Taco Bell has some impressively nutritious options on their menu. For a chain that dreams up high-calorie dishes like fried chicken chalupas and candy-flavored slushies, it's actually pretty committed to nutrition nowadays. Taco Bell keeps a registered dietitian (RD) on staff and since 2008 has reduced sodium across its menu offerings by 15%.
But the thing that makes Taco Bell stand out from the rest of the fast food pack is the ability to add extra veggies, sides, and swaps to your order, which you can play around with via its online .
That’s great, but what if you really just want to indulge? Yes, Taco Bell makes headlines for coming up with items like Doritos tacos, but you can always skim a few calories off the top of any order by asking to “make it fresco.” That nixes creamy, calorie-laden dressings, sour cream, and cheese, but adds pico de gallo (often on the side).
With that in mind, you can find the best low-calorie options at a Taco Bell by keeping it simple. Opt for tacos, salads, power bowls, sides, and the occasional burrito. These all contain grilled meat, veggies, cheese, guac, and beans — which pack protein plus fiber. You're better off skipping the nachos and quesadillas since they're tough to make more nutritious.
An order from the vegetarian or is a better bet, since those contain added veggies. Great picks from the include the cheesy bean and rice burrito, bean burrito, black bean burrito, and even the seven-layer burrito — especially if you add extra veggies to any of the above.
See below for some more nutrient-packed ideas that won't leave you feeling overstuffed:
- : Order it with extra pico de gallo, extra romaine, easy on the cheese, regular guac, and regular beans. Skip the sour cream and avocado sauce, and choose add-ons of salsa, jalapeno peppers, and tomatoes. You’ll land yourself a nice, filling lunch that’s 380 calories, and still saves some room for a piece of fruit.
- : Order it with extra pico de gallo, extra romaine, regular guac, cheese, and beans; skip the rice, and add chicken, onions, tomatoes, salsa, and jalapenos.
- : Order it with extra pico de gallo, extra romaine, regular guac, cheese, and beans; skip the rice and add chicken, onions, tomatoes, salsa, and jalapenos.
The bottom line: Yes, Taco Bell can be healthy if you go easy on the sauces, cheese, and rice, and add extra veggies instead.