Outback Steakhouse Sides Ranked Worst To Best

As soon as you sit down at Outback and decide on your cut of steak, it begins. "Mission Impossible" music plays in the background as you urgently scour the sides menu.  "Outback steaks are served with two freshly made sides," the menu says, surely not knowing these words act as a battle cry, a cause of intense foodie stress. After all, no matter how delicious your T-bone is, your sides' taste (or lack thereof) will make or break your dinner. But today, we're going to put an end to the horror story known as rushing to choose your Outback sides before your waiter comes back. How have we done this, you may ask? We tried and ranked every side at this Down Under-themed steakhouse so you can go to dinner with a battle plan.

Yes, we feasted our way through everything from the Over-the-Top Brussels Sprouts to the dressed baked potato and while we took notes on each side's calorie count and price point (which varies by region and is accurate as of October 2023), we ranked 13 of these trusty entree sidekicks based on, above all else, their sheer tastiness. Grab your boomerang and your best mate: From worst to first, here is the ultimate guide to Outback's sides.

13. Asparagus

Listen, we are not vegetable haters. Asparagus's veggie status is not the reason we named it the last and most definitely least appetizing member of the Outback sides crew. Costing $5.99 per plate, this lackluster side dish only clocks in at 70 calories a serving and, yes, will provide you with the nutrients you need to balance out a T-Rex's portion of ribeye. However, despite its health benefits and the fact it's perfectly cooked and has a great, tender consistency, Outback's asparagus is just ... asparagus.

If this veggie was seasoned, we certainly couldn't tell. Heck, we couldn't even taste any butter on these little green dudes. That is to say, this side is good for what it is. It has a great crunch and each plate offers a decent number of asparagus spears. But Outback's take on this vegetable has a sad flavor — which has left it in last place. The thing is, we know asparagus has the power to be incredibly delicious if prepped with seasoning and oil and seared on a grill. Outback, come on, you can get a little more creative with this side dish.

12. Fresh steamed mixed veggies

Next up is another side that is a testament to the fact that Outback needs to seriously step up its veggie game. Our runner-up for last place is yet another healthy-for-you option. The fresh steamed mixed veggies cost $3.99 a pop. The side features squash, carrots, and broccoli.

Like our first-place loser, all of this dish's vegetables are steamed to perfection and have a great texture. And, true to its name, the vegetables featured in the dish also have a fresh taste. However, what sets this side apart from the asparagus is that it offers more dimension. While the squash doesn't have a lot of flavor, the carrots have an almost caramelized taste, and the broccoli (which is by far the most delectable of the bunch) seems to have been dipped in butter or, at the very least, seasoned.

However, the downfall of this 160-calorie dish, is first and foremost, that there are like, 3 whole squash per plate. And secondly, while it's got more flavor going for it than asparagus, it's still severely lacking in blow-us-away yumminess. So, like a cartoon character sticking their toe across a finish line at the end of a race, it won out against the other vegetable plate by the smallest of margins.

11. Aussie fries

Humor us foodies: What, pray tell, makes fries a perfect, beautiful, and absolutely irresistible snack? The answer is their crunch. A crunch that Outback's Aussie fries do not have. Costing $3.99 per plate, you do get a lot of bang for your buck by buying this side. We found one serving of this dish could feed two love birds out on a date night. But they wouldn't be eating well.

While the dish has a fancy name, Outback's Aussie fries are just steak fries holding a boomerang. With that being said, to the chain's credit, they do have a noticeably salt-filled flavor — and so outdo our previous entries in terms of their sheer munch-ability — however, these fries also commit the most unspeakable fry sin. They are soft. Soft and sad and droopy. It's a shame, because the quality of the potatoes used to birth this side dish was top-tier, but Outback needed to put these puppies back on the barbie (or in the grease) to give them the crunch that makes fries an irresistible treat.

Oh, and while that's our main gripe with Aussie fries, which are 410 calories a serving, we also have beef with the seasoning. As we mentioned, the dish features salt. Salt is great; we are salt enthusiasts, but salt barely counts as seasoning. And so for their lack of pepper and crunch, Outback's Aussie fries are easily one of its worst sides.

10. Fresh steamed seasonal vegetables

Costing $3.99 a plate, the fresh steamed seasonal vegetables' name sounds incredibly bougie. However, while we're not sure if you'd get the same veggies every season, we ordered the side in the fall and were just served steamed broccoli. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you read that right, the day has finally arrived when broccoli's flavor has bested fries. Remember how we mentioned the broccoli was the best-tasting part of the mixed veggie blend? There's a reason for that. Aside from being perfectly tender with a nice crunch, this veggie side has something the other vegetable dishes on this list don't — it is soaked in butter.

