Low Calorie Steakhouse Dinners: Ruth’s Chris Steak House Lighter Menu – 80 Twenty Nutrition

Low Calorie Steakhouse Dinners: Ruth’s Chris Steak House Lighter Menu

Steakhouse dinners are synonymous with celebration. When I was out for a steak the other night, I overheard people at the surrounding tables celebrating everything from graduations and promotions to birthdays, engagements and anniversaries. On these special occasions, worrying about calories is usually the farthest things from people’s minds. And that’s okay, because these are occasional celebratory meals. But what if you find yourself going more often, on weekly date nights and to get together with friends? Or if you’re like many of my clients and you dine out often as part of your job, is it even possible to make healthier, low calorie choices at a steakhouse?

This post is a collaboration with my client, Ruth’s Chris Steak House. As always, I only write about brands/food I enjoy myself and recommend. All opinions are 100% my own.

Decoding a restaurant menu to figure out what’s lower in calories and what isn’t can be a daunting task. Sometimes the salads have even more calories than the meat and potatoes! But there are some tricks you can use when ordering your meal to reduce the calories without compromising much on flavor. Plus, certain menu items tend to be lighter than others.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House is taking the guesswork out of low calorie healthy eating by launching a Lighter Recommendations Menu. For between 420 calories (for the Seared Ahi Tuna, 6 oz Filet & Shrimp and Fresh Broccoli) and 740 calories, you can have an appetizer, main course and a side dish. And yes, steak and mashed potatoes are on the menu! The calorie count is given for each part of the meal so you can mix and match to include your favorites.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House Lighter Recommendations

Menu 1: Surf and Turf

510 calories

Appetizer: Steakhouse Salad with Thousand Island Dressing

220 calories

The salad itself is only 50 calories because it’s loaded with lettuce: iceberg lettuce, baby arugula and other baby lettuces, plus grape tomatoes, garlic croutons and red onion. Starting your meal with a salad helps you fill up your stomach with volume for very few calories. Lettuce and other vegetables are mostly water with some fiber, which can trick you into feeling full.

Now what about the dressing? Classic Thousand Island Dressing has 170 calories. I like to order dressing on the side so I can tailor how much I add to my salad. Try doing a light drizzle onto your salad or dipping the prongs of your fork into the dressing and then loading up your fork with salad. It’s a great way to get plenty of flavor for fewer calories.

Entree: 6 oz Filet and Shrimp

210 calories


If you want to eat healthy at a steak house and really enjoy it, go ahead and have some steak. Just make sure your portion size is in check if you’re watching your calories.

While massive steaks are as American as apple pie, it’s the first few bites that taste the best! Here’s how to get all the flavor for fewer calories: get the smaller portion. Order a 6 ounce filet without butter and with shrimp and savor every bite for only 210 calories.

This is my favorite entree to order at Ruth’s because it makes the meal feel special. Sometimes I’ll even add on a lobster tail without butter to elevate it even more. This high protein entree will fill you up, plus high protein meals can help speed up your metabolism.

Side: Fresh Broccoli

80 calories

Ruth’s serves its broccoli side dish “simply steamed” so you don’t have to worry about oil or butter being added to it. Broccoli is high in fiber which helps you feel full, along with calcium and magnesium, minerals that may help you lose weight and keep it off.

Menu 2: Seafood Lovers

610 calories

Appetizer: Seared Ahi Tuna

130 calories

Ruth's Chris Steak House Lighter Recommendations Menu ahi tuna appetizer - how to eat healthier and low calorie at a steakhouse - Christy Brissette media registered dietitian nutritionist 80 Twenty Nutrition

I love ahi tuna and eat it often, and I have to say Ruth’s version is the best I’ve ever tasted. It’s a creative fusion of Louisiana and Japanese flavors that just works. The ahi tuna is rolled in Cajun spices and then seared on all sides and sliced. It’s served in a delicious sauce that I could have sworn was miso, but it’s made with mustard and beer for a savory and slightly spicy flavor. This is on the regular menu at Ruth’s and just happens to be a lighter choice. Your tastebuds won’t know it!

Starting your meal off with a high protein appetizer is a great strategy for keeping your calories in check because it helps you feel full. That means it’s easier to say no to the bread basket to save room for your main course.

Entree: Ora King Salmon

380 calories

You might be surprised to see that the salmon is higher in calories than the beef. That’s because the salmon has lots of fat, but don’t worry – it’s healthy fat. Oily fish such as salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which are linked to brain health, heart health and more.

Ask for your salmon broiled or baked with salt and pepper and you’ll bring out the flavor without needing to add any oil, butter or sauces.

