The Best and Worst Menu Items at Qdoba (2023)

When you are craving a custom-made taco or burrito, the Qdoba menu has you covered. With over 720 locations, this popular Tex-Mex chain can serve up any burrito, taco, nacho, and more that can accommodate any eating plan. The best aspect of the restaurant may lie in the ability to tailor the ingredients of each meal specifically to your diet. With so many choices of ingredients to add or subtract, the decision of how to eat healthy can seem overwhelming.

In order to navigate the menu, we consulted with Dr. Rachel Paul, CDN and RD from, to decide how to construct the best entree items when you eat at Qdoba. Because the customer gets to decide what ingredients go into their meals, there is no easy way to decide if a burrito might be better than a taco. With this in mind, Paul helped determine how to craft the healthiest selections on the Qdoba menu by selecting the best and worst ingredients in each category. Read on to find out how to construct the best meals you can make for yourself from the Qdoba menu to keep your diet on track!


Best: Pulled Pork

The Best and Worst Menu Items at Qdoba (1)

140 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 340 mg sodium, 9 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 17 g protein

"Pulled pork is my favorite," Paul says. "140 calories of complete, high-quality protein, with just 1 gram of sugar at 4 grams of fat (2 grams saturated fat) makes it the leanest choice, even compared to chicken."

When you want to build the perfect meal that won't break your diet, pulled pork pulls ahead as the best protein you can select on the Qdoba menu. It is high in protein and low in fat, beating out other protein options, including impossible meat. If you are a meat lover, feel free to top your meal off with this.

Worst: Smoked Brisket

The Best and Worst Menu Items at Qdoba (2)

270 calories, 20 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 1,120 mg sodium, 3 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 20 g protein

On the other end of the protein spectrum lies Smoked Brisket. This meat has "almost double the calories of the pulled pork, and with 20 grams fat [and] 8 grams of saturated fat, which is more than half the recommended daily intake for saturated fat," Paul says. With so much to lose from such a choice, make sure to avoid this meat during your visit.

Burrito Tortillas

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Best: 5.5-Inch Flour Tortilla

The Best and Worst Menu Items at Qdoba (3)

70 calories, 2 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 170 mg sodium, 12 g carbs (1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 2 g protein

"Even though this tortilla isn't made of whole grains, I recommend sticking with this one to save 200 calories," Paul says.

If you opt to order a burrito, smaller portion sizes almost always yields healthier results. The same can be said for Qdoba's small burrito tortilla. This smaller choice will be sure to keep the pounds off.

Worst: 12.5-Inch Flour Tortilla

The Best and Worst Menu Items at Qdoba (4)

300 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 760 mg sodium, 52 g carbs (3 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 8 g protein

"This tortilla is a whopping 300 calories—which could be a snack by itself," Paul says. "It's also not whole grain, so choose a different option when possible."

This option will be sure to pack on the pounds, and with a large tortilla, you also risk fitting in more fillings to overload your calorie count for the day. To save even more calories, Paul recommends skipping the tortilla altogether. "Opt for a burrito bowl instead of a tortilla to save hundreds of calories," Paul says. "A lettuce base is very low calorie (shredded lettuce [is] zero calories)."

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Taco Tortillas

Best: 5.5-Inch Corn Tortilla

The Best and Worst Menu Items at Qdoba (5)

60 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 100 mg sodium, 11 g carbs (1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 1 g protein

"Choose the 5.5 inch corn tortilla for 60 calories and only 1 gram of fat—still get your tortilla fix!" Paul says.

And she couldn't be more on the money! This small tortilla option will be guaranteed to save you some calories. When every ingredient choice counts, opting for a smaller portion will do wonders in the long run.

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Worst: 12.5-Inch Flour Tortilla

The Best and Worst Menu Items at Qdoba (6)

300 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 760 mg sodium, 52 g carbs (3 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 8 g protein

"Again that 12.5-inch flour tortilla!" Paul says. "Save 300 calories and choose something else."

Just as there are burrito bowls, the Qdoba menu also offers taco bowls that cut out the tortilla and allow you to eat your meal on a bed of zero-calorie lettuce. Do your diet a favor and switch to the taco bowl option instead.


Best: Brown Rice

The Best and Worst Menu Items at Qdoba (7)

170 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 410 mg sodium, 35 g carbs (2 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 4 g protein

When you have to select a rice filling, choosing whole grains over processed white rice seems like a no brainer. "It's always best to choose whole grains when you can," Paul says. "With the brown rice, you save 20 calories, and add a gram of fiber." Pair your rice off with a choice of beans and you will fit in a full vegetarian protein for your day.

Worst: Cilantro Rice

The Best and Worst Menu Items at Qdoba (8)

190 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 390 mg sodium, 38 g carbs (1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 3 g protein

"Refined grains like this rice type aren't worth it, nutrition-wise," Paul says. The white processed rice will pack your meal with a ton of unnecessary carbs that are sure to make you feel sluggish all day.


