Low Carb Smashburger Options for Keto Dieters
Smashburger is only a little more than a decade old, which makes it a virtual baby on the fast food restaurant scene. It was started in Denver in 2007 by Tom Ryan, and if his name sounds familiar, it should. Endlessly creative, Ryan was an executive at Pizza Hut back in the ’80s where he unleashed stuffed crust pizza on America. He then worked as the CCO (Chief Concept Officer) for McDonald’s in the late ’90s and gave us a couple of things you may have heard of, like the McGriddle, the McFlurry, and the Dollar Menu.
Other people might rest on their laurels after creating such iconic products, but not Ryan. He was off to Quiznos to come up with more great stuff like the insanely popular Prime Rib Sub and the Steakhouse Beef Dip before finally launching Smashburger with his business partner, Rick Schaden. Based on its exponential growth (there are over 360 shops at this time), he was on to something.
Recognizing that people weren’t excited about burgers anymore, he came up with the idea of ‘smashing’ fresh, never frozen, hand-packed meat onto a grill to create a delicious and addictive flavor you won’t find anywhere else. Their secret spice formula is locked away in a vault, just like Colonel Sanders’ fried chicken recipe. Smashburger is also known for making specialty burgers that reflect the tastes of the region they’re served in. Michigan has the olive burger and Boston offers one topped with cranberry sauce!
Nutritional information is listed online. Even better, it is customizable. The counter isn’t the easiest to use (the page refreshes every time you click), but it’s nice to be able to access it. Use the guide below for your best bets.
Keto-Compatible Burgers at Smashburger
Burgers are always on the menu for keto eaters. The roll has to go, but just about everything else is a-okay. Smashburger isn’t the type to be left behind where food trends are concerned and so, of course, they offer a lettuce bun.
- Beef burgers have 0 net carbs.
- Turkey burgers also have 0 net carbs, if you’re so inclined.
- Grilled chicken breast has 1 net carb.
Here’s a secret menu item that is (mostly) keto-compatible: the Sin City Burger is topped with fried egg, bacon, and American cheese, but it also contains haystack onions (breaded) which you’ve got to skip due to their carbiness. (Maybe they can rename that one ‘the City Burger.’)
Low Carb Burger Toppings at Smashburger
Smashburger offers a ton of free toppings that are keto-friendly.
- Avocado (0 net carbs, 2g fat, 0g protein)
- Lettuce (0 net carbs, 0g fat, 0g protein)
- Bacon (0 net carbs, 4g fat, 3g protein)
- Fresh Mushrooms (0 net carbs, 0g fat, 0g protein)
- Fried Egg (0 net carbs, 7g fat, 6g protein)
- Yellow Onion (0 net carbs, 0g fat, 0g protein)
- Pickles (1 net carb, 0g fat, 0g protein)
- Cucumbers (1 net carb, 0g fat, 0g protein)
- Spinach (1 net carb, 0g fat, 0g protein)
- Grilled Mushrooms (1 net carb, 4g fat, 0g protein)
- Grilled Onions (1 net carb, 6g fat, 0g protein)
- Raw Onions (1 net carb, 0g fat, 0g protein)
- Guacamole (1 net carb, 3g fat, 0g protein)
- Tomato Slices (1 net carb, 0g fat, 0g protein)
- Sliced Jalapeños (2 net carbs, 0g fat, 0g protein)
- Fried Pickles, 4 (4 net carbs) Breaded so they probably should be skipped, but if the rest of your burger is at or near zero, you can afford a splurge if it’s what you’ve got a taste for. (3g fat, 1g protein)
Cheese costs extra (just FYI), but is great for keto.
- Bleu, Goat, Pepper Jack and Sharp Cheddar (slice) all have 0 net carbs.
- American will run you 1 net carb.
- Melted Cheddar is the oddball and has 3 net carbs.
Keto-Friendly Burger Sauces at Smashburger
This is where you have to keep a sharp eye out for hidden sugars.
- Mayo is your best bet at 0 net carbs.
- Mustard and Smash Sauce both contain 1 net carb.
- Ketchup has 2 net carbs.
The BBQ sauce is best avoided. (6 net carbs)
Salads at Smashburger for the Ketogenic Diet
Even though Smashburger is truly all about the burger, it’s still possible to get some greens. Several of Smashburger’s salads contain fruit, so be on the lookout for those. The crispy chicken topper is out due to breading, and be sure to request dressing on the side due to their potentially high carb count. Dressing info listed below.
- Garden Salad, no dressing (6 net carbs) This one has tomatoes, onions and cucumbers which aren’t the lowest carb choices for veggies, but if the worst thing you’re eating today is a chopped onion, you’ll be okay.
- ClassicCobb, no dressing (4 net carbs) Egg, cheese and bacon are all keto-compatible. Add grilled chicken for 1 additional net carb. (26g fat, 20g protein)
- Baja Cobb Salad, no dressing (6 net carbs) This one has jalapeños but no egg. You can also add grilled chicken for only 1 extra net carb. (14g fat, 16g protein)
Dressings at Smashburger for Low Carb Dieters
Like sauces, dressings are another danger zone where hidden sugars lurk.
Balsamic vinaigrette (1 net carb) is your best bet. (0g fat, 0g protein)
Ranch, usually a keto go-to, has a surprising 6 net carbs and so does the Chipotle Mayo.
What to Drink at Smashburger on Keto
Water, coffee, unsweetened iced tea or diet soda if you can’t resist. Smashburger serves Coke products, and it also serves beer. A light beer will run you about 5 net carbs.
Guilt-free cheeseburgers are one of the best things about following a keto diet, and so you might as well go with the best. Keep in mind, fast food should not be a major component of any healthy diet.