Side: Grilled Asparagus

100 calories

Ruth's Chris Steak House Lighter Recommendations Menu - grilled asparagus - how to eat healthier and low calorie at a steakhouse - Christy Brissette media registered dietitian nutritionist 80 Twenty Nutrition

If you haven’t tried grilled asparagus, you’re in for a treat. The grill marks mean you’re getting smoky flavor and tender-crisp texture. Ask for your asparagus without hollandaise sauce and it’s only 100 calories. Plus, it’s high in filling fiber and vitamin K, which is important for healthy bones.

Menu 3: Steakhouse Favorites

740 calories

Appetizer: Lobster Bisque

210 calories

This Lobster Bisque had me wanting to lick the bowl. There is so much flavor in every bite and I loved the tender morsels of lobster meat. This appetizer tastes so rich and decadent, I couldn’t believe it was only 210 calories.

Having soup as an appetizer is a great strategy to keep your meal on the lighter side because soup is mostly water, which helps fill you up. Plus, choosing things that are this delicious helps you feel like you’re treating yourself, not depriving yourself.

Entree: Petite Filet

290 calories

This 8 ounce cut of tender beef melts in your mouth. Order it with no butter and you’re enjoying a steak for under 300 calories.

Side: Mashed Potatoes

240 calories

Yes, you can have steak and mashed potatoes and still stay on track! Ruth’s mashed potatoes are a generous 8 ounce portion with a hint of roasted garlic for plenty of flavor. This is the ultimate comfort food meal that fits with your healthy eating plan. Plus, potatoes are an excellent source of potassium which balances out the effects of sodium to help lower blood pressure.

What about wine and dessert?

I tell my clients that if they go out to eat often, choose between a glass of wine and a dessert. The exception is, if you’re out with other people who are interested in sharing a dessert. That way you can taste it without needing to eat the whole thing.

If you want your own dessert and are looking for something lighter, Ruth’s Chris Lighter Recommendations Menu has Fresh Seasonal Berries for 50 calories and Raspberry Sorbet Haagen-Dazs for 180 calories. If you’d like some vanilla or chocolate ice cream, they have that too: 380 calories for the vanilla Haagen-Dazs and 390 calories for the chocolate.

It’s all about eating what you love and “flexing” your calories over your day and over your week to meet your goals.

How do you try to make lighter choices when you’re dining out? Share in the comments below!

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  1. I love Ruth’s Chris! It’s nice to know I could go and not feel like the whole thing is a ‘cheat meal’ 🙂

    1. You and me both, Ruthy 🙂 You can definitely go to Ruth’s and have it be a light, health-conscious meal… or go all out and have some more decadent options on a special occasion. I love having the option to do either!

  2. I often find you can eat very sensibly at a steak house if you, as you suggest, make sensible choices and keep control of your portions. The menu items at Ruths Chris Steak House look great.

    1. Thanks for reading, Kavita. You’re totally right… portion sizes are key and choosing some lower calorie options can make a steakhouse dinner a healthy meal out. Definitely check out Ruth’s new menu – would love to hear what you think!

  3. This is such an informative post. I love to eat out… but I don’t love the extra rolls I have accumulated from doing so. I have been watching a little bit what I eat, but I want to still enjoy it. I had no idea there was such a great selection at Ruth’s for lower calorie options. Thanks for the tips!

  4. I just had dinner, but now I’m hungry again. We love going, very rarely, to great steak houses, and this is a great post to keep in mind the next time that we go. Thank you!

    1. Thanks so much, Colleen! I think people go to steakhouses less often because they think it has to be a heavy meal. Love that the new menu at Ruth’s makes eating lighter transparent.

  5. I haven’t been to a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in many years, but I’m fired up to give it another try after ogling these gorgeous, lighter entrees. Personally, I can’t get enough seafood. I’m especially stoked that there’s a lobster bisque with only 280 calories!!! That salmon looks incredible too. I have to admit: I’ve eaten the ahi tuna appetizer at other restaurants for my entree, and I’m never sorry. THIS version looks to-die-for! I’m excited to find out that there are now so many great, healthy options at Ruth’s Chris: date night, here we come!

    1. It really is the perfect date night spot! The lobster bisque is seriously the best I’ve ever tasted. Next time I go I’m going to get the bisque, ahi tuna and steakhouse salad as my main. So delicious!

  6. Eileen xo says:

    We eat out a lot. The biggest challenge is always trying to balance calories and enjoy the meal. I love that Ruth Chris has a lighter fare menu. We are overdue to go there for dinner. I will make a trip there soon and enjoy one of your suggestions. The filet and shrimp looks awesome.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Eileen. Hope you had a chance to try some of these lighter options. Having the calorie info is super helpful for those of us who eat out all the time 😉