Not sure if Chili's is a nice choice for your Keto diet? You're in the right place!
In this guide, you'll learn:
- Is Chili's Keto-friendly?
- What are the tips for ordering at Chili's on a Keto diet?
- What Keto friendly foods can I eat at Chili's?
- What are some Keto-friendly appetizers at Chili's?
- And a whole lot more...
Social events can be tough for those following a keto approach; suitable menu options are limited and there may be possible carbohydrate saboteurs laying in wake within the foods you’d thought would be keto friendly.
One of America’s most popular chains, Chilis, is a prime rendezvous spot for these social events and generally just a great place to get some damn good food.
We love Chili’s, and we’re asked all the time “how can you possibly eat at Chili’s and not lose your ketosis!?”
Well, we’re here to show you how.
- Is Chili’s Keto-Friendly?
- Tips for Ordering at Chili’s on a Keto Diet
- What Keto-Friendly Food can I eat at Chili’s?
- Keto-Friendly Appetizers at Chili’s
- Keto-Friendly Dressings at Chili’s
- What Burgers at Chili’s Are Low-Carb?
- Burger Toppings for Keto at Chili’s
- Chili’s Fajitas for Keto
- Keto-Friendly Ribs and Steaks at Chili’s
- Keto-Friendly Sides and Extras at Chili’s
- Chicken and Seafood Dishes for Keto at Chili’s
- Keto-Friendly Sandwiches at Chili’s
- Drinks at Chili’s on Keto
- Keto-Friendly Alcoholic Drinks at Chili’s
Is Chili’s Keto-Friendly?
Yes, it most certainly is!
Virtually any restaurant, fast food joint, eatery etc. can fit into a ketogenic approach; we just have to make smart choices conducive to our given goals.
Thankfully Chili’s themselves also have an extensive menu that allows for you to be incredibly dynamic, making choices that are not only keto friendly but also insanely delicious!
Tips for Ordering at Chili’s on a Keto Diet
As mentioned, ordering smarter is the key here; avoiding options with dense sugary sauces, removing bread, wraps and buns, limiting your sides and extras to those conducive to keto (which we’ll discuss later) etc.
Thankfully Chili’s is a much better franchise to visit when you’re in ketosis compared to most fast food joints and other establishments.
There are some particular menu options you’ll want to steer clear of though.
What is the Best 7-Keto-DHEA Metabolite?
Avoid smoked meat and sauces
Typically smoked meat won’t be an issue when the goal is to remain in ketosis (although overall it may be worth limiting your dietary exposure to it as it has been associated with other health implications including an increased risk of some cancers).
The Chili’s smoked meats will also typically be loaded with sugar laden sauces that’ll knock you right out of ketosis (as well as other nasty chemicals and additives that aren’t overly beneficial for your health!).
Read Also: The Keto Diet For Beginners Guide
Be careful about sides
Sides are always a potential pitfall for keto dieters.
Many of the options are rich in starchy and or sugary carbohydrates, whether they be covered in sauces or some variation of potato etc.
Veggies are always a great option! Naturally low in net carbohydrates and rich in health boosting properties. Go for the steamed options, like asparagus or broccoli, with some low carb sauces / toppings (which we’ll discuss later)!
We’d advise avoiding the beans, slaws, corn dishes, rice etc. however as that can be a one-way ticket out of ketosis!
Avoid crispy, creamy and sweet items
This is self-explanatory; if it’s deep fried in batter, covered or packed full of sweet cream or capable of giving you a sugar high, you’ll need to avoid it if your aim is to remain in ketosis.
This is where you have to be wary again of the side’s menu;
For example, even their corn on the cob comes in at a whopping 26g of net carbs per serving!
Don’t even get us started on their desserts… The dessert trio comes in at over 800g of net carbs!
What Keto-Friendly Food can I eat at Chili’s?
Chili's has a whole host of foods you can choose from; there’s a lot more that you CAN eat rather than those you can’t, so please don’t feel restricted!
From starters to sides to mains and even sauces, there’s plenty of each to choose from and we’re going to run over our favorites!
