Eating keto at Culver’s can be a tough call, but it isn’t entirely impossible if you make the necessary adjustments to avoid the carb-rich items in your meal.
Since its first restaurant opened in Sauk City, Culver’s has grown beyond Wisconsin to over 740 outlets across the United States. The restaurant is famous for its ButterBurgers with never-frozen beef and Wisconsin-style frozen custard and cheese curds.
As inviting as the cheese curds and frozen custard are, they aren’t the best if you are following a keto diet. The eatery even offered free frozen custard to kids, but you don’t want them taking in all those carbs either!
Most items on the restaurant’s menu are full of carbs, and it can be challenging to find something at Culver’s if you don’t know what modifications to make. Instead of doing all the guesswork, we will explore some available options.
The Culver’s menu is comprehensive and comprises various sections like ButterBurgers, Frozen Custard, Chicken Sandwiches & Tenders, Seafood Sandwiches & Dinners, Shakes, Beverages, Kids’ Meals, Homestyle Favorites, Hearty Soups, Fresh Salads, Value Baskets, and Mindful Choices.
To be on the safe side of maintaining your ketosis cycle, you should always keep off the Mindful Choices, Seafood, Frozen Custard, and Value Choices servings. These options either have carbs or too much sugar, which you don’t want to put into your body.
Top 10 Keto Options to Order at Culver’s
Now that you know some background about Culver’s and eating keto at the chain’s many outlets, let’s look at some top meals you can order and still stay in ketosis.
Culver’s is well-known for its ButterBurgers made with fresh, never frozen beef. When ordering the ButterBurger, you should hold the sauce and bun to reduce the carb content and make it more keto-friendly.
You can ask to have the beef patties wrapped in lettuce to replace the bun. If the serving lacks flavor or feels dry, a low-carb Culver’s dressing can do the trick. Choose any of the following keto dressings:
- Ranch Dressing – 2 g carbs
- Mayonnaise Packet – 1 g carb
- Chunky Bleu Cheese Dressing – 2 g carbs
Your modified burger also goes well with mustard or a side salad, as long as you skip the croutons. Whatever accompaniment you ask for, do not take your burger with ketchup.
1. Culver’s Bacon Deluxe
If you go with the Culver’s Bacon Deluxe Burger, you’ll have to forgo the mayo. The burger can go well with any of the dressings above or mustard. Get a bunless burger and have the patties wrapped with lettuce.
The burger contains bacon, fresh lettuce, pickles, mayo, ripe tomatoes, sweet red onion, and Wisconsin cheese. The single size packs 40 g carbs, the double one 41 g carbs, and the triple size a whopping 42 g carbs, with 38 grams being the bun carb content.
2. ButterBurger “The Original”
Culver’s ButterBurger “The Original” is a better choice when you only want a single meat patty. Make the burger keto-friendly by holding the bun and having it wrapped in lettuce.
The burger is available in single, double, and triple sizes, each with 38 grams of carbs, so choose a bunless burger and have the ground beef patties wrapped in lettuce.
The burgers with lightly buttered buns aren’t the only meal you can have at Culver’s. You can also have a sandwich, but you’ll have to skip the bun.
3. Grilled Chicken Sandwich
In most eateries, grilled food items are safer for ketogenic dieters than fried ones.
The Grilled Chicken Sandwich contains whole white meat chicken breast seasoned by hand with black pepper and salt at the grilling point. It is served with ripe tomato, pickles on a toasted hoagie roll, and crispy lettuce.
Keto dieters allergic to milk and gluten or wheat will have to skip the sandwich for something else.
The sandwich contains 390 calories, 7 g fat, 1 g fiber, 40 g carbs, and 41 g protein. The tomato slice contributes only 1 gram of carbs, while the remaining 39 are packed in the toasted and lightly buttered bun.
To keep the sandwich keto-friendly, you have no choice but to skip the bun. You can ask to have your sandwich wrapped with some more lettuce to replace the bun. Lettuce is highly keto-friendly.
The trick for eating keto-friendly salads at Culver’s is to do away with the onions, croutons, and tomatoes to lower the carb content.
You can have the salad made without those three items or you could pick them out and put them aside when the meal comes. However, the safer option is to have it made without them because you might be tempted to eat them anyway once they are on your plate.
4. Cranberry Bacon Bleu Salad with Grilled Chicken
The Cranberry Bacon Bleu Salad features grilled chicken seasoned by hand, bleu cheese crumbles, dry cranberries, and bacon pieces. All these are laid on a bed of grape tomatoes, cucumber slices, and mixed greens.
Again, you can skip the tomatoes to make a low-carb salad that is more keto-friendly. You might have to stay away from this dish if you are allergic to milk.
The salad contains 360 calories, 14 g fat, 2 g fiber, 14 g carbs, and 44 g protein. The bulk of the carbs is from the sweet dried cranberries that contain 9 g carbs, so you might want to skip these and stick with the grape tomatoes that have only 2 g carbs.
