A Taco Bell chicken Quesarito contains between 490-730 calories depending on size and customizations. The standard chicken Quesarito contains about 610 calories.
Calculating Quesarito Calories
Determining the calorie count of a Taco Bell chicken Quesarito requires looking at the ingredients and assembly of this popular fast food menu item. A Quesarito starts with a cheese quesadilla which is then stuffed with rice, a protein like chicken, lettuce, cheese sauce, and other toppings and sauces. Each of these ingredients adds calories, so the more toppings and sauces added, the higher the calorie count.
Some key factors that affect the calorie content of a chicken Quesarito include:
Taco Bell offers Quesaritos made with regular or large quesadilla shells. The larger quesadilla shell contributes more calories:
Customers can choose between chicken, steak, or shredded beef as the protein filling. Chicken has the lowest calorie count per serving:
A regular chicken Quesarito comes with a standard serving of rice which adds about 120 calories. Ordering extra rice increases the calorie count.
The 3-cheese queso sauce adds a significant amount of calories – about 150 calories for a regular size Quesarito. Ordering extra cheese sauce further increases the calorie count.
The lettuce in a Quesarito is very low calorie, adding only about 10-15 calories.
Sauces and Toppings
Any additional sauces like chipotle or creamy jalapeno sauce will add small amounts of calories. Extra toppings like guacamole, pico de gallo, or sour cream also increase the calories.
Calories by Quesarito Size and Customizations
Adding up the calories for each component shows how a regular chicken Quesarito ends up having around 610 calories. But many customized versions with extra toppings can end up with over 700 calories. Here’s a breakdown:
|Regular Shredded Beef
|Large Shredded Beef
Adding extras like extra rice, cheese sauce, guacamole, and sauces can add 100-300 calories or more to any Quesarito. A customized large chicken Quesarito with extra cheese and toppings can top 900 calories. On the other hand, a regular chicken Quesarito made with a light hand on cheese and toppings can clock in around 490 calories.
Nutrition Facts for Chicken Quesarito
A regular sized chicken Quesarito provides the following nutrients:
Like most fast food items, the Quesarito is high in calories, fat, carbs, and sodium. Almost all the fat comes from cheese, and the high sodium is added by the queso sauce, rice, tortilla, and meats. The protein comes mainly from the chicken along with smaller amounts from cheese and rice.
How Quesarito Calories Fit into a Daily Calorie Budget
At 610 calories, a regular chicken Quesarito makes up about 30% of a standard 2000 calorie daily diet. Eating a Quesarito will use up a significant chunk of your daily recommended calorie intake.
For the average man, the 610 calories in a regular Quesarito is about 24% of their recommended 2500 daily calorie intake. For the average woman, who needs 2000 calories a day, a regular Quesarito contains 30% of their daily calories.
This means a Quesarito can fit into most people’s diets, but it’s a calorie-dense meal so you need to balance it with lighter meals and snacks for the rest of the day. You may need to limit yourself to a small side or dessert to avoid consuming excess calories.
It’s also very easy to turn a 600 calorie Quesarito into an 800+ calorie indulgence by upsizing or adding extras. Sticking with a regular chicken Quesarito and avoiding adding extra fatty sauces and toppings will keep the calorie damage in check.
Comparing Quesarito to Other Taco Bell Items
Taco Bell has an extensive menu of Tex-Mex favorites that often deliver a hefty calorie punch. How does the chicken Quesarito compare?
|7 Layer Burrito
|Cheesy Gordita Crunch
Among some of Taco Bell’s most popular items, the Quesarito has one of the higher calorie counts. Only larger combo items like the Nachos BellGrande contain more calories. Choosing lighter options like a bean burrito (350 calories) or soft taco (170 calories) are lower calorie alternatives.
Tips for Lightening Up Your Quesarito
If you want to enjoy a chicken Quesarito but also watch your calorie intake, there are ways to shave off calories:
– Stick to the regular size: The large Quesarito shell adds about 120 extra calories. Get the regular to save calories.
– Go easy on sauces: The creamy queso adds 150 calories alone, so ask for light sauce or get it on the side and use sparingly.
– Say no to sour cream: Sour cream adds a deliciously creamy taste, but it tacks on an extra 30-50 calories. Skip it if you’re calorie conscious.
– Choose chicken: It’s the lowest calorie protein at just 110 calories compared to steak or beef.
– Ask for a side salad instead of rice: Subbing salad for the rice saves you 120 calories.
– Limit extras: Ingredients like guacamole, pico de gallo, and shredded cheese add small amounts of calories that can quickly add up.
With smart customizations and restraint on toppings, you can order a chicken Quesarito for around 490 calories – a savings of over 200 calories compared to a fully loaded large version.
Should You Eat the Whole Quesarito?
Taco Bell intends the chicken Quesarito to be one whole meal. However, the 600+ calorie count makes the full Quesarito a bit heavy for some people’s meal tastes.
Eating the entire Quesarito in one sitting provides 25g protein, 67g carbs, 24g fat along with a variety of vitamins and minerals from the ingredients. This makes it a filling, balanced single meal for most adults if it fits within their daily calorie needs.
However, for smaller appetites or calorie counters, the Quesarito can be split into two satisfying mini-meals:
– Eat half the Quesarito. Then refrigerate or wrap up the other half for the next day. This splits it into two 300 calorie mini-meals.
– Split the Quesarito in half and share it with a friend or partner. Each person gets a satisfying 300 calorie meal.
– Order a side salad and eat it along with just half the Quesarito. The salad greens bulk up the meal for greater fullness.
– Turn leftover Quesarito halves into nachos. Chop up the leftover Quesarito meat and cheese into bite-size pieces. Then top with lettuce, salsa, beans or other favorite nacho toppers for a whole new meal.
Portion control is important with a calorie dense food like the chicken Quesarito. Splitting it into multiple mini-meals or teaming it up with extra veggie sides are easy ways to keep calories under control while still enjoying all the Tex-Mex flavors.
Should You Eat Quesaritos Frequently?
Chicken Quesaritos can absolutely be part of a regular diet, but moderation is key. The high fat, sodium, and calories mean Quesaritos are best limited to an occasional treat in a balanced diet. Enjoying them 1-2 times per month is fine for most healthy adults. However, eating Quesaritos multiple times a week could lead to excess calories, fat, salt and potential weight gain or other health issues. Some tips:
– If trying to lose weight, limit Quesarito to once a month or less. Choose lower calorie menu options for your regular Taco Bell visits.
– People with hypertension or heart disease should go easy on Quesaritos due to the high sodium content. Limit to once a month or less.
– Athletes, growing teens and others with high calorie needs can more comfortably fit Quesaritos into their regular diet. But still limit to 1-2 times per week at most.
– Vegetarians can make veggie Quesaritos at home by substituting beans for the meat to lighten them up.
Overall, an occasional chicken Quesarito is fine for most people. But it’s smart to avoid heavy, regular consumption due to the high fat, salt and calories. Instead, balance it out by choosing lower calorie Taco Bell options like salads, tacos, and bean burritos on most visits. Moderation and variety are key to fitting this popular indulgent treat into a healthy lifestyle.