Three Lowest-Carb Dishes at Chili’s
While there are a whole range of low-carb options our favorites to go for are;
The Smoked Brisket
There’s not enough words to describe how succulent, juicy and flavorful this piece of heaven is. You’d be crazy to not order this next time! (less than 5g of net carbs)
The Classic Sirloin 10oz
I mean, it speaks for itself really. Sourced from the top farms in the nation, we challenge you to find a better steak for the price! (less than 2g of net carbs)
Jalapeno-Cheddar Smoked Sausage
Something altogether different but deliciously tasty. A perfect alternative for the keto dieter looking to broaden their horizons! (less than 3g of net carbs)
Keto-Friendly Appetizers at Chili’s
Appetizers can be a real ketosis hazard; while they may only be small bites most of the time, they can be super concentrated sources of carbohydrate and other nasty additives and chemicals that may not be conducive to optimal keto health.
Some of our favourite choices to go for that are fantastic for upholding ketosis are:
- Bone-in wings (buffalo sauce) – 5g net carbs
- Grilled chicken dippers – 2g net carbs
- Fresh guacamole (order this without the chips to keep it keto friendly. Have with some celery sticks or similar alternative and even add the guac to your main dish!)
Occasionally we’ll also order the sliced avocado side (1g net carbs) and have that with some celery and or with one of the virtually no carb sauces (which we’ll discuss in a moment)!
Keto-Friendly Dressings at Chili’s
In stark contrast to just about every other restaurant, eatery, fast-food joint etc. Chilis actually have a number of ketosis friendly dressings that are a perfect (and tasty) accompaniment to any meal!
Our favorites are the blue cheese (4g net carbs), ranch (8g net carbs) and Caesar dressing (8g net carbs).
What Burgers at Chili’s Are Low-Carb?
Virtually any burger can be low-carb, we just have to adapt it and be smart when making our choices.
When ordering ask for the burger to be bunless and without any sauces (we can always add some of our keto friendly dressings to them if needs be and the extras which we’ll mention in a moment).
Must try burgers at Chili’s include:
- The Boss Burger (hold the bun, BBQ and ranch sauces!)
- Mushroom Swiss Burger (hold the bun and garlic aioli!)
- Chili’s Chili Burger (hold the bun, tortilla strips and sauce!)
- Oldtimer (hold the bun and sauce but go for the added cheese!)
- Just Bacon Burger (hold the bun and garlic aioli!)
- Southern Smokehouse Burger (hold the bun, awesome blossom petals and the garlic aioli on this one!)
- Classic Beef Patty (to add on) (0g net carbs)
- Classic Turkey Patty (to add on) (0g net carbs)
Burger Toppings for Keto at Chili’s
One of our favourite activities; how much can we add to a burger and make it as exciting as possible.
Turns out Chili’s are very supportive in this capacity and offer a huge range of keto-friendly elements which can elevate your burger to a whole new level of awesomeness!
Try a few of these next time you visit!
- Avocado slices (1g net carbs)
- Applewood smoked bacon (0g net carbs)
- The Original Chili (4g net carbs)
- Cheese (American) (1g net carbs)
- Cheese (Cheddar) (0g net carbs)
- Cheese (Pepper Jack) (1g net carbs)
- Cheese (Swiss) (0g net carbs)
- Fresh Guac (large) (3g net carbs)
- Fresh Guac (small) (2g net carbs)
- Black Pepper Gravy (3g net carbs)
- Pickles (0g net carbs)
- Salsa (2g net carbs)
- Sour Cream (2g net carbs)
Read Also: How To Enjoy Keto At Outback Steakhouse
Chili’s Fajitas for Keto
How can I possibly eat fajitas and stick with keto? Very easily actually. Simply ask for an open fajita (no wrap) and ask them to hold the rice, beans and sauce.
Add some extras like the avocado, guac, sour cream, salsa and even some cheese to round out the meal!
Ask them to add in extra veggies too for that nutrient, mineral and fibre kick!
Keto-Friendly Ribs and Steaks at Chili’s
It’s hard to screw up ribs and steak on keto; just cut down on the sticky sauces (but don’t be afraid to throw some butter on the steak if you fancy a bit of richness!).
