Chipotle's barbacoa is spicy shredded beef that’s been seared and then braised for hours in a blend of spices. The flour tortilla contributes around 40 percent of the burrito’s 845 calories, but the fill-ins, which include brown rice, black beans, fajita vegetables, fresh tomato salsa, and lettuce, are low in fat (24 grams) and high in protein (43 grams). The problem with the barbacoa is the 2.4 grams of sodium, which exceeds the recommended daily allowance of 2.3 with just one dish.
Three chicken tacos in crispy corn tortillas with pinto beans, fajita vegetables, and roasted corn salsa are only 605 calories with 18 grams of fat, 1.14 grams of sodium, and 45 grams of protein. Since three tacos are included in a standard order of Chipotle order, they’re a more shareable option than a burrito.
Chipotle makes its vegetarian "sofritas" by simmering fried, shredded tofu in a mixture of aromatic herbs and spices. This vegetarian creation with white rice, fajita vegetables, and tomatillo salsa is only 365 calories with 14.5 grams of fat, 1.36 grams of sodium, and 12.5 grams of protein.
Chipotle Mexican Grill/Yelp
The steak salad with romaine lettuce, fajita vegetables, brown rice, black beans, and tomatillo salsa is a pound and a half of food, but most of it is fiber rich vegetables, grains, and legumes. The entire salad is only 755 calories, though, and contains 35 grams of fat, but packs 36 grams of protein and half of your recommended daily intake of iron.
Seasoned ground beef, pinto beans, grilled vegetables, tomatoes, olives, and pico de gallo folded into a 10-inch whole-grain tortilla is a modest way to taste all the best flavors that Moe’s has to offer. The quesadilla is only 610 calories, and provides 30 grams of protein and 20 grams of fiber.
Moe’s is one of the few Mexican/Southwest fast-food chains to offer fish. The fish burrito bowl with black beans, seasoned rice, shredded lettuce, corn pico de gallo, grilled peppers, onion, and mushrooms is only 624 calories and 17 grams of fat.
This salad bowl contains chicken, black beans, and a whole host of vegetables including tomatoes, romaine lettuce, grilled peppers and onions, black olives, cucumbers, and pico de gallo. The salad is topped with a scoop of guacamole and a drizzle of tangy “limelite” vinaigrette, which brings its total calorie count to a mere 550.
McDonald’s isn’t the only fast-food breakfast game in town: Taco Bell has completely revamped its morning offerings, and the A.M. Grilled Taco is not a bad way to start off the day. With only 230 calories, 14 grams of fat, 590 milligrams of sodium, and 12 grams of protein, this taco is a much better alternative than a greasy breakfast sandwich.
A simple yet filling option, the bean burrito contains only 370 calories and 11 grams of fat, but offers 8 grams of fiber and 15 grams of protein. (One drawback is that the black bean burrito has a higher sodium level than many of the meat-based options.)
This mini burrito is a nice snack, and at only 350 calories, 16 grams of fat, 810 milligrams of sodium, and 15 grams of protein, it’s a healthier fast-food alternative. A quick trip to the grill adds flavor at no caloric cost.
Taco Bell’s “fresco” menu is one of the more impressive developments by a fast-food chain. Instead of loading its tacos and burritos with cheese, mayo-based sauces, and reduced-fat sour cream, Taco Bell will substitute a scoopful of its freshly prepared pico de gallo. This swap brings the fresco chicken soft taco to a modest 150 calories with 3.5 grams of fat and less than a gram of sodium.
Sometimes biting into a skimpy taco is not satisfying enough. Taco Bell’s shredded chicken burrito, which comes with shredded chicken, rice, cheese, and avocado ranch sauce, is only 400 calories with 18 grams of fat, 16 grams of protein, and less than a gram of sodium.