'...you can still enjoy your favorite delicious Mexican meals whilst staying firmly on track in your Keto journey.'
At first glance, it may sound too good to be true, but Keto Mexican food is indeed a thing! In fact, there are lots of great recipes that are low-carb, with moderate protein levels, which are still quite high in fat.
This means that you can still enjoy your favorite delicious Mexican meals whilst staying firmly on track in your Keto journey.
Below are some tips and tricks, as well as 10 Keto Mexican food recipes that you should try. Grab your sombreros and spatulas, and get cooking!
Best Keto Options for Mexican Cuisine
For starters, read through this list of foods that do and don’t make the cut for your Keto Mexican food adventures.
Mexican food can be great for the keto diet, provided you avoid carbs altogether and prioritize protein and fat-based dishes. The following is a list of the Mexican foods to avoid in your keto recipes, with some keto-friendly Mexican alternatives thrown in!
Low Carb, Moderate Protein, and High-Fat Options
Prioritize these foods:
A tex-mex staple, guacamole is a refreshing mix of low-carb vegetables with high-fat content. This avocado-based dip will provide you with the healthy high-fat content that a creamy avocado boasts. One serving of guacamole only has approximately 2g of carbohydrates but packs in an incredible 13g of fat just as a little dip! Containing 150 calories, guacamole is a delicious cooling dip or sauce that perfectly complements just about any Mexican dish. The fact that it is so naturally keto-friendly just makes it taste even better!
Pico de Gallo (Fresh, uncooked salsa)
Pico de Gallo contains a wealth of fresh vegetables that will help to complement your low-carb Mexican dish. Incorporating tomato, onion, and peppers, the mixture will help to add some welcomed moist texture into any dry or meat-based dish. Many keto Mexican recipes use Pico de Gallo instead of cooked salsa in order to avoid unnecessary added sugars. Pico de Gallo is a fan favorite as a side salad to any meat dish. It will leave your taste buds feeling lightly spiced and wanting more!
By getting rid of the taco shells and enjoying it burrito bowl style instead, you can easily enjoy the delicious taste of Mexican food whilst staying on track in the keto lifestyle. With a chicken filling and plenty of low-carb vegetables, taco salads will become a family favorite dinner to add to your eating plan. If you still want the feel of a taco, you can alternatively replace the corn shell with lettuce wraps instead!
Ceviche will add a range of spices to your low-carb keto Mexican recipes. The health benefits of ceviche will ensure that your body is gathering the right amount of nutrients and energy needed to remain fulfilled throughout the day. Sporting high amounts of collagen and antioxidants, ceviche is also a great Mexican food for keeping your skin looking clear and youthful.
A Mexican classic, enchiladas may taste like they should be bad for you since they’re usually served with a corn tortilla, but if removed, this dish could be incredibly keto-friendly!
We recommend making chicken (tortilla-less) enchiladas with a green sauce to ensure the best keto ingredients.
Carne Asada can be enjoyed in a keto-friendly way by serving it with a low-carb salad. This grilled steak is a Mexican keto dish that is safe to order in restaurants or make yourself at home! You can season your cut of grilled meat using garlic and cilantro. Feel free to add jalapenos for some extra spices.
Other Meat-based dishes
Other meat-based Mexican dishes, such as burritos, can still also be enjoyed! Just make sure to substitute any high-carb ingredients with keto-friendly alternatives. For example, burrito bowls are a great alternative to burritos and are available to order at nearly all Mexican restaurants nowadays!
Avoid these foods:
To achieve the perfect keto macros, you will want to avoid these Mexican staples:
No matter if they are corn or flour-based, tortilla chips are far too high carb to suit your keto diet. With 18 grams of carbohydrates, of which only 1 is fiber-based, snacking on tortilla chips will quickly steer your body away from a state of ketosis.
Starchy vegetables like corn and potatoes may taste delicious, but they lack the necessary nutrients needed to put your body into a state of ketosis. It is best to incorporate vegetables with healthy fat content, such as avocado, into your Mexican-inspired keto recipes. Our favorite includes low-calorie vegetables, such as onions and tomatoes, mixed into some cooling guacamole.
Rice and Beans
As a high-carb meat alternative, rice and beans can negatively impact your body's movement towards achieving ketosis. As a result, your weight loss journey will be stunted if you continue to consume such high-calorie beans.
Fruity Alcoholic Drinks
Fruity alcoholic drinks are often packed with unnecessary volumes of carbohydrates that do little to satisfy your hunger. Consuming sugary alcoholic drinks means that you will waste a large percentage of your net carbs on something that will not keep your body fulfilled or energized for long.
Though cheese is generally allowed on the keto diet, cooked cheese (also known as queso in Mexican terms) can contain hidden ingredients! These sneaky ingredients, such as flour or added sugar, can quickly increase the carbohydrate content in your queso. Partner this with high carb tortilla chips, the moreish dish will leave you feeling unsatisfied, bloated, and unmotivated in your keto diet.
Keto Mexican Food Recipes You Should Try!
If you prefer home cooking, or want to try your hand at meal prepping, here are some delicious keto-friendly Mexican recipes!