Best: Pinto and Black Beans

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The Best and Worst Menu Items at Qdoba (9)

140 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 330 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (14 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 9 g protein

If you enjoy beans and want to pick a favorite, we have some amazing news. "Honestly the 2 bean types are pretty much the same," Paul says. "There's definitely not a 'worst' here."

These beans also beat out the impossible vegan protein if you are looking for a plant-based boost. "I recommend sticking with foods (e.g. beans) that have few, natural ingredients, versus Impossible protein which has a list of almost 20 ingredients including Methylcellulose, Yeast Extract, Cultured Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, [and] Soy Leghemoglobin," Paul says.

Sauces and Salsas

Best: Pico de Gallo

The Best and Worst Menu Items at Qdoba (10)

10 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 70 mg sodium, 3 g carbs (1 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 0 g protein

With this fresh salsa, you "get a lot of flavor without worrying about your health goals," Paul says. With only 10 calories and a boost of vitamin C from the tomatoes, this topping on the Qdoba menu will not only brighten up your meal but help your diet move along.

Worst:Three-Cheese Queso

The Best and Worst Menu Items at Qdoba (11)

190 calories, 15 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 710 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (2 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 6 g protein

"Skip the three-cheese queso," Paul recommends. "Not only is this a lot of calories, but it contains almost a whole day's worth of saturated fat (for a 2000-calorie diet)." This queso won't make your weight loss journey any easier and may even make your cravings stronger for more rich food. With so much extra fat, your body will thank you for passing this up.


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Best: Fajita Vegetables

The Best and Worst Menu Items at Qdoba (12)

35 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 180 mg sodium, 4 g carbs (1 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 1 g protein

"It's always good to eat more veggies, and this topping adds a lot of flavor," Paul says.

By adding these veggies in, you guarantee that you will feel satiated with the bulk to your meal that they provide. Some other great toppings to pair off with these veggies that contain incredibly few to no calories include minced onions (zero calories), pickled jalapeños (15 calories), cilantro (zero calories) and bacon (35 calories).

Worst: Tortilla Strips

The Best and Worst Menu Items at Qdoba (13)

10 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 1 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 0 g protein

"I never think tortilla strips as a topping are worth it," Paul says. "They're a starchy carbohydrate, aren't filling, and don't give the body much in terms of nutritional benefit."

The tortilla strips pack in nothing but empty calories, contributing nothing positive to the nutritional balance of the meal. With so many other great toppings on the Qdoba menu to choose from that offer so few calories, there's no reason to blow your diet on the tortilla strips.


Best: Cilantro Lime Dressing

The Best and Worst Menu Items at Qdoba (14)

50 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 180 mg sodium, 2 g carbs (0 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 0 g protein

"Stick with the Cilantro Lime dressing," Paul recommends. This zesty dressing comes in at only 50 calories and 180 milligrams of sodium, making it an optimal way to brighten your meal while keeping the calories low. If you need a dressing, this is your best bet.


Worst: Mexican Caesar

The Best and Worst Menu Items at Qdoba (15)

60 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 1,100 mg sodium, 4 g carbs (1 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 1 g protein

"Don't choose the Mexican Caesar dressing," Paul says. "[It's] only 60 calories but it contains 1100 milligrams sodium—nearly a day's worth of sodium for many people!"

This dressing is sure to send your diet over the edge and into oblivion. Bypass this option in favor of a healthier topping instead. "If you want a cheesy fix, choose Cotija cheese (100 calories) or Sour cream, lite (50 calories) versus shredded mozzarella (170 calories) or queso diablo (170 calories)," Paul says. "If you're dairy-free, guacamole is also a great choice here for filling fats (130 calories)."


What is Qdoba's best meat? ›

Best: Pulled Pork

When you want to build the perfect meal that won't break your diet, pulled pork pulls ahead as the best protein you can select on the Qdoba menu. It is high in protein and low in fat, beating out other protein options, including impossible meat.

What is the healthiest burrito bowl at Qdoba? ›

A Qdoba Chicken Protein Bowl is a great choice for anyone looking for a healthy meal. The bowl is made up of shredded chicken, black beans, roasted corn salsa, guacamole, lettuce, and cheese. The chicken is a lean protein source and the black beans provide fiber.

Is Qdoba good after a workout? ›

Burrito bowls are actually a wonderful post-workout option. You can have just a little bit of fat to allow a steady stream of nutrients into your system and the small amount of avocado or guacamole adds the perfect amount. If you're out and about, Chipotle, Qdoba, or Moe's all allow you to do this exact same recipe.

