If you are keeping to a keto diet, it can be pretty difficult—and awkward—ordering food at McDonald’s.
Unfortunately, ending up at McDonald’s is almost inevitable since it’s so popular and convenient – especially when you have friends and family who love to stop for food at McDonald’s!
It doesn’t have to be a big issue, though – not when you know what keto-friendly menu items you can order at McDonald’s that won’t hurt your diet and all your hard-earned progress.
Managing a keto diet is simple enough, after all. You just need to keep the carbs low while eating more fat!
Thankfully, McDonald’s food is, well, high in fat, and moderate when it comes to protein.
The main problem with McDonald’s for keto dieters is the carbs, which, needless to say, is hard to avoid considering so many McDonald’s menu options come with buns, fries, hash browns, muffins, bagels, and so on!
But it’s not impossible to eat keto-friendly at McDonald’s, as we’ve listed the 8 best McDonald’s items to order for a keto diet (see also ‘17 Items Available On The Menu In McDonald’s Japan‘). And they’re not all salad!
Just bear in mind that you will need to make special requests, but it’ll be worth it in the end if it means you can go to McDonald’s and eat 100% guilt-free.
The 8 Best Keto-Friendly McDonald’s Items:
- Side Salad
- Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese (No Bun)
- Sausage, Egg & Cheese McMuffin (No Muffin)
- Artisan Chicken Sandwich (No Bun)
- Double Cheeseburger (No Bun)
- Big Mac (No Bun)
- Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit (No Biscuit)
- Big Breakfast (No Hash Browns and Biscuit)
This is an obvious choice, but it’s worth including on this list nevertheless!
It goes without saying that salad is keto-friendly, providing a low amount of carbs thanks to the, well, lack of meat, buns, and fries that usually come with most McDonald’s orders.
So what’s included? McDonald’s Side Salad comprises fresh lettuce, cucumber, sliced tomato, and red onion.
It does come with salad dressing but it’s separate from the salad, providing you with the choice to avoid it (if you’re watching your calories).
In total, McDonald’s Side Salad contains just 18 calories and 2.1 grams of carbs.
That’s next to nothing for keto dieters – as well as people watching their weight, in general.
Needless to say, plain salad can leave you feeling pretty hungry, which can lead to binge-eating later in the day!
To avoid this, we recommend ordering something else with McDonald’s Side Salad, such as a McDonald’s Hamburger or McDonald’s Cheeseburger without the bun.
The Side Salad isn’t the only salad McDonald’s offers, though.
Alternatively, you can also opt for the McDonald’s Grilled Chicken Salad or McDonald’s Grilled Chicken and Bacon Salad – both of which contain just 6 grams of carbs.
Double Quarter Pounder With Cheese (No Bun)
Most McDonald’s menu orders can become keto-friendly by just removing the source of carbs.
This means that most McDonald’s burgers can be keto-friendly, and that includes the popular Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese!
All you have to do to make the Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese suitable for your keto diet is remove the bun.
You can remove the bun yourself or simply ask for no bun when you order it.
You might get a weird look but, hey, it’s for the best.
McDonald’s Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese is 740 calories in total with 43 grams of carbs.
Without the bun, however, you can expect to reduce the total carbohydrates by around 25-30 carbs – not bad.
It’s also worth mentioning McDonald’s Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese offers 42 grams of fat and 48 grams of protein. Again, this isn’t too bad for keto dieters.
The high protein and high fat will also provide a fuller feeling that lasts longer, which can help to prevent sudden hunger bouts later in the day.
Sausage McMuffin With Egg (No Muffin)
The Sausage McMuffin with Egg is a breakfast staple at McDonald’s.
It’s one of the most popular items on the breakfast menu (and for good reason), so you would be forgiven for craving one if you ever end up at McDonald’s early in the morning.
Just like the Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, you can make the iconic Sausage McMuffin with Egg keto-friendly by eating it without the muffin.
Sure, you’re left with egg, sausage, and cheese, but without the muffin you’re removing 25 grams of unwanted carbs.
Again, you can either ask for the Sausage McMuffin with Egg without the muffin at the counter, or simply remove the muffin yourself.
Even better if you have someone who likes McDonald’s muffins, as you can just give it to them!
In total, McDonald’s Sausage McMuffin with Egg is 480 calories and 30 grams of carbs.
But without the muffin, you’re getting rid of 25 grams of carbs.
So if you ever thought that you can’t eat McDonald’s breakfast on a keto diet, think again!
Artisan Grilled Chicken (No Bun)
The Artisan Grilled Chicken is a menu option available in the USA for chicken lovers who prefer grilled chicken over fried chicken.
The result is fewer calories from 100% real chicken breast that’s free of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
The Artisan Grilled Chicken, like most chicken sandwiches on the McDonald’s menu, comes with a sesame seed bun.
This is easily removed, however, which takes away around 25 to 30 carbs from the total carb value.
What you’re left with is grilled chicken breast, tomato slices, and lettuce.
And if that already makes you feel hungry, don’t forget that you can add a McDonald’s Side Salad to make the meal more filling.
