# How many calories in a lettuce wrapped Big Carl?

The Big Carl is a popular burger option offered by the fast food restaurant chain Carl’s Jr. It features two charbroiled beef patties, American cheese, lettuce, onion, pickles, special sauce, and mayonnaise on a seeded bun. Some customers choose to order their Big Carl wrapped in lettuce instead of the bun to reduce the calorie and carbohydrate content. But how many calories are actually in a lettuce wrapped Big Carl?

## Calories in the Big Carl’s Ingredients

To determine the calories in a lettuce wrapped Big Carl, we need to look at the calories in each of the burger’s main ingredients:

### Beef Patties

The Big Carl contains two charbroiled beef patties. According to Carl’s Jr., each 100g beef patty contains:

• 252 calories
• 18g fat
• 1g carbohydrates
• 22g protein

So each patty is likely to contain around 250 calories. With two patties, that’s approximately 500 calories just for the beef.

### Cheese

The Big Carl contains two slices of American cheese. One slice of American cheese typically contains around 50 calories, so two slices equate to approximately 100 calories.

### Special Sauce

While the exact ingredients and calorie content of the Big Carl’s special sauce are proprietary, most fast food special sauces contain a mayonnaise and ketchup base. Two tablespoons of mayonnaise contain around 200 calories, while two tablespoons of ketchup contain around 30 calories. The special sauce likely adds at least 230 calories to the burger.

### Mayonnaise

In addition to the special sauce, the Big Carl also contains regular mayonnaise. Two tablespoons of mayonnaise add roughly 200 calories.

### Onion and Pickles

The onion and pickles on a Big Carl only contribute minimal calories – less than 10 calories total.

### Seeded Bun

When served traditionally, the Big Carl comes on a seeded bun. A typical fast food burger bun contains around 150 calories. By lettuce wrapping the burger, we eliminate these carb-heavy calories.

## Total Calories

Adding up the calories in the Big Carl’s main ingredients:

 Beef patties 500 calories Cheese 100 calories Special sauce 230 calories Mayonnaise 200 calories Onion & pickles 10 calories Total 1040 calories

So a lettuce wrapped Big Carl contains approximately 1040 calories.

This is compared to a Big Carl in its regular seeded bun, which contains about 1190 calories. So by lettuce wrapping the burger, you reduce the calorie content by about 150 calories.

## Nutrition Comparison to Beef Patty Lettuce Wrap

To put the calories of a lettuce wrapped Big Carl into context, let’s compare it to a simple lettuce wrapped burger containing just a beef patty, without all the additional toppings and sauces:

Burger Calories
Lettuce Wrapped Big Carl 1040 calories
Lettuce Wrapped Beef Patty 500 calories

As you can see, the lettuce wrapped beef patty contains about half the calories of the loaded Big Carl.

The additional cheese, sauces, and condiments add a significant number of calories. So while lettuce wrapping does cut some calories by removing the bun, the Big Carl still remains a high calorie menu option.

## Ways to Further Reduce Calories

If you are looking for ways to lighten up the Big Carl even more, here are some options:

### Skip the Special Sauce

The special sauce is one of the highest calorie components. By omitting it, you can save yourself around 230 calories.

### Skip the Mayonnaise

Similarly, skipping the regular mayonnaise saves you 200 calories. Stick to just the special sauce for flavored moisture.

### Go Easy on Cheese

Request just one slice of cheese instead of two. This cuts the calories from cheese in half.

### Opt for Grilled Chicken

Some locations allow you to substitute the beef patties for grilled chicken. The chicken contains far fewer calories than beef.

### Pick a Smaller Patty Size

Order junior or single patties instead of the standard double patties to instantly cut the beef calories in half.

### Limit Toppings

Load up on lettuce and tomato for bulk and nutrients. But limit high-calorie additions like bacon, avocado, and ranch dressing.

## Healthiest Options on the Menu

While the lettuce wrapped Big Carl is one of the lower calorie options at Carl’s Jr, there are even healthier choices if you are looking to really watch your calorie intake:

This salad with grilled chicken, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, onions and ranch is under 400 calories without dressing. Ask for light dressing to limit calories.

### Low Carb Burger

Get a burger wrapped in lettuce without the sauces and cheese. Add mustard and pickles for flavor. Around 300 calories.

### Grilled Chicken Sandwich

A grilled chicken sandwich with lettuce and tomato packs protein with under 400 calories.

### Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Skip the shakes and try this lower calorie, vitamin-packed smoothie option.

Pair your meal with a side salad topped with vinaigrette instead of creamy dressings. Increase veggie intake without excessive calories.

## Should You Lettuce Wrap?

Lettuce wrapping burgers and sandwiches has grown in popularity as a lower carb, lower calorie alternative to buns. For the Big Carl, lettuce wrapping reduces the calories by about 150 compared to the bun version.

However, the lettuce wrapped Big Carl still clocks in with over 1000 calories. So while lettuce wrapping can be a good option for limiting carbs and cutting some calories, it does not fundamentally change the fact that the Big Carl is a high calorie menu choice.

If you are looking for truly low calorie options at Carl’s Jr, your best bet is to choose grilled chicken items or salads with light dressings. Lettuce wrap these options or get them without any bread or tortilla to keep the calories as low as possible.

And if you do indulge in a Big Carl – lettuce wrapped or not – be mindful of keeping your other calories for the day in check to accommodate this high calorie sandwich. Moderating your portion sizes of sides and drinks or skipping higher calorie menu additions like shakes, fries, or onion rings can help offset a Big Carl’s 1000+ calories.

## The Bottom Line

A lettuce wrapped Big Carl from Carl’s Jr. contains approximately:

• 1040 calories
• 18g carbohydrates
• 75g fat
• 60g protein

Lettuce wrapping saves about 150 calories compared to having the burger on a bun. But the Big Carl still remains one of the higher calorie options on the menu due to its stacked ingredients and sauces.

If you are focused on healthy eating, your best bet is to choose lower calorie menu items like grilled chicken, salads, or smaller burgers. Be mindful of limiting extras like cheese, sauces, fries, and shakes to keep your full meal within your target calorie range.