Denny’s may be a road-trip staple for comfort food, but the nostalgic diner is known more for its mega-meal “slams” than for its waistline-friendly eats. However, stopping at Denny’s doesn’t have to mean blowing two days worth of calories on just one dish.
These purposefully selected menu options provide a balance of protein, carbs and fat to keep you full — all while clocking in at around 500 calories or less.
Why it made the cut: This meal includes scrambled egg whites with spinach and tomato, two turkey-bacon strips, an English muffin and seasonal fruit. Substituting yogurt for the bacon and English muffin cuts about 600 milligrams of sodium and 25 grams of starchy carbs, leaving you with a balanced meal packed with protein, fruits and vegetables for just over 300 calories.
RD tip: Customize meals to help you stay on track. Create your own slam or modify the Fit Slam® to include healthier options like fruit and yogurt instead of options high in sodium or refined carbs like sausage or pancakes (even the “healthier” 9-grain pancakes have more than 400 calories per serving).
Why it made the cut: This combination of side orders (whole wheat toast, a fried egg, avocado and a side of fruit becomes an egg sandwich that saves you nearly 600 calories, 2,400 milligrams of sodium and 50 grams of fat compared to a Loaded Breakfast Sandwich.
RD tip: Ordering several sides and turning it into a meal lets you customize exactly what you want. Use this as an opportunity to order a variety of sides that provide protein, whole grains, healthy fats and fruits or veggies for a satisfying, balanced meal,
Why it made the cut: This meal includes an egg-white omelet with spinach, mushrooms, sautéed zucchini and squash, tomatoes and melted Swiss cheese, an English muffin and fruit. If you’re gluten-free, opt for the gluten-free English muffin. All tolled, it has 33 grams of protein and 6 grams of filling fiber. The fruit and veggies add micronutrients for a hearty meal under 500 calories.
RD tip: Denny’s Fit Fare menu provides options that are on the lighter side, so it’s a great place to start. Order the loaded veggie omelet as-is or replace the English muffin with oatmeal for additional fiber or yogurt for extra protein.
Why it made the cut: This veggie burger with avocado saves nearly 500 calories and 60 grams of fat compared to a bacon avocado burger, all while packing in 27 grams of protein and 14 grams of fiber for a filling, hearty meal.
RD tip: Any burger on Denny’s menu can be swapped for a veggie patty, which saves nearly 200 calories and 23 grams of fat compared to a beef patty. Switch to a veggie patty and add heart-healthy avocado in place of cheese for a lighter burger that doesn’t skimp on satiating protein and fat.
Why it made the cut: This is a rich, triple meat sandwich with turkey breast, ham and bacon plus Swiss cheese and avocado, so opting for half a sandwich and pairing it with a side salad instead of french fries is a good move. It cuts more than 600 calories from the original order, leaving you with a satisfying sandwich-and-side combo that packs 24 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber for less than 500 calories.
RD tip: Condiments and salad toppings can really add up. Skip the mayo to shave 50 calories off this half sandwich, and remove the croutons to save another 70 calories and 200 milligrams of sodium. It’s also a good idea to split a sandwich with someone else or save half for later and then supplement with a side salad.