Dishes, ordering tips and recipes

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1. Fajitas

Fajitas are a hot and popular dish that usually includes bell pepper and onion, along with a protein such as chicken, beef, or shrimp. They are served with tortillas, but you can skip them and just eat the fajita filling to keep it low carb.

Still, since the carbs in onions add up fairly quickly, it’s best to cook a small portion or split your order into two meals (1).

2. Carne asada

Carne asada is a marinated and grilled steak dish. The steak itself does not contain carbs, but the marinade can provide a trace amount (2).

This dish is available in many Mexican restaurants. You can also buy raw, ready-to-grill carne asada at many Mexican markets.

3. Ceviche

Ceviche originated in Peru, but you can find it on many Mexican restaurant menus.

This cold dish is made with raw or pre-cooked seafood – usually fish or shrimp – brined in citrus juice and tossed with vegetables and herbs such as tomatoes, onions, jalapeño and cilantro. All of these ingredients are low in carbs.

If you’re making it at home, you can halve the amount of tomatoes and onions to reduce the carb count (1, 3).

4. Guacamole

Guacamole is a dip made from mashed avocado, which is naturally high in fat and fiber and low in net carbs – total carbs minus fiber, which your body doesn’t digest.

Additionally, guacamole may contain small amounts of lime, onion, jalapeño, tomato, or cilantro juice. Although you should avoid the fries it’s usually served with, guacamole is perfectly keto-friendly (4).

5. Carnitas

Carnitas is a stewed pulled pork dish. It’s usually made from a fatty cut like pork shoulder, and some of that fat melts away during cooking to coat and flavor the meat.

The meat itself is carb-free, so it’s a great keto-friendly choice in Mexican restaurants or to make at home (5).

6. Camarones a la diabla

This spicy shrimp dish – a staple in many Mexican restaurants – uses a sauce made with various types of chili peppers (and optionally tomatoes).

It’s low carb, but if served with rice and beans, you can choose a salad or a side of guacamole instead — both are keto-friendly and can help temper the heat.

7. Pork al pastor

Tacos al pastor are made from porc al pastor, which is a thin slice of marinated pork shoulder. You can skip the tortillas and eat the pork alone or with a side salad for a keto-friendly meal.

8. Chorizo

Chorizo ​​is a Mexican sausage made from beef or pork. It is available fresh (raw and ground) or dried (salted, ready-to-eat and sliced).

All types of chorizo ​​are low in carbs, high in fat, and flavorful (6).

9. Queso

“Queso” is Spanish for “cheese”, but in the United States this term often refers to cheese dip.

In many cases, these dips are very low in carbs, although some may contain carbs from milk or starch-based thickeners. Be sure to check the label, learn about the ingredients, or make your own low-carb version at home.

My favorite way to enjoy dips like queso is with pork rinds or homemade tortilla chips made from low carb tortillas (seven).

10. Salsa

This dip is made with tomatoes, onions, jalapeño, and cilantro, or various combinations of these ingredients.

Salsa contains small amounts of carbs from tomatoes and onion, but small servings — such as 1 to 2 tablespoons (16 to 32 grams) — will flavor your meal without sabotaging your keto diet (8).

11. Birria

Birria is goat meat seasoned with various herbs, spices and peppers. Some versions can also be made with beef. It is used to make birria tacos or a traditional Mexican soup also called birria, which has broth and added salsa, onions or cilantro.

The soup and meat on their own are good keto-friendly options.

12. Corn tortilla tacos

If you’re flexible with your carb intake, consider traditional corn tortilla-based tacos, which have fewer carbs than flour-based ones—about 7 grams of net carbs per small, 18-gram tortilla (9).

With careful planning, you may be able to eat a few regular tacos into your daily carb limit.

13. Taco Salad

Taco salads contain lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, meat like ground beef or seasoned chicken, and sometimes other ingredients.

Some can be served in fried tacos or on tortilla chips, with or without a layer of refried beans on the bottom. You have to give up both the husk and the refried beans to keep them keto friendly.

14. Mexican Huevos

This breakfast dish consists of scrambled eggs cooked with onions, diced tomatoes and sautéed peppers like jalapeño.

Because it doesn’t contain tortillas or chips, it’s significantly lower in carbs than other Mexican breakfast dishes like huevos rancheros and chilaquiles.

15. Gallo Peak

Pico de gallo is a dip and condiment made with diced tomatoes, chopped onions and cilantro. In small amounts, it is low in carbs and adds a burst of flavor to high or high fat dishes. It’s also easy to do at home.

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