Healthy Meals at Taco Bell That Are High-Protein

Healthy Meals at Taco Bell That Are High-Protein

You’d think Taco Bell and healthy just don’t mix, right? I mean, their menu is basically known for loaded nachos, cheesy gorditas and Baja blasts galore. But as someone who loves both tacos and healthy eating, I was curious – could you actually find healthy meals at Taco Bell that are high-protein and won’t leave you feeling bloated and regretful?

Turns out, there might be more options than you’d expect. After scouring their nutrition info, I discovered some tasty choices that pack over 20g of lean protein – enough to keep you full for hours. And you don’t have to sacrifice flavor either. Best of all, many of these “healthier” items will only set you back $2-3, so it’s easy to stay on budget too.

So in this blog, I’m spilling all the details on the undercover nutrition stars hiding on Taco Bell’s menu. From high-protein breakfast tacos to vegetarian burrito bowls, you’ll be surprised at the smarter swaps that might just convince you fast food doesn’t have to be a forbidden food. Keep reading to find out which menu items are your new healthy eats, no matter where life’s adventures take you each day. Your body – and tastebuds – will thank you later!

Healthy Meals at Taco Bell That Are High-Protein

Breakfast Items

1. Breakfast Crunchwrap – 21g protein

This Taco Bell favorite conveniently packages up an entire breakfast into one handheld wrap. The Crunchwrap starts with an egg and cheese melt inside a warm tortilla. A hashbrown is added for extra substance. At 21g of protein, this choice will keep hunger at bay throughout your morning. While not the lowest calorie pick, the protein and veggie blend make it a more nutritious breakfast on-the-go. Choose regular or spicy sausage to spice things up. At under $2, it’s an easy, affordable way to start your day fully fueled.

Did you know Taco Bell actually has two versions of the Crunchwrap for different times of day? Its lunch and dinner twin uses beef instead of egg for the main filling. But in the a.m., I love starting with a dose of lean protein and potassium courtesy of the spud nugget hashbrown. Pair it with a coffee or orange juice and you’ve got a complete start to your day without much effort. Give this breakfast classic a try – you might just end your morning cravings for good!

2. Protein Bowl – 20g protein

For those seeking a lighter, more veggie-packed breakfast, consider Taco Bell’s Protein Bowl. Starting with a base of scrambled eggs, the bowl also layers on chunky potato bites, black beans, fresh pico de gallo, and your choice of meat – either steak or chorizo sausage. This south-of-the-border inspired breakfast clocks in at a respectable 20 grams of filling protein.

The combination of whole eggs, beans, and potatoes provides a balanced assortment of nutrients to fuel your morning. While the chorizo adds bold flavor, the steak option keeps it a bit leaner at 19g protein. What really sells it for me though is the pico, which gives each bite a hint of fresh tomato tanginess. Warm or chilled, this bowl perfectly hits the spot when I want something more substantial than a greasy breakfast sandwich. At $3, it’s an easy upgrade from basic eggs or cereal to start my day right.

3. A.M. Crunchwrap – 18g protein

Rounding out the breakfast lineup is the A.M. Crunchwrap – the morning cousin to the classic Crunchwrap Supreme. Wrapped in a tortilla and stuffed with eggs, hash browns, cheese and your choice of bacon or sausage, this handheld packs 18 grams of hunger-busting protein.

Unlike some breakfast sandwiches that are more bun than filling, the A.M. Crunchwrap optimizes every bite. The fluffy eggs provide a creamy base for the crispy potato shreds and protein-packed meat. Melted three-cheese blend ties it all together messily in the best way. At around $2, it’s also extremely wallet-friendly for how satisfying it is.

Personally, I prefer the bacon version for 19g protein versus 17g with sausage. Those extra two grams are worth the fewer calories in my book. Either way, this makes a perfect pre-work breakfast or post-gym meal when you need protein ASAP. In a hurry? No problem – just pick one up and fuel your day from the passenger seat. Now if that isn’t a magical breakfast experience, I don’t know what is!


1. Power Menu Tacos – 13-15g protein

For an on-the-go lunch or dinner, Taco Bell’s Power Menu Tacos offer customizable protein plus tasty toppings – all without breaking the calorie bank. Each taco packs a filling made of seasoned, grilled chicken or steak packed with 13-15g of lean meat protein.

While you can’t go wrong with either filling, I prefer the chicken since it’s a bit lighter. But both options provide a solid dose of hunger-busting amino acids. Then, each taco is topped with shredded lettuce and a blend of fresh pico de gallo and roasted corn salsa for bursts of flavor and nutrients.

At around $2 per taco, they’re budget-friendly enough to enjoy a couple. But the protein keeps me full through the afternoon with just one. I like subbing in these tacons over heavier items since they don’t weigh me down like tacos loaded with cheese or sour cream might. It’s an easy easy swap that keeps me feeling energized instead of groggy after lunchtime.

