Chick-Fil-A Salad Dressings, Ranked Worst To Best

Fast food restaurants are not known for their devotion to healthy eating. Most people do not go to a place like Chick-fil-A for a salad. Once you get there, you may notice that the company has a surprisingly diverse array of salad and dressing options. While Chick-fil-A offers basic balsamic and Italian dressing options, it also provides a variety of choices such as honey mustard and creamy salsa.

If you are looking for a side salad to complement your chicken sandwich, this array of dressing options can be a little overwhelming, so we went out and tried them all to let you know which ones are worth it. Chick-fil-A offers a couple of entree salads as well as a side salad. For our testing, we used the same basic side salad, simply swapping out the dressing for an even playing field. The result was surprisingly delicious and eye-opening as fast food salad possibilities go.

Light balsamic vinaigrette

Although not at all bad, the light balsamic vinaigrette was probably the most disappointing of the salad dressings we tried. It was incredibly sweet. It might be light in fat, but this dressing is not light in sugar. It has 9 grams per serving, which is more than many of the other dressings, and it just does not have the flavor to back it up.

This dressing does have a decent tang, but it feels like Chick-fil-A was afraid to have a real balsamic vinaigrette and wanted to play to a crowd that likes a sweeter dressing. Sweet dressings are fine, but there has to be a reason for the sweetness. The two other sweet dressings are honey mustard and zesty apple cider vinaigrette, both of which include honey as a flavor component. For these, the extra sugar makes sense.

We may be a little harsh on this particular dressing, and we want to mention that it is still edible, and if you want a basic balsamic, it is fine. But that is all it is. Chick-fil-A has many better options.

Light Italian dressing

This is your basic Italian dressing. It is "light" as it has very little fat or sugar. This dressing is perfectly acceptable. It is a little tangy, a little herby, and all around, just what you would expect from an Italian dressing. But it isn't exciting.

This dressing likely would have ranked higher, but Chick-fil-A also offers a number of better and more creative dressings. The good news is this dressing does not suffer from being "light." It still offers a great flavor. That being said, it is described as "bold," and we found it to be one of the milder dressings offered. Still, the blend of spices is pleasant.

If you are an Italian dressing devotee, you will likely like this. However, it does nothing more than what you can get out of a bottle from a grocery store. If you are looking to mix it up or have a "wow" factor, this dressing isn't going to bring that.

Garden herb ranch dressing

Chick-fil-A obviously has to offer a solid ranch option – it's the most popular dressing in the United States. Once again, this dressing is not messing with a good thing. This is a creamy classic ranch dressing. This dressing balanced being creamy and smooth well and did not become gloopy the way some bottom-shelf ranch dressing does. Instead, it was thin enough to easily coat the lettuce but thick enough to stick to the leaf and carry its flavor.

This ranch is subtly herby, but the prominent flavor is the slight tang from the buttermilk, which is the hallmark of this dressing. While this ranch dressing will likely not set the world on fire, it was still a better example of the basic dressing than either the Italian or the balsamic. If you are one of the many Americans who pick ranch as your dressing of choice, this is a solid option.

Fat free honey mustard dressing

We all know that part of the allure of Chick-fil-A is the sauces. The company even sells full bottles of its sauces, including its honey mustard variety, so they did what any good corporation does: it turned it into a dressing.

We already know that honey mustard goes well on chicken. But we were pleasantly surprised to see how well it worked on the basic side salad, which contains no chicken whatsoever. Yes, this dressing does taste like the sauce, but it comes out a bit creamier.

This sauce is incredibly sweet. It has the most sugar of any of the Chick-fil-A salad dressings. But that should be expected based on "honey" literally being in the title. If you do not like sweet dressings, this is not the salad topping for you. If you are one of the people who goes to Chick-fil-A for the sauces and does not want to lose out on that flavor with a salad, this will be the dressing of choice.

Zesty apple cider vinaigrette

This salad dressing is everything the title says it is. It is tangy. It is a little fruity, and it is zesty. In addition to containing apple cider vinegar, this dressing also has honey. This makes it a little sweeter but also gives it warm, earthy notes.

This was one of the runnier salad dressings we tried. It all but disappears visually once it is added to the salad, but the taste is crisp and remains present and delicious. The combination of fruit juice and spices in this vinaigrette make it interesting, while the apple cider vinegar helps to cut what would otherwise be excessive sweetness. We noticed overall a trend that Chick-fil-A does creamy dressings better than it does thinner vinaigrette style dressings, so we were happy to find one that was both tasty and not as heavy as the other top contending salad dressings.

Creamy salsa dressing

The decision between this dressing and the one that ultimately got first place was a tough call. This dressing was delicious. It was creamy but bright. It tasted like salsa, as its ingredients included tomatoes, peppers, cumin, and garlic. This dressing reminds us a lot of the picante ranch dressing from Qdoba, which has a similar creamy and spicy tomato balance to it.

Once again, this dressing was perfectly smooth and did not come out gloopy or with an unpleasant texture. There is a subtle hint of spiciness, but it is not highly piquant, which means it should not be too hot for anyone.

This flavor feels like a departure from other Chick-fil-A offerings, and we are happy to have it. It is something different and delicious and works for a side salad or for a larger meal. It was very nearly the perfect salad dressing, but there was one that came out just a little bit better.

Avocado lime ranch dressing

And the winner is the avocado lime ranch dressing. This dressing is incredibly creamy, blending together the texture of avocado and ranch into one smooth and rich dressing. Each of the flavors comes through in this dressing. The mild herbs and tang of ranch, the light and rich avocado, and the citrus from the lime are all present in every bite. Everything comes together to make a balanced and delightful salad dressing.

Despite being a unique flavor, this is the standard salad dressing that comes with the side salad unless specified otherwise. We would have expected the more common flavors, such as ranch or balsamic, but after trying this dressing, we can see why Chick-fil-A is pushing it. Not only is it a standout flavor, but it is mild enough to be a good everyday flavor. Where the creamy salsa dressing is a punch of flavor that may not go with everything, this one presents itself more gently and makes a good everyday salad dressing. We would eat this on most of the main course salads offered by Chick-fil-A, as well as with a side salad paired with one of the company's chicken sandwiches. Either way, this is definitely a go-to salad dressing.