise, you will have to combine some side dishes – maybe a Coleslaw (110 calories) and a Baked Potato without the butter or sour cream (270 calories). As much as I love RL, it’s not the most veggie-friendly choice, I’m afraid.
The Lowest Calorie Gluten-Free Choice at Red Lobster
For this, you’re looking at the 6oz Filet Mignon, which has 250 calories.
This comes with two sides, and if you’re looking to cut your calories and avoid gluten, then you’d choose the coleslaw and the mashed potatoes, which would add 320 calories.
Giving you a total meal calorie count of 570 calories.
As with many chain restaurants, Red Lobster is only classed as gluten-free by ingredient and can’t guarantee to avoid cross-contamination, but they have a few processes in place to do their best, so do speak to your server.
If you don’t feel like steak, or you’re also watching calories, fat or sodium, you’ll want to check out our guide to the healthiest gluten-free choices at Red Lobster.
If you weren’t sure what low-calorie dishes to eat at Red Lobster, we hope you are now! If you’re favourite Red Lobster meal wasn’t in our guide, it probably means it’s over our 600-calorie cut-off – but as we said, that doesn’t mean you can’t ever eat it. If it’s a special occasion go for it, if it’s just a Saturday night out go for it, but adapt your meals for the weekend to counteract it.
You can find all the calorie content of Red Lobster’s meals by checking out their menu.
All images c/o Red Lobster press gallery.
More Calorie Guides – and Weight Loss Tips
You might want to check out some of our other calorie guides – for example, Olive Garden fans might want to check out the lowest calorie choices there.
Or, just head to our calorie guides section to find all your favorites.
If you’re trying to lose weight, then you might want to check out some of our posts with weight loss tips. For example, we’ve got a great post on how to stop nibbling at night (my own personal downfall whenever I’m trying to lose weight).
Or, if you’re looking for ways to reward yourself when you do shed a pound or two, then have a look at our guide to the best rewards for weight loss (that don’t involve a trip to Red Lobster).
Who is The Wellness Nerd?
My name is Helen Foster, and I’m a health journalist and wellness author. Publications I’ve written for include Women’s Health, Reader’s Digest, Body and Soul, Good Health at the Daily Mail, and more. I have also written 16 books on health and nutrition.