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Get Your Keto on at Sweetgreen

January 14, 2019

Get Your Keto on at Sweetgreen

“Sweetgreen’s easy,” you’re thinking, “It’s just a salad restaurant, it has to be keto,” you’re thinking. Well, that’s mostly true. It’s not hard to eat keto at Sweetgreen, but there are some giant carb crevasses you could fall into if you’re not careful. Here’s how to stay on keto while you’re eating at one of the trendiest healthy-eating fast-casual urban salad chains in the country.

What to order at Sweetgreen if you’re on the keto diet and...

You have 5 seconds to order: Kale Caesar Salad

With only 6 net carbs, Sweetgreen’s Kale Caesar salad packs 405 calories with Parmesan cheese, roasted chicken, and a “Caesar Dressing” which probably has more Parmesan cheese in it. It’s a great fast option for staying keto, and it’s a standard Sweetgreen menu item at all locations.

You have 30 seconds to order: 3 sample salads

Don’t want the Kale Caesar, but don’t want to pick and choose from an gazillion-ingredient menu? Here are three keto-friendly salads to add to your Sweet Green arsenal:

Southwest Chicken Salad

1g net carbs, 520 calories

Mesclun mix, cilantro, walnuts, avocado, and Blackened Chicken thighs with lime-cilantro vinaigrette.

Asian Steelhead Salad

5g net carbs, 435 calories

Mesclun mix, spicy broccoli, toasted almonds, Roasted Steelhead (fish) with Miso Sesame Ginger Dressing.

Don’t like fish? Swap in Roasted Sesame Tofu, for a total 445 calories/ 7 net carbs

Chef-Style Salad with Spinach, Eggs, and Salami

7g net carbs, 525 calories

Baby spinach with cucumbers, red onion, toasted almonds, blue cheese, hard boiled egg, and salami with extra virgin olive oil.

You have time to order a custom salad

Below are the options you have at Sweetgreen for keto meals. Each ingredient below has 3 or fewer net carbs, with one exception (full kale order). Stick to 5 ingredients with 3 or fewer carbs if you’re aiming to stay under 15g net carb per meal, or just order the stuff you like from the 0 carb selections and go on with your day.

BASE:

Choose any base except quinoa or wild rice.

If you’re getting close to your carb limit for the day, get the mesclun base, which has 0 net carbs. The heaviest net carb load for greens are for a full portion of kale (4 net carbs) and a full portion of romaine (3 net carbs). Numbers below are for full portions.

0g net carbs: Mesclun

1g net carbs: Arugula

2g net carbs: Romaine, baby spinach

4g net carbs: Kale

INGREDIENTS:

Sweetgreen has several tasty keto-friendly ingredient options. All of the following ingredients will give you three or fewer net carbs apiece in the serving sizes that Sweetgreen dishes out. For example, the lentils  — normally a low carb no-no — are served in 55g servings, or roughly two ounces/ quarter cup.

0g net carbs: Basil, cilantro, walnuts

1g net carb: Cucumbers, red onion, shredded cabbage, spicy broccoli, toasted almonds, walnuts

2g net carbs: Organic carrots, spicy sunflower seeds, tomatoes

3g net carbs: Caramelized onions and leeks, lentils, raw beets,

PREMIUM INGREDIENTS:

The price-plus splurges for your very-special salad.

0g net carbs: Avocado, blackened chicken thighs, parmesan crisp, salami

1g net carbs: Blue cheese, pickled carrots and celery, hard boiled egg, feta cheese.

2g net carb: Roasted sesame tofu

3g net carbs: Warm portobello mix

DRESSINGS AND TOPPINGS:

The finishing touch.

0g net carbs: Crushed red pepper, extra virgin olive oil, Lime Cilantro vinaigrette,

1g net carbs: Caesar dressing, lemon squeeze, lime squeeze, Pesto vinaigrette, Sweetgreen hot sauce

2g net carbs: Balsamic vinegar, Cucumber Tahini Yogurt dressing

3g net carbs: Balsamic vinaigrette, Miso Sesame Ginger dressing

AVOID: All Warm Bowls

Sweetgreen’s Warm Bowls have lots of great keto ingredients like avocado, kale, goat cheese, and broccoli — and one terrible one: quinoa.

Yes, quinoa is technically a seed, not a grain, but there’s a walloping 17g net carbs in a half cup of cooked quinoa. That’s more carbs than an ounce of 70% chocolate or 6 Hershey’s kisses. Do you really want to break your keto streak for quinoa? Quinoa? I didn’t think so.

A few Sweetgreen Warm Bowls have wild rice instead of quinoa, for a mere 16g net carbs per half cup. Don’t bother.

And after you finish your salad, you can order… nothing. Sweetgreen doesn’t offer dessert, so you don’t have to worry about being tempted by hemp seed kale doughnuts or whatever’s nutri-hip this month. Just relax at your Sweetgreen table and your well-nourished keto glow.

Check out our guides to eating keto at SubwayShake ShackBuffalo Wild Wings, and Dunkin Donuts too!