How many calories are in a tacu bowl from Viva Chicken?

Viva Chicken is a popular fast casual restaurant chain that specializes in Peruvian style rotisserie chicken. One of their most popular menu items is the tacu bowl, which contains rice, beans, chicken, salsa, lettuce, cheese and other toppings. Many customers wonder just how many calories are contained in Viva Chicken’s tacu bowl. This article will provide a detailed breakdown of the tacu bowl’s nutritional information and calories.

Calories in Individual Ingredients

To determine the total calories in a Viva Chicken tacu bowl, we need to look at the calories contained in each individual ingredient:


Viva Chicken uses rotisserie chicken in their tacu bowls. A 3 oz serving of rotisserie chicken with skin contains approximately:

  • Calories: 230
  • Fat: 15g
  • Carbs: 0g
  • Protein: 21g


The tacu bowl contains a serving of white rice. A 1/2 cup serving of cooked white rice contains:

  • Calories: 103
  • Fat: 0.3g
  • Carbs: 22g
  • Protein: 2g


The tacu bowl comes with a side of black beans. A 1/2 cup serving of boiled black beans contains:

  • Calories: 114
  • Fat: 0.5g
  • Carbs: 20g
  • Protein: 7g


The tacu bowl is topped with a salsa. A 1/4 cup serving of tomato salsa contains approximately:

  • Calories: 10
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbs: 2g
  • Protein: 0g


The bowl contains lettuce. 1 cup of shredded lettuce contains:

  • Calories: 5
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbs: 1g
  • Protein: 0g


The tacu bowl comes with a sprinkle of cheese on top. 1 oz of shredded cheddar cheese contains:

  • Calories: 114
  • Fat: 9g
  • Carbs: 1g
  • Protein: 7g

Total Calories

Based on the nutritional information for each ingredient, we can estimate the total calories in a Viva Chicken tacu bowl:

Ingredient Calories
Chicken (3 oz) 230
Rice (1/2 cup) 103
Beans (1/2 cup) 114
Salsa (1/4 cup) 10
Lettuce (1 cup) 5
Cheese (1 oz) 114
Total 576

Based on the nutritional data, a Viva Chicken tacu bowl contains approximately 576 calories. This number may vary slightly depending on the exact portion sizes of each ingredient.

How Calories Break Down

Looking at the calorie breakdown, we can see:

  • The rotisserie chicken accounts for about 40% of the calories
  • The rice accounts for 18% of the calories
  • Beans account for 20% of the calories
  • Cheese accounts for another 20%
  • The salsa and lettuce provide minimal calories

So the majority of calories in the tacu bowl come from the chicken, rice, beans and cheese. These are all nutrient rich foods that provide protein, carbs, fiber and healthy fats to help keep you full and satisfied.

Is 576 Calories a Lot?

Now that we know a Viva Chicken tacu bowl contains approximately 576 calories, is that considered high or low calorie for a meal? Here is some context:

  • The recommended daily calorie intake for most adults is around 2000 calories per day. So at 576 calories, the tacu bowl provides close to 30% of total daily needs for a 2000 calorie diet.
  • For a meal, 300-600 calories is generally considered a moderate calorie meal.
  • Fast food meals like burgers, fries and shakes often range from 800-1500+ calories. So the tacu bowl is on the lower calorie side compared to fast food.
  • 576 calories is considered reasonable for a meal containing protein, carbs, fiber and nutrition. It will provide lasting energy compared to empty calorie foods.

Overall, while the tacu bowl is not a low calorie option, it does contain a moderate calorie count that is filling and nutrient dense. It can be part of balanced daily diet.

Ways to Reduce Calories in the Tacu Bowl

For those wanting to reduce the calories in the Viva Chicken tacu bowl, there are a few modifications you can make:

  • Order a smaller 2 oz portion of chicken instead of 3 oz to save approximately 80 calories.
  • Skip the cheese to save 114 calories.
  • Ask for brown rice instead of white to cut about 40 calories.
  • Get a side salad instead of rice to save 100+ calories.
  • Use salsa as a dressing instead of vinaigrette to save calories.
  • Load up on extra veggies like peppers, onions and tomatoes to add volume and nutrients without a lot of calories.

