White Castle is one of the oldest fast-food chains in the USA (dating back to the 1920s!) Their delicious sliders and casseroles completely redefined our takeout game! But can you eat Keto at White Castle?
The most keto-friendly meal at White Castle is the egg & meat patties paired with some cheese and lettuce. Another option is the clam strips that contain 5g carbs for a small serving size. Avoid all kinds of buns, waffles, and toast.
I know how hard it is to find low-carb options at your favorite restaurants. But that’s what we do at Fitness Unicorn! In this article, we’ll look at the best keto ordering strategies for your next visit to White Castle.
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At first glance, you might think of the White Castle burger as a miniature hamburger! But there’s so much more than what meets the eye.
The slider is called so because you can easily grab one and “slide” it down your throat. And it’s light on the calories too! But who sticks to just one?
Sliders are one of the sneakiest marketing tactics I’ve ever seen in action! Your sane mind will try to justify having “just one slider” because it’s less damaging than a hamburger. But soon enough, the craving-ridden monkey mind takes over and you end up ordering 3-4 of these baddies in a single meal!
That’s something you have to watch out for.
When it comes to the keto diet, meat and cheese are probably your best bet at any fast-food restaurant. White Castle has a wide range of low-carb meat patties: eggs, bacon, beef, chicken, and bologna. You also have various cheese options including American cheese, cheddar cheese, jalapeno cheese, and so on.
Their shakes and smoothies are completely off the charts. A single large chocolate shake (available in Chicago) contains as much as 200g of carbs. What’s worse, the majority of those carbs are in the form of sugar!
If you are trying to eat keto at White Castle, you ought to steer clear of the sides menu! Every single item in this section has a ton of breading that inflates the carb count. As crunchy as those Fish Nibblers taste, they just don’t fit into the keto diet!
The clam strips and the chicken rings have the least amount of carbs i.e. 5g and 6g carbs respectively. But make sure you stick to the smallest serving size!
RELATED: Ruby Tuesday’s Keto Guide
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How to Survive KETO at White Castle
You probably know that eating home-cooked meals is the 100% safe way to go about keto. But let’s face it: Even the best of us are prone to occasional cravings (me included!)
Whether you’re going out with friends or simply ordering takeout, your choices can make a day and night difference in your diet!
White Castle offers plenty of options even if you have a tiny carb allowance. Follow these best strategies to float your keto boat:
1. AVOID Waffles, Toast, and Bun
This is the most basic rule when it comes to the keto diet! Anything made from flour is super-rich in carbs and even a single bun at White Castle contains 13g of net carbs (source).
Yes, even the palm-sized slider buns have too many carbs for the keto diet. In fact, a single bun can exhaust more than half of your daily carb allowance!
The waffle and the toast are even higher in carb count, and hence, much worse than the sliders. So what do you do?
The easiest way to enjoy these sliders is to have them wrapped in lettuce. Simply choose your meat patty, cheese, and some grilled onion and wrap it up in lettuce leaf.
But if you are really craving a dinner roll/bun for your sliders, there’s a sneaky way out! Check out my favorite keto bun recipe at the bottom of this article. You get to keep all the goodness of a bun without all those added carbs.
In fact, I always keep a batch in my kitchen for times like this!
If you want real proof of someone applying this tactic in real life, check out the video below. The lady pairs her homemade keto bun with the cheese and juicy patties ordered from White Castle.
2. Clam Strips are Your Friend!
Clam strips are the most keto-friendly side dishes at White Castle having 5g net carbs in the smallest serving size (source).
Clams alone don’t have any carbs at all. It’s the surrounding breading that provides the majority of carbs in these fried strips.
If you are following a strict keto for medical reasons, I’d advise you to stay away from any side dishes at White Castle. But if you are more flexible and simply using keto to lose weight, go ahead and order them!
Keep in mind that only the smallest serving has 5g net carbs. If you go above and beyond, it’s in no way keto-friendly.
By the way, clams are a super nutritious variety of shellfish. They are rich in protein, minerals, vitamins, and the much-needed omega 3 fatty acids.
3. Beware of Breaded Items
A breaded item is one that is covered with bread crumbs, cracker crumbs, or sometimes even nuts, to improve the taste and texture of your food.
The end result is a heavenly crispy crust surrounding the food item. As delicious as it tastes, the so-called crunch isn’t worth the extra carbs on the keto diet.
