Mmmmm, Mad Mex – goey yumminess with hot sauce all wrapped up in a big floury burrito accompanied by crunchy chips with spicy salsa or fresh guacamole. Let’s just say it’s on my list of happy places. Which means I need to watch my Mad Mex Calories! Especially as I can have it delivered so don’t even burn off any energy getting there …
So, I wanted to know what are the lowest calorie options on the Mad Mex menu and how much difference did it make really if you (or I) picked the small burrito over the large – or the Naked one skipping the tortilla altogether? And, if you want to know too, our guide to the Mad Mex nutritional info reveals all…
The Mad Mex Ethos
The good news is that Mad Mex aim to cook their food using unprocessed ingredients (they say if their grandmother wouldn’t recognise it they don’t use it!) and the smallest amount of oils and sugars they can to get the food to taste good. This is helpful when you’re watching your calories.
However, because you create your own meal at Mad Mex, it’s not as simple as me just telling you that say, a single plain chicken taco is the lowest calorie choice – there are too many individual variables and, let’s face it, no-one goes to Max Mex to eat a plain chicken taco so that wouldn’t be useful anyway!
So, to start with, for the sake of keeping everything simple, let’s assume that you’re like me and you want whatever your favourite Mad Mex meal is to come with all the basic trimmings – pico de gallo, salsa verde, brown rice, black beans, shredded cheese, sour cream and lettuce. And you’ve picked Chipotle Chicken as your filling… assuming that now let’s us get down to the nitty-gritty of weighing up the calories…
What Type of Meal Is Lowest in Calories?
The first choice you have to make when you walk into Mad Mex is what type of meal you want – a burrito, tacos, quesadilla etc.
This is likely to make one of the biggest contributions to your calorie count and so you should choose wisely. So, with the fully-loaded chicken choice above, your best choices are…
A Small Naked Burrito is just 301 calories (1260kj) – erm, why am I not living on these?
A Small Burrito with small size fillings – 302 calories (1268kj). Woo hoo!
A portion of 3x Soft Tacos contains 377 calories (1572kj). Yum!
If you don’t like those, then here are the other formats with the same filling combination just so you can get an idea of what ballpark you’re working in. In order of lowest to highest…
A Naked Burrito with everything will add up to 507 calories (2120kj)
Quesadilla – 541 calories (2261 kj) – note; it doesn’t have rice or beans
Small Nachos – the ingredients vary a little here as you swap rice for corn chips and shredded cheese is replaced by queso – but you’re looking at 586 calories (2450kj).
Hard Tacos – 597 calories (2491kj)
Grande Melt – this doesn’t have rice, but it does have more cheese – making it 627 calories (2616kj)
A standard Mad Mex Burrito has 774 calories (3230kj)
Standard Nachos – 834 calories (3490kj)
Again, exact numbers are going to vary a bit according to the topping choices you pick, but as a general rule, if everything else is equal the lowest calorie meal in Mad Mex will be your favourite goodies in the form of a Small Naked Burrito – very closely followed by a small burrito with small fillings.
What Meat Should You Pick?
I picked chicken above as when most of us think about the lowest calorie meat, that’s what we assume it’s going to be…, but what’s that thing about assuming making an ass of you and me?.
You see in Mad Mex, chicken isn’t the absolute lowest-calorie meat filling you can choose.
In most cases, that prize goes to the Beef Barbacoa
The pork is the next lowest choice and then the chicken – admittedly, there’s only a handful of calories difference between these but still. Chorizo is the highest calorie meat choice.
The Lowest Calorie Meat Option in Mad Mex is…
Well, if you want to eat meat (and all the toppings) the answer is…. (drumroll)
The Small Naked Burrito with Beef Barbacoa weighing in at an astonishingly low 290 calories.
Woot, woot, do the happy dance burn off a few more calories.
But What If You’re Veggie?
Then I have even better news – as the Beef Barbacoa might be the lowest calorie meat filling, but it’s not THE lowest-calorie filling you can pick in Mad Mex.. for that you need to go Vegan.
The Absolute Lowest Calorie Option in Mad Mex is…
The Small Naked Burrito with Veggie Rancheros – and no sour cream or cheese is just 265 calories (1108kj). If you add Vegan Cheese though it sneaks up to 305 calories.
Now, when I first started writing this post, Mad Mex also had some-plant-based meat alternatives which were the absolute lowest option bringing in a small vegan Naked Burrito to under 200 calories – but, as I went in today to check things they seem to have vanished from the nutritional calculator. If they return though, they are the lowest calorie option.
They do have something called Vegan Spicy on the menu now, but that hasn’t yet made its way into the calculator. Watch this space on that.
How to Cut Your Mad Mex Calories
As I said, there are endless variations to making a meal in Mad Mex and by losing some of the other toppings/fillings you can cut calories further – or, bring some of the higher calorie items down a notch or two.
The good thing about the Mad Mex nutritional information is that it shows you what happens if you remove certain toppings – so I did!
The number one thing to lose to cut calories is the brown rice – take that out of a large Naked Burrito, for example, and you’ll lose 146 calories bringing it down to 361 calories a bowl
Take it out from a large wrapped Burrito and you’ll cut the calories down by 147.
