You’re starving, but you’re in a pinch. Maybe you’re running late to a work meeting, or you left your lunch at home, or your toddler’s wailing impatiently in the backseat; either way, if you’re going to eat, you have to make it quick. You spy an Arby’s right off the upcoming highway exit, and your mouth starts watering immediately.
But wait – you just started the keto diet, and with any diet, fast-food is supposed to be a big nope. You’ve already suffered through the dreadful keto flu, and you’re not about to compromise your new, healthy lifestyle this early in the game. Luckily for you, you can successfully achieve and maintain ketosis even if the local drive-thru is your only available option. Many restaurants and fast-food chains have a pretty flexible menu, meaning you can tailor specific food items to accommodate your needs – and, fortunately, Arby’s is no exception.
The best way to be successful in any diet is to prepare ahead, giving yourself a chance to glance over the menu beforehand and decide what items you can modify, which you can order as-is, and which you should avoid altogether. We’re making it easy for you, however, and all you have to do is read along for a quick and handy guide on how to order keto-friendly foods at any Arby’s location.
6 Keto Hacks When Ordering At Arby’s
- Check out the menu ahead of time
You don’t want to find yourself gaping at the menu while the other customers in line grumble behind you, and you definitely don’t want to tempt yourself with anything that will ruin your diet. As I mentioned before, looking at the menu before eating out makes the ordering process way less overwhelming.
- Stay away from carb-heavy foods! (Duh.)
This includes bread products, fried foods, French fries, and – perhaps the biggest sacrifice – most condiments and sauces. The bad news is that their sugar content is usually too high, and sugar is, of course, a no-no. The good news, however, is that there are a few exceptions to that rule, which we’ll discuss more later.
- Sub lettuce for bread
You don’t have to pick up the fork and knife yet! Any sandwich can be turned into a lettuce wrap at your request.
- Sugar-free doesn’t mean keto-friendly
If you’re considering a sugar-free menu item, double-check its nutritional info. Just because it’s low in sugar doesn’t mean that it’s not high in carbs.
- You don’t have to drink water
Of course, water is always the safest option for any diet. However, if you’re looking to quench your thirst with something a little more flavorful, unsweetened tea and diet soda (in moderation) are two perfectly keto-friendly options.
- When in doubt, stick with meat and cheese
Come on, you’re at Arby’s. They have the meats. This one is a no-brainer.
What To Order In Arby’s To Stay Keto
Sandwiches and Sliders
Of course, all of the following should be ordered with no bread products! No buns, rolls, pita, or tortilla wraps allowed. These items will come in a bowl, making them conveniently mess-free. Other keto modifications are listed with each individual menu item.
Beef ’N Cheddar (Classic) – Modifications: no Red Ranch Sauce
Calories: 180 Fat: 12g Carbs: 3g Protein: 16g
Beef ’N Cheddar (Half lb.) – Modifications: no Red Ranch Sauce
Calories: 460 Fat: 30g Carbs: 6g Protein: 42g
Roast Beef Sandwich (Classic) – No other modifications
Calories: 150 Fat: 10g Carbs: 1g Protein: 6g
Roast Beef Sandwich (Double) – No other modifications
Calories: 460 Fat: 30g Carbs: 2g Protein: 47g
Roast Beef Sandwich (Half lb.) – No other modifications
Calories: 720 Fat: 46g Carbs: 4g Protein: 72g
Three Cheese Roast Beef – Modifications: no crispy onion strings or Ranch sauce
Calories: 440 Fat: 34g Carbs: 3g Protein: 29g
Fire-roasted Philly Roast Beef – Modifications: no Garlic Aioli sauce
Calories: 430 Fat: 34g Carbs: 5g Protein: 27g
Roast Beef Gyro – Modifications: no Tzatziki sauce
Calories: 290 Fat: 23g Carbs: 5g Protein: 17g
Corned Beef Reuben – Modifications: no Thousand Island dressing
Calories: 350 Fat: 26g Carbs: 7g Protein: 25g
Smokehouse Brisket – Modifications: no crispy onion strings or BBQ sauce
Calories: 120 Fat: 27g Carbs: 3g Protein: 28g
Roast Turkey & Swiss – Modifications: no Spicy Brown Honey Mustard
Calories: 280 Fat: 19g Carbs: 4g Protein: 25g
Grand Turkey Club – No other modifications
