Fast Food Tacos That Aren't As Unhealthy As The Rest

If you're looking for fast food tacos that aren't as unhealthy as the rest, then we've got you covered. While visiting the drive-thru isn't usually because you want to make health-conscious choices, there are occasions when you just want to sample something lighter for a change. In a world full of fast food joints offering deliciously warm, melty, cheesy tacos stuffed full of goodness, it may seem nearly impossible to snag one that's actually healthy — or at least healthier than some of the options.

Join us as we dive deep to find some of the healthier taco options on fast food menus. We'll explore the calorie, fat, and sodium content of these tacos and compare them to other taco items we've found. Whether you love a taco in its most basic form or prefer one with lots of layered flavor, we've found healthier-for-you options that you can enjoy. Let's get into it.

Taco Bell Soft Taco

Kicking things off, Taco Bell's Soft Taco is a basic but no less yummy grab, especially if you're into simple eats. Unlike many tacos you'll find on Taco Bell's menu, this one is much lower in fat and calories, making it a healthier menu item than many of the others.

For comparison's sake, let's look at the fat content of the Doritos Cheesy Gordita Crunch versus the Taco Bell Soft Taco. Loaded with cheese, a double shell, and plenty of toppings, the Doritos Cheesy Gordita Crunch boasts 500 calories, 28 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, and 890 milligrams of sodium. Taco Bell's Soft Taco, on the other hand, packs only 180 calories, 8 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, and 490 milligrams of sodium.

They are very different beasts, but it is easy to see why Taco Bell's Soft Taco would be the healthier choice when comparing it against contenders like the Gordita Crunch. It may be basic, but it's perfect for when that taco craving hits — and sometimes you can't beat a classic.

Taco Bell Crunchy Taco

Here's another simple Taco Bell buy for you, and this time, it's of the crispier sort. Taco Bell's Crunchy Taco is, perhaps surprisingly, not too bad for your health in terms of calories, fat, and salt when compared to other Taco Bell options. Taco Bell's Crunchy Taco comes with only lettuce, cheese, and meat encased in a single crispy shell. The nutrition facts here render 170 calories, 10 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, and 300 milligrams of sodium.

While you could argue that eating a lot of these would still not be a healthy choice, the truth is that eating several of these would yield a vast difference nutritionally versus the aforementioned Gordita Crunch tacos. It's worth noting that, while the Crunchy Taco has more fat than the Soft Taco, it is lower in calories and sodium, making it potentially the preferable choice depending on your health goals.

Overall, while Taco Bell's Crunchy Taco isn't exactly the healthiest thing you can stuff in your mouth, it is at least healthier than many of the other taco choices on Taco Bell's menu.

Jack in the Box Single Taco

Jack in the Box probably isn't the first place you think of for grabbing good tacos, and indeed, they're done a bit differently here than other taco joints. Graced with American cheese rather than the standard cheddar, this taco may leave some traditionalists rolling their eyes.

In any event, Jack in the Box tacos are sold at 99 cents for two and aren't too bad in terms of nutrition either. A single crispy taco from Jack in the Box yields about 9.5 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, and 385 milligrams of sodium. Expect there to be about 175 calories per taco, which is pretty modest, especially compared to tacos on menus at other fast food chains. 

Though these taco grabs are a bit non-traditional in terms of authentic Mexican fare, we can at least say that these inexpensive bites not only help you save a bit of cash, but fat and calories as well.

Taco John's Crispy Taco

At Taco John's you can find a myriad of lower calorie taco options, many of which boast lower fat content, too. To be specific, Taco John's Crispy Tacos tend to run the lowest in terms of calories and fat, and thus, earn their spot on our list of fast food tacos that aren't as unhealthy as the rest.

Taco John's may test your loyalty to other taco brands by offering more than just your standard crispy beef, amping things up a notch with crispy chicken, crispy steak, and crispy refried bean taco options. As you might expect, the refried bean crispy taco option contains the lowest fat and calories, with only 120 calories and 5 grams of fat. However, the other varieties aren't too far off, with each crispy taco landing in the 130-150 calorie range, and fat content not exceeding 10 grams, with the beef option being the highest in terms of fat. If it's sodium you're keeping an eye on, try opting for the crispy steak taco, since it stands out as the least threatening in the bunch at 280 milligrams per taco.

