Taco Bell should not ever be your first choice for food on the keto diet, but there are ways to make it work. It’s always best to prepare your own meals at home using keto-approved foods.
The menu at Taco Bell is constantly changing, but the majority of foods are still off-limits for keto dieters – so you need to order carefully! In this article, we will show you how to order low-carb at Taco Bell.
Tips For Ordering At Taco Bell
We understand that life happens and you might be forced to eat fast-food every once and awhile. But it’s not something that you want to do regularly or even once a week as a “cheat” meal.
If you accidentally leave your meals and snacks at home, then you’ll be happy to know that there are several ways to order low-carb at Taco Bell.
#1. Customize your order
Taco Bell allows you to customize your order by adding or subtracting items to your food. For example, you can add guacamole for some healthy fat or hold the beans on your favorite taco.
#2. Utilize their extras
Surprisingly, Taco Bell has a lot of low-carb sides that you can add to your order to increase the fat content without affecting your carb intake.
For example, you can add full-fat sour cream to a taco or salad in place of sugar-laden dressing or sauces. Other low-carb extras include guacamole, cheese, grilled chicken, seasoned beef, lettuce, tomatoes, three-cheese blend, and steak.
#3. Lay off the sauce
One of the many reasons why Taco Bell’s food is so tasty (and unhealthy) is because there are lots of different sauces you can add to your tacos.
These usually come in packet form, but some are added directly to your food when you order it. None of these are low-carb or keto-friendly, so you’ll want to stay away from all of them.
Even their nacho cheese sauce contains milk, which means that it’s higher in carbs and sugar than regular cheese. It also contains highly inflammatory vegetable oil and lots of preservatives.
As a general rule of thumb, always order your food dry at Taco Bell and add-on safe sides instead, such as full-fat sour cream, regular cheese, and guacamole.
Here is a complete list of sauces to stay away from at Taco Bell:
- Avocado ranch sauce
- Chipotle sauce
- Creamy Jalapeno sauce
- Mexican pizza sauce
- Nacho cheese sauce
- Red sauce
- Spicy ranch
#4. Go with a bowl
Taco Bell offers two power bowls. One is a veggie bowl and the other contains chicken. You can order the one with chicken and ask to hold the rice and beans.
This is a good way to enjoy the insides of a taco in a bowl, so it’s easier to eat. Just be sure to hold the sauce and top it with your favorite low-carb toppings.
If you decide to order a taco, make sure it’s a hard shell taco. It’s easier to eat the insides of a taco with a hard shell rather than a soft shell. This is because the food tends to stick to a flour tortilla and you might find pieces of it mixed in with your food.
The same goes for a burrito. Stick with a hard taco and stay away from the nachos, soft tacos, burritos, and quesadillas.
#5. Check out the nutrition information
If you really want to know what you’re eating at Taco Bell, then you can check out the nutrition information on their website here. The website also lists the ingredients.
Using the nutrition calculator is a good way to determine your macros if you customize a meal. Based on this tool, here are some of the lowest carb foods you can order at Taco Bell:
- Power menu bowl without black beans or rice: 240 calories, 14 grams of fat, 7 grams of carbs (4 grams net carbs), and 21 grams of protein
- Crunchy taco with no shell: 100 calories, 7 grams of fat, 4 grams carbs (2 grams net carbs), 2 grams of fiber, and 7 grams of protein
- Cheesy toasted breakfast burrito minus the flour shell: 150 calories, 11 grams of fat, 3 grams of carbs, and 8 grams of protein
What To Order at Taco Bell
One of the nice things about Taco Bell is they are open all the time, which means that they are always there when you need food. Most locations open around 7AM for breakfast and don’t close until 3AM.
Here’s what to order for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Surprisingly, Taco Bell has a nice looking breakfast menu. Of course, all of their breakfast options are made using a soft or hard taco shell, so your biggest challenge will be to work around this.
We recommend eating the insides out of a burrito that contains meat, cheese, and eggs. A lot of these sandwiches come prepackaged, so don’t be surprised if you can’t customize them.
Most of these options don’t come with red sauce like the regular tacos do, but remember to ask for them dry if possible as some contain nacho cheese sauce. You can always ask for extra cheese, full-fat sour cream, or guacamole to make up for the taste.
