The Healthiest Restaurant Mexican Food Options

by in Dining Out, June 11, 2013

steak taco
If you think a night out at a Mexican restaurant will sabotage your healthy eating plan, think again! With a little knowledge and planning, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Chipotle Mexican Grill
After playing around with their nutrition calculator, I found the most balanced option was a salad with lettuce, 1 serving of steak, black beans, green tomatilla salsa and fajita veggies.

Nutrition Info: Calories: 355; Total Fat: 8 grams; Saturated Fat: 2 grams; Protein: 40 grams; Carbohydrates: 34 grams; Sodium: 975 milligrams

If you’re in the mood for a taco, choose the soft corn tortilla and one protein (chicken, steak, barbacoa, or carnitas) and top with veggies (lettuce and fajita veggies) and your favorite salsa. This will give you a nutritious meal for around 400 calories.

Check out more healthy Chipotle options.

Moe’s Southwest Grill
Once again, you can use the handy nutrition calculator to carefully plan what you’ll order before heading out. The trick is to order more veggies, which will add volume and additional nutrients to your dish.

Try the Burrito Bowl topped with chicken, shredded lettuce, black olives, grilled onion, mushrooms and peppers, cucumbers and pico de gallo.

Nutrition Info: Calories: 332 calories; Total Fat: 17 grams; Saturated fat: 2 grams; Protein: 27 grams; Carbohydrates: 16 grams; Sodium: 758 milligrams

Taco Bell
It’s tough to order just one taco at this well-known Mexican joint. To keep calories in check, order one Fresco Grilled Steak Soft Taco (pictured above) and one Fresco Chicken Soft Taco.

Nutrition Info: Calories: 310 calories; Total Fat: 8 grams; Saturated fat: 2.5 grams; Protein: 22 grams; Carbohydrates: 37 grams; Sodium: 890 milligrams

Check out more healthy Taco Bell options.

Chili’s
Don’t be fooled into ordering the regular salad; it’ll cost you between 640 and 1370 calories! On the Lighter Menu, you can find the Grilled Chicken Salad made with cheese, tomatoes, black beans, corn relish and honey-lime vinaigrette. To shave off a few more calories and sodium, order the dressing on the side and only use half.

Nutrition Info: Calories: 430 calories; Total Fat:  23 grams; Saturated fat: 6 grams; Protein: 38 grams; Carbohydrates: 21 grams; Sodium: 1200 milligrams

Check out more healthy Chili’s options 

Del Taco
You can easily chow down on two tacos for a reasonable amount of calories and fat. Order 2 Steak Tacos Al Carbon made with authentic corn tortillas and filled with carne asada steak, fresh cilantro, onion and a California chili sauce.

Nutrition Info: Calories: 300 calories; Total Fat:  8 grams; Saturated fat: 2 grams; Protein: 18 grams; Carbohydrates: 38 grams; Sodium: 680 milligrams

Check out more healthy Del Taco options.

TELL US: What’s your favorite healthy Mexican menu item?

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »

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Comments (6)

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  2. Sheryl says:

    If you are in the Pacific Northwest, Taco Time has a great Fit Hits menu with healthy options. http://www.tacotimenw.com/fithitbowl.aspx

  3. SGO says:

    Have ordered the Chicken Fresco Taco from Taco Bell twice — from two different locations — and both times received a soft chicken taco instead (meaning instead of pico de gallo it had a glop of cheese and a few shreds of lettuce).

    Any info on Tijuana Flats?

  4. chase mikkola says:

    I cook really good breakfast burritos

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