I do have to mention though that brown rice does have nutritional benefits and so, it’s not necessarily the healthiest thing to remove from your meal just the one that cuts most calories.
If you’re not a fan of beans then losing them in a large Naked Burrito will save you 86 calories and a smidge less at 84 fewer calories in a large wrapped burrito.
Again though, one thing the longest living nations on earth have in the common is that they eat beans as a staple part of their diet. Think twice before skipping the beans just to save some calories.
You could just swap to a small portion of pinto beans which has 60 calories – saving you 24. I know it’s not much, but it all adds up!
Cheese and Sour Cream
Next up, cheese. Dump the cheese in a large Naked Burrito and you’ll lose 80 calories. Take it out of a large wrapped burrito and you’ll drop the calories by 77.
Then there’s sour cream. Say no to that in the large Naked Burrito or the large wrapped burrito and you’ll lose 47 calories.
The other ingredients are pretty negligible in effect.
Of course, you don’t want to do all of these things, because then you’ll just end up with a plate of lettuce, and salsa – but picking the two or three items you’ll miss least could save over 100 calories.
For me, this would be the tortilla wrap, the cheese – and maybe the rice. Non-negotiable is the meat, the beans, the salsa, the sour cream and the guacamole.
Ah, Yes What About Guacamole?
After all, it’s not Mexican without a big slurp of gooey green stuff on the side… but it does add calories.
Guacamole will add 86 calories to any size Naked Burrito Bowl or a large Burrito.
On the smaller burrito, you’re looking at an extra 43 calories.
Remember guacamole is a good source of healthy fat though so it’s not something you should totally discount if you enjoy it.
And Corn Chips
There’s two options for corn chips at Max Mex – if you pick them with salsa you’re looking at 301 calories (1266kj) or with guacamole it goes up to 340 calories (1428kj). With queso you’re looking at 323 calories (1359kj).
I told you it was a bit complicated – if you want to check your own personal combination of meal, meat and fillings, then head to the Max Mex Nutrition Calculator which can help calculate it for you.
Or just pick from the list below…
26 Choices Under 400 Calories in Mad Mex
To make things easier, I’ve made a list of 26 meal choices at Mad Mex under 400 calories that you can order. Again, I’ve assumed you’re going to have all the basic toppings unless it says otherwise – if you leave any out you’ve just saved yourself more calories.
I’ve included the small burrito without cheese as that’s one of Mad Mex’s suggestions for their lowest calorie option and so it seems rude not to take their advice!!
Small Burrito (with small size fillings and no cheese) – Beef Barbacoa – 232 calories (974kj)
Small Burrito (with small size fillings and no cheese) – Pork Carnitas – 236 calories (985kj)
Small Burrito (with small size fillings and no cheese) – Chipotle Chicken – 242 calories (1012kj)
Small Naked Burrito with Veggie Rancheros – no cheese, no sour cream – 265 calories (1108kj)
Small Burrito (with small size fillings and no cheese) – Veggie Rancheros – 288 calories (1206kj)
Small Naked Burrito with Beef Barbacoa -291 calories (1215kj)
Small Burrito (with small size fillings and cheese) – Beef Barbacoa – 292 calories (985 kj)
Small Naked Burrito with Pork Carnitas – 295 calories (1232kj)
Small Burrito (with small size fillings and no cheese) – Pork Carnitas – 296 calories (985kj)
Small Naked Burrito with Chipotle Chicken – 301 calories (1206kj)
Small Burrito (with small size fillings and no cheese) – Chipotle Chicken – 302 calories (1012kj)
Small Naked Burrito with Veggie Rancheros and Vegan Cheese – 305 calories (1277kj)
Small Naked Burrito with Chorizo – 345 calories (14441 kj)
Large Naked Burrito (no rice) with Beef Barbacoa -344 calories (1435kj)
Small Naked Burrito with Veggie Rancheros – 348 calories (1454 kj)
Large Naked Burrito (no rice) with Pork Carnitas -350 calories (1463kj)
Soft Tacos with Beef Barbacoa – 359 calories (1500 kj)
Large Naked Burrito (no rice) with Chicken Chipotle -361 calories (1507kj)
Large Naked Burrito (no cheese, no sour cream) with beef barbacoa – 364 calories (1521kj)
Large Naked Burrito (no rice) with Veggie Rancheros -366 calories (1528kj)
Soft Tacos with Pork Carnitas – 366 calories (1528 kj)
Large Naked Burrito (no cheese, no sour cream) with park carnitas – 371 calories (1550kj)
Soft Tacos with Chipotle Chicken – 376 calories (1572kj)
Soft Tacos with Veggie Rancheros – 381 calories (1593kj)
Large Naked Burrito (no cheese, no sour cream) with chicken chipotle – 382 calories (1594kj)
Large Naked Burrito (no cheese, no sour cream) with veggie rancheros – 387 calories (1614kj)
So there you have it, all the lowest calorie options in Mad Mex.
Although literally, as I was writing this, Mad Mex changed the menu so, everything was correct to the best my of knowledge when I pushed publish, but again, if you’re not sure about anything, head to the Mad Mex nutrition calculator to get all the up to date details.