Baja Fresh is a popular Tex-Mex fast food chain known for its burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and bowls. With so many tasty options to choose from, you may be wondering just how many calories are in a Baja Fresh bowl. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the calorie counts for Baja Fresh’s most popular bowl options to help you make an informed decision.
Baja Fresh offers a variety of signature bowls that allow you to build your own Tex-Mex meal. These bowls start with your choice of rice, beans, protein and extras like cheese, guacamole, salsa and sour cream.
Here are the calorie counts for some of Baja Fresh’s most popular bowl combinations:
|Chicken bowl with cilantro lime rice, black beans, pico de gallo, cheese and guacamole||750|
|Steak bowl with cilantro lime rice, pinto beans, cheese, guacamole and salsa||860|
|Shrimp bowl with white rice, black beans, fajita veggies, cheese and avocado ranch||630|
|Carnitas bowl with brown rice, pinto beans, fajita veggies, guacamole and salsa||810|
As you can see, calories can range from 630 to 860 depending on your choice of protein and toppings. Choosing brown rice over white rice will lower the calorie count, while extras like guacamole, cheese and sour cream will increase it.
Build Your Own Bowl
One of the best things about Baja Fresh is the ability to customize your perfect Tex-Mex bowl. Here are some guidelines for estimating calories in a build your own bowl:
Base (Choose One)
- Cilantro Lime Rice: 200 calories per serving
- Brown Rice: 180 calories per serving
- White Rice: 230 calories per serving
- Romaine Lettuce: 20 calories per serving
Beans (Choose One)
- Black Beans: 120 calories per serving
- Pinto Beans: 110 calories per serving
- No beans: 0 calories
Protein (Choose One)
- Chicken: 190 calories for 6oz grilled chicken
- Steak: 290 calories for 6oz grilled steak
- Carnitas: 420 calories for 6oz
- Shrimp: 100 calories for 6oz grilled shrimp
- Pico de gallo: 20 calories per 2oz
- Guacamole: 230 calories per 4oz
- Cheese: 110 calories per 2oz
- Sour cream: 60 calories per 2oz
- Salsa: 15 calories per 2oz
- Fajita veggies: 50 calories per 6oz
Based on these estimates, we can calculate the calories for a sample build your own bowl:
Chicken bowl with:
- Cilantro lime rice (200 calories)
- Black beans (120 calories)
- 6oz chicken (190 calories)
- 2oz pico de gallo (20 calories)
- 2oz guacamole (115 calories)
- 2oz cheese (110 calories)
Total: 755 calories
As you can see, you can build a tasty and satisfying bowl for around 750 calories by opting for lean protein and sensible toppings. On the other hand, that same bowl made with carnitas, white rice, guacamole and sour cream could quickly add up to over 1,000 calories.
Lower Calorie Bowl Options
If you’re looking for lower calorie Baja Fresh options, here are some tips:
- Choose cilantro lime rice or romaine lettuce instead of white rice
- Load up on veggies like fajita peppers and onions, pico de gallo and salsa
- Go easy on high-calorie toppings like cheese, guacamole and sour cream
- Opt for grilled chicken or shrimp instead of steak or carnitas
- Ask for any sauces and dressings on the side
Here are some lower calorie Baja Fresh bowl ideas:
|Shrimp bowl with cilantro lime rice, pinto beans, fajita veggies and salsa||500|
|Chicken bowl with romaine, pico, guacamole and avocado ranch dressing on the side||450|
|Carnitas bowl with brown rice, black beans and extra fajita veggies||600|
Choosing these lighter options can help you enjoy your favorite Tex-Mex flavors while keeping calories under control.
Healthiest Bowl Options
Beyond just limiting calories, you can also build an ultra-healthy Baja Fresh bowl packed with nutritious ingredients.
Try combining these healthy bowl ideas:
- Base: Romaine lettuce for fiber and nutrients
- Beans: Fiber-rich black or pinto beans
- Protein: Grilled shrimp or chicken for lean protein
- Toppings: Load up on pico de gallo, salsa and fajita veggies for extra nutrients and minimal calories
- Dressing: Squeeze lime juice for tangy flavor without the creaminess of ranch or guacamole
This type of veggie-centric bowl with lean protein provides a well-balanced meal full of veggies, fiber, protein and healthy carbs.
