If you’re headed out to a meal at The Cheesecake Factory and trying to keep an eye on your sodium intake, you might wonder what the best meal choices would be and whether you can actually have a piece of cheesecake.
The good news is that several menu items at The Cheesecake Factory, including some of the cheesecakes, have relatively low sodium content.
Below I’ll share a list of 24 low-sodium menu options at The Cheesecake Factory, including salads, appetizers, side dishes, and desserts. I’ll also explain how to customize your order to reduce your sodium content even further.
Is The Cheesecake Factory High in Sodium?
For the most part, The Cheesecake Factory is high in sodium. All of its entrees have more than 500mg of sodium. So if you’re looking for options less than 500mg of sodium, the only menu items are salads, appetizers, side dishes, and desserts.
As well, The Cheesecake Factory has dozens of menu items with more than 1500mg of sodium, which far exceeds the threshold of what’s considered a low-sodium meal.
With that said, there are a few tips for customizing your order at The Cheesecake Factory to reduce the sodium content somewhat, and I’ll cover those next.
Tips on Reducing Sodium at The Cheesecake Factory
To reduce your sodium intake at The Cheesecake Factory, you can:
- Check the nutritional information in advance
- Ask for dressing on the side
- Share your meal
- Get a doggy bag
- Order from the kids’ menu
Let’s cover each of these further tips further.
Check the Nutritional Information in Advance
Regardless of your health and fitness goals, one of my top tips to help you keep an eye on the sodium contents of your meals is to check out the menu and nutritional information in advance.
The nutritional information for The Cheesecake Factory is available online.
It’s a very extensive menu, but you can quickly scan the sodium content column to see the information. This can help you to plan ahead for what you will order, or just stick to the list that I’ve curated in this article.
Ask for Dressing on the Side
The menu at The Cheesecake Factory lists nutritional information for just 1 tbsp of salad dressing. On average, 1 tbsp of dressing has between 50-250mg of sodium. However, when the restaurant adds dressing to a salad, it adds more than 1 tbsp.
To help you control your sodium intake, ask for the dressing on the side so you know exactly how much you’re adding and how much sodium you’re consuming.
Share Your Meal
When you share your meal with a friend, you each consume less overall, including less sodium.
Appetizers are listed on The Cheesecake Factory menu as being big enough to serve 2-4 people. So split the meal and reduce the sodium content by half.
Get a Doggy Bag
If you don’t want to share your meal or don’t have someone to share it with, you can also reduce your sodium content by eating only part of what you ordered and getting the rest to go.
For example, if you order a slice of cheesecake that has 400mg of sodium, but you only eat half of it, you will only consume 200mg of sodium. You can take the rest home and enjoy cheesecake the next day, too, for only 200mg of sodium.
Order From the Kids’ Menu
There are a few items from the kids’ menu highlighted in my list below because they have less than 500mg of sodium. Other kids’ menu items not on this list have more than 500mg of sodium, but they still have less sodium than the regular version on the menu.
For example, the Kids’ Spaghetti with Meatball has 2660mg of sodium. While this is very high in sodium (higher than the total recommended daily amount of 2300mg for healthy adults), it is still much lower in sodium than the regular Spaghetti and Meatballs entree, which is one of the highest-sodium meals on the entire menu, with 5550mg of sodium.
- Related Article: Lowest Calorie Desserts At Cheesecake Factory
Low-Sodium Salads at The Cheesecake Factory
Tossed Green Salad (125mg)
A plain tossed green salad with no dressing is a great low-sodium base for building a meal since it provides a generous serving of vegetables.
Then, you can add a source of protein to your salad. The low-sodium protein options at The Cheesecake Factory include:
|Protein add-on||Sodium content|
There are also many salad dressing options available at The Cheesecake Factory. You can pick them based both on your preferences and on sodium content to build a meal that works for you.
