Mexican restaurants are known for their delicious and spicy meals and the best margaritas you can find, however, they are lesser-known for their low-carb and keto recipes.
A lot of their famous dishes have plenty of beans, rice, sauce, and corn or flour tortillas and this means if you are following a low-carb or keto diet, you might be a little worried if you’re invited out for a nice Mexican meal with friends.
However, this is nothing to fear and you can easily eat low-carb at a lot of Mexican restaurants! All you need to do is stick to the insides of what you would find in a burrito or taco dish.
Just order the fajitas without the tortillas or a big burrito bowl and salad. Remember to stock up on cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and salsa, and avoid the sugary sauces.
These are just the basics but in this article, we are going to provide you with some of the best low-carb options at a Mexican restaurant and show you how you can order certain classic dishes to make them low-carb for yourself! Let’s dive in.
Burritos are a well-known staple of Mexican cuisine and are a great way of tasting all the flavors that Mexico has to offer.
However, by ordering a burrito bowl, which is simply the insides of a burrito mixed in a bowl instead of a tortilla wrap, you still get to taste these wonderful flavors but without the added carbs!
It also means you won’t get your hands messy and you can enjoy your Mexican meal with a fork.
Chipotle famously offers this on their menu and it is one of their most popular dishes.
You can ask for a burrito bowl in most Mexican restaurants, however, and these are usually made with steak, pork, chicken, low-carb veggies, lettuce, onion, and tomato.
You can then add as much sour cream, salsa, and guacamole but to keep it low-carb, you need to avoid the beans, rice, corn, and shells.
Although fajitas are usually served up with tortilla wraps, one of the best ways of enjoying a Mexican meal but staying low-carb is to order the fajitas without the wrap.
You still can enjoy the delicious insides and experience the flavors of Mexican food, but cut back on the carbs.
Often, fajitas are offered with a meat choice such as seafood, pork, steak, or chicken and this is served up with sauteed or grilled vegetables such as onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers, all of which are low-carb.
When you order fajitas, just remember to hold the taco shell, beans, tortilla wraps, and rice, and enjoy the filling with plenty of sour cream and guacamole!
Pollo Pablano is a popular grilled chicken dish but all you need to do to say low-carb is avoid the starchy sides that come with it.
The dish comes with chicken and grilled onions, poblano peppers hence the name, mushrooms, and cheese sauce. It usually comes with rice, beans, and flour tortilla shells but you will need to hold these back to keep it low-carb and keto-friendly.
You might need to also ask if the cheese sauce contains flour if it does, you will need to hold this back too.
If you are ordering a taco salad at a Mexican restaurant, it will often come in a bigger version of a taco shell, almost resembling a bowl.
However, to keep this low-carb and keto-friendly, you need to order it without the shell and we promise it is just as delicious!
Your taco salad might include corns, rice, beans, and tortilla strips and we know if we are ordering keto-friendly dishes, we are going to have to hold back on these.
You should also stick to a low-carb dressing such as ranch or something similar. Taco bell offers a ‘power menu bowl’ and this is something you can opt for if you want to stay low-carb.
Carne Asada is a staple at a lot of Mexican restaurants and can be ordered in a low-carb fashion. It is usually made with steak, green onions, beans, rice, tomatoes, lettuce, and the toppings such as sour cream and guacamole. This is served with flour and corn tortilla shells.
Hold back on the shells, beans, and rice to keep it low-carb, and fill up on the veggies, steak, and topping instead. You should also hold back the sauce that comes on the steak.
Pollo Ranchero is another grilled chicken dish and is covered in both ranchero sauce and cheese sauce. This dish is served with rice, lettuce, tomatoes, beans, and sour cream.
However, to keep it keto-friendly, simply ask the waiter to hold the ranchero sauce, rice, and beans, and like in the last chicken dish, inquire about the cheese sauce and flour content.
If you plan on eating the insides of a taco, you can go for a hard or crunchy shell as these are usually a lot easier to scoop the insides out of, and eat only the fillings to stay low-carb but still enjoy the great flavors of Mexico!
Most places offer a selection of one, two, or three tacos and you can get chicken or beef but eat the cheese, meat, and other fillings out with a fork, disregarding the taco to keep it low-carb.
You should also avoid the taco sauce but top with cheese, sour cream, and guacamole instead.
Soft tacos, burritos, and quesadillas are made with softer flour tortillas, and these together with the ingredients when heated, making it harder to peel away the filling.
This dish is a popular Mexican dish that contains a mixture of grilled chicken and Mexican sausage. It also has lots of green onions and cheese sauce, served up with the usual toppings of lettuce, beans, and guacamole. However, it is also topped with pico do Gallo or fresh tomatoes instead of salsa.
This dish is very low-carb as it is, but you would need to hold back the beans.
This dish features marinated steak which is cooked perfectly to order, with chicken and Mexican sausage. It is topped with everyone’s favorite queso fresco sauce, as well as grilled onions and jalapeno peppers. This one is going to make you sweat with all that spice!
You can keep it low-carb by holding the Mexican rice back as well as the refried beans and any tortilla shells it might be served up with. You can order a hefty side salad to bulk it out instead.
This dish comes with lots of grilled chicken strips and is served with Mexican rice, pico de gallo, lettuce, guacamole, lime juice, refried beans, and plenty of sour creams.
All you would need to do to make this low-carb and keto-friendly is to hole the Mexican rice and refried beans. Still a delicious zesty Mexican dish!
Last on our list is the delicious Chilli Verde which is a Mexican dish packed with steak strips which are usually cooked to order, or carnitas which are coated in a chili sauce and served with lots of Mexican rice, refried beans, and sometimes corn or flour taco shells.
To make this dish ok to eat on a keto diet, you will need to hold the taco shells, rice, and refried beans. You might need to also ask about the carb content in the chili sauce, or if you would prefer, just replace it with some sour cream, salsa, or guacamole instead.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Most Popular Low-Carb Item At Mexican Restaurants?
One of the most popular dishes when trying to eat low-carb would be a burrito bowl. Packed with all the Mexican delights you find in a burrito, put together in a bowl with salad for a nutritious Mexican meal, topped with all the salsa, guac, and sour cream you desire.
Is All Mexican Food Spicy?
In general, most Mexican dishes are spicy due to all the peppers, onions, and spices they use in Mexican cuisine. A lot of dishes also feature chili, but you can hold back certain elements to reduce the spice if you want to.
We hope you have enjoyed this article on the best low-carb options at Mexican restaurants. We promise they are just as delicious but will help you stay on track and stay within Ketosis.
Remember to hold back any shells or tortilla wraps, beans, and rice for the most part and you are off to a good start!
Fill up on the meat, veggies, cheese, and salad and of course, never forget the toppings and plenty of guacamole, salsa, and sour cream!