Let’s look at an example healthy bowl combination and the nutrition facts:
Shrimp bowl with:
- Romaine lettuce
- Black beans
- 6oz grilled shrimp
- 4oz pico de gallo
- 4oz fajita veggies
- Lime juice
- Calories: 370
- Fat: 4g
- Carbs: 47g
- Protein: 32g
- Fiber: 12g
With just 370 calories, this bowl delivers a hefty dose of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. The lean shrimp and abundance of produce make it a nutritious choice.
High Protein Bowl Options
If you’re looking to pack in the protein, Baja Fresh has you covered. Simply opt for double protein or extra meat to up your protein intake. Here are some high protein bowl ideas:
- Steak and chicken bowl with brown rice, black beans, pico and guacamole
- Double carnitas bowl with cilantro lime rice, bell peppers and onions
- Triple shrimp bowl with white rice, pinto beans, cabbage and avocado ranch
Aim for at least 12oz of protein-rich ingredients like grilled chicken, steak, shrimp or carnitas. Round it out with fiber-filled rice and beans plus fresh toppings.
A sample high protein bowl might look like:
Chicken and steak bowl with:
- Brown rice
- Black beans
- 6oz chicken
- 6oz steak
- 2oz cheese
- Pico and guacamole
- Calories: 960
- Fat: 18g
- Carbs: 90g
- Protein: 93g
- Fiber: 15g
With a whopping 93g of protein, this bowl will keep you feeling full and satisfied for hours after your meal. Pair it with a side salad for a complete high protein meal.
Vegetarian and Vegan Bowls
Baja Fresh offers good options for vegetarians and vegans. Simply opt for beans, rice, lettuce or cabbage as your base and load up on fresh toppings like pico, guacamole, roasted veggies and salsa.
Here are some veggie-friendly ideas:
- Bean and guac burrito bowl with cilantro lime rice, black beans, guacamole and pico
- Veggie fajita bowl with sautéed onions and peppers, brown rice, black beans and salsa
- Ensalada bowl with lettuce, cabbage, peppers, pinto beans, avocado and cilantro lime vinaigrette
A sample vegetarian bowl may look like:
Veggie bowl with:
- Cilantro lime rice
- Black beans
- Sauteed fajita veggies
- Calories: 670
- Fat: 17g
- Carbs: 99g
- Protein: 21g
- Fiber: 19g
Without the meat, this veggie bowl is lower in calories, fat and protein. But it still delivers a hefty dose of fiber, vitamins and minerals from all the fresh produce.
Baja Fresh Bowl Sizes
Baja Fresh offers their signature bowls and burritos in two convenient sizes:
- Regular: Perfect for lighter appetites, the regular bowls contain about 1 cup rice and 1/2 cup beans.
- Grande: With 50% more food, the grande is ideal for heartier appetites. It contains around 1.5 cups rice and 3/4 cup beans.
Here’s a size comparison of a chicken bowl with standard toppings in each size:
The grande bowl packs in an extra 250 calories. Keep portion size in mind when choosing regular or grande.
Tips for Lowering Calories
Here are some tips to reduce calories if you’re watching your intake:
- Split a grande bowl with a friend to save calories
- Order a side tortilla on the side instead of a full burrito
- Opt for fajita veggies instead of heavy extras like guacamole, cheese or sour cream
- Load up on salsa for flavor without the extra calories
- Ask for dressing and sauces on the side to control how much you use
With some simple customized, you can enjoy fresh, flavorful Baja bowls while still sticking to your health goals.
Baja Fresh offers an almost endless variety of Tex-Mex bowls that can be customized to suit your tastes and dietary needs. Bowls range from around 600 calories for a veggie ensalada up to 1,000+ calories for a fully loaded grande bowl. In general, opting for lean proteins like shrimp or chicken, skipping heavy extras like cheese and sour cream, and loading up on veggies can help keep calories in check. With the ability to build your perfect combo bowl just the way you like it, Baja Fresh makes it easy to get your Mexican food fix while still eating healthy.