Note that the info in the table is based on 1 tbsp of dressing. Unless you ask for dressing on the side and carefully add only 1 tbsp yourself, the salad is likely to contain more than 1 tbsp of dressing.
|Type of dressing||Sodium content per 1 tbsp|
|Citrus Honey Dressing||50mg|
|Blue Cheese Dressing||110mg|
|Thousand Island Dressing||110mg|
|Barbeque Ranch Dressing||130mg|
|SkinnyLicious Mustard Vinaigrette||150mg|
|Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette||180mg|
|SkinnyLicious Sesame Soy Dressing||250mg|
To build a complete meal starting with this salad, I would order it with grilled salmon and citrus honey dressing, plus a side of steamed white rice and a scoop of kids’ ice cream for dessert, for a total of 440mg of sodium.
Little House Salad / Small Green Salad – With Dressing (250mg)
The Little House Salad and the Small Green Salad show up as two separate options on the menu, but they both have 250mg of sodium, even with the house dressing.
Just like the tossed green salad, you can add grilled salmon, shrimp, or chicken. Since the salmon and shrimp have less sodium than the chicken, you can also add a side of steamed white rice for an additional 80mg of sodium if you opt for one of those.
Adding a bowl of fresh strawberries for dessert (55mg of sodium) gives you a meal that has 490-500mg of sodium.
Beet & Avocado Salad (480mg)
The beet & avocado salad is a gluten-free menu item that is nearly a complete meal on its own. It is just missing a protein source. Adding grilled shrimp to this salad would make it a total of 595mg of sodium, including the dressing.
So, while it is higher than 500mg, it is still well within reason to fit into an overall low-sodium day of eating.
Low-Sodium Appetizers at The Cheesecake Factory
Guacamole and Chips (460mg)
The guacamole and chips is listed as a shareable item. Based on 2 servings, this appetizer has 460mg of sodium, but the menu says it can serve up to 4 people. In that case, each serving would have only 230mg of sodium.
A smaller serving of this appetizer means that you could have a tossed green salad with grilled salmon and citrus honey dressing for 510mg of sodium in total.
You could even have a bowl of fresh strawberries for dessert, and if you skip the whipped cream (which is where the 55mg of sodium comes from), there would be no additional sodium.
Fire-Roasted Fresh Artichoke (490mg)
The highest sodium item on this list is the last menu item (excluding beverages) with less than 500mg of sodium.
Like the guacamole and chips, this is an appetizer item that can serve 2-4 people. Sharing it with a total of 4 people would drop the sodium content to 245mg.
Low-Sodium Side Dishes at The Cheesecake Factory
Steamed White Rice (80mg)
The steamed white rice side dish is the lowest sodium side dish and the third lowest sodium menu item (after smoothies & strawberries with whipped cream) overall.
This is a great choice for providing complex carbohydrates (starch) in a meal, and you can save a lot of sodium if you substitute plain steamed white rice for French fries (2500mg of sodium), sweet potato fries (1800mg of sodium), fresh corn (690mg of sodium), or mashed potatoes (820mg).
Farm-Fresh Eggs with Sliced Tomatoes (185mg)
Some people think of eggs as breakfast food only, but if your local Cheesecake Factory serves eggs at any time of day, getting an order of farm-fresh eggs with sliced tomatoes is a great protein choice for any meal.
You can add an English muffin for 310mg of sodium, creating a total meal with 495mg of sodium.
Farm-Fresh Eggs with Old Smokehouse Bacon (240mg)
Speaking of farm-fresh eggs, you can order them with old smokehouse bacon for additional protein but only an additional 60mg of sodium.
Getting this meal with sliced tomatoes on the side and an order of green beans provides 485mg of sodium.
Green Beans (240mg)
Green beans are another side dish choice that is lower in sodium, plus it provides a serving of vegetables.
You might order the farm-fresh eggs with sliced tomatoes with a side of green beans instead of an English muffin. This low-carb meal has only 425mg of sodium.
Crispy Brussels Sprouts (290mg)
The crispy Brussels sprouts are another vegetable side dish at The Cheesecake Factory that is relatively low in sodium.
Sometimes I like to build my meal using just side dishes and additions, and most locations are very accommodating.
For example, I would order crispy Brussels sprouts and steamed white rice and ask to add grilled salmon on top.
Building my meal this way gives me a total of 475mg of sodium compared to the Fresh Grilled Salmon entree, which has 1450mg of sodium for the lunch meal or 1740mg of sodium for the dinner-size entree.