- Steak and egg stacker (minus the nacho cheese sauce)
- Egg and cheese breakfast stacker (minus the nacho cheese sauce)
- Breakfast crunchwrap (minus the hash brown and jalapeno sauce)
- Breakfast quesadilla
- Grilled breakfast burrito (no nacho cheese sauce)
- Breakfast soft taco
- Sausage flatbread quesadilla
Lunch and dinner options can be used interchangeably. You can also use either of these options if you just need a snack. Remember to eat only the insides out of each one of these options.
Your best bet for lunch might be to grab a taco salad and eat the insides of the bowl. Make sure to stay away from sauces and sneaky bites of flour or corn tortilla that might mix in with your meat and cheese.
Some of these options will be premade, which means that you cannot custom order them. If that’s the case, then stick with three beef tacos with a hard shell and eat the insides.
- Cheesy gordita crunch (minus the ranch)
- Triple double crunchwrap (minus the reduced fat-sour cream and cheese sauce)
- Chipotle triple double crunchwrap (minus the reduced fat-sour cream and cheese sauce)
- Crunchwrap supreme (minus the reduced fat-sour cream and cheese sauce)
- Chalupa supreme (minus the reduced-fat sour cream)
- Fiesta taco salad (minus the rice, beans, red strips, and reduced-fat sour cream)
- Gordita supreme (minus the reduced-fat sour cream)
If dinner time hits and you have no other choice but to hit up Taco Bell, then we recommend going with three hard tacos filled with the meat of your choice and eating the insides of them.
As we mentioned above, make sure to hold the sauce and eat around the taco shell. Here are some good options:
- Soft tacos and soft tacos supreme (minus reduced-fat sour cream)
- Crunchy tacos and crunchy taco supreme (minus reduced-fat sour cream)
- All Dorito tacos (minus the reduced-fat sour cream)
- Grilled steak soft taco (minus the avocado ranch sauce)
- Chicken soft taco
- Burrito supreme (minus the red sauce, beans, and reduced-fat sour cream)
- Beefy nacho griller (minus the red strips and nacho cheese sauce)
- Chipotle chicken loaded griller (minus the chipotle sauce and reduced-fat sour cream)
- Power menu burrito (minus the avocado ranch sauce and reduced-fat sour cream)
- Chicken and steak quesadillas (no cream jalapeno sauce)
- Beef or chicken mini quesadillas (no chipotle sauce)
Foods To Avoid At Taco Bell
Most of the foods on this are no-brainers. You can’t eat potatoes, beans, or rice on the ketogenic diet. But some of them we put on here because they are simply not worth the trouble of trying to custom order.
Don’t waste your time ordering the following foods and stick with the ones we listed as “safe” above.
- Grande scrambler
- All combo dishes
- Grilled breakfast burrito fiesta potato
- Hash browns
- Mini skillet bowl
- All sweetened beverages
- Cinnabon delights
- Orange juice
- All power bowls
- Mexican pizza
- Cheesy roll up
- Double decker tacos
- Double decker supreme taco
- Beefy crunch burrito
- Beefy Fritos burrito
- Bean burrito
- XXL grilled stuft burrito
- Beefy five-layer burrito
- Cheesy bean and rice burrito
- Shredded chicken burrito
- Cheesy potato griller
- Seven layer burrito
- Power menu veggie burrito
- Black bean burrito
- Cheese quesadilla
- Nachos bell grande
- Nachos supreme
- Triple layer nachos
- Chips and cheese sauce, guacamole, pico de gallo, or salsa
- Cinnamon twists
- Caramel apple empanada
- Spicy potato soft taco
- Spicy tostada
- Cheesy fiesta potatoes
- Black beans and rice
- Pintos and cheese
Keep in mind that although you can eat low-carb at Taco Bell every once and awhile, the ingredients are not always keto-friendly.
We recommend sticking with beef tacos with hard shells while ordering at Taco Bell. This seems to be the easiest way to eat the insides of a taco without having the shell mix in with your food.
Ask for no sauce and add on healthy fats such as full-fat sour cream, three-cheese blend, and guacamole. Beware of foods that are more trouble to eat than they are worth, such as quesadillas, nachos, and burritos. You won’t be able to customize these much and you’ll end up throwing away more than you eat.
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