Much of the menu at the Cheesecake Factory is off-limits if you're following a low-carb diet. Still, the large restaurant chain offers a number of low-carb options that'll keep you full and happy, including two kinds of cheesecake that are lower in carbs than the regular versions. Be sure to check out the menu before you go so that you have enough carbs available to enjoy your meal out.
Low-Carb Starters and Salads
Most of the appetizers on the Cheesecake Factory menu have 30 or more grams of carbs per serving and serve two to four people. The one meal starter that might fit your low-carb diet is the carpaccio, which has 11 grams of carbs and serves two people.
There are a number of small salad options for the low-carb diner. The Boston house salad is lowest in carbs with 11 grams, followed by the BLT salad and the endive, pecan and blue cheese salad, with 15 and 16 grams of carbs, respectively. Other salads with less than 20 grams of carbs per serving include Caesar salad with and without chicken and the lunch-sized Cobb salad.
None of the entree-sized salads has less than 20 grams of carbs per serving. But if you're eating a salad as your entree and you have more carbs to spare, you might go with the Caesar salad with or without chicken, herb-crusted salmon salad, Cobb salad or the seared tuna tataki salad. Each of these salads has between 23 and 28 grams of carbs per serving. Salad dressings will add anywhere from 1 to 5 grams of carbs.
Entrees You Can Modify
The sandwiches and burgers at Cheesecake Factory may not easily fit into your low-carb diet, but you can always ask for the meat without the bun. Most of the cheeseburgers make a good option for your low-carb diet, with the exception of the macaroni and cheese burger. The turkey burger, cheesesteak, chicken salad, Cuban or southwest chicken sandwiches served without bread or high-carb sides such as french fries might also work.
From the specialty menu you may be able to make a few requests to some of the dishes to make them fit your plan. For example, try the chicken madeira without the mashed potatoes, or the fish or grilled tacos without the tortillas, rice or beans. Spicy cashew or teriyaki chicken without rice may also fit your plan. It's not always easy to know which dishes will fit your plan, however, because sometimes the carbs are hidden in the flavorful sauces smothering the poultry or meats.
Steak, Seafood and Sides
If you're not a fan of modifying meals, the Cheesecake Factory offers a few make-your-own-style meals in the restaurant's steak, chops, fish and seafood section of the menu. Many of these animal proteins are offered grilled. The steak Diane is the lowest-carb steak option, with 10 grams of carbs, followed by the petite fillet with 23 grams or the petite rib eye with 24 grams. If you're craving seafood, you'll be happy to know that the grilled salmon, mahi mahi and tuna have only 3 grams of carbs per serving. Even the herb-crusted salmon might fit your plan with only 8 grams of carbs.
The steak and seafood part of the menu lets you pick your own sides. Low-carb options include green beans and sauteed spinach with 6 grams of carbs, fresh asparagus with 7 grams and broccoli with 9 grams.
Eggs and Omelets
Eggs aren't only for breakfast at the Cheesecake Factory. The eggs and omelet section of the menu offers a number of low-carb choices. You can get a plain omelet for 3 grams or the spinach, mushroom, cheese and bacon omelet for 6 grams. The energy breakfast is also low in carbs with 9 grams per serving. Round out your egg meal with no-carb sides such as bacon, Canadian bacon or grilled ham. If you're at the Cheesecake Factory for Sunday brunch, try the steak and eggs entree, which has only 3 grams of carbs.
Low-Carb Cheesecake Factory Dessert
To help you fit a sweet ending to your meal, the Cheesecake Factory uses net carbs to calculate the amount of carbs in its low-carb cheesecake. Net carbs is a simple mathematical equation that subtracts grams of fiber from the total grams of carbs. One slice of low-carb original cheesecake made with Splenda has 37 grams of total carbs and 11 grams of net carbs. The amount of fiber isn't listed on the nutrition information menu. The low-carb cheesecake with fresh strawberries has 39 grams of total carbs and 14 grams of net carbs.