What Is Jack in the Box Tacos Made Of?

Jack in the Box tacos is one of the most popular items on their menu, despite people’s beliefs that they might not be the healthiest of choices. Is Jack in the Box tacos unhealthy?

Or are they one of the better fast-food options? Tacos are delicious, and the Jack in the Box tacos are no exception to this rule.

Jack in the Box tacos is pretty famous, as they’re cheap. While customers continue to flock to these tacos, many are likely wondering what exactly Jack in the Box is made of.

If you’re one of them, you’ll be surprised to learn that your tacos are made with beef, chicken, and textured vegetables.

Key Takeaways

  • Jack in the Box tacos are actually made with beef, chicken, and textured vegetables.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports that Jack in the Box sells over 554 million tacos annually.
  • A Jack in the Box taco has 172 calories and 9 grams fat.

Know more about Taco

Native Americans living in the Valley of Mexico’s lake region traditionally consumed tacos filled with small fish, according to anthropological evidence. Tacos are traditional Mexican dishes made from tortillas folded or rolled-around fillings.

Tacos existed in Mexico for centuries before Europeans arrived. It was in the early 1950s that Jack in the Box began serving tacos. 

Despite the chain’s reputation for burgers, tacos are Jack in the Box’s best-selling item. The Wall Street Journal reports that Jack in the Box sells over 554 million tacos annually, the equivalent of 1,055 tacos a minute. The number is roughly the same as the number of Big Macs McDonald’s sold in the US in 2007.

Most Common Components in Jack in the Box tacos

Jack in the Box tacos are made of beef, cheddar cheese, sour cream, lettuce, and tomatoes. They also contain corn tortillas that are fried to a golden brown. These ingredients are mixed and wrapped up in a corn tortilla shell. The final product is then deep-fried until it is crispy on the outside and hot on the inside.

Filling Ingredients: Beef, Chicken, Molasses, Corn Syrup, Water, Salt, Caramel Color, Garlic Powder, Sugar, Spices, Tamarind, Natural Flavor, Corn Maltodextrin, Spices, Bleached Enriched Wheat Flour [Niacin, Reduced Iron, Water, Textured Vegetable Protein (Soy Flour, Caramel Color), Defatted Soy Grits, Seasoning (Chili Pepper, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, and Folic Acid], Salt, Garlic Powder, Succinic Acid), Salt, Tomato Paste, Hydrolyzed Corn, Soy, and Wheat Proteins, Monosodium Glutamate, Onion Powder, Natural Flavors, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate, Worcestershire Sauce (Distilled Vinegar, Sulfiting Agent).

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Tortilla Ingredients: Ground Corn, Water, Lime. Cooked in Canola Blend Frying Oil.

Here’s the explanation of some ingredients.

Ingredient #1: Textured Vegetable Protein

Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) is a meat substitute made by pressing defatted soy flour into a crumbly, dry form. It has the same appearance and taste as real meat and can be used to add bulk to dishes like tacos or chili, but it doesn’t have much nutritional value. 

Ingredient #2: Meat Filling

Jack in the Box tacos are made with seasoned beef and vegetable filling. The ingredients list includes ground beef, water, soybean oil, modified food starch (corn), sugar, salt, dehydrated onion (dehydrated onion bits), garlic powder (dehydrated garlic), natural flavoring (spices), monosodium glutamate (MSG), tomato powder (tomato puree), red chili pepper flakes and paprika extract.

The meat is all-natural, fresh, preservative-free, and contains no fillers or additives. It is also free of any animal byproducts or hormones.

Ingredient #3: Defatted Soy Grits

The soy grits are defatted, meaning they have had their fat and oil removed. It is done through a process called extrusion, a type of cooking. It gives them a unique texture found in many foods but is most well-known for being used as an egg substitute.

The soy grits are cooked before they are added to the tacos and then fried on top of the taco shell to give it that crunchy texture that we all know and love.

Ingredient #4: Wheat

Wheat is a cereal grain grown for its seeds, ground into flour. Wheat is primarily used to make flour but can also be used as an ingredient in many other products like baked goods and breakfast cereals.

In addition to wheat flour, the dough for the tacos is made from yeast, salt, and water. The mixture is then cooked for about 15 minutes before being pressed into shape.

Ingredient #5: Tomato Paste

Concentrated tomato paste is cooked down, strained, and pureed. The puree is made by cooking tomatoes with sugar or salt until they break down and adding vinegar to make it acidic.

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It has a deep red color, a smooth texture, and a sweet flavor. The end product is packed in cans or jars and stored at room temperature for up to one year (unopened).

What Is Vegan at Jack In The Box Tacos?

Jack in the Box has vegan options since tacos are a definite fail according to vegetarians. The truth is, not much. You should check with your location if you are concerned about sharing the fryer with meat (not necessarily tacos, but perhaps chicken tenders).

  • Lowfat Balsamic Vinaigrette on a side salad
  • French Fries
  • Tree Top Applesauce
  • Potato Wedges
  • Seasoned Curly Fries
  • Hash Brown (Breakfast)
  • Chiquita Apple Bites. Order with NO caramel (contains dairy)
  • Teriyaki chicken bowl. You can order without chicken. Increase your vegetable intake

Are Jack In The Box Tacos Made Of Tuna?

There are many reasons why tacos are loved or disliked. It is often easy to feel like tuna eating tacos due to their texture. In addition to the meat, there is also a meat paste, which makes the tacos similar to tuna or cat food (but don’t be turned off).

The paste can be mistaken for tuna since the meat fillings aren’t made entirely from meat.

There are also some vegetable proteins and pieces of meat in the paste, as well as soy flour and grits. Despite this, Jack in the Box only lists allergen ingredients in their official ingredients list. 

How Many Calories And Fat Are There In A Jack In The Box Taco?

A taco from this restaurant has 172 calories and 9 grams of fat. For a single meal, that’s a lot of calories and fat! Try something else on their menu next time when you’re watching your weight or eating healthily.

You could also opt to have half a taco instead of the whole thing. Other ingredients include 3 g saturated fat, 16 g carbohydrate, 6 g protein, 1 g sugar, and 362 mg sodium.

Some tortillas are made of whole wheat and corn, but they are not low-calorie. The meat is ground beef, but there is no indication if it is lean or not. The Taco also contains cheese and a slice of tomato.

There is also lettuce to add some variety and vitamin C. Finally, this Mexican dish does come with salsa for an added kick of flavor. You can always opt out of extra toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes, onions, olives, or jalapