12 Unhealthiest Bagged Salads You Can Buy

Can a salad ever truly be unhealthy? It's a question worth pondering, especially if you love downing them to shed weight. Interestingly enough, while many salads seem to contain wonderfully wholesome ingredients, you may be surprised to see what secrets the nutrition facts hold for the bagged salads that you find at the grocery store. We must say, we are utterly shocked to discover just how unhealthy some bagged salads are. While fresh vegetables like cabbage, kale, and carrots are all good-for-you options, add in some breaded croutons, cured bacon, and sweet and fatty salad dressing to the mix, and the nutritional benefits go downhill. Stick with us as we reveal all that we uncovered to help you make the best decisions possible when it comes to your health.

Get ready to count calories, fat, sodium, and sugar; there's plenty to go around with these bagged salads. Just keep in mind that most nutrition facts that we report will reference the entire contents of the bagged salad and not just one (measly) portion. With that in mind, let's bite into the crispy, crunchy, and not-so-fresh details concerning the 12 unhealthiest bagged salads you can buy in stores.

1. Good & Gather Nashville-Style Hot Chopped Salad Kit

If we're honest, Good & Gather Nashville-Style Hot Chopped Salad Kit doesn't sound like the healthiest salad out there, just off the bat. After all, Nashville-style hot anything typically features fried chicken, although we know there's none in this packaged salad bag. So, what exactly does it constitute? The Good & Gather Nashville-Style Hot Chopped Salad Kit comes with romaine lettuce, cornbread croutons, cucumbers, and radicchio. It also comes with a kickin' dressing that customers tend to believe is utterly delicious. Sounds innocent, right?

Unfortunately, this salad isn't as good for your health as it might taste on your tongue. It comes with 540 calories, 45 grams of fat, and 1,050 milligrams of sodium per bag, which is about 45% of your recommended daily value of sodium. Per serving, you'll get 15 grams of fat, which is still quite a bit when it comes to salad. Oh, and if you were planning to add chicken to turn the salad into a whole meal, be sure to note that the single-serving nutrition facts will only apply if you plan to consume only one cup of salad. It might taste good and all, but if you're watching calories, fat, or sodium, this might not be the grab for you.

2. Good & Gather Avocado Toast Chopped Salad Kit

When it comes to Good & Gather Avocado Toast Chopped Salad Kit, the ingredients are better than most. The dressing doesn't bust out of the gate with soybean oils like some of the others on the list, so that's a major plus. Still, though you fans of avocado toast may be interested in giving this salad a try, you should know that it isn't exactly the healthiest option, despite its avocado-inspired flavors.

The Good & Gather Avocado Toast Chopped Salad Kit comes with lots of yummy and creative additions, including cabbage, carrots, avocado, green onions, kale, and white cheddar. And while we love the innovative flavor combos, we don't love the 40 grams of fat that this bag of salad comes with. The salad also packs 560 calories per bag and 920 milligrams of sodium. Of course, if we're fair, we know some of the fat contained in this salad can be attributed to the avocados, which are rich in healthy fats — ya know, the good-for-you kind. Still, without knowing how much of the fat is healthy and how much of the fat comes from other unhealthy sources, we're going to have to declare this a high-calorie, high-fat, and high-sodium hard pass.

3. Taylor Farms Everything Chopped Salad Kit

Taylor Farms has plenty of yummy salad grabs for us lettuce-lovers out here, but truth be told, you'll see this brand a lot on this list of unhealthiest bagged salads you can buy. It isn't that this salad is bad tasting — honestly, a lot of the salads featured here are really flavorful. Rather, the issue with the Taylor Farms Everything Chopped Salad Kit is that it is high in fat, saturated fat, sodium, and calories. Expect to get 560 calories, 42 grams of fat, which includes 7 grams of saturated fat, along with over 1,050 milligrams of sodium per bag. Like most other bagged salads, you can expect a single serving size to be one cup, and in this cup, you'll still consume 160 calories and 12 grams of fat.

Sadly, the nutrition facts aren't the only concern when it comes to the Taylor Farms Everything Chopped Salad Kit. The salad's everything seasoned ranch dressing contains soybean oil, xanthan gum, and guar gum, which can be a cause for concern for some individuals. According to the University of California Riverside News, soybean oil could be linked to an imbalance in healthy bacteria in the gut. In addition, certain gums, including guar gum and xanthan gum, can cause unwanted gastrointestinal issues including bloating, constipation, and nausea, according to Healthline. So much for a healthy salad!

4. Taylor Farms Mexican Street Corn Chopped Salad Kit

Mexican street corn salad? Mmmm, right? We're pretty cuckoo for anything Southwestern when it comes to salad, and this one sounds like a party on the taste buds. Still, as with so many other products on our list, what the salad tastes like and whether or not it's healthy are two different stories. The Taylor Farms Mexican Street Corn Chopped Salad Kit comes chock-full of yummy additions, including broccoli stalk, crispy corn, Parmesan, green onion, smoked paprika cornbread crumbles, and more. It's then perfectly complemented by a creamy elote dressing. All that flavor comes at a price though, with the salad containing 525 calories, 42 grams of fat (including almost 9 grams of saturated fat), and about 1,120 milligrams of sodium per bag.