This results in a crunchy, flavorful version of the vegetable you may have named your childhood enemy. At only 130 calories a dish, Outback's fresh steamed seasonal vegetables are a testimony to the fact that your food can be healthy and delicious. With plenty of broccoli to enjoy per serving, the flavor and texture of this side dish dominate the eats that came before it. So if you're looking for a lighter side for your steakhouse dinner, we suggest this one. However, if you're all about taste, you can skip it. There's nothing particularly special about the fresh steamed seasonal vegetables; they're only flavorful in comparison to our previous entry. In other words, this dish is the lesser of Outback's worst four side evils.

9. Seasoned rice

As regular eaters of dishes like red beans and rice and dirty rice, we were intrigued to try Outback's take on jazzing up an ingredient beloved by countless cultures. And we mean that — we seriously had no idea what we were in for when we ordered this side. There is literally no description of what goes into Outback's Seasoned Rice on the company's website.

When we finally did get to try the enigma that is this chain's seasoned rice, we discovered it was filled with what looked to be pieces of chopped pepper and onion. Both ingredients turned out to be this dish's saving grace. While the seasoning was, quite frankly, very sparse, the beautiful texture of the rice combined with the bits of pepper and onion to create a delightful treat filled with more flavor and exciting taste than any of the sides before it. Still, as we mentioned, the sheer and offensive lack of seasoning in this seasoned rice held it back from being as flavorful as it had the potential to be.

Costing $3.99 per plate and clocking in at 310 calories a serving, the seasoned rice is one of the cheaper sides at Outback and each plate comes with a very generous portion. So if you're looking for a filling, hearty experience, this side will do the trick. 

8. Steakhouse mac and cheese

At a smooth $5.99 a pop and a whopping 850 calories per serving, the steakhouse mac and cheese is one of the most confusing sides at Outback. At first glance, this dish looks like a cheesy masterpiece. Its macaroni is visibly creamy and topped with pepper. But this mac and cheese is, quite frankly, not very cheesy at all.

Yes, it's silky with a great kick of pepper aftertaste, and the pasta itself is cooked delectably al dente. But the creaminess comes more so from a subdued cream-like substance (that we assume to be cream cheese) than an actual, melty cheese sauce. It's a real shame because this side has the potential to be great. There were moments when we got a bite of intense cheese flavor gathered together in parts of the macaroni that rocked our world, but sadly, they were just that — moments.

Outback's mac and cheese's flavor still beats out the unseasoned seasoned rice. But without intense cheesy goodness, the steakhouse mac and cheese was destined to be placed in the bottom half of this list.

7. House side salad

According to the steakhouse from Down Under, the house side salad (which is as big as an entree salad) includes mixed greens, cucumbers, two types of cheese (Monterey Jack and cheddar), tomatoes, red onions, and homemade croutons. All of these ingredients are wonderfully fresh — particularly the house-made croutons which are best described as huge bits of buttery, crunchy goodness. However, the catch is that some of the house side salad's veggies are more plentiful than others.

We think that Outback believes if an ingredient is large enough, there doesn't need to be a lot of it. While there's a good portion of tomato and a decent amount of onion slices, this salad only has a few, albeit large, cucumber pieces and a sparse amount of those aforementioned sizable croutons. These ingredients are not equally portioned throughout the salad. Since its ingredients aren't spread out, this dish involves biting into a tomato 80% of the time. So while the ranch dressing tasted divine, we were underwhelmed with this salad's one-note flavor. 

Priced at $5.99 and coming in at 180 calories before adding ranch, the house salad's crunch, fresh ingredients, and dressing still gave it a greater depth of flavor than the mac and cheese. However, we can't forgive that its elements did not come together to create flavor harmony.

6. Caesar salad

Honestly, when we first stuck a fork in this side salad, we weren't expecting much. It's a standard Caesar salad, with nothing but lettuce, croutons, and cheese to its name — what could it possibly have to offer our taste buds? A lot, actually.

Costing $5.99 and coming in at 260 calories per serving, this sizable salad punched us in the face with flavor. While it features the same fresh lettuce and house-made croutons as the house salad, Outback's Caesar salad dressing makes this side a superior experience. Full of creamy flavor, the dressing beautifully compliments the cheese and tomatoes to create a silky, tangy salad experience. The house salad may have more ingredients, but the way the Caesar salad's minimalistic ingredients come together makes it a far more delicious side option. However, while the Caesar salad is tasty, it's not our number one pick for your Outback side salad. That would be our next side entry.

5. Blue cheese pecan chopped salad

After a lot of consideration, we can now confidently say that blue cheese chopped pecan salad is the best-tasting side salad at Outback. But we'll be honest: At first, we had mixed feelings about making such a passionate claim.

One of the most expensive sides at the steak house, the blue cheese pecan chopped salad goes for $6.99 per larger-than-side-salad serving and clocks in at 690 calories. However, while the steakhouse reports this salad is filled with shredded carrots, red cabbage, green onions, and Aussie Crunch (which is essentially fried angel hair pasta pieces) before being finished off with cinnamon pecans and blue cheese crumbles, we have to call Outback out here. There was a very minimal amount of sweet pecans, green onions, or Aussie crunch in this dish. So why then, is it so high up? Four words: blue cheese vinaigrette dressing.