If you want to add in an extra kick, Proper Good offers a keto-friendly pre-made spicy seasoning mix that will help to bring these Mexican meals up to restaurant quality.
Chicken Taco Soup
This Mexican recipe is perfect for a weekly meal prep due to its large volume (it makes around 20 cups) meaning you can freeze it in bulk! All you will need to do is swap out the ground beef for chicken in this recipe. With 4 servings coming in at under 500 calories, Chicken taco soup can be enjoyed by the whole family. It will only take you 10 minutes of prep time too!
Steak Fajita Roll-ups
This is the ultimate dish for all the meat lovers out there! These low carb fajita alternatives focus on the meat as an external ingredient, rather than as a filler. The two main ingredients used in this Steak Fajita Roll-Ups Recipe are flank steak and Proper Good Chicken Bone Broth, and it will take around 4 - 6 hours to marinate. With only 10 minutes spent sizzling in the pan, you can enjoy these tasty steak fajita roll-ups!
Beef Burrito Bowl
A wholesome beef burrito bowl will keep you feeling warm and fulfilled inside. This recipe will make you some succulent meat cuttings partnered with lightly spiced Pico de Gallo and cooling cauliflower rice. Ready in less than 30 minutes, you can enjoy a whopping 41 g of protein in this 2 serving recipe!
Green Chicken Enchilada Soup
Green chicken enchilada soup is a deliciously comforting low-carb version of a classic Mexican staple. This convenient meal can be easily prepped as it only requires 5 main ingredients and can be made in 10 minutes! With flavors of cream and cheddar cheese, shredded chicken, bone broth, and salsa verde, this soup is the ultimate warming meal on colder nights. Bursting with proteins and healthy antioxidants, you can enjoy this green chicken enchilada soup without any guilt.
This tuna taco recipe is the quickest and easiest keto-friendly Mexican meal on this list! These can be enjoyed as an alternative to a sandwich as they only take 3 minutes to prepare. The high protein and low carbohydrate levels in this tuna taco recipe ensures that your body will be on its way to ketosis in no time.
Cabbage Beef Skillet
This low-carb cabbage beef skillet can be ready in just 30 minutes! The main ingredients used in this recipe are ground beef alongside various low-calorie vegetables, including minced onion and cabbage. You can then spice and season to taste as the meal is super adaptable to different flavors, ensuring you will find the perfect optional ingredient combination for you. This cabbage beef skillet can serve 4, with 10 minutes of prep time and a further 15 minutes of cooking time.
Bursting with antioxidants and essential nutrients, many people turn to cauliflower rice when joining the keto lifestyle. It is no question why - this Mexican cauliflower rice makes 4 - 6 serving portions for under 150 calories! The 15g of carbohydrates is a healthy and keto-friendly way to bulk up some of your favorite Mexican meals in replacement of white rice.
For this tasty side dish, all you need to do is pulse some cauliflower florets in a food processor before seasoning them to taste over a frying pan. It will only take you 20 minutes for both the prep and cooking time!
This low-carb delight is freezer-friendly, so it’s a great one for meal preppers! With only 383 calories, pork chile-Verde delicately simmers pork pieces in a flavorful tomatillo-based green sauce. This meal is an excellent choice for those catering for guests, as its 2 hours and 55 minutes of cooking time means that you can focus on entertaining or preparing other meals.
Cheesy taco casserole
A casserole is a staple home-cooked meal in a family dynamic. With protein-filled ground beef and oozing with cheese, this keto-friendly cheesy taco casserole is as easy to make as it is delicious! Eating one serving of this Mexican dish will only set you back 317 calories, and will provide you with 27g of protein. The total cooking time is estimated at 35 minutes.
Though corn and flour tortilla chips should be avoided, there are many recipes that offer keto-friendly alternatives! This means that you can enjoy classic Mexican nachos for a fraction of the carbohydrates. With a total prep and cooking time of 40 minutes, you can easily impress up to 6 people with this fulfilling and hearty recipe. These low-carb nachos use cheese instead of corn or flour tortilla chips, making for some seriously cheesy nachos!
In summary, there is absolutely no reason why those following a keto lifestyle cannot still enjoy Mexican-inspired food! The best thing you can do when visiting a Mexican restaurant is to ask about nutrition content. Staff at most Mexican establishments should be able to provide you a list of the macros and calorie amount of each dish. To keep up your keto diet, feel free to ask for alternatives to high-carb ingredients. For example, you may want to swap a taco shell for a large lettuce leaf to use as a wrap.
Additionally, there are also many Mexican restaurants and food joints that promote their keto-friendly dishes. Taco Bell is proud to label their fitting foods as keto, making them a brilliant place to grab a quick bite to eat in a rush. If you are more of a home cook, then with a few healthy substitutes here and there, most meals will still reflect the wonderful spices and mouth-watering flavors of Mexican cuisine.
For more quick and convenient keto-friendly Mexican meals, Proper Good offers delicious Ready Build Your Own Pack catered for the keto diet! These tasty pouches are great for travel and will be fully cooked in under 2 minutes. Proper Good even has a keto spicy seasoning mix, a perfect burst of flavor to add to some of the keto Mexican recipes above.