Taco Bell is a wonderful place to enjoy delicious Mexican-inspired food without breaking your budget. However, for those who are on a keto diet, it may seem as though the restaurant chain does not have much to offer.
With all of the nachos, beans, rice, burritos, quesadillas, corn, hash browns, how could you possibly find something to eat there while staying in ketosis?
Considering that Taco Bell has over 6,000 locations around the world, including Iceland, Russia, the Mideast, and Asia, you may find yourself being one of their customers at some point. However, if you are on keto, you can eat almost anything you want without blowing your diet.
Fortunately, just like many other fast-food chains, Taco Bell allows customers to create endless customized combinations.
For example, you can always choose to forgo the taco shell or you can choose to get a power bowl. By customizing your meals, you will be able to enjoy dinner with your family without feeling anxious. You can also order extras to help make your meals more filling.
The menu at Taco Bell changes on a regular basis. However, the menu always has items that include meat, cheese, and vegetables in one way or another. The fast-food chain’s nutrition guide is available online, but this guide will help you get the best keto picks in this guide.
If you want ideas on choosing keto-friendly meals at Taco Bell, the following is a list of low-carb keto orders from Taco Bell.
However, before you get started reading the list, read the following short guide for on Taco Bell keto.
How to Order Keto at Taco Bell
The first step to going keto at Taco Bell? Ditch the crunch shells and/or tortillas! Image via TacoBell.com
Keep in mind, there are no low-carb options at most fast-food restaurants if you choose to order directly from the menu. While you can most certainly ask for a burrito without the wrap, the majority of people on keto typically order a power bowl.
This is what you will need to do in order to make your order at Taco Bell. Always remember, power bowls are always a safe choice. You can choose to have a chicken power bowl or a steak power bowl. Feel free to double your protein option.
Power Bowls are Key
For your power bowl, you will need to skip the rice and beans and ask for some extra guacamole, cheese, ground beef or a low carb sauce that you like.
Avoid Sugary Drinks
When you ordering a drink, avoid the sodas and juices. Instead, choose an unsweetened drink such as:
What About Breakfast?
If you are interested in ordering breakfast at Taco Bell, look at the menu and see if you customize any of the menu items. Although most of the options are egg-based, they are still wrapped in a tortilla.
Be sure to have your order made minus the tortilla and double the other ingredients to get your calories in.
Taco Bell’s Keto-Friendly Foods
Order a power bowl with out beans or rice to stay keto. I usually add extra meat and/or guac. Image via TacoBell.com
Keto-friendly menu items that you need to familiarize yourself with are:
Fire Grilled Steak and Chicken
Shredded Cheddar Mix
Foods to Avoid
You should never order any food from Taco Bell that comes with wraps. You will also need to avoid the following items as well:
Drinks sweetened with sugar
The majority of sauces that are provided by Taco Bell are okay to consume on keto. However, avoid the ones that are fattier or contain hidden sugars.
Other than the above-mentioned items, you do not have to worry about hidden carbs in any other items because the company’s nutritional analysis is pretty straightforward.
Ditch the rice and beans, add extra guac and/or meat, and suddenly this baby is keto! Image via TacoBell.com
As this guide has stated numerous times, this restaurant has food that is carb-heavy, and this is why customization is the key to surviving keto at Taco Bell.
Stick with the keto basics that you are familiar with such as veggies, meat, cheese, and eggs. Ditch the rice, chips, tortillas and the other foods on the avoid list above. Ask for things that are keto-friendly, and do not be afraid to ask for double portions.
With that said, here are some Taco Bell entrees that are delicious, healthy and keto-friendly.
A Power Menu Chicken Bowl without beans and rice has 6 net carbs. Get the following items in your bowl: shredded chicken, lettuce, sour cream, Pico de Gallo, avocado ranch sauce (15 grams of fat, 21 grams of protein)
A Fiesta Taco Salad has 9 net carbs. This entree requires a lot of customization. Ditch the beans, rice and red strips. Be sure to ask for the salad in a bowl instead of a shell. You can replace some of these items with keto-friendly options like sour cream and guac. (9 net carbs, 15 g of protein)
Burrito Supreme (Minus the Tortilla, Rice, and Beans)
A Burrito Supreme with no beans or tortilla has 5 net carbs. The burrito has plenty of extra veggies like onions and tomatoes, but it will not take you out of your carb limit. (8 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein)
Just in case you are wondering how many carbs are in a crunchy taco, the answer is 10 net carbs.
Low Carb Breakfast Options
People on keto love restaurants that have breakfast options, but not every Taco Bell serves breakfast. You will need to check to see if the location you want to visit serves breakfast or not.
A Grilled Breakfast Burrito without potatoes or tortilla has 4 net carbs. Request a bowl instead of a tortilla. If you want to keep the potatoes in, remember to add 5 net carbs. (7 grams of fat, 4 grams of protein)
Breakfast Mini Skillet Bowl
A Breakfast Mini Skillet Bowl without potatoes has 4 net carbs. It includes eggs, sour cream, steak, and guacamole. (7 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein)
Naked Egg Taco
A Naked Egg Taco without potatoes has 4 net carbs. This is an ideal keto choice because the wrap is actually an egg. You can replace the potatoes with meat or scrambled eggs, and you can even add sour cream and avocado. (7 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein)
There is no need to feel restricted when you are eating at Taco Bell. Keep in mind, you can always replace carb-heavy foods with keto-friendly extras. They may cost you more in terms of money, but will not change much when it comes to carbs.
Some of these extras are:
Avocado Ranch Sauce
Fire Grilled Chicken
Marinated Grilled Steak
Pico de Gallo
Nacho Cheese Sauce
Even though fast-food restaurants like Taco Bell are not places that keto dieters should frequent, there are times when you need to eat a healthy, keto-friendly meal while on the go. Fortunately, customization helps those on keto meet their nutritional needs while getting orders that suit their needs, desires, and budget.
So, is it possible to enjoy Taco Bell while on keto?
What is even better is that these keto meals are not only delicious and affordable, but they are also satiating. You will be able to easily meet your macros every day without spending too much money.
Despite popular belief, Taco Bell only serves high-quality meat, not low D grade meat. When you regularly consume high-quality animal sources, you can prevent edema, anemia, cardiovascular problems, and poor immunity.
By adding low carb vegetable options, you will get your dose of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
As long as you are on keto, you should never go hungry. Even if your options are few, there are still healthy choices available. Do your research in advance and do not be afraid to personalize your keto diet to meet your needs.
Mark was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but moved out west to attend Chico State University. He's been in NoCal ever since and currently resides in the Bay Area with his wife and kids. His current passion is the ketogenic diet, and he's eager to share his diet and health expertise with DadQuarters readers. He currently heads up the DadQuarters editing team, and also contributes to the site as a researcher and writer. Learn more about Mark and the DadQuarters team on our about page.