Every side dish at White Castle contains heaps of breading! For example, their 6 pc chicken ring rakes in 12g of net carbs, despite the fact that chicken is a zero-carb poultry item.
Even the smallest serving of fish nibblers has a whopping 28g of carbs. And as you can guess, breading is the main evil behind them!
White Castle uses Panko crumbs which is an enhanced version of the traditional breadcrumbs. They are much flakier and dryer and ultimately absorb less oil. Nonetheless, they are made from white bread which is a no-go on the keto diet.
If you are really craving a side dish from their menu, consider pulling off the breading to minimize the carbs. But you still run the risk of accidentally eating some of it.
Be really cautious about the “crispy” dishes whenever ordering keto at a restaurant! 9 times out of 10 they contain some form of breading to bring about that crunchy texture.
Suggested: Freddy’s Keto Friendly Guide
4. Stick to These Low-Carb Sauces
White Castle has a lot of keto-friendly sauces to spice up your bun-less sliders! Choose from the following options (along with the carb count):
- Hot Sauce Packets: 0g
- Mayonnaise Packets: 0g
- Yellow Mustard Packets: 0g
- Dusseldorf Mustard Packets: 0g
- Horseradish Mustard Packets: 0g
- Ranch Tubs: 1g
- Tartar Sauce Packets: 2g
- Tartar Sauce Tubs: 4g
- Zesty Zing Sauce Tubs: 4g
The top 5 sauces in this list are extremely keto-friendly! I usually tend to compensate for my lost bun with delicious dressings.
A word about mayo and hot sauce: According to White Castle’s official nutrition guide, each packet has exactly 0 carbs. But sometimes the companies also write off “negligible carbs” as zero carbs. tl;dr, don’t overdo the dressings because the carbs may add up.
White Castle Low-Carb Sliders
As we have already discussed, you can still enjoy White Castle sliders on the keto diet if you choose to eliminate the buns.
The breakfast sliders have the least amount of carbs i.e. 15-17g each. But if you toss out the bun, you’ll save 12g net carbs per slider!
Following is the net carbs count of each slider WITHOUT the bun:
- Breakfast Slider with Egg & Cheese: 2g
- Breakfast Slider with Egg & Jalapeño Cheese: 2g
- Breakfast Slider with Egg & Cheddar Cheese: 2g
- Breakfast Slider with Sausage, Egg & Cheese: 2g
- Breakfast Slider with Bacon, Egg & Cheese: 2g
- Breakfast Slider with Bacon, Egg & Jalapeño Cheese: 2g
- Breakfast Slider with Bacon, Egg & Cheddar Cheese: 2g
- Breakfast Slider with Sausage, Egg & Jalapeño Cheese: 3g
- Breakfast Slider with Sausage, Egg & Cheddar Cheese: 3g
- Breakfast Slider with Bologna, Egg & Cheese: 4g
- Breakfast Slider with Bologna, Egg & Jalapeño Cheese: 4g
- Breakfast Slider with Bologna, Egg & Cheddar Cheese: 4g
- Original Slider with Egg & Cheese: 3g
- Original Slider with Egg & Jalapeño Cheese: 4g
- Original Slider with Egg & Cheddar Cheese: 4g
What to Drink on Keto at White Castle?
The keto diet has no place for juices, shakes, smoothies, or sugar-loaded sodas.
It’s natural to feel thirsty with all those meats and cheese. But you must opt for low-carb, sugar-free alternatives to ensure proper ketosis.
Here are some of the least-carb drinks at White Castle (along with the carb count):
- Bottled Water: 0g
- Coffee: 0g
- Decaf Coffee: 0g
- Hot Tea: 0g
- Diet Coke: 0g
- Caffeine-Free Diet Coke: 0g
- Coke Zero: 0g
- Unsweetened Iced Tea (small & medium): 1g
- Unsweetened Iced Tea (large): 2g
- Minute Maid Lemonade Lite (small): 3g
It’s easy to eat keto at White Castle if you stick to meat patties and cheese. The sliders taste just as good without the bun!
You can either have them wrapped in a lettuce leaf, or take your faux bun (recipe shared above) along with you to the restaurant.
The only side dishes worth considering are Chicken Rings and Clam Strips. If you really feel like splurging, consider pulling off the breading to minimize your carb intake.