English Muffin (310mg)
As I mentioned above with the Farm-Fresh Eggs, an English muffin is a starchy side dish that is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates for only 310mg of sodium.
This makes it lower in sodium than the other breakfast accompaniments of white toast (730mg), wheat toast (560mg), bagel (580mg), sourdough baguette (660mg), or wheat baguette (550mg).
This information will help you to make lower sodium choices at breakfast at The Cheesecake Factory.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes (430mg)
Roasted sweet potatoes only appear in the gluten-free section of the menu, so you might have to look carefully to find this lower-sodium side dish.
They are not quite low enough in sodium to create a full meal unless you share them. However, they are a lower-sodium option than regular French fries (2550mg of sodium), mashed potatoes (820mg of sodium), or corn (690mg of sodium).
Grilled Asparagus (450mg)
Grilled asparagus is another vegetable side dish like green beans that you can consider adding to your meal in lieu of other higher-sodium options. However, you can see that just one serving of grilled asparagus takes up almost the entire allotment of 500mg for a low-sodium meal.
Consider grilled asparagus as an option to help build a meal that is lower in sodium than it otherwise would be, even if it’s not a truly low-sodium meal as I’ve defined here (500mg or less).
Low-Sodium Desserts at The Cheesecake Factory
The lowest sodium menu items at The Cheesecake Factory are the fruit smoothies. These sweet, cold drinks could be a good low-sodium snack or replace a higher-sodium beverage like a margarita (which can have 270mg of sodium per drink). Keep in mind that they are very high in sugar.
- Peach Smoothie: 15mg of sodium (78g of sugar)
- Strawberry Fruit Smoothie: 20mg of sodium (62g of sugar)
- Frozen Iced Mango: 20mg of sodium (85g of sugar)
- Tropical Smoothie: 30mg of sodium (83g of sugar)
Bowl of Fresh Strawberries (55mg)
With only 55mg, the Bowl of Fresh Strawberries (kids’ menu or regular menu) is the next lowest sodium item (after smoothies) at The Cheesecake Factory.
Despite the name, this bowl of strawberries also comes with whipped cream, which is the source of sodium.
If you want a sodium-free dessert, ask for the strawberries with no whipped cream, or eat only a small amount of the whipped cream provided to keep the sodium intake low.
Kids’ Scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream (80mg)
Getting a kids’ size scoop of vanilla ice cream provides a low-sodium dessert option that could fit in at the end of a low-sodium meal while still keeping the entire meal at less than 500mg of sodium.
Kids’ Mini Hot Fudge Sundae (90mg)
For an even more decadent dessert option than plain ice cream, you can get a mini hot fudge sundae with only 10mg more sodium than the ice cream alone.
Bowl of Vanilla Ice Cream (180mg)
The regular-size bowl of ice cream is still low in sodium, but it has more than double the sodium content of a kids’ size vanilla ice cream, so it’s harder to fit it in as part of an overall low-sodium meal.
That said, if you would rather have a bigger serving of ice cream, you could have a tossed green salad with grilled shrimp and cilantro dressing, skip a side dish (like the rice), and have a regular bowl of vanilla ice cream for dessert, for a total of 480mg of sodium.
Godiva Chocolate Brownie Sundae (210mg)
If you are looking for a more decadent dessert option to share with a friend or loved one, the Godiva Chocolate Brownie Sundae is a dessert that serves 2 people.
Each serving has 210mg of sodium, so you could still fit it in on top of a tossed green salad with grilled salmon or grilled shrimp and citrus honey dressing for 490-500mg of sodium total.
Hot Fudge Sundae (220mg)
The regular-size hot fudge sundae has more than double the sodium content of the kids’ mini hot fudge sundae (90mg), but it is still low in sodium.
Again, if you order a tossed green salad with grilled salmon and citrus honey dressing, and have a regular hot fudge sundae for dessert, your entire meal will have only 500mg of sodium.
