New menu items cut out carbs and put protein in the spotlight.
Taco Bell is thinking outside the shell with its new Naked Chicken Chalupa. The shell is made with 4 oz of marinated, all-white-meat, antibiotic-free fried chicken kicked up with Mexican spices and seasoning. The chalupa is filled with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, cheddar cheese and avocado ranch.
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El Pollo Loco is launching four new menu items, each containing less than 500 calories.
The Double Chicken Avocado Salad combines avocado, cotija, corn, pico, sour cream and cilantro with a double portion of chicken.
The Lettuce Tacos Plate features two lettuce cup tacos stuffed with chicken, avocado, poblano salsa, cotija, cilantro and pico alongside a small side of black beans.
The Skinny Quesadilla features a wheat tortilla filled with chicken, fajita vegetables, poblano salsa and cheese.
The Open-Face Tostadas contain chicken, guacamole, pico and cotija.
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Burger King is beefing up its burger lineup with the new BBQ Bacon King sandwich. The hearty handheld features two quarter-pound flame-grilled beef patties topped with thick-cut smoked bacon, melted American cheese, mayonnaise and barbecue sauce.
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KFC is introducing Georgia Gold Fried Chicken, inspired by the regional flavors of Georgia and South Carolina. The chicken offers a honey mustard barbecue flavor, KFC said, and is available in Extra Crispy ChickenTenders, Chicken Littles and Extra Crispy Chicken varieties.
“The crispy and tangy flavor profile of Georgia Gold is like a grown-up honey mustard — sweet with attitude,” said Kevin Hochman, U.S. chief marketing officer for KFC.
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Checkers and Rally’s are betting on big and on bacon with their new Roadhouse Baconzilla. The supersize sandwich features two beef patties, bacon, crispy fried onions, American cheese, cheddar cheese, ranch and barbecue sauce served on a toasted Kaiser bun.
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Brio Tuscan Grille is launching its new “Flavorful Features” menu, featuring a new appetizer, three new entrees and a new dessert.
The new appetizer, Burrata & Prosciutto Bruschetta, features red peppers, mayonnaise, sea salt, black pepper, extra virgin olive oil and parsley.
The Chicken Saltimbocca Risotto appetizer combines provolone, crispy pancetta, fried sage and butternut squash risotto.
The Sea Scallops & Ratatouille Risotto entree (pictured left) features seared sea scallops served over risotto with roasted eggplant, red peppers, zucchini, tomato compote, basil and Reggiano.
The Crab Stuffed Shrimp & Broiled Maine Lobster Tail (pictured right) entree features orzo, farro, zucchini, red peppers, asparagus and lemon butter sauce.
Brio’s new dessert, the Butterscotch Budino, is a pudding dish featuring Marcona almonds, caramel and vanilla whipped cream.
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Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is adding a slew of new items to its lineup.
New Butcher Tacos, served in corn tortillas, feature Dickey’s signature smoked chicken and coleslaw with the customer’s choice of other toppings.
Smoke Stacks are Dickey’s take on barbecue in a bowl – customers may choose any meat to top a bed of corn chips and add a savory side on top.
Dickey’s Signature Sliders and Sandwiches allow customers to mix and match meats to create.
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Pei Wei is offering customers the tastes of Thailand with its new Rice Bowls. The bowls combine mindfully sourced ingredients chosen for their flavors and nutritional benefits, the company said, all prepared in the Thai tradition. Both new bowls may be ordered with a choice of rice, noodles or quinoa.
The Supergreen Thai Coconut Curry Rice Bowl features chicken, carrots, green beans, Swiss chard, onions, Thai basil, cilantro, scallions and lime.
The Thai Basil Rice Bowl combines chicken, garlic, ginger, red bell peppers, onions, green beans and a sweet-savory sauce.
“Asia is a vast continent with incredibly diverse cultures,” said Clay Dover, chief marketing officer of Pei Wei. “Our new Thai rice bowls deliver on our ‘flavor with purpose’ mission while expanding our Pan-Asian offerings. These dishes evolved from our Test Kitchen in Scottsdale, where we get guest feedback on new items in real time. The harmonious blend of flavors, so characteristic of curry, as well as the use of Thai basil — an herb that has been gaining popularity for its distinctive taste — has resonated with guests looking for healthier options in a fast casual experience.”
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Two new entrees are joining the Bravo Cucina Italiana lineup.
The Bacon Wrapped Balsamic Meatloaf dish features Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, haricot vert and crispy onion straws.
The Eggplant Rollatini consists of crispy eggplant rolled and stuffed with prosciutto, Mozzarella and Ricotta, herb linguine, Pomodoro and parmesan.
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Tijuana Flats is adding Turkey Chorizo to its menu. The protein is also the star of the new Hangover Burrito, a savory burrito stuffed with fried egg, potatoes, cheese, jalapeños and Turkey Chorizo.
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