Does Qdoba taste better than Chipotle? ›

Chipotle just tastes better than Qdoba, and doesn't need any gimmicks to prove its worth, its defenders say. There's an Internet consensus that Chipotle's chicken and guacamole are, in fact, better than Qdoba's.

Why did Qdoba stop serving brisket? ›

We did remove the brisket, but only to make room for more flavors. We hope you're able to find a new favorite! This is so delicious. I always receive Qdoba coupons and children eat free every week.

Which is cheaper Chipotle or Qdoba? ›

Chipotle is 10.7% and 9.2% cheaper, respectively, for consumers than its national category peers, Qdoba and Moe's Southwest Grill, a survey from BTIG emailed to Restaurant Dive reveals. The analyst surveyed menu prices across 25 cities. It is also about 5% cheaper than Baja Fresh.

Which rice is healthier at Qdoba? ›

Our spicy adobo brown rice is only 170 calories per serving is lower in carbs and higher in fiber than our cilantro lime white rice. Our leanest meat on the menu for only 160 calories per serving, plus 19g of protein. Add some color and flavor to your entrée with fajita veggies for only 30 calories per serving.

Which is healthier burrito or nachos? ›

It turns out that burritos are far healthier than burgers and fries. A typical burrito weighs between 300 and 500 calories, while a nachos weighs between 60 and 800 calories. A recent study discovered that an eight-piece fast-food burrito contains 379 calories.

What is a high protein meal at Qdoba? ›

If a high protein diet is more your thing, we've got you covered with the option to add extra protein to any entrée, like our new Cholula® Hot and Sweet Chicken or Grilled Adobo Steak. You can also try one of our most popular Signature Eats: our Chicken Protein Bowl loaded with extra chicken and extra beans.

Does Qdoba reheat well? ›

Can I reheat Qdoba queso? Yes, you can easily reheat this on the stove or microwave! Just warm everything up and stir occasionally and you may need to add some extra liquid.

Is Qdoba meat precooked? ›

Our food is prepared fresh, every day. Our tortilla chips, guacamole and pico de gallo is made fresh before we open each morning. Pork, chicken, and steak are cooked on an open grill right in front of you.

Is Qdoba a processed food? ›

It is really easy to add-on a LOT of extra calories with the toppings—sour cream, cheese, guacamole—it adds up fast! Processed ingredients (I checked their full nutritional/allergen breakdown), high calorie items, and just in general, typical fast food.

What does Qdoba stand for? ›

Each video opens with an acronym suggesting what QDOBA might stand for (i.e. Queso, Delicious On Basically Anything) before revealing that the real answer isn't an acronym at all, because QDOBA stands for Flavor. The campaign was developed in partnership with the brand's creative agency The Many.

What is Chipotle's best selling item? ›

Best Chipotle Orders
  • Chicken Bowl.
  • Guacamole.
  • Queso Blanco.
  • Barbacoa Bowl.
  • Carnitas Burrito.
  • Carnitas Taco.
  • Cheese Quesadilla.
  • Chicken Burritos.
May 19, 2022

What meat is Qdoba brisket? ›

Qdoba has a new protein option on the menu, and it's made with tender shredded beef brisket. The Brisket Birria is slow cooked for 10 hours in chiles and garlic, and Qdoba promises that it has authentic Mexican flavors.

What is poor mans brisket? ›

Smoked Chuck Roast AKA “Poor Mans Brisket

What is this? Report Ad. Both cuts are optimal for low and slow cooking methods like smoking, roasting and braising. Chuck Roast is referred to as “poor man's brisket” because it's a cheaper cut of beef that can be prepared the same way.

Did Qdoba get rid of the steak? ›

Today, we visited and learned they discontinued the shredded beef and replaced it with smoked brisket.

What is in Qdoba Birria? ›

13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- QDOBA, a leading fast-casual Mexican restaurant, is bringing the true flavors of Mexico and the hottest trend from food trucks in the U.S. to its menu with the introduction of Brisket Birria, made with tender, shredded beef brisket slow cooked for 10 hours in chiles and garlic to infuse ...

What is free entree at Qdoba? ›

Your points automatically convert to a Free Entrée Reward once you reach 125 points. There's no need to manually redeem points online or in the app for a reward; your Free Entrée will already be in your Rewards wallet to use on your next visit.

How can I get $3 at Chipotle? ›

In a recent video titled "how to get a chipotle burrito for 3 dollars," TikTok user @wyaleena shows us how to DIY a burrito by ordering a single taco from the chain. The secret is you order extras on the side and then assemble the burrito yourself.

Do you get free chips at Qdoba? ›

Become a VIP and save!

We'll give you a free side of chips and queso just for registering as a VIP.

What is the healthiest tastiest rice? ›

Therefore, choosing whole-grain brown, red, black, or wild rice is an excellent choice for health. Plus, these varieties are richer in disease-fighting antioxidants. Consuming a diet high in antioxidant-rich foods can benefit health in many ways.

