Chick-fil-A's most underrated salad

Sometimes you just want a salad. A lighter, brighter dish is often much more appealing than a heap of fried food that may leave you slumped over your chair, feeling gross for hours. Although Chick-fil-A's best-selling menu item is the Chick-fil-A Nuggets (via The Chicken Wire), the fast food joint has some pretty decent salads — three to be exact. But one salad reigns supreme in terms of flavor, color, nutrients, and overall pizzazz. Oddly, it's also the least ordered salad on the menu. 

According to Wide Open Eats, the chain's best-selling salad is the Cobb Salad, which takes the aforementioned nuggets and nestles them over a bed of mixed greens with roasted corn, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, and grape tomatoes. On the side, you get little packets of Crispy Bell Peppers and Avocado Lime Ranch dressing. The salad starts with 540 calories, 29 grams of fat, and 1,700 milligrams of sodium, but jumps to 930 calories, 67 grams of fat, and 2,295 milligrams of sodium when you add those two little packets. With those numbers, you're basically consuming the most popular menu item (the nuggets) with extra calories, fat, and sodium. If you're set on ordering the Cobb salad, we suggest you skip the chicken entirely or top the greens with a grilled filet, and opt for one of Chick-fil-A's lighter dressings instead.

Don't snub the best salad on the Chick-fil-A menu

So what's in last place sales-wise (via The Chicken Wire)? Surprisingly, the most colorful, nutritious bowl of awesome on the Chick-fil-A menu — making us proclaim it clearly the most underrated. Called the Market Salad, this bounty of nutrients features grilled chicken, mixed greens, crumbled blue cheese, red and green apples, strawberries, and blueberries. Imagine if a mixed green salad and fruit salad had a delicious baby.  Completely unlike its Chick-fil-A salad brethren, this vibrant, wholesome medley is served with packets of Harvest Nut Granola, Roasted Almonds, and Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette dressing. The meal starts at 310 calories, with 12 grams of fat and 560 milligrams of sodium. Add the granola and dressing, and (aside from the sodium) you're still at pretty respectable numbers for a meal: 610 calories, 33 grams of fat, and 1,055 milligrams of sodium. Chick-fil-A doesn't provide stats for the packet of almonds, but .35 ounces of dry roasted, salted almonds will add about 59 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 34 milligrams of sodium to your salad (via FatSecret).

Eat This, Not That! agrees that this salad is a satisfying feast, packed with plenty of fiber. If you want to shed a few calories and grams of fat from your order, switch to the Light Italian dressing, Light Balsamic Vinaigrette, or Fat Free Honey Mustard dressing (via Chick-fil-A). So next time your salad cravings strike, the message is clear: you have one stellar fast food option, even when dining at a place revered for their fried chicken.