In this post, you’ll learn how to order low carb at Dairy Queen.
You can also get my Dairy Queen low carb menu for free with full macros and nutrition stats for all 19 of their low carb options.
It’s a good resource for peeps eating low carb, keto, low sugar, or diabetic friendly.
My freshman year of high school was spent in a building we tabbed The Fish Tank. There was a Dairy Queen so close by that it felt like an annex.
Dairy Queen loves to locate herself near schools. It’s “cheap labor + sugar sells to kids” as a real estate investment strategy. Warren Buffett liked it so much that he bought Dairy Queen in the late nineties.
But I’m not here to bash Warren and Dairy Queen exclusively. I’m here to complete my fast food challenge. So, let me step off this soap box so I can try their food.
Overall Ratings for Dairy Queen
Dairy Queen is low carb friendly if you can go in blindfolded. They devote most of their menu space and signage to desserts that low carb peeps can’t eat. It’s easy to get caught up in the nostalgia & marketing and order something bad.
- Low carb friendly – No. Menu has too many triggers to get my recommendation.
- Low carb entrees on menu – Yes. Saved by a footnote. Their menu lists a Chicken BLT Salad and underneath says “Available with grilled chicken” which technically means they have 1 low carb item on the menu. You can also get bunless burgers and hot dogs by special ordering.
- Satiety of low carb entrees – Above Average. Dairy Queen gets it right on serving size. Their Grilled Chicken BLT Salad was large enough to constitute a meal and they have double & triple patty burger options which will fill you up.
- Taste of low carb entrees – Above Average. Surprisingly, their bunless FlameThrower Burger is the best burger I’ve had on the challenge. The Grilled Chicken BLT Salad was also very good. I try not to let my biases towards the company affect my ratings of their food.
- Price / value of low carb entrees – Average. The trade off for larger entrees is higher prices. I paid $7.29 for their bunless FlameThrower burger which felt a little high and $6.49 for the Chicken BLT salad which felt like a good price for its size.
- Ordering experience – Below Average. My nearest DQ looks like a used car lot from the street and its in-store ambiance is lacking. The cashier for my first visit lacked patience and personality, but wasn’t exactly rude. Their drive-thru lane was so narrow it required a 5-point turn to get to the window.
If you’re an experienced low carb / keto eater who isn’t easily swayed by triggers, then Dairy Queen has a few low carb entrees absolutely worth trying. If you’re new to low carb eating and still learning how to hate sugar and avoid temptation, then I’d steer clear.
What I ordered
My first entree was a bunless FlameThrower Burger. It comes with two grilled beef patties, bacon, pepper jack cheese, and a creamy jalapeno sauce.
It’s the best burger I’ve had on this challenge. The patties have grill marks and a characteristic crisp outer texture that reminds me of home cooked burgers. I like spicy food so the jalapeno cream sauce, the pepper jack cheese, and the added jalapenos were great fits for my tastes.
At 760 calories and 4 net carbs it’s a filling entree with macros that are perfect for a low carb or keto eating strategy.
My second entree was a Grilled Chicken BLT Salad. I was expecting a sham salad, but was impressed.
There were hefty portions of calorie-dense bacon, cheese, chicken, and ranch dressing, so the salad was delicious and filling.
At 300 calories and 7 net carbs for the salad ingredients and then another 500 calories and 3 net carbs for the dressing, it ended up being a full meal with about 800 calories and 10 net carbs.
I also ordered a third entree that’s not pictured here. It was a bunless single patty burger with lettuce, tomatoes, and mayo. No jalapenos, no pepper jack cheese, and no jalapeno sauce. It was also very good which verified for me that their patties are delicious without any special sauces added.
What you should order
You can’t go wrong with a bunless burger order at Dairy Queen. If you like spicy, get the bunless FlameThrower GrillBurger otherwise go for the bunless Bacon Cheese GrillBurger with double meat.
What you can order
There are 8 different burgers on the menu that can be ordered without a bun. They also have some specialty turkey sandwiches and a Dairy Queen grilled chicken wrap that can be wrapped in lettuce.
Bunless hot dogs are available at most locations.
It should be the perfect resource if you’re looking for a Dairy Queen sugar free menu or a Dairy Queen diabetic menu.
My low carb menu is derived from their national menu. Which in this case means everywhere except Texas — the state where I live.
Nobody told Dairy Queens in Texas that they’d rejoined the Union. They have their own menu, website, and handshake.
I’ve only reviewed foods that are available nationally. Bunless hot dogs are supposed to be available nationally, but no Dairy Queen in the greater Austin area serves hot dogs so I couldn’t review them. Maybe a reader will send in a Dairy Queen hot dog review and I’ll update this post.
What you should avoid
In case you’re new to low carb / keto eating, I’ll point out that you can’t eat any of the desserts, frozen beverages, frozen treats, sodas, or any of the stuff that Dairy Queen is generally known for. All their buns, fries, and toasts are off limits
Their Chicken Strips are also too high carb. For a 3 pieces Chicken Strip order you get 32 net carbs. Can’t do it. Sorry.
If you’re looking for some lower carb fried chicken and bummed out after reading this, then check out my ordering guide for Chick-Fil-A.
My next low carb / keto ordering guide is supposed to be for Baskin Robbins which has the 9th most locations of any fast food chain in the US. I might go in and order a glass of water. Not sure.
Realistically, the next interesting place will be Arby’s
If you want to get my Arby’s low carb ordering guide via email, sign up here:
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aka “Mr. SkinnyPants”