Tortillas, beans, and rice are some of the items that completely dominate Taco Time’s menu. They sure as hell don’t seem low-carb to me!
Can you survive keto at Taco Time?
The short answer is yes. Taco Time is keto-friendly as long as you avoid tortillas, rice, beans, and nachos. Have your tacos served in a bowl or get them wrapped inside lettuce. Stick to guacamole and hot sauce for dressing.
Taco Time has plenty of low-carb options that you can relish guilt-free! In this article, we’ll go over each and every item that fits into the keto bill.
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How to Eat Keto at Taco Time
Just like any other Mexican restaurant, TacoTime is highly customizable which makes ordering keto a breeze!
I have time and again ordered from them and they have never messed up my order (thankfully!). When keto wasn’t such a big trend, a lot of servers would just never understand why I am asking for a taco WITHOUT the taco shell.
Things have changed a lot since the last two years and now they are used to people ordering the keto way!
Dining out at Taco Time on keto? Simply follow these strategies for a perfect low-carb meal:
- First things first: No tortillas, beans, rice, wraps, chips or fries.
- You can have the tacos only if you get rid of the shell (whether crips or soft)
- For dressings, stick to Pico de Gallo, Guacamole, and Taco Time Hot Sauce.
- Chicken is the only meat option that is NOT battered or seasoned (hence, the one with the least carbs!)
- Use a lettuce wrap if you really want it to feel like a real taco!
Now I know Taco Time doesn’t offer a Build-Your-Own-Bowl. But they have always fulfilled my request and I’ve walked out of there as a happy customer!
What you can do instead, is choose one of their tacos and then ask them for slight customizations so that it doesn’t seem like “too much work” to the server. For example, simply order a Crisp Chicken Taco and ask them to have the fillings in a bowl instead. Tell him to hold the tomatoes and add guacamole/hot sauce as per your liking.
Taco Time also has a low-fat white cheese for the calorie-conscious ones. But let me remind you that we ketoers want as much fat as possible! So just stick to the regular one.
I wouldn’t even touch their pre-set meals and platters. Even if you plan to share it with someone, it’s hard to determine your exact carb intake. That’s why I always order my meals separately and track my carbs along the way.
TacoTime vs TacoTime NW
Before we proceed, let me clear that Taco Time’s menu varies by location. TacoTime was founded in 1962 and by the early 1970s, they expanded to over 50 locations.
Cut to 1979, Taco Time Northwest became an independent franchisor to license the restaurants in most of the Western and Eastern Washington cities.
So it means that the Seattle folks have a quite different menu when compared to, say, people in Spokane.
This article is based on the menu of Taco Time NW. If you are dining out at Taco Time International or Canada, please refer to Guide No. 1 and Guide No. 2 respectively. There might be slight variations in the macros, but the majority of the keto principles remain the same!
For example, Guacamole is one of the most keto-friendly options across all the regions. It’s purely made from avocadoes which is an excellent fruit on the keto diet. Avoid all kinds of tortillas, chips, nachos, beans, and rice no matter where you dine out!
Without further ado, let’s look at the most keto-friendly options at Taco Time!
Taco Time NW Keto Friendly Options
1. Crisp Chicken Taco
The Crisp Chicken Taco has the least amount of carbs i.e. 8.6g of net carbs per serving (including the shell).
Complete Nutrition: 197 calories | 15.8g protein | 10.5g fat | 10g carbs | 1.4g fiber
If you are following a “strict” keto diet, then all grains and flour-based products are entirely off-limits. However, the “dirty” keto allows you to have a lot more freedom. You can even have this taco WITH the shell since it is well within your daily carb budget.
Just make sure that you accommodate the rest of the meals accordingly. For example, if you had 12g of carbs in the morning and now feast on this crisp chicken taco, you are left with almost zero carbs for the dinner (time for an all-fat meal!)
2. Crisp Beef Taco
A single Crisp Beef Taco contains 11.3g of net carbs. It has the exact same ingredients as the chicken crisp tacos, but the chicken is swapped with beef.
So why the increase in carbs? Well, the beef itself is zero-carb meat. But it’s the seasoning that rakes in those additional carbs.
Complete Nutrition: 241 calories | 12.8g protein | 14.7g fat | 14.4g carbs | 3.1g fiber
You can ask for double beef or double chicken to increase your fat and protein intake without added carbs.
Of course, you know what a Guacamole is! It’s the first thing that comes to mind when I talk about anything keto!
Guacamole is primarily made of avocadoes which are high in fat and fiber. It’s a really filling side dish that can save you a ton of carbs at restaurants!
Taco Time’s guacamole has just 1g of net carbs per oz. You can have a generous serving of this dressing guilt-free on the keto diet.
Complete Nutrition (per oz): 38 calories | 0.5g protein | 3.2g fat | 2.5g carbs | 1.6g fiber
Their guacamole has the perfect balance between creamy and chunky! I add at least 3oz to my taco bowls that provides me with 10g of quality fats for a little under 3g net carbs (and it’s quite filling too!)
4. Hot Sauce
A 1 oz serving of Taco Time Hot Sauce has 1.5g net carbs. It’s keto-friendly as long as it is used in moderation.
A hot sauce is quite similar to salsa but with a lot more peppers. As a result, you can have a strong flavor by using a tiny amount of this dressing.
On the other hand, you’ll have to use at least 3 oz of salsa to really feel its punch! Here’s the exact carb count of various kinds of Salsa at Taco TIme:
- Mild Salsa (3 oz): 6g carbs, 1.2g fiber, 4.8g net carbs
- Medium Salsa (3 oz): 6g carbs, 1.3g fiber, 4.7g net carbs
- Habanero Salsa (3 oz): 4.6g carbs, 0.2g fiber, 4.4g net carbs
5. Pico De Gallo
Pico De Gallo is a classic Mexican tomato dressing that is super healthy and super low-carb. Use it to boost the flavor of just about any Mexican dish! It brings along a burst of freshness that’s hard to resist.
Taco Time’s Pico De Gallo has 2.2g of net carbs per 3 oz serving. I would only use it in moderation since the carbs in tomatoes can easily add up!
What to Drink at Taco Time on Keto
Here are all the low-carb beverages at Taco Time along with the net carbs:
- Freestyle Low (Small Diet Coke): 0g
- Gold Peak Tea: 0g
- 2% milk: 13g
- Water: 0g (obviously!)
Tip: Always carry a small pack of liquid stevia whenever you head out. Enjoy your favorite beverages guilt-free the keto way!
Is Taco Time Keto-friendly?
Taco Time has a lot of low-carb options that are easy to order. You just have to follow the right customizations and keep track of your carb intake.
In a nutshell, just avoid all tortillas, chips, nachos, beans, rice, and carb-rich dressings.