Making two or three of these simple substitutions can easily reduce the tacu bowl calories by 200-300 calories while still providing a filling, tasty and balanced meal.

Health Benefits of Ingredients

While the tacu bowl is moderately high in calories, it does provide significant health benefits from its fresh, minimally processed ingredients including:

  • Protein – The chicken and beans provide lean protein to help build muscle, curb hunger and supply nutrients.
  • Fiber – Beans and rice are high in fiber to support digestive health and heart health.
  • Nutrients – Ingredients like salsa, lettuce, rice and beans provide vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  • Heart Healthy Fats – Chicken contains monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which support heart health when eaten in moderation.

While fried fast food meals are often high in unhealthful trans and saturated fats, the tacu bowl gets its calories from more nutritious whole food sources. This makes the tacu bowl a healthier balanced meal, despite its moderate calorie level.

Tacu Bowl vs. Salads

How does the tacu bowl compare to salads calorie-wise? Here is a quick comparison:

Viva Chicken Tacu Bowl (576 calories)

  • 3 oz chicken
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup beans
  • Salsa, lettuce, cheese

Grilled Chicken Salad (300-400 calories)

  • 3 oz chicken
  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1/2 cup beans, corn, tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp dressing

While the salad is lower in calories, the tacu bowl offers more complex carbs, fiber and protein to provide lasting fullness. The tacu bowl makes a more balanced, nutrient-dense meal. But the salad can be a lighter option.

Should You Eat the Whole Bowl?

Viva Chicken tacu bowls provide at least 2-3 servings in one bowl. So should you eat the whole thing or save half for later?

Here are some tips on managing portion size:

  • Consider splitting the bowl in half and sharing with a friend or eating half now, half later.
  • Portion out just 1 cup rice and beans to reduce carb/calorie intake.
  • Fill up on extra veggies instead of finishing the rice and beans.
  • Satisfy your hunger with the protein and veggies, then box up leftovers.
  • Ask for an extra side salad or veggies instead of the large rice portion.

Being mindful of portions can help reduce calorie intake while still enjoying the delicious flavors. But leftovers make a great next day lunch too!

Should You Drink Your Calories?

When getting a Viva Chicken meal, skip the liquid calories! Beverages like sodas, juices, flavored coffees and smoothies pack in sugar and calories. For example:

  • A 20 oz Coke has 240 calories and 65g sugar
  • A 16 oz blended mocha coffee drink has 350 calories and 50g sugar
  • A 15 oz strawberry smoothie has 300 calories and 60g sugar

Choosing water, unsweetened tea or seltzer allows you to get all your nutrients and fullness from the tacu bowl itself. Staying hydrated with calorie-free drinks is key to maintaining a healthy calorie balance.

Should You Eat Tacu Bowls Everyday?

While the tacu bowl is healthier than typical fast food, is it smart to eat it daily?

The tacu bowl makes a good occasional meal, but having it every day can lead to excess calories, fat and sodium in your diet. To maintain a healthy, balanced diet it’s best to aim for variety and moderation. Here are some tips:

  • Enjoy the tacu bowl 1-2 times per week as an easy weeknight meal
  • Balance it out with lighter meals on other days like salads, soups, veggies and lean proteins
  • Swap in some veggie bowls, salad bowls or rice bowls for more variety
  • Split portions or size down sides to prevent overeating when having it frequently
  • Add in extra side veggies, salad or fruit to balance the carbs and fat

Overall the tacu bowl can be part of a healthy diet when enjoyed in moderation as part of an overall balanced nutrition plan.


A Viva Chicken tacu bowl contains approximately 576 calories, depending on the portion sizes of each ingredient. The bulk of the calories comes from the chicken, rice, beans and cheese. While moderately high in calories, the tacu bowl provides filling protein, fiber, nutrients and healthier fats compared to fried fast food. There are simple ways to tweak your order to reduce the calories while still enjoying the delicious flavors. When eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet, the Viva Chicken tacu bowl can be a flavorful and energizing meal option.

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