- Carl’s Jr. just announced that it’s adding the Beyond BBQ Cheeseburger to its menu, its second plant-based burger option.
- The chain says the new burger is designed to mimic their Western Bacon Cheeseburger—just with a plant-based Beyond Meat burger patty.
- Here, a breakdown of the Beyond BBQ Cheeseburger nutrition facts, ingredients, and what dietitians really think of the new menu item.
With the success of Burger King’s Impossible Whopper, it seems like plant-based burgers and “meat” options are everywhere at fast food restaurants these days—and it doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon.
In fact, Carl’s Jr. just announced that it’s adding a second plant-based burger to its menu, available October 9. It’s called the Beyond BBQ Cheeseburger, and it’s designed to mimic the chain’s Western Bacon Cheeseburger—just with a plant-based Beyond Meat burger patty.
Carl’s Jr. rolled out the Beyond Famous Star burger in December 2018, and the chain says it has sold about 4.5 million of those burgers since its launch. So, how is the Beyond BBQ Cheeseburger different—and what exactly is it made of? Here, a breakdown of its ingredients, nutrition, and what dietitians really think of the new menu item.
What’s in the Beyond BBQ Cheeseburger?
The burger features a Beyond Burger patty that’s topped with Carl’s Jr. BBQ sauce, American cheese, and fried onion rings, all served on a sesame seed bun. The patties themselves are mostly made of water, pea protein isolate, expeller-pressed canola oil, and refined coconut oil.
Beyond BBQ Cheeseburger nutrition information
Here’s what you can expect from the burger:
- Calories: 740
- Carbohydrate: 80 g
- Dietary Fiber: 6 g
- Saturated Fat: 11 g
- Protein: 31 g
- Sugars: 16 g
- Cholesterol: 15 mg
- Sodium: 1670 mg
Is the Beyond BBQ Cheeseburger healthy?
Not really. “This is not a health food, but Carl’s Jr., for a long time, was producing some of the fattiest burgers on the market,” says Scott Keatley, RD, of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy. “I’m glad they’ve pulled that back a little bit.”
Jessica Cording, RD, author of The Little Book of Game-Changers says she has concerns that this and other plant-based fast food burgers have a “health halo” around them. “A burger is still a burger, and you still need to think about it in the context of your overall diet,” she says.
While Cording says that Beyond Meat products “are a step above the older generation of plant-based burgers,” she’s a little wary of the fact that this one includes cheese and onion rings on top. “Just because it’s plant-based doesn’t automatically mean that it’s healthy,” she says.
If you want to try to make your Beyond BBQ Cheeseburger a little better for you, Keatley recommends picking and choosing your fat sources. “The burger itself has a fair amount of fat, so adding a fried (read: fatty) onion ring or full fat cheese is overkill,” he says. “Just pick one.”
Cording agrees: “Choosing between the cheese and onion ring is one way to help,” she says. Or, if you want the full-blown experience, she recommends ordering a burger the way it’s intended and just splitting it with a friend.