2. Fiesta Veggie Burrito – 14g protein

As a vegetarian option packed withprotein, beans and vegetables, the Fiesta Veggie Burrito is a winner. At only $1, this generous whole wheat tortilla wrap is stuffed with rice, black beans, cheese and lush pico de gallo for abundant flavor.

Unlike many meatless fast food items that are veggie in name only, this burrito lets the ingredients really shine. The black beans provide a substantial 14 grams of plant-based protein. Combined with the rice and dairy, It keeps you satisfied without any ground beef or chicken.

Personally, I love taking this on hiking trips since it keeps my energy levels steady longer than a carb-heavy sandwich. Warm or chilled, the flavors really come alive wrapped in the soft tortilla. It’s filling yet light enough to eat without feeling weighed down on the trail. Overall, it’s a genuinely tasty burrito bowl substitute for non-meat eaters needing a quick protein fix.

3. Beefy Fritos Burrito – 12g protein

For those craving some classic Taco Bell flavor, the Beefy Fritos Burrito delivers. Wrapped in a warm flour tortilla, this $1 item layers seasoned beef, cheese and Fritos corn chips for a uniquely tasty handheld.

At 12g of protein per burrito, the lean beef provides long-lasting satiety. The cheese binds it all together while the Fritos add crunch and flavor to every bite. Though not the lowest calorie, occasional indulgence is part of balance. Plus, the protein and fiber help mitigate any blood sugar spikes from the chips.

Personally, I love the umami combo of beef, cheese and Corn Fritos melded together. The flavors remind me of lazy weekend nights. Warm it up beforehand in the microwave for creamier melty goodness. Don’t be afraid to double wrap it either – the extra carbs are worth it! On hectic nights, this burrito is my savior from yet another sad salad. 

Specialty Items

1. Quesadillas – 20g protein

For a cheesy handheld with a protein punch, look no further than Taco Bell’s quesadillas. At around $2 each, you can build your own masterpiece with grilled chicken or steak, layered between melted Mexican-blend cheese inside a crisp tortilla.

Opting for the chicken keeps it relatively light at 20g protein. But the seasoned steak bumps it up to a hefty 26g without much extra calories. Either way, the melted cheese ties it all together in gooey, deliciousness. Warm and malleable, these are perfect for enjoying on-the-go or as a shared appetizer.

While simple, quesadillas satisfy lingering cheese or carb cravings without going overboard. I like them as an alternative to piled-high burritos, knowing the protein will fuel my afternoon. Warm them up at home for maximum melted cheese magic. The chicken version is also easy to customize – sometimes I add beans or peppers for extra fill. Ultimately, quesadillas are quick, carb-conscious comfort food at its finest. 

2. Naked Chicken Chalupa – 19g protein

For those seeking something a bit more unique, dig into the Naked Chicken Chalupa. Essentially a chalupa shell formed entirely from crunchy fried chicken, each order boasts a hefty 19g of protein.

Romaine lettuce and creamy avocado ranch nestle inside the chicken “boat” for crispy crunch and cool creaminess. Shredded chicken brings further protein, while diced tomatoes offer a fresh tomato pop. Best of all, it’s low in carbs at only 10g net per chalupa.

Some may think naked sounds plain, but the flavors really sing. I love taking this to parks and beaches since chicken holds up well to hand eating better than saucy tacos or burritos. Portable yet fulfilling, it’s an ideal warm weather al fresco meal. Plus, Taco Bell locations now offer avocado slices for extra nutrient density. Inventive and packing protein, their chicken chalupa is a menu standout.

3. Crispy Chicken Sandwich – 19g protein

For those looking for something akin to a classic chicken sandwich, the Crispy Chicken Sandwich delivers flavor and protein alike. Featuring an all-white meat crispy chicken fillet, each patty boasts 19g of protein on its own.

What intrigues me most though is the variety of sauce options – ranging from chipotle to jalapeño to avocado ranch. I like experimenting with different combos, from spicy to creamy. Served on a soft white bun, it’s the perfect vehicle for those sauces. While not the lowest calorie pick, the protein keeps me full through afternoon lulls.

While other chains offer similar sandwiches, this version delivers generous protein without skimping on taste or value. Its $3.79 price tag also beats out competitors. Whether you dine in or take it to go, the Crispy Chicken Sandwich satisfies intense chicken cravings swiftly. For a portable protein-packed meal, it’s a solid fast food choice.


1. Side Salad with Avocado Ranch or Green Sauce – 4-9g protein

Sometimes you just need a lighter option to complement an entrée or fuel an on-the-run lunch. Thankfully, Taco Bell’s side salads provide nutritious balance without much effort or cost.