Go for a side house salad without croutons, but add in some oil and vinegar dressing. You could also add in some steamed broccoli, or grilled asparagus as your side dish in place of fries, beans, coleslaw, rice, or corn.
- Classic Ribeye (0g net carbs)
- Classic Sirloin 10oz (2g net carbs)
- Classic Sirloin 6oz (1g net carbs)
- Original BBQ Baby Back Ribs (half rack) (10g net carbs)
- House BBQ Baby Back Ribs (half rack) (10g net carbs)
Keto-Friendly Sides and Extras at Chili’s
We’ve mentioned quite a few of the available keto friendly sides that are on offer at Chili’s;
Steamed asparagus, steamed broccoli, celery, avocado slices and more. There are a few that we like to throw in to really fill out our plate!
- House Salad (7g net carbs)
- Caesar Salad (7g net carbs)
- Grilled Chicken Dippers (2g net carbs)
Chicken and Seafood Dishes for Keto at Chili’s
Are you looking for something a bit different?
Why not try these keto friendly chicken and seafood dishes that we love to pick up when we visit Chili’s!
Just make sure to swap out any starchy carbohydrate sides, like chips, potato mash etc. and ask for them to serve without sauce!
- Grilled Chicken Breast (without sauce – adding your own from our keto compatible options list with the toppings we’d mentioned too)
- Ancho Salmon (Ask to be served without rice and replace with steamed veggies instead) (10g net carbs)
- Clam Chowder (Cup) (9g net carbs)
Keto-Friendly Sandwiches at Chili’s
There’s an obvious caveat here - the bread.
Of course, when we’re ordering a sandwich at Chili’s (or anywhere else for that matter) and our aim is to remain in ketosis then we should ask for it to served bread-less and or some establishments will offer to replace the bread with crisp lettuce leaves (ask or you don’t get!).
You also want to be on the look out for any other possible keto deterrents that could be hiding in your sandwich. Fried onions catch many ketoers out.
When ordering ask for them to be left out and also any additional sauces should be cut out too. If the sandwich comes with a side of fries, simply ask them to swap this out for a keto friendly veggie option instead!
- Bacon Avocado Grilled Chicken, no bread (10g net carbs)
- California Turkey Club, no bread (8g net carbs)
- Buffalo Chicken Ranch Sandwich (6g net carbs)
Drinks at Chili’s on Keto
There’s plenty of potential ketosis hiccups waiting for you on the drink’s menu at Chili’s. Many of there drinks are packed full of added sugars and are definite danger to your ketogenic state.
We’d steer well clear of regular carbonated drink options, sweet ice teas, fruit juices and flavoured milks!
You aren’t without hope however as there is a small range of drinks the keto community can choose from.
- Coke zero, diet coke and diet Dr Pepper (in whatever size cup)
- Desani water
- Chili’s premium blend coffee (awesome tasting, so rich!)
Keto-Friendly Alcoholic Drinks at Chili’s
But what if I’m in the mood for a wilder night? Are there any alcoholic beverages at Chili’s I can go for?
Why yes you can! In fact, there are even more keto friendly alcoholic beverages than there are non-alcoholic alternatives!
- Bud Light (12 fl oz) (7g net carbs)
- Coors Light (12 fl oz) (5g net carbs)
- Corona Light (12 fl oz) (5g net carbs)
- Truly Wild Berry Hard Seltzer (12 fl oz) (2g net carbs)
- Michelob Ultra (12 fl oz) (2g net carbs)
- Miller Light (12 fl oz) (3g net carbs)
- Red Wine (6 fl oz) (5g net carbs)
- White Wine (6 fl oz) (7g net carbs)
As you can see, Chili’s has a huge range of keto friendly options to choose from. Truly something for every single person of the community!
No longer do you have to dread the social events, work do’s, parties or whatever else that could potentially sabotage your ketosis; Chili’s has you covered.
With everything from burgers to sides to even a range of booze to choose from, you’ll never have to feel left out again! Remember, keto is only as restrictive as your imagination is limited; you can make an amazing keto friendly meal just about anywhere!