Most people agree that fast food isn’t the healthiest option, but that doesn’t keep us all form craving it constantly! People with dietary restrictions, however, might have a much harder time finding something that hits the spot and meets their requirements.
Jack in the Box is a super popular chain known for their variety of options, including their delicious tacos. However, many vegetarians might find themselves at a loss when trying to pick something meat-free from their expansive menu.
Are Jack in the Box tacos vegetarian?
It has long been an urban legend that Jack in the Box tacos don’t contain meat. Unfortunately, the tacos at Jack in the Box contain both beef and chicken and are therefore not vegetarian. However, there are a few vegan and vegetarian-friendly options on their menu.
Keep reading below to find out more about what vegans, vegetarians, and other healthy eaters can enjoy at Jack in the Box!
Are Jack in Box tacos vegan?
Sadly, as they are not vegetarian, Jack in the Box tacos are definitely not vegan. They contain two different kinds of meats: beef and chicken. Additionally, in a fast food environment cross contamination is bound to occur. Many restaurants cook their food in animal fat for the flavor. If you’re vegan, it’s very important to double check these kinds of things.
Does Jack in the Box have vegetarian options?
Jack in the Box actually has quite a few vegetarian options. They also fry their food in canola oil, not animal fat, so vegans can enjoy many of these items as well. Most of the vegetarian choices are going to be side dishes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative and build a veggie entrée of your own!
Let’s kick things off with the grilled cheese sandwich. No meat to see here, just cheesy, crispy goodness. It’s also basically the only default vegetarian main dish available at Jack in the Box. Pair it with some onion rings or stuffed jalapenos to complete a delicious quick meal to satisfy your fast food cravings.
A lot of breakfast options on the menu are vegetarian as well. Early-rising vegetarians have the widest array of choices at most fast food places since eggs are the primary protein instead of beef. Try their pancakes, muffins, potatoes, or hash browns. Lots of these options are also vegan as well!
What is in Jack in the Box tacos?
From Jack in the Box’s website:
Filling Ingredients: Beef, Chicken, Water, Textured Vegetable Protein (Soy Flour, Caramel Color), Defatted Soy Grits, Seasoning (Chili Pepper, Corn Maltodextrin, Spices, Bleached Enriched Wheat Flour [Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, and Folic Acid], Salt, Garlic Powder, Hydrolyzed Corn, Soy, and Wheat Proteins, Monosodium Glutamate, Onion Powder, Natural Flavors, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate, Succinic Acid), Salt, Tomato Paste, Worcestershire Sauce (Distilled Vinegar, Molasses, Corn Syrup, Water, Salt, Caramel Color, Garlic Powder, Sugar, Spices, Tamarind, Natural Flavor, Sulfiting Agent). Tortilla Ingredients: Ground Corn, Water, Lime. Cooked in Canola Blend Frying Oil
A lot of people are a bit put off by the lengthy list of ingredients in their favorite taco. After all, when you make tacos at home you simply throw some seasoning on your meat of choice and call it a day, right? Well, it’s not quite as straightforward in the fast food industry.
The reason behind including both chicken and beef is beyond me, but I assume it has something to do with texture and cost of ingredients. The textured vegetable protein also undoubtedly contributes to both of these factors as well. After that, though, the ingredients are mainly spices and preservatives. The tortilla is even simpler, containing just corn, water, and lime juice.
What are some healthy options at Jack in the Box?
Even if you’re not vegetarian or vegan, chances are you’re looking for a way to indulge in some of your favorite foods without so much of the guilt. Jack’s actually has several low calorie, low fat menu items for the health-conscious fast foodie.
You won’t find the tired, boring old salad at Jack in the Box. Theirs is packed with lean chicken protein and a variety of toppings, depending on which one you choose. The Southwest Chicken Salad, for example, is almost like a burrito bowl. It comes in at just 340 calories and is a great mix of healthy carbs, fats, and protein.
Surprisingly, the chicken nuggets are pretty low in calories as well. While this alone doesn’t make them “healthy”, it certainly beats out some other options if you’re into counting calories. A 10 piece nugget is only 240 or so calories and contains only 2 grams of saturated fat and no trans-fat, something you won’t find in any of their burgers.
To take your favorite menu item and make it slightly healthier, consider adding some veggies and removing cheese or sauce, if applicable. This will save on fat and calories, and the vegetables can help make up for the taste.
Check Out Our Other Articles on Recipe Recon:
- The 5 Best Organic Tortilla Chips for Snacking
- Crepe Pan vs. Crepe Maker: Which One Is Right For You?
- How to Thicken Banana Pudding for the Perfect Consistency
- 75 Essential Kitchen Items for Home Chefs: Make Restaurant Quality Meals at Home
- The 3 Best Borosilicate Glass Bakeware Pans: Are They Shatterproof?
What fast food restaurants have the most vegetarian options?
Most fast food restaurants have at least some kind of food for vegetarians. Whether you’re traveling with meat-eating friends or just got hit by a craving while driving down the road, you’ll probably be able to find something tasty at just about any regular old burger joint.
Breakfast is actually a great time to find yummy vegetarian food. The prevalence of eggs makes it easy to get something more satisfying than the typical order of fries and ketchup you might usually be stuck with. Egg and cheese biscuits in some form or another can be found at just about any fast food restaurant. For those vegetarians who don’t eat eggs, hash browns, biscuits, pancakes, donuts, and more can all make for a nice (calorie dense) meal.
After breakfast, salads are typically on the menu. You might be tired of everyone assuming that vegetarians only eat salads, but as far as fast food goes it’s probably your best bet. McDonald’s and Wendy’s have a pretty good selection of salads, and you can always get them without meat.
If a salad doesn’t strike your fancy, go for some kind of veggie burger. While not all restaurants offer a dedicated “veggie” patty, you can do a DIY option at most places. This typically consists of lots of lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, and whatever other toppings you would like on a bun. Burger King has other places beat with their Impossible Whopper, a satisfying plant-based burger patty.
Thankfully, almost any fast food restaurant has great vegetarian sides. The fries at most places are vegetarian, but make sure to check that they aren’t cooked in animal fat. Places that offer other tasty treats like cheese curds, jalapeno poppers, coleslaw, pretzels, and ice cream are pretty easy to come by.
What has the most calories at Jack in the Box?
Unsurprisingly, the Stacked Grilled Cheese Burger Munchie meal beats out everything on the menu in terms of calories. Depending on the drink you choose, it can exceed 2000 calories in total. Comprising two tacos, your drink, fires, and a grilled cheeseburger (which is exactly what it sounds like), this meal should probably not be an everyday staple of your diet.
Individual items on the menu vary significantly in terms of calories, and the “worst” items are typically the ones that contain bacon and cheese. As such, the breakfast menu certainly packs a caloric punch.