All in all, if you're a crispy taco kind of person and love variety, Taco John's has you covered for low-fat, low-calorie options.

Chipotle Tacos

At Chipotle, the sky's the limit when it comes to yummy taco creations, and as long as you don't go too crazy with customizations, you can walk away with a healthier taco that you can feel good about. Truth be told, Chipotle doesn't have a menu chock-full of pre-assembled taco creations like other restaurants on this list, so what you choose to put in your taco will make all the difference.

To start, be aware that both the soft flour tortilla and crispy tortilla shell contain about 3 grams of fat and that the crispy shell contains 67 calories versus the soft taco's 83 calories. As for the meat you choose, most selections range from 3-4 grams of fat per serving. One thing to keep in mind is that out of your standard chicken and beef options, it is the barbacoa that contains the most sodium at 530 milligrams per 4-ounce serving. Add your choice of toppings, and depending on how you load your taco up, you could walk away with one very delicious, and potentially nutritious, Chipotle taco. Looking purely at calories, toppings range from 5 calories with the Romaine lettuce, up to 230 calories for a serving of guacamole.

Del Taco Taco Del Carbon

If you're a Del Taco fan, there are several options available that make for a healthier choice for people looking to cut back on fat and calories. First up is the Del Taco Taco Del Carbon. This delicious flavor-packed taco comes with cilantro, diced onion, and a green sauce, along with your choice of steak or chicken.

Ordered without guacamole, these tacos are quite modest in terms of calories and fat. The Del Taco Taco Del Carbon made with chicken will run 110 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, and 300 milligrams of sodium. In contrast,the steak Taco Del Carbon has 120 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, and 420 milligrams of sodium. Of course, if you like to walk on the wild side and want to add a bit of guac to your taco, the Taco Del Carbon Guac'd Up is also available. Just note that it might run you an extra 10 calories or so along with an extra 1-2 grams of fat. This is only a minor difference, though, so if guacamole is your thing, you can still easily order it and end up with a pretty healthy taco either way.

Del Taco Snack Taco

Another great Del Taco menu item that is quite a bit healthier than the rest is the Del Taco Snack Taco. We know, we know, you won't always be in the mood for a miniature bite like this, but it's still worth a mention, especially if you've got a smaller appetite but still need your taco fix. 

The Del Taco Snack Taco comes in two forms, both crunchy and soft-shelled. Both are decent grabs, however, you should be aware that the crunchy version fares better in a couple of ways. Expect Del Taco Snack Soft Taco to have 150 calories, 6 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, and 330 milligrams of sodium. In comparison, the crunchy Snack Taco has 120 calories, 7 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, and only 135 milligrams of sodium. And though there isn't a significant difference in the nutritional outcomes between the two, the crunchy taco is the better option overall. Either way, both the crunchy and soft taco are considerably better than many tacos we see lining the Del Taco menu, especially those like the Del Taco Carne Asada Steak & Guac Stuffed Quesadilla Taco, which carries 360 calories, 17 grams of fat, and over 1,000 milligrams of sodium. Yikes!

Del Taco Double Cheese and Egg

We told you Del Taco has quite a few yummy healthier options out there for you taco enthusiasts, and it doesn't stop at lunch and dinner. Del Taco also has a healthier breakfast taco, although you'll want to make sure you grab the right one. Del Taco features three different double cheese breakfast tacos, with the healthiest one being the egg and cheese. Wake up to an egg and cheese taco that features 180 calories, 9 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, and 480 milligrams of sodium. Meanwhile, the bacon and hash brown stuffed double cheese breakfast taco packs 340 calories, 21 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, and 790 grams of sodium. See what we mean?

The Del Taco Double Cheese Breakfast Taco with egg isn't the healthiest thing you could eat, but if you skip the meat, it is a lot healthier than some of its other breakfast taco companions.

Qdoba Street Style Chicken Tacos

Another yummy street-style taco, this healthier-for-you rendition can be found at Qdoba with lots of savory customizations to boot. Here, you can expect a street style chicken taco on a corn shell to run around 163 calories, with about 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, and 460 milligrams of sodium. Chicken street tacos made with flour tortillas will have similar nutrition facts, but with elevated totals, at 180 calories, 8 grams of fat, around 2 grams of saturated fat, and 530 milligrams of sodium.