The dressing isn't just amazingly tangy but also has actual pieces of blue cheese in it that add to the texture and taste of the salad. And when you do hit a sugared pecan, the slightly acidic, salty blue cheese dressing mixes with the sweet ingredient to create a whole new flavor world. Through the power of taste, the blue cheese pecan chopped salad has established itself as one of Outback's best and brightest sides. However, its paucity of some of the advertised ingredients still prevents it from being truly great.

4. Over-the-Top Brussels Sprouts

Introduced in January of 2023, the Over-the-Top Brussels Sprouts are really just that: over-the-top. Costing a hefty $6.99 per plate, Outback doesn't list the Over-the-Top Brussels Sprout's calories on its website. And for good reason — some estimate this sizable side comes in at a whopping 1010 calories a plate. But how can that be?

Well, the Over-the-Top Brussels Sprouts are made by adding Fresno chili oil, parsley, bacon, and lemon aioli to roasted Brussels sprouts. Is that calorie count making a little more sense now? But these chaotic ingredients (minus the bacon, there wasn't really any on our plate) come together to make a delectable and unique side dish. The chili oil and lemon aioli work with the dark taste of tender Brussels sprouts to provide a sweet spicy bite of veg you'll never forget. But despite its beautiful beginnings, the more you eat this dish, the worse it becomes.

The Over-the-Top Brussels Sprouts have a balance problem. The "splash" of lemon aioli Outback claims to throw into this side dish just isn't cutting it. After you eat through the bits of veg with lemon aioli sprinkled on them, you'll quickly be left without an ingredient that can break up the greasy, spicy taste of chili oil. And, as a result, the Brussels sprouts become an oily mess. So while its tasty start and interesting concept got the Over-the-Top Brussels Sprouts to fourth place, this dish's ingredients still need to work on their teamwork.

3. Homestyle potatoes

Are you ready for Outback's big three? The first of our top picks for the absolute best of the best Outback sides is one countless foodies have attempted to recreate. People across the internet constantly pose the question, "How the heck does Outback make mashed potatoes?" Outback, a restaurant that apparently likes being mysterious, doesn't describe the dish's ingredients on its website, so we can't say for sure what goes into this side. But whatever they're made of, Outback's homestyle mashed potatoes are undeniably delicious.

Costing a reasonable $3.99 and coming in at 230 calories a serving, Outback's homestyle mashed potatoes are creamy, buttery, and milky, and feature delicious potato peel pieces. This dish's flavor is simple, yet oh-so-delectable thanks to two winning factors: Its potato base has been cooked to fall-off-the-spoon perfection and the potato peels spread throughout give it a chewy texture upgrade. However, while Outback's homestyle mashed potatoes are everything we could ask a mashed potato dish to be, our top two Outback sides outdid the dish due to their sheer, unbridled flavor intensity.

2. Dressed baked potato

Our runner-up is another starch-filled favorite. Second place goes to the dressed (not loaded, mind you) baked potato. Outback's take on this classic steakhouse dish costs $3.99, comes in at 440 calories, and has all the fixings. A surplus of cheese, sour cream, butter, bacon, and chives combine to create this delicious treat of a side.

The dressed potato is creamy and cheesy, with great bits of crispy and savory texture thanks to the chunks of bacon and chives layered on top of it. However, truly, it's the sour cream that steals the flavor show. This ingredient brings all the others together in silky serenity to perfectly complement the understated taste of the potato.

The dressed potato, quite frankly, had first-place potential. But one factor left it unable to climb the ranks. Our potato was undercooked. It was still hard enough that we could cut slices of it — it wasn't pillowy and fluffy. So tragically, due to this fatal flaw, the loaded potato was relegated to second best.

1. Sweet potato with honey and brown sugar

Here it is: The side that dominated its Outback competitors. It features no bells and whistles — no lemon aioli, no blue cheese-infused dressing, and no chopped chives. But it does taste like a piece of sugared heaven. Ladies and gentlemen, the sweet potato with honey and brown sugar is the best side at Outback. At a price point of $3.99, this dish clocks in at 410 calories and is quite literally just a sweet potato with brown sugar and honey-infused butter. But because it does both parts so well, that's all it needs to be one of the finest side dishes we've ever put in our mouths.

This sweet potato was cooked to absolute perfection. It was soft and cloud-like. Then, we added the butter. The sweet taste complemented the subtle sugar flavor of the potato in the best way imaginable to make a dish that reminded us of a sweet potato casserole sans the crunchy topping.

The honey-cinnamon flavor of its butter effortlessly melds into the potato flesh like it was simply meant to be. This is why the sweet potato with honey and brown sugar was the only side on this list that had us actually say "mmmm" when we dipped into it. It is the side dish you must, and we cannot emphasize this enough, must eat every time you take a trip down to Outback.