Both the Avocado Ranch and Green sauce versions feature a bed of crisp romaine lettuce topped with flavor-packed toppings like shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, and black beans. The creamy avocado ranch delivers 4g protein and heart-healthy fats to satisfy, while the green salsa choice bumps it up to 9g with beans.

At only $1-2, these sidekicks are easy to enjoy alone or alongside tacos, burritos or quesadillas. They also travel well for busy days spent out of the office. Personally, I find the avocado ranch version most filling due to its richness. But variety is the spice of nutrition – I sprinkle on chicken, steak or soy crumbles sometimes too for extra protein leverage. All in all, these salad pairings are quick fixes for boosting any meal nutrient density.

2. Fruit Cup or Chobani Yogurt – 4-10g protein

For those seeking a light, grab-and-go breakfast, post-workout treat or bedtime snack, Taco Bell’s shelf-stable fruit cups and Chobani yogurt parfaits fit the bill.

The fruit cups contain a refreshing blend of diced apple, orange and banana segments packed with potassium and vitamin C. Along with natural sweetness, they provide around 4g of filling protein from Greek yogurt. 

Opting for the Chobani option ups the protein ante to around 10g thanks to thicker whole milk Greek yogurt. Fruit flavors vary but often include blueberry, mixed berry or banana. As a bonus, granola and honey are mixed in for crunch and natural energy.

Both choices make smart additions to any meal plan focused on muscle gain or recovery. Hunger is satisfied for hours post-workout, allowing me to focus on rest instead of rumbling guts. And the fruit keeps blood sugar steady when I need an easy bedtime snack. Overall, they’re clean, simple options for any time of day.  

3. Black or Pinto Beans – 7-8g protein

For those seeking plant-based protein or just extra fiber-packed filling, Taco Bell’s seasoned black or pinto beans are affordable and nutritious options. Cups of either variety anchor meals and snack breaks with 7-8g of vegetarian protein.

The black beans have a rich, almost chocolate-y texture and depth of flavor thanks to grill seasoning. Meanwhile, the pinto beans offer a lighter creaminess balanced with warm Southwest spices. Both satisfy hunger through sustained energy release.

I like to top them with freshes like salsa, lettuce or guacamole for extra nutrients to complement the steady stream of amino acids and complex carbs. Plus, portable paper cups mean beans are simple for busy days spent on the go.

Overall, beans give vegetarian, vegan or just carb-conscious diners a hearty foundation for any meal. Just one cup supplies nearly 20% of daily fiber needs too. It’s a great plant-powered pick when in need of protein or digestion help.


1. Free Water

Staying hydrated is key to optimizing workouts, sustaining energy levels and supporting overall wellness. Thankfully, Taco Bell makes it easy and affordable with free cups of ice-cold water available upon request.

Whether scarfing a quick snack or enjoying an entire meal, free water means quenching thirst whenever needed. This is crucial for hydration-focused athletes, dieters watching their calorie intake, or those just wanting to stay crisp all day long.

Personally, I fill up my insulated bottle each visit since I’m constantly on the go. It’s a lifesaver during hot weather months too. Best of all, the cups produce zero waste – so you can sip sustainably without plastic bottle guilt.

Overall, free water is the ultimate addition to any in-restaurant visit. Taco Bell recognized hydration shouldn’t cost extra, so feel free to stay refreshed for $0! Consider it the perfect thirst quencher to complement any meal.

2. Unsweetened Iced Tea

For those monitoring added sugars or prefer a lighter beverage, Taco Bell’s unsweetened iced tea hits the spot. Unlike overly sweetened options elsewhere, this tea lets the natural flavor shine through without compromise.

Brewed daily from black and green tea leaves, it delivers antioxidant goodness refreshingly chilled. Each refreshing glass contains zero grams of added sugars, allowing satisfaction without excess calories. The hint of natural tea notes pairs perfectly with both savory and sweet menu items too.

As a bonus, tea contains compounds that may aid digestion. So it sets me up well for enjoying an entire meal. When fancying a snack or quick bites with friends, I always opt to drink my antioxidants via this thirst-quenching beverage instead of high-sugar pop.

3. Diet Soda

For treating a sweet tooth on occasion or cutting calories completely, diet soda from Taco Bell hits the spot. With zero calories and sugar, it allows indulgence without the guilt.

Flavors like Coke Zero, Diet Sprite and Diet Dr Pepper satisfy sweet cravings without spike and crash. The bubbly refreshment pairs perfectly with both savory snacks and sweets too. When dining with family on weekends, it lets me enjoy treats in moderation by opting for the calorie-free version.

As an athlete, diet soda gives me a caffeine boost for long training sessions without extra energy coming from sugar sources. A chilled glass stays fizzy for hours on busy work days too. Overall, it’s a simple swap that sheds significant calories versus regular alternatives.