Of course, any add-ons or customizations made to this taco will affect its overall nutrition content as fat, calories, and sodium may increase or decrease depending on what toppings you include. There are plenty of healthy options to choose from, however, including salsa, fresh corn, beans, and fajita veggies, so dress it up how you like and enjoy this lower fat and calorie version of a traditional taco.

El Pollo Loco Shredded Chicken Crunchy Taco

El Pollo Loco is a Los Angeles-based Mexican-style chicken joint, which now has chains in several states. According to the website, just about everything at El Pollo Loco is made fresh, from the salsa right down to the chicken. This immediately puts this restaurant on our radar as one of the higher quality grabs out there. Still, high quality doesn't always equate to healthy, so which tacos are really best when it comes to guarding your health?

Honestly, there is more than one taco on El Pollo Loco's menu that's healthy, but for now, let's take a peek at the Shredded Chicken Crunchy Taco. This delicious option comes with lettuce and shredded jack cheese, all amidst a crunchy shell. The taco weighs in at 8 grams of fat per taco, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, and 400 milligrams of sodium. We will say that this taco is a bit stealthier when it comes to calories, as you'll incur 200 calories per each Shredded Chicken Crunchy Taco you eat. Nevertheless, the overall stats pertaining to fat and sodium are pretty low compared to some others, and thus, we consider the El Pollo Loco Shredded Chicken Crunchy Taco a bit healthier than some of the rest.

El Pollo Loco Chicken Taco Al Carbon

Another El Pollo Loco banger, the Chicken Taco Al Carbon also gets high marks from us in terms of healthiness when compared to other tacos. This taco comes minimally dressed, with diced onion, chopped chicken, and cilantro lining a soft corn tortilla shell. The Chicken Taco Al Carbon features 170 calories, 5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, and 250 milligrams of sodium, making it not only a healthier option than most but even a healthier option than the previously mentioned Shredded Chicken Crunchy Taco. In fact, this is one of the healthiest options on the list given the insanely low amount of fat per taco. When compared to other El Pollo Loco tacos, like the Chicken Avocado Taco for example, there couldn't be more of a difference. The El Pollo Loco Chicken Avocado Taco has a whopping 360 calories, 21 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat and, get this, 820 milligrams of sodium.

We think grabbing a Chicken Taco Al Carbon is a much better option than many of the contenders on El Pollo Loco's menu. Grab one (or two) the next time you want to take the lighter route for lunch.

Torchy's Tacos Democrat

We're not too sure how the name of this particular taco was inspired, but leave it to Torchy's Tacos to come up with something innovative. The Democrat taco from Torchy's is not only uniquely named, but is definitely a lighter grab when it comes to fast food tacos. The Democrat comes with barbacoa, avocado, and cilantro and is served alongside tomatillo sauce. Get the flour tortilla version for 223 calories, or try the corn flour tortilla for 243 calories. Your Democrat on a corn tortilla will run you less in terms of fat at only 8 grams of fat per taco, while the flour tortilla will cost you two extra grams for a total of 10 grams of fat.

Though we're impressed overall with the calories and fat content on the Democrat, we must warn you that sodium levels on both the corn tortilla and flour tortilla varieties are shockingly high. Expect to consume over 1,000 milligrams of sodium per Democrat taco, with the Democrat on flour tortilla being over 1,200 milligrams. Yep, the Democrat taco might be healthier in the arena of fat and calories, but we'd be remiss if we didn't inform you about the sodium content, so you can make your choices accordingly. 


We determined the fast food tacos that aren't as unhealthy as the rest by comparing the nutrition facts of the tacos mentioned to other tacos on fast food menus. Calories, fat, saturated fat, and sodium content were considered to determine whether a particular taco was healthier than others on the menu. In the event that there were no other tacos on the menu other than the one mentioned, the menu item was then compared to a taco on other fast food chain menus to determine its healthiness comparatively.

Please bear in mind that though these tacos are healthier options than others on many fast food menus, it doesn't necessarily denote these tacos necessarily as "good for you." The term "healthy" can take on many meanings; however, in this case, we are specifically referring to the calorie, fat, and sodium content when compared to other popular fast food taco options to help you make the choice that is right for you.