McAlister’s Deli Low Carb Options For Keto Dieters

1989 was a big year in history: the Berlin Wall came down, the baby Web took a big step forward with the first commercial internet service providers entering the scene, and McAlister’s Deli opened its doors.

It all started in a small town in Mississippi after a movie production refurbished an old service station to look like a 1950s diner to use in the film “The Heart of Dixie.” The building sat vacant until retired dentist Don Newcomb bought with the idea of turning it into a restaurant. Newcomb’s vision was to offer fresh, healthy food served with exemplary hospitality. Needless to say, his idea was a hit and thirty years later, there are more than 400 McAlister’s Delis in 28 states.

mcalister's logo low carb fast food

McAlister’s still prides itself on fresh food with an emphasis on regional favorites, and great customer service. They’ve won a bunch of awards and offer a Free Tea Day every July. It’s worth a visit just to see the Lemon mascot. If you follow McAlister’s on Instagram and Twitter, you can win gift cards for free food.

Although you may look at a deli and think “carb nightmare,” you can eat here. McAlister’s nutrition information is available online, but read on. We’ve gathered your best options below.

keto compatible sandwiches mcalister's deli no bread

Keto-Compatible Sandwiches at McAlister’s Deli

Even though the bread’s a non-starter, you can still enjoy the fillings.

  • Grilled Chicken Club, no bread, no honey mustard (5 net carbs) Who needs syrupy mustard when you’ve got mayo? (22g fat, 27g protein)
  • Black Angus Club, no bread, no horseradish dijon (4 net carbs) Pass on the horseradish, peel away the bread and enjoy the good stuff. (26g fat, 32g protein)
  • McAlister’s Club, no bread, no honey mustard (5 net carbs) Three meats, two cheeses and veggies. One of the reasons they’re famous. (25g fat, 27g protein)
  • BLT & Avocado (7 net carbs) The fillings are so good, you’ll never miss the wrapper. (49g fat, 16g protein)
  • King Club, no bread, no honey mustard (9 net carbs) More of what you love. If you decide to go with the mustard, add 6 net carbs. Better yet, ask to replace the honey version with spicy brown which has 0 carbs. (37g fat, 54g protein)
  • New Yorker, no bread (5 net carbs) Corned beef, pastrami and Swiss cheese with mustard. As for the marbled rye, fuggetaboutit. (22g fat, 52g protein)
  • Memphian, no bread (5 net carbs) A sandwich celebrating Elvis’ town seems like it ought to be peanut butter and banana, but lucky for us keto eaters, it’s not. Roast beef, ham, turkey and cheese are much more to our taste. (27g fat, 39g protein)
  • Italian, no baguette (8 net carbs) Say arrivederci to the tomatoes and save 2 carbs. (38g fat, 39g protein)

low carb keto friendly salad mcalisters italian chopped salad

Low Salads at McAlister’s Deli

Keto eaters need their greens and a salad is a great way to get them, and fill up on fiber.

  • Caesar Salad, includes dressing, no croutons (3 net carbs) A keto classic. (66g fat, 14g protein)
  • Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad, no croutons (6 net carbs) Make your salad more substantial by adding some meat. Count includes dressing. (68g fat, 44g protein)
  • Garden Salad, no dressing or croutons (9 net carbs) Pass on the cucumbers and tomatoes and get your carbs down to 6 net. Dressing choices listed below. (20g fat, 18g protein)
  • Savannah Chopped Salad, no candied almonds or cranberries (10 net carbs) Passing on the sugary fruit and nuts still leaves gorgonzola and grilled chicken. Skip the tomatoes and cucumbers and get your count down to a skinny 7 net carbs. Dressing not included. (10g fat, 38g protein)
  • Italian Chopped Salad (12 net carbs) Count doesn’t include dressing, but there are no croutons in this one, so no need to ask for any modification here unless you want to. (42g fat, 33g protein)
  • McAlister’s Chef Salad, no croutons (12 net carbs) All the good stuff: bacon, ham and turkey along with greens. Satisfying and delicious. (25g fat, 38g protein)
  • Garden Salad with Tuna (12 net carbs) This is just for the salad, tuna and cheese. Does not include dressing. Pass on the croutons, tomatoes and cucumbers. (37g fat, 45g protein)
  • Grilled Chicken Salad, no croutons (12 net carbs) It has bacon in it. Lose the tomatoes and cucumbers and save 3 carbs. Count does not include dressing. (23g fat, 49g protein)
  • Southwest Cobb Salad, no tortillas or corn relish (12 net carbs) Guacamole in salad? Bring it! (27g fat, 46g protein)

Keto-Friendly Dressings at McAlister’s Deli

Savvy keto eaters know how tricky salad dressing can be. Many of McAlister’s choices contain hidden (or not-so-hidden) sugars. Choose one of the three below so you don’t get an unpleasant surprise when you go to add up your macros.

  • Ranch (3 net carbs, 33g fat, 3g protein)
  • Bleu Cheese (3 net carbs, 48g fat, 3g protein)
  • Caesar (3 net carbs, 60g fat, 3g protein)

what to eat ketogenic diet mcalister's low carb eaters fire roasted vegetable soup

Soups at McAlister’s Deli for the Ketogenic Diet 

Not a common choice for keto eaters, but sometimes a bowl of something hot hits the spot. You can add bacon, cheese, sour cream, green onions and/or jalapeños to your soup without adding carbs.

  • Fire Roasted Vegetable, cup (9 net carbs) Smoky and full of flavorful vegetables, hopefully they’ll make a version without pasta one of these days. Something for the suggestion box? (0g fat, 4g protein)
  • Broccoli Cheddar, cup (11 net carbs) Pass on the saltines. (17g fat, 9g protein)
  • Traditional Chili, cup (12 net carbs) Meaty and hearty. A little carb-y, but it shouldn’t be enough to kill your keto. (24g fat, 20g protein)
  • Chicken Tortilla, no tortilla strips, cup (13 net carbs) Plenty tasty without the carb-y corn tortillas.

sides mcalister's low carb diet keto steamed broccoli

Low Carb Sides at McAlister’s Deli

Straightforward keto picks.

  • Pickle Spear (0 net carbs, 0g fat, 0g protein)
  • Steamed Broccoli (3 net carbs, 6g fat, 3g protein)

FYI, if you’re eyeing the other options, know that the coleslaw contains 7 net carbs, the fruit has 9 and the applesauce has 10.

what to drink mcalister's deli keto low carb diets unsweetened iced tea

What to Drink at McAlister’s Deli for Keto Eaters

The usual suspects: water, coffee, tea, diet soda if you must. Their sweet tea is famous and made fresh daily, but it also comes unsweetened (and you get free refills). You can always add a little artificial sweetener if you’ve got a craving. Note the ‘unsweetened’ lemonade tea is chock full of sugar. Avoid.

In Conclusion

As you can see, eating out is not only possible while sticking to your keto, but enjoyable. Keep in mind, this type of fast food is not the highest quality and should not be eaten on a regular basis.

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