While a milkshake is not a balanced meal item (it has a large amount of fat and carbs compared to protein), if you’re going to order one, you might as well know which one has the lowest sodium content:
- Strawberry Milkshake (320mg)
- Vanilla Milkshake (370mg)
- Chocolate Milkshake (410mg)
The tiramisu is another dessert option that is lower in sodium. However, with 340mg of sodium, it is challenging to combine it with any other menu items to come up with an overall meal that is still low in sodium (less than 500mg).
That said, you can still choose from the low-sodium options above to come up with a meal including tiramisu for dessert that is lower in sodium than the main meal options on the menu.
For example, a tossed green salad with grilled salmon and citrus honey dressing with tiramisu for dessert has 620mg of sodium.
Warm Apple Crisp (390mg)
Similar to the tiramisu, the warm apple crisp is lower in sodium but not so low as to be part of an overall meal with less than 500mg of sodium. The apple crisp also has a very high sugar content, with 139g of sugar.
This is a great menu item to consider sharing, which would drop the sodium content to 195mg. Then, you can combine it with the salad options I described above for an overall meal that still has less than 500mg of sodium.
Cheesecakes (400-500mg; select flavors only)
If you’re like me, the main draw for going to The Cheesecake Factory is cheesecake! I was pleased to see that there are a dozen different flavors that have 500mg of sodium or less, including two “Low-Licious” flavors that are also lower in calories, fat, and sugar.
In addition to sodium and sugar content, it’s also worth considering saturated fat since a diet high in saturated fat can increase LDL cholesterol levels, which isn’t good for heart health.
The American Heart Association recommends that no more than 5-6% of total calories come from saturated fats. For someone with an intake of 2000 calories per day, this is about 13g of saturated fat per day.
You’ll see that none of these cheesecake options fits these criteria. So, all things in moderation. As long as your normal saturated fat intake is within the guidelines above, an occasional splurge isn’t harmful.
|Cheesecake flavor||Sodium content||Sugar||Saturated Fat|
|Lemon Raspberry Cream Cheesecake||400mg||74g||42g|
|Chocolate Tuxedo Cream Cheesecake||400mg||87g||55g|
|Chocolate Caramelicious Cheesecake Made With Snickers||400mg||96g||50g|
|Key Lime Cheesecake||430mg||74g||53g|
|Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake||450mg||74g||46g|
|Low-Licious Cheesecake with Strawberries||460mg||7g||26g|
|Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake||480mg||69g||58g|
|Vanilla Bean Cheesecake||480mg||68g||57g|
|Caramel Pecan Cheesecake||500mg||105g||53g|
Meals To Avoid
As I mentioned, most of the entrees and menu items at The Cheesecake Factory are high in sodium. All of the menu items other than the 24 items listed above have more than 500mg of sodium.
The highest-sodium items have more than 5000mg of sodium. That’s more than double the daily recommendation for a healthy adult and 3-4 times higher than the recommendation for a low-sodium intake.
- Sesame Crusted Fresh Hawaiian Fish – Mahi (5010mg)
- Sesame Crusted Fresh Hawaiian Fish – Ahi (5060mg)
- Pasta Napoletana (5150mg)
- Baked Rigatoni (5150mg)
- Shrimp with Angel Hair (5270mg)
- Spaghetti and Meatballs (5550mg)
- Chicken and Broccoli Pasta (5600mg)
- Pasta with Shrimp and Sausage (6930mg)
If you do want to order one of these meals, consider a smaller portion size (share your meal or get a doggy bag) to lessen the amount of sodium.
More Low Sodium Restaurant Options
- Best Low Sodium Jimmy John’s Meals
- Best Low Sodium Subway Meals
- Best Low Sodium Panera Meals
- Best Low Sodium Wendy’s Meals
- Best Low Sodium McDonald’s Meals
- Best Low Sodium Burger King Meals
- Best Low Sodium Chipotle Meals
- Best Low Sodium Panda Express Meals
- Best Low Sodium Taco Bell Meals
About The Author
Lauren Graham is a Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified nutrition coach. She focuses on helping busy professionals balance healthy eating and purposeful movement. Lauren has a background in competitive swimming and is currently competing as a CrossFit athlete. She has a passion for training, teaching, and writing.