Also, we want you to know that while we didn't find anything utterly appalling contained in the salad's ingredients, soybean oil is ranked as the first ingredient in the elote dressing. Considering the negative effects it may have on the gut, according to research from the University of California, Riverside, it's something you'll want to note, especially if you actively try to avoid ingredients containing soy.

5. Member's Mark Southwest Chopped Salad Kit

Member's Mark Southwest Chopped Salad Kit is another Southwestern salad option, complete with carrots, kale, dried corn, and even salsa sticks. At a measly $2.68 for a 12-ounce bag at Sam's Club, it's totally understandable to want to throw this salad bag in your cart in a jiffy. Still, you already know what's coming: Yes, this salad kit is unhealthy. Surprise, surprise!

Coming in at a whopping 560 calories and 42 grams of fat, including close to 9 grams of saturated fat, this bag of salad is one you'll want to think twice about before downing, especially if your goal is to eat healthy. We're thinking most of the fat here is coming from the Southwest ranch dressing and the cheese. Also, it's important to note that while sodium isn't as big of an issue here as it is for other salads we've reviewed, the bag still contains 770 milligrams of it, so be aware. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that people take in no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, so this salad may still take up a good chunk of your daily amount.

Oh, and don't forget to watch out for the maltodextrin in the dressing. Known for causing sharp spikes in blood sugar, it's an additive that those with insulin issues or diabetes may wish to avoid, according to Medical News Today.

6. Dole Sesame Asian Chopped Salad Kit

A high-fat, high-sugar, high-sodium salad? Yup, you heard it here. The Dole Sesame Asian Chopped Salad Kit is loaded with the not-so-good stuff, even if it does taste really great. Starting with the added sugar content, expect to encounter 14 grams of it in a bag of this salad that features lettuce, cabbage, kale, carrots, green onions, garlic wontons, and almonds. If that isn't enough to make you squirm, consider that this is a good chunk of your daily added sugar allotment, according to the American Heart Association recommendations that call for no more than 36 grams of added sugar for men and 25 grams for women. Still, we understand that not everyone will eat the entire bag of salad in one sitting. Even if you're a one-cup-of-salad type of person, you'll still get 4 grams of added sugar per serving, which is more than the 0-1 grams of sugar per serving you'd get in the previously mentioned bagged salad options.

It doesn't end there. You'll also incur 31.5 grams of fat and 1,015 milligrams of sodium (almost half of your recommended daily value) per bag of Dole Sesame Asian Chopped Salad Kit. You can also expect the dressing to have a good dose of what University of California, Riverside research says is potentially gut-damaging soybean oil since it's listed second in the ingredients list. Yikes!

7. Dole Caesar Chopped Salad Kit

It might not be the most innovative salad we've come across, but honestly, a Caesar salad done well can taste pretty amazing. Even with that being the case, Caesar salads often come with lots of creamy dressing and plenty of Parmesan cheese, making it easy to rack up calories and fat despite the salad being a seemingly healthy grab.

In the case of the Dole Caesar Chopped Salad Kit, expect each bag to come with 450 calories, 39 grams of fat, and 1,110 milligrams of sodium. The sodium count here is a bit obnoxious, as it is one of the highest sodium levels on our list — so far. That amount of sodium is about 48% of your recommended daily value, making a bag of this Dole salad saltier than a Big Mac from McDonald's, which has about 1,050 milligrams of sodium. Sheesh.

One final thing we'd like to mention about the Dole Caesar Chopped Salad Kit is that not only does it render itself a high-fat and high-sodium grab, but it also contains soybean oil and xanthan gum. Considering these ingredients aren't exactly easy on the tummy, individuals sensitive to either ingredient probably ought to steer clear of this leafy green pick.

8. Marketside Caesar Bacon Chopped Salad Kit

We've already discussed the Dole Caesar salad, which, as we've said before, is delicious in its own right. Add to it bits of bacon, as the Marketside Caesar Bacon Chopped Salad Kit does, and you've got a master class of a salad in a bag, eh? Maybe. 

Nutritionally speaking, there are 510 calories in this Walmart-branded Caesar salad, along with 42 grams of fat, including 9 grams of saturated fat, which is 45% of your daily recommended saturated fat value. There are also 1,140 milligrams of sodium in a bag, which is unnerving given that it's recommended you only consume 2,300 milligrams per day. Of course, if you're only eating one serving of the salad, these totals won't look so bad. But there are some people who go ga-ga for leafy greens like these, so one cup of the stuff isn't a realistic serving size for them.