There are 380 calories, 44 grams of carbs, 7 grams of fat, and 37 grams of protein in one McDonald’s Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich.
Without the bun, the total carbs are reduced by 25-30 carbs.
One thing worth noting, however, is that this choice is low in fat (due to being grilled), so you may want to order something else (like a bunless Hamburger or Cheeseburger) or opt for something high in fat later on in the day.
Double Cheeseburger (No Bun)
Can’t stomach a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese? Grab the McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger instead.
In the same way, all you have to do is remove the bun to make it keto-friendly, reducing the carb content by 25-30 carbs.
In total, the nutritional value of a McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger is 450 calories, 24 grams of fat, 25 grams of protein, and 34 grams of carbs.
Without the bun, however, both the calories and carbs will be much lower.
The McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger is therefore great for a drive-thru snack – or a guilt-free option to choose if you end up at McDonald’s against your will.
A bonus with the Double Cheeseburger is that you’ll get to eat two beef patties, cheese, onions, and pickle slices, which is more filling than, for example, ordering a Side Salad or bunless Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich.
Compared with the Artisan Grilled Chicken, the Double Cheeseburger is also better for hitting your fat macros.
And that swiftly leads us on to our next best keto-friendly McDonald’s item.
Big Mac (No Bun)
Who doesn’t love Big Macs? The Big Mac is one of the most popular, and iconic, McDonald’s items on the menu worldwide, comprising three sesame seed buns, two pure beef patties, shredded lettuce, American cheese, and pickles.
The good news is that, yes, Big Macs can also be keto-friendly!
Ask for it without the buns or remove the buns yourself, which will still leave you with enough nutritional value to curb your appetite and tide you over until your next meal.
As for nutritional content, a McDonald’s Big Mac comes in at 550 calories with 30 grams of fat, 25 grams of protein, and 45 grams of carbs.
Take the buns away, however, and you’ll reduce the total carbohydrates by around 35-40 carbs.
What’s great about the Big Mac is that it’s high in fat (higher than most McDonald’s burgers), which can make it an ideal choice if you haven’t yet hit your fat macros for the day.
So, if you loved Big Macs before you turned keto, you’ll be glad to know that you can still enjoy them (occasionally and in moderation, of course)!
Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit (No Biscuit)
The Sausage McMuffin with Egg isn’t the only option you have at McDonald’s if you’re keeping to a keto diet.
And if you’re a fan of bacon and egg, this one is ultimately for you!
The Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit is another popular item on McDonald’s breakfast menu.
Unlike the Sausage McMuffin with Egg, the Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit does away with the sausage patty, replacing it with bacon instead.
The result? A perfect early morning option for bacon, egg, and cheese lovers.
And for keto dieters, there’s nothing wrong with removing the biscuit to make the Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit keto-friendly.
On the whole, McDonald’s Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit provides 460 calories, 26 grams of fat, 17 grams of protein, and 39 grams of carbs.
And, as it turns out, McDonald’s biscuits contain 33 grams of carbs (higher than the buns and muffins), so removing the biscuit brings the total carbs down to next to nothing – great news for anyone on a keto diet.
This leaves you with bacon, egg, and American cheese, which is by no means an unappealing breakfast!
Big Breakfast (No Hash Browns And Biscuit)
Last but not least, McDonald’s Big Breakfast. Yep, it’s possible to make McDonald’s most filling breakfast item keto-friendly, easily done by just removing, or not eating, some of the food bits it comes with.
McDonald’s Big Breakfast includes a beef patty, scrambled eggs, hash brown, and biscuit.
Needless to say, you’ll want to remove the hash brown and biscuit to make it suitable for your keto diet.
Overall, the McDonald’s Big Breakfast totals at 760 calories with 26 grams of protein, 48 grams of fat, and 57 grams of carbs.
It’s high in fat, which is good for keto, and you can reduce the carb amount by removing the hash brown (15 grams of carbs) and the biscuit (30 grams of grabs) to bring the total carbs down to around 12 grams.
Doing so is similar to eating a muffinless Sausage McMuffin with Egg, but the Big Breakfast is a better option if you prefer scrambled eggs over a fried egg!
And that wraps up our list of the 8 best keto-friendly McDonald’s items to order if you’re managing a keto diet.
The above menu items are not your only options, though, as what you will have realized is that most of the choices we listed simply take the carbs out of the equation.
As a result, all you have to do at McDonald’s is order your usual favorite but ask for no bun, biscuit, bagel, or muffin to reduce your carb intake.
Needless to say, you should also avoid ordering hash browns or fries on the side!
The bottom line? It is possible to eat at McDonald’s even if you’re sticking to a keto diet.
And while it’s almost impossible to avoid McDonald’s these days, you should be glad to know that ordering keto-friendly food at McDonald’s doesn’t have to be difficult – or awkward!
Save this list for future reference and make sure to check out our other best menu items lists for more information and inspiration on what to order at the world’s most popular fast-food restaurants and chains.