For balanced living focused on performance or simple calorie-counting, diet soda is a solid beverage base. Just be sure not to use it as an excuse to overindulge on the high calorie side items too. Moderation is key, as always, when swapping to lighter drinks long term.

Moderation is Key

While Taco Bell offers many nutritious, protein-packed options, occasional indulgence in less healthy items is also part of balance. After all, deprivation often backfires into overeating down the line. Moderation, not perfection, is the name of the game for long-term wellness.

That late night Chalupa craving? Go for it, but pair it with a side salad or beans for fiber. Weekly girls’ night out? Enjoy the Quesarito to its fullest without stressing calories. Big workout coming up? Fuel your muscles now and save dessert for later.

Life’s little pleasures make the daily grind more enjoyable. So feel free to fully savor that Crunchwrap Supreme once in a while. Just be mindful of overall portions and nutrition the rest of the time. One meal won’t undo progress – it’s the overall pattern that counts.

Besides, an occasional indulgence keeps cravings at bay so you stay on track long term. Overall health depends more on lifestyle habits than any single food item. Moderation allows enjoyment without excess or restriction, supporting balanced and sustainable practices for the long haul.


Is Taco Bell healthy?

While not the absolute healthiest fast food option, Taco Bell does offer several nutritious choices that can fit into a well-balanced diet, such as tacos, burritos, bowls, and sides that are rich in protein and fiber. The key is practising moderation and pairing indulgent dishes with healthier options.

What are the healthiest items on the Taco Bell menu?

Some of the healthier choices at Taco Bell include tacos (hard or soft shell), burritos, bowls, quesadillas, grilled chicken/steak, vegetarian options like beans and rice, salad with grilled chicken or beans, and chalupas made with lean protein instead of fattier meats. Always choosing fresco style (with pico de gallo instead of sauces) can cut down on fat and calories too.

How can I customize orders to make them healthier?

Some customization tips include choosing fresco style with pico de gallo instead of sauces, getting any dish as a bowl for fewer calories than a tortilla/shell, substituting beans for meat, adding lots of lettuce and veggies, opting for chicken or steak over fattier meats, getting a side salad instead of chips and salsa, and going lighter on cheese, guacamole and sour cream. Moderation is also key.

Is Baja Blast zero sugar/diet soda a healthier drink choice? 

Yes, choosing a zero sugar or diet soda like Baja Blast from Taco Bell is generally a healthier beverage choice compared to the regular, sugary versions. Diet sodas have no calories from sugar and allow you to indulge in the flavor without excess sugar and calories that regular soda provides. Stick to water or unsweetened iced tea for the absolute healthiest options.

Can you customize a Taco Bell order to be vegetarian/vegan?

Yes, there are several veggie/vegan friendly options at Taco Bell like bean burritos, tacos, quesadillas made with black beans instead of meat. You can also remove dairy by getting items fresco style without cheese or sour cream.

How do I order healthier kids meals at Taco Bell?

For kids meals, ask for a soft taco or mini quesadilla made with grilled chicken or beans instead of beef. Request apple slices or a side salad instead of chips. Opt for low-fat milk or water over soda. Ask for light sour cream/cheese. Encourage eating the protein and veggie toppings first.

Is it okay to reheat leftover Taco Bell in the microwave?

Many Taco Bell items like burritos, tacos, and quesadillas can be safely reheated in the microwave. Remove any sauces or shells before reheating and watch closely to avoid overcooking. The filling and cheese/dairy ingredients may get hotter than the exterior, so take care. Adjust cooking time based on quantity.

How do I save money ordering from Taco Bell?

Order value menu & dollar items, customize combos, look for deals on the app, go during happy hour for discounts, order one size down for smaller portion, split entrées, go for lunch specials, consider value menu swaps, get a drink instead of bundled combo.

Do Taco Bell sauces like hot and fire have many calories?

Yes, while tasty, Taco Bell sauces can add up calorically. For example, one packet of hot or fire sauce has around 15 calories each. Stick to 1-2 packets max per item to keep calories in check. Choose fresco style with pico de gallo for fewer calories or bring your own hot sauce. Moderation is key with condiments.


In conclusion, while not the absolute healthiest fast food option available, Taco Bell offers a variety of choices that can easily fit into a well-balanced diet. The key is practicing moderation and balancing indulgent items with lean protein, fiber-rich sides, and other nutritious toppings and fillings.

With some simple customizations like going fresco style or protein-packing your order, Taco Bell allows for the enjoyment of tasty cravings without going overboard on calories, saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars.

By incorporating occasional smart trips to Taco Bell into an otherwise healthy lifestyle focused on whole foods, adequate hydration, routine exercise and plenty of home-cooked meals, cravings can be satisfied without a negative impact on health goals. Moderation is truly the name of the Taco Bell nutrition game.

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