Taco Bell Power Bowl Review
Product Name: Taco Bell Power Bowl
Offer price: $4.99
There’s no question that Taco Bell is a leader in the fast-food world of Tex-Mex food. But while the franchise has been more associated with “cheap” fast food, it’s taken great strides in recent years to improve this image and offer healthier items at affordable prices. It does sound better, doesn’t it? What sounds even better is that Taco Bell became the first fast-food restaurant to offer a certified vegetarian menu, and with 13 items available on this menu, customers can usually find something tasty without the meat or grease. One of my favorite options on this menu is the Power Bowl or the Cantina Power Bowl. Inexpensive, but not cheap.
History and Inspiration Behind the Taco Bell Power Bowl
Taco bell’s Power Bowl was part of the natural evolution in the restaurant’s new health-conscious journey. Part of this journey was removing artificial flavors and colors from ingredients, and once all of that is removed, what’s left? Fresh natural ingredients. The Power Bowl is more than a salad, as it’s full of protein, colors, nutrients, textures, and flavors. It’s colorful and lively, and as Taco Bell describes it, “the power-up boost you get from the bowl is so similar to a power-up in a video game.” Doesn’t that sound fun?
Types of Power Bowls
Taco Bell offers two versions of its Power Bowl. The first is a Veggie Power Bowl with rice, black beans, cheese, corn, romaine lettuce, guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, and creamy avocado ranch sauce. You can skip the sour cream and avocado ranch if you want to reduce fat.
The second option includes meat, but there are three meat options here – chicken, shredded chicken, or steak. The other ingredients remain the same – rice, black beans, cheese, corn, romaine lettuce, guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, and creamy avocado ranch sauce.
Because Taco Bell’s Power Bowls are made to order, you can even personalize it by asking for extra ingredients or by adding onions, refried beans, salsa, or jalapeños.
Taco Bell Power Bowl Review
This is a decent-sized bowl that can stand on its own as a meal, or it pairs well with any of Taco bell’s other menu items. I like to order a side of nachos so I can scoop up some of the bowl’s ingredients with a chip and queso.
1. Taste and Texture [4/5]
Some restaurants would call this a Burrito Bowl. Taco Bell calls it the Power Bowl or the Cantina Power Bowl. Either way, the ingredients are familiar – rice, black beans, cheese, romaine lettuce, guacamole, corn, pico de gallo, sour cream, dressing, and your choice of meat (or no meat at all). The new citrus-marinated chicken adds a Tex-Mex lime taste to the bowl, which enhances the flavors and adds some protein. However, I like my bowls with Taco Bell’s steak or just with the veggies.
Overall the ingredients come together quite well. They are fresh and cold, and the lettuce is crisp. The guacamole is a tad bland, but that’s nothing a little salt can’t fix.
2. Nutrition Facts – Are they Healthy? [4/5]
For a chain that serves high-calorie dishes like fried chicken chalupas and candy-flavored slushies, it’s pretty committed to nutrition these days. Taco Bell keeps a registered dietitian on staff and has reduced sodium across its menu offerings by 15%. With that in mind, you can find healthy options at a Taco Bell by keeping it simple – ordering tacos, salads, power bowls, sides, and the occasional burrito. These all contain grilled meat, veggies, cheese, guacamole, and beans, which give you fiber and protein.
About 75% of the menu, including the Power Bowl, is under 500 calories. Your favorites can also be made healthier by ordering them “fresco style,” which substitutes fresh pico de gallo in the place of cheese, sour cream, creamy sauces, and guacamole. And remember, Taco Bell offers a certified-vegetarian menu, on which the Power Bowl is included.
- Calories 480
- Total Fat 20 g
- Saturated Fat 6 g
- Cholesterol 70 mg
- Sodium 1170 mg
- Total Carbohydrates 50 g
- Dietary Fiber 6 g
3. Are they Worth it? [5/5]
Fast-food restaurants offering nutritious meals are worth it. For under $5, you can have a full meal with real nutritional value, and you don’t have to wait too long in a line to receive it. The size is decent, it’s made to order, and it’s customizable. The company also suggests that non-meat eaters “hack” its menu using their 35 certified vegetarian ingredients – 26 of which are also certified vegan – and substitute beans for meat in traditional items. The Power Bowl is an excellent choice for a fast-food meal.
If you’re not a salad person, this might not appeal to you, but if you like burrito bowls, then this is right up your alley. It’s a versatile meal choice, and I recommend it for lunches. I also recommend ordering another menu item if you want to feel extra full – there are plenty of healthy choices available.
The Power Bowl ranges from $4.99 to $5.19 depending on the ingredients you choose. For the size and quality, this is a great price. You might find better deals on the combo menu or during Happy Hour but for $5, the Power Bowl is a fair contender.
What About You?
With $5 to spend on lunch, would the Taco Bell Power Bowl be on your list of healthy go-to fast-food options? What other options would you consider? Let us know in the comments below.