What is the leanest meat at Qdoba? ›

Chicken/Impossible Burrito Bowl (Full Order):
  • Grilled Marinated Chicken — leanest protein source available OR Impossible Meat, which Qdoba recently came out with. ...
  • Brown Rice — lowers cholesterol, helps digestive tract, and promotes fullness.
Jul 30, 2019

Is Qdoba brisket beef or pork? ›

Qdoba's Brisket Birria features shredded beef brisket slow-cooked for 10 hours in chiles and garlic.

What is the unhealthiest Mexican food? ›

Worst: Chimichanga

This is code for “deep-fried burrito.” Think that sounds unhealthy? You're right. The dish has more than 1,500 calories and 93 grams of fat. Factor in toppings like guacamole and sour cream, and you'll get most of your day's calories and sodium in one meal.

What is the healthiest thing on a Mexican menu? ›

Mix and match healthy options like grilled meat (chicken, fish, shrimp), ceviche (raw seafood marinated in lemon or lime juice and other seasonings), black beans, brown rice, avocado salad, sautéed veggies, or tortilla soup.

Which Mexican dish is healthy? ›

In general, more nutritious options include fajitas, bean burritos, grilled chicken dishes, and soft tacos.

What is in Qdoba pulled pork? ›

a flavorful blend of tangy tomatillos, jalapenos, garlic. and fresh lime juice, our pulled pork is a great choice. on any entree!

Does Qdoba put MSG in their food? ›

You deserve the best-quality eats to satisfy your cravings – that's why we ensure your favorite QDOBA ingredients are free of MSG, artificial colors, and many other additives we've pledged to avoid. More than 80% of our ingredients now meet our Clean Label Pledge, including our signature quesos and flame-grilled steak.

Can I get extra rice at Qdoba? ›

too. If you ever want more topping, double guac, rice, salsa, etc. - just ask. We'll load it on at no added charge.

What kind of cheese is used at Qdoba? ›

Finely shredded Asadero, Queso Quesadilla, and Sharp Cheddar Cheeses.

What is in Qdoba Queso Diablo? ›

The new Queso Diablo features a blend of jalapenos and smoky chipotles, while Queso Verde blends fresh cilantro and lime juice for a zesty flavor. Both new Quesos use Qdoba's 3-Cheese Queso as the base.

What is in Qdoba chicken queso bowl? ›

Grilled adobo chicken, signature 3-Cheese queso, pico de gallo, shredded 3-cheese blend, chile corn salsa, cilantro lime rice, and black beans, served in a bowl.

What is impossible meat at Qdoba? ›

Qdoba's version of this plant-based protein—which tastes and cooks like beef—is seasoned in-restaurant with a unique blend of tomatoes, garlic, smoked chiles, and paprika, all mixed with diced red onions.

Does Qdoba give free food to employees? ›

10 answers

Official company policy is free meals for shift leaders and managers and 60% off during shift for team members. Must be made by another employee and ordered as a guest. However, managers tend to bend policy and give meals to employees whenever.

Is Qdoba brown rice real? ›

Qdoba Mexican Grill is proud to introduce brown rice at all participating Qdoba locations. Qdoba's brown rice is prepared daily with a flavorful blend of roasted garlic, fire-roasted tomatoes, onion, and a hint of red chiles that gives guests a new option to enjoy with their favorite entrée.

Who gives bigger portions Qdoba or Chipotle? ›

Overall, Chipotle tends to have bigger portion sizes than Qdoba, owing to the larger calorie count. Chipotle also offers less ingredients than Qdoba, making it more difficult to make a healthy, low-cal meal.

Is a burrito bowl healthy? ›

Burrito bowls are a great way to enjoy a healthy and delicious meal. They are full of fresh ingredients such as beans, vegetables, proteins, and rice. If you're looking for a filling, nutritious meal that is also low in calories, then a burrito bowl is the perfect option.

What are Qdoba bowls made of? ›

The basic essentials are the rice, chicken (or steak), beans, pico de gallo, and then you can top off the bowl with guacamole, lettuce, salsa, sour cream, cheese, corn, etc..

What kind of meat does Qdoba use? ›

Chorizo Marinated Ground Pork, Adobo Seasoning For Ground Pork (See Adobo Seasoning For Ground Pork), Soybean Oil, Salt. Contains Milk. Seasoning). Sirloin, Ground Beef, Adobo Seasoning For Ground Beef (See Adobo Seasoning For Ground Beef), Salt, Soybean Oil, Water, Spice.

What is Qdoba impossible meat made of? ›

Protein from soy. Flavor from heme (the molecule that makes meat taste, well, meaty) Fat from sunflower and coconut oils makes it sizzle on the griddle. Binders hold it together so you can make anything you want — meatballs, kebabs, patties, and more.


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