Before skipping off to the next potentially unhealthy bagged salad, we want you to know that the Marketside Caesar Bacon Chopped Salad Kit contains sodium phosphate and sodium nitrate in the bacon. Sodium phosphate can cause kidney damage in certain individuals, according to MedlinePlus, and sodium nitrate has been linked to colorectal cancer if too much is ingested, according to Healthline. Because of this, Marketside Caesar Bacon Chopped Salad simply isn't a healthy selection, no matter how you slice it.

9. Marketside Southwest Chopped Salad Kit

We're beginning to loathe the fact that some of the tastiest salad creations seem to simultaneously be the unhealthiest. Marketside Southwest Chopped Salad Kit isn't as light of an option as it may seem, as it is packed with calories, sodium, and a good amount of fat. Per bag, the Marketside Southwest Chopped Salad Kit comes laced with 525 calories, 1,225 milligrams of sodium, and 38.5 grams of fat. That makes this Walmart generic brand salad the second highest in sodium, comprising nearly 53% of your recommended daily value.

So, what's the big deal about sodium, anyway? Research shows that maintaining a diet high in sodium can lead to several undesirable health risks, including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Though you may believe that ingesting a bagged salad like the Marketside Southwest Chopped Salad Kit is healthy, doing so, especially when eating it in large amounts, may still spell trouble for your health — and in more ways than one!

10. Dole Chopped Sunflower Crunch Salad Kit

The Dole Chopped Sunflower Crunch Salad Kit sounds like a bright and sunny option, doesn't it? Judging by its title alone, we were a bit surprised to learn that it's actually one of the unhealthiest salads cropping up on our list. In case you're curious, this sunflower salad comes with leaf lettuce, cabbage, kale, carrots, bacon, green onions, and, of course, sunflower seeds. It's paired with a sweet onion and citrus salad dressing, which we think is likely to make one heck of a tasty salad kit.

Still, this post is about unhealthy salads and not how good they taste. As such, we're pained to have to tell you that the Dole Chopped Sunflower Crunch Salad Kit is chock-full of calories, fat, and added sugar. To be specific, this salad kit delivers 595 calories, 42 grams of fat (including 7 grams of saturated fat), and — gasp — 24.5 grams of added sugar. In fact, sugar is the first ingredient listed for the dressing, rather than the typical water or oil, which we think is pretty disheartening ... to say the least.

On a positive note, we would like to point out that the bacon used here has only pork and a few other simple ingredients rather than tons of additives like the bacon included in some other bagged salads. Even with that being the case, this salad is still unhealthy, no matter how minimal the ingredients in the bacon are. Bummer!

11. Taylor Farms Buffalo Ranch Chopped Salad Kit

Here's another Taylor Farms salad that we're thinking sounds just about as delicious as the other yummy salads it has released. With a fun, fresh, and unique take on bagged lettuce comes Taylor Farms Buffalo Ranch Chopped Salad Kit. It comes with romaine, broccoli, green onions, carrots, cabbage, Monterey Jack cheese, and Buffalo seasoned crouton crumbles, all paired with Buffalo ranch dressing for the ultimate hot wing experience without a single piece of chicken in sight.

Along with massive flavor comes a massive blow to the nutritional value, we're sorry to have to say. Taylor Farms Buffalo Ranch Chopped Salad Kit has 560 calories, 40 grams of fat, which includes 8 grams of saturated fat, and — the biggest letdown — 1,640 milligrams of sodium in each bag. Folks, this is roughly 72% of your recommended sodium value for the entire day. If that doesn't make you cringe, we don't know what would. In addition, expect a bag of this stuff to come with 4 grams of added sugar. We hate to say it, but as delicious as this salad sounds, it definitely isn't healthy, especially if you love big salad portions. Sorry, Buffalo fans.

12. Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kit

Another sunflower seed salad kit, the Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kit has a nutrition profile very similar to that of Dole's sunflower salad kit, but with a bit more calories and a little less sugar. The Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kit misses out on some of the excitement that the Dole version brings, as it dodges the bacon and green onions and instead replaces them with toasted quinoa. Yawn. Still, the salad is paired with a similar sweet onion vinaigrette, which, as expected, brings with it a ton of sugar, at 21 grams of added sugar for the entire pack.

Not only this, but Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kit is the worst on our list in terms of calories. One bag of this sunflower seed delight is 600 calories, which, going back to our McDonald's comparison, is more calories than a Big Mac sandwich. We can't make this stuff up, y'all.

All of this is to say that you ought to be leery of what you consider healthy when it comes to the salad you choose. Like with Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kit, you might not be doing your body as much good as you may think — in some cases, you might be better off just grabbing a burger.


To determine how healthy or unhealthy a salad was, we compared each salad to traditional bagged salad, and also, to salad kits that contained fewer fat, calories, sodium, and added sugar. Bear in mind that some salads fared better than others, and that not every salad was a terrible pick, nutritionally speaking, in every category. Some were ridiculously high in fat, calories, sodium, or added sugar, but not necessarily in every category. Each set of nutrition facts reported was in reference to the entire bagged content and does not refer to individual serving size, unless directly stated.