Calories: 300 Fat: 20g Carbs: 5g Protein: 26g
Turkey Gyro – No other modifications
Calories: 210 Fat: 13g Carbs: 6g Protein: 18g
French Dip & Swiss (Classic) – Modifications: no Au Jus sauce
Calories: 290 Fat: 19g Carbs: 2g Protein: 27g
French Dip & Swiss (Half Pound) – Modifications: no Au Jus sauce
Calories: 490 Fat: 33g Carbs: 3g Protein: 47g
Ham ‘N Cheese Slider – No other modifications
Calories: 100 Fat: 6g Carbs: 2g Protein: 9g
Turkey ’N Cheese Slider – No other modifications
Calories: 70 Fat: 3.5g Carbs: 1g Protein: 10g
Jalapeño Roast Beef Slider – No other modifications
Calories: 110 Fat: 7g Carbs: 1g Protein: 9g
Roast Beef ’N Cheese Slider – No other modifications
Calories: 110 Fat: 7g Carbs: 1g Protein: 9g
Pizza Slider – No other modifications
Calories: 170 Fat: 14g Carbs: 2g Protein: 9g
Just between you and me, you could probably get away with adding some of the sauces that originally come on the sandwiches listed above. My recommendation is to order them on the side, that way you can spare yourself some of the unnecessary calories and carbs. It also helps to know the nutritional value of each sauce so you can make sure that they fit into your diet. Here are some of the safest sauce choices:
Calories: 90 Fat: 10g Carbs: 0g Protein: 0g
Red Ranch Sauce
Calories: 70 Fat: 6g Carbs: 5g Protein: 0g
Calories: 15g Fat: 0g Carbs: 3g Protein: 0g
Calories: 60 Fat: 5g Carbs: 3g Protein: 0g
Salads and wraps:
If you’re still feeling a little guilty about having to stop at a fast-food joint, you might as well try to get some greens in. Arby’s may be notorious for their ample meat options, but they have salads for the veggie-lovers, too! Take special note of which dressing choices you can pair with your salad.
Roast Turkey Farmhouse Salad – This is an easy option because you don’t have to modify it. All of the ingredients – lettuce, shredded cheddar, bacon, turkey, and tomatoes – are low-carb.
Calories: 240 Fat: 7g Carbs: 9g Protein: 23g
Side Salad -If you know a salad just isn’t going to cut it for you, you can pair another keto-friendly menu item with a small side salad. No modifications necessary here!
Calories: 70 Fat: 5g Carbs: 4g Protein: 5g
Dressing options – If you thought you’d have to eat your salad dry, don’t fret. A few dressings are safe if used sparingly, including: Buttermilk Ranch (2g carbs), Light Italian (2g carbs), and Balsamic Vinaigrette (4g carbs). Simply be sure to configure the dressing’s carb count into that of your overall meal. If you feel better bringing your own homemade dressing, feel free; olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon make a delicious, simple dressing high in healthy fats and low in carbs.
Roast Turkey & Swiss Wrap – Be sure to leave off the Honey Mustard sauce and substitute the tortilla wrap for lettuce.
Calories: 280 Fat: 9g Carbs: 4g Protein: 25g
What To Avoid
I’m sorry to say that there’s just no way to make these items fit into the keto diet. Most are either fried, starchy, or loaded with sugar. Don’t even tempt yourself – if you see them on the menu, move on!
- Buffalo Chicken Sandwich
- Buffalo Chicken Slider
- Buttermilk Chicken Bacon and Swiss -“buttermilk” is just another code word for “breaded, fried, and a keto nightmare”
- Buttermilk Chicken Cordon Bleu
- Chicken and Cheese Slider
- Crispy Chicken Farmhouse Salad (unless they can substitute grilled chicken – all other ingredients are keto-friendly)
- Curly Fries
- Mozzarella Sticks
- Chicken Tenders
- Jalapeño Bites
- Steakhouse Onion Rings
- Potato Cakes
- Au Jus sauce
- Hawaiian sauce
- Honey Mustard sauce
- Crispy Onion Strings
- Apple Cinnamon Crisps
- Turnovers (apple, cherry)
- Sugary drinks/sodas
So there you have it – pursuing a keto diet doesn’t restrict you from the convenience of the drive-thru. Fast-food restaurants like Arby’s offer tons of low-carb and high-fat options that fit perfectly into your new lifestyle. Of course, it’s always best to prepare your own nutritious meals with quality ingredients, and you should try to avoid fast-food as much as possible; however, if you ever find yourself in a pinch or if the local Arby’s just sounds too good to pass up, you can rest assured that there are plenty of guilt-free options for you to enjoy!
Don’t forget to share this Keto Arby’s guide with your friends!