While the keto diet is certainly a unique way of eating, it comes with many proven benefits. It’s fantastic when used for weight loss. This is the biggest reason most pursue the lifestyle change and start watching their carbs so carefully. The idea is to put your body into a state of “ketosis” wherein your body uses its resources more efficiently and provides you with more energy.
In addition to losing weight, following this diet can help clear acne, support heart health and brain function, and may even reduce the risk of certain cancers.
While beneficial in many ways, it’s a hard diet to follow at times. It doesn’t say you can’t have any carbs, but you must strictly limit them for the method to work. At first glance, this may sound like all of your favorite fast-food burgers and other goodies are out.
Thankfully, that’s not the case! Even fast-food joints are catching on to the rise in health-conscious eating and they’ve started offering more diverse options. Or, if you really want a burger, some can be rendered keto-friendly by simply removing the bun and foregoing ketchup!
From there, it’s easy enough to request a few extra ingredients or an additional handful of lettuce for more bulk, and you’ve got yourself a tasty and efficient keto lunch while on-the-go. The best keto fast food meals include lots of vegetables, low-carb meat options (grilled chicken is your new best friend), and lots of cheese if cheese is your thing.
Top Ten Best Keto Fast Food Meals
- McDonald’s Hamburger
- Taco Bell Chicken Burrito Supreme
- Chipotle Keto Lifestyle Bowl
- Chick-Fil-A Grilled Chicken Nuggets
- Wendy’s Southwest Avocado Chicken Salad
- Starbucks Bacon Egg Bite
- Sonic Double Cheeseburger
- Five Guys Lettuce Wrapped Cheeseburger
- Sonic Hot Dogs
- Popeye’s Blackened Chicken Tenders
1. McDonald’s Hamburger
Not only is the McDonald’s basic hamburger easy to turn keto but it’s a great budget option. You can get it off the dollar menu and even if you pair it with a drink and/or a side or two, it’s still super cheap.
As with any keto burger, you have to start by ordering without the bun and ask for no ketchup. These two items account for most of the carbs in the meal so they have to go. Then, you can enjoy the quick, breadless treat or, turn it into a hamburger salad! To do this, simply order a bunch of extra shredded lettuce and mix it all together. You can break up the patty beforehand or just cut it into bites and scoop up everything else with it.
2. Taco Bell Chicken Burrito Supreme
Taco Bell is famous for its amazing, cheap burritos and tacos. Adhering to a keto diet doesn’t mean you must miss out, thankfully, as it’s easy to turn the chicken burrito supreme into a keto-friendly meal. You’ll have to order it without the wrap or the beans as these have a high carb count.
This means you’ll get the rest of the contents in a bowl which is a whole different experience. It’ll feel more like a burrito salad, but even though you’re eating it differently you’re still getting the same great flavors. You can ask for double cheese or any amount of extra ingredients to bulk it up a bit to make up for the absence of beans.
3. Chipotle Keto Lifestyle Bowl
This lifestyle bowl was named as such because things like keto and vegan are more than just a diet, they’re a lifestyle. These things are very important to those that follow them. This offering from Chipotle is a fantastic way to order a keto item straight from the menu.
While it is customizable with the ingredients you want, the base of the keto bowl is steak, super greens, salsa, cheese, and guacamole. Many people will ask for double cheese, double veggies, and/or extra meat to bulk it up and add some substance. These extras also help you reach your other macro goals which is an important part of keto.
You might also need to add or remove some ingredients depending on your carb targets for the day.
4. Chick-Fil-A Grilled Chicken Nuggets
Chick-Fil-A prides itself on being the masters of chicken and for them, that means some grilled chicken by default! They have grilled chicken nuggets available on their menu, so you don’t even have to remove anything or ask for any special accommodations to enjoy a fast food meal.
Chicken itself is very low in carbs. It's only the breading that makes can make chicken a poor choice for the keto diet. Kudos to Chick-Fil-A for offering such a keto-friendly chicken option that doesn’t require any special requests.
5. Wendy’s Southwest Avocado Chicken Salad
Salad is always a safe choice when you’re following the keto diet, but it can get old and boring sometimes. The good news is that salad essentially comes with endless options with all the things you can add to it if you’re creative. Sometimes, all it takes is for a restaurant to do the thinking for you and come up with something great.
Wendy’s Southwest salad is a fantastic combination of grilled chicken, avocado, and bacon as a base. These three all come with amazing flavors and plenty of nutrition along with their low carb count. Also included are diced tomato and shredded cheese atop their fresh lettuce.
The only thing you might have to change about this one is to either cut down on the ranch dressing or ask for a healthier substitute. Either way, it’s a large salad with plenty of bulk that’ll fill you up for a while.
6. Starbucks Bacon Egg Bite
Starbucks is famous for its fancy, artisan food items and complicated drinks. And yet, thousands of people are self-proclaimed Starbucks addicts. While Starbucks may not be everyone’s cup of tea, they do have a few good options for visitors who are eating keto.
They have a series of what they call “egg bites” which are small servings of eggs cooked in such a way that they’re extremely smooth and flavorful. Then, they add different things to create different flavors. One especially keto-friendly combination is the bacon and egg bites. They’re low in carbs and extremely high in protein, making them a great breakfast when you’re in a rush and on the go.
7. Sonic Double Cheeseburger
A double cheeseburger is a fast-food staple and a great treat no matter the occasion. There are many good ones out there, but Sonic has one that lends itself nicely to the keto diet. Of course, you’ll need to order it without the bun. But, the rest of the ingredients are fresh and substantial enough to still make a nice small lunch.
In addition to the double patties and cheese, you get a few crinkle-cut pickles, shredded lettuce, chopped onions, and juicy tomatoes. It also comes with a choice of ketchup, mustard, or mayo, though these should probably be avoided on the keto diet. Even without these condiments, the bunless cheeseburger is delicious and satisfying.
8. Five Guys Lettuce Wrapped Cheeseburger
While it’s not technically on the menu, it’s fairly well-known that Five Guys will substitute a burger’s bun and wrap the sandwich in fresh, crispy lettuce instead. This still eliminates the carb-heavy side of the meal while giving you a solid sandwich experience.
It works particularly well with the cheeseburger as the cheese comes melted between two freshly grilled patties so it won’t make a mess with the lettuce. With Five Guys, this is all that’s prepared by default as they then let you choose your own toppings. This means you can load it up with lots of other keto-friendly goodies for a solid, substantial lettuce burger.
9. Sonic Hot Dogs
Sonic comes through with another great keto-friendly choice in their all-American hot dogs. Once again, you must omit the bun to stay within keto guidelines, but what’s left still makes for a great snack.
The dogs are made with 100 percent pure beef that’s grilled to perfection and loaded with ketchup, mustard, relish, and chopped onions. You’ll want to go easy on the ketchup and mustard but you can ask for some extra relish and onions instead. Chop up the hot dog and mix it in with everything else for a delicious, keto-approved hot dog “salad” of sorts. Perhaps a bit unconventional, but it allows you to experience the joy of a classic hot dog without worrying about those pesky carbs.
10. Popeyes Blackened Chicken Tenders
Popeye’s chicken tenders come breaded by default, but many have taken to asking for them “blackened” instead. This doesn’t mean they come charred but grilled and naked instead of breaded. This removes most of the carbs from the meal while adding a unique flavor.
You can add some of their signature Louisiana hot sauce to kick it up a notch, and if the tenders alone aren’t enough for you, they go well with a side of green beans. Their green beans come with bacon bits too so you really can’t go wrong.