How Many Calories In A Taco?

Are you a fan of tacos? If you are, then you’re certainly not alone. Tacos are one of the tastiest, go-to “light bite” snacks around. But, despite the fact that many people seem to think that they’re a healthy food option, how many calories are in a taco, exactly?

How Many Calories in a Taco?

If you are currently asking yourself this question, then rest assured that you have come to the right place.

In this guide, we’re going to be taking a closer look at how many calories you can expect to find in the average taco. So, without further ado, just keep on reading to learn more! 

How Many Calories Are In A Taco?

Before we get any further, we think that it is important to point out that given just how wonderfully diverse tacos are, it’s common for the total amount of calories to fluctuate depending on what ingredients, toppings and tortilla has been used.

For this reason we’re going to focus on the main ingredients that you can expect to get in a standard taco that you can make at home or get at a restaurant. So, let’s take a look at the amount of calories that each typical taco ingredient has:

The Tortilla

If you’re already a big fan of tacos, then we’re sure that you’ll already be well familiar with the fact that tacos can come in two types of tortilla: soft tortilla flour wraps and tortilla hard shells.

Typically, a soft tortilla is usually around the 140 calories mark, while hard shell tacos are usually a little more calorific, coming in at around 150 calories.

The Meat

In a traditional taco, there will be a meat filling. Regardless of what type of meat has been used, the usual amount of meat filling included inside the taco is typically about 2 ounces of meat, which is two big heaps.

That being said, chicken filling will usually be around `136 calories, beef filling is about 155 calories and shrimp is often about 88 calories. 

The Cilantro

Anyone that is a fan of traditional tacos will agree that cilantro is an essential taco ingredient! The good news is that cilantro does not contain any calories. 


When it comes to the bean that you include in a taco, there are a few different options to choose from such as pinto, refried and even black beans. Regardless of which option you choose, you can expect a tablespoon of beans to come in somewhere around 15 calories.


Salsa is another popular ingredient in taco and comes in at around four calories per tablespoon. 


Another popular ingredient that goes into a classic taco is a small serving of creamy avocado! If you’re a fan of avocado, then you might already be aware that it can be a little fattening if not eaten in moderation.

That being said, around one tablespoon of avocado will be around 20 calories. 

Sour Cream

If you’re someone who likes their nachos to be fully loaded and packed full of flavor, then we’re sure that you’ll agree that sour cream is one of the essential parts of a taco.

That being said, it does have a slightly higher calorie content than other ingredients that we have listed, coming in at around 23 calories per tablespoon/small serving.

How Many Calories in a Taco?

The Lettuce

This one should come as no surprise, but lettuce is pretty healthy. That being said, if you would like to include lettuce in your taco, then you can expect one small portion of lettuce (around one tablespoon) to be around 1 calorie.

Lime Juice

Last but certainly not least, the final ingredient that every good taco should have is a squeeze of lime for a burst of citrus flavor.

While it might not be for everyone, if you’re someone who enjoys putting lime juice on their taco, then it is around 4 calories per tablespoon.

Going off of these numbers that we have shared with you above, a classic taco that contains the essential ingredients of tortilla, beef, pico de gallo, salsa, onions and a little squeeze of lime will typically come to around 275 calories. 

However, if you’re in the mood to go big or go home and include all the ingredients that we have listed above to make a fully-loaded taco – then you’re looking at around 800 calories.

While this might seem a little high, we’re sure that having a delicious taco treat won’t hurt every once in a while, just so long as you are ensuring that you are enjoying a balanced diet. 

Remember, when it comes to nachos – there really are no rules. That being said, there are all kinds of different ingredients that can go into a tacos, so the amount of calories you can expect to get in a taco greatly depends what ingredients you have used to fill it, as well as any sauces that you might like to use. 

The Bottom Line

There we have it! We’ve made it to the end of the article. Now that you have taken the time to read through this guide, we hope that we have been able to give you a much clearer understanding of how many calories are in an average tortilla taco. 

Remember, given the fact that tacos are super versatile, it means that the amount of calories in a taco can vary greatly depending on what type of tortilla has been used, the ingredients that have been used as the filling, as whether any additional toppings and sauces. Thanks for reading, we hope that this has been helpful. Bye for now!

Jenna Priestly
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