Skipping the cranberries won’t come easy as you might lose the intended flavor of the salad, but at only 14 g carbs, the salad is still ideal for a keto dieter.
5. Chicken Cashew Salad with Grilled Chicken
Culver’s Chicken Cashew Salad is another ideal offering for keto dieters. The salad features grilled chicken breast seasoned by hand, whole roasted cashew nuts, and a generous bed of mixed greens. It also has grape tomatoes, shredded Wisconsin cheddar, and cucumbers.
If you are allergic to nuts and milk, the salad isn’t a good idea for you.
The Chicken Cashew Salad packs 450 calories, 24 g fat, 3 g fiber, 13 g carbs, and 46 g protein.
The cashews alone contain 8 g carbs, while the grape tomatoes contain only 2 g. You don’t have to remove the nuts because the salad only has 13 g of carbs, much lower than the recommended 20-gram limit.
Another way to make the salads even more keto-friendly is to ask the restaurant for any of the salad dressings below:
- Ranch Dressing – 2 g carbs
- Horseradish Sauce – 2 g carbs
- Mustard – 0 carbs
- Steak Sauce Packet – 2 g carbs
- Chunky Bleu Cheese Dressing – 2 g carbs
- Malt Vinegar – 0 carbs
- Tartar Sauce – 3 g carbs
- Spicy Brown Mustard – 0 carbs
- Mayonnaise Packet – 1 g carbs
With a few modifications, Culver’s dinners are also a good keto option.
6. Chopped Steak Dinner
The Chopped Steak Dinner is a great option if you want beef. It contains fresh, never-frozen beef, sliced white button mushrooms, and red onion, prepared on a grill and smothered in beef gravy.
The steak dinner is served with steamed broccoli and mashed potatoes or any two sides you might like, together with a dinner roll.
Now, most gravy-smothered or sauce-covered items are usually high in carbs, which is true of the chopped steak dinner that contains 32 grams of carbs.
The included dinner roll and butter packet contains 21 grams of carbs, so you can forgo that and take your gravy-smothered steak at a more keto-friendly carb content of 11 grams.
Culver’s Chopped Steak dinner packs 600 calories, 36 g fat, 2 g fiber, and 33 g protein. It is not a friendly serving to people allergic to soy, gluten/wheat, and milk.
If you opt for chicken, get it grilled rather than fried, spicy crispy, or crispy. Culver’s says the whole white meat chicken it uses is from American farms, ensuring it is always flavorful and naturally tender.
7. Garden Fresco with Grilled Chicken
The Garden Fresco with Grilled Chicken is a good meal to have at Culver’s with only 15 grams of carbs. You can hold the croutons and dressing to make it more keto-friendly.
The salad comprises grilled chicken, grape tomatoes, croutons, cucumbers, and shredded Wisconsin cheddar. The croutons alone contain 10 grams of carbs.
Culver’s claims it makes all its soups laden with love just like a grandma would, but you might want to keep off most of them because they are also laden with carbs. The two options below are good for keto.
8. Broccoli Cheese Soup
The cream-based Broccoli Cheese Soup contains tender broccoli florets and cheddar cheese. This isn’t the soup for you if you are allergic to milk or soy.
The Broccoli Cheese Soup has 220 calories, 12 g fat, 1 g fiber, 17 g carbs, and 10 g protein.
One reason to avoid the soup is if you are having it as a side or with another food item. At 17 g carbs, you are only 3 grams shy of the 20 grams limit. It’s highly likely that you won’t just eat the soup alone, especially if you’re trying to quiet your raging hunger pangs!
9. Chicken Noodle Soup
Culver’s Chicken Noodle Soup is a chicken broth containing tender pieces of vegetables, chicken, and noodles. It isn’t the choice for you if you are allergic to eggs, soy, and gluten/wheat.
The soup has 100 calories, 2 g fat, 1 g fiber, 15 g carbs, and 6 g protein. Skip it if you are having a meal with it. The carbs can easily add up to over 20 grams.
You want to pair your meal with a keto-friendly beverage that will add little to no carbs to your overall serving. Several options are available for keto drinks at Culver’s.
10. Bottled Water
It’s a no-brainer – bottled water is an ideal drink for downing a meal without any additional carbs.
Besides water, you can choose any of the following low-carb drinks:
- Unsweetened Coffee
- Diet Pepsi – 0 carbs
- Culver’s Diet Root Beer – 0 carbs
- Unsweetened Fresh Brewed Tea – 0 carbs
- Diet Mountain Dew – 1 g carbs
- Tropicana Light Lemonade – 0 carbs
- Diet Dr Pepper – 0 carbs
When it comes to eating keto at Culver’s, the items on the menu are hardly fit for a keto dieter, but you can always enjoy a low-carb meal with some modifications.
From low-carb beverages to soups to ButterBurgers, there’s something for everyone. Your order should preferably not go over 20 grams of carbs, so forgo carb-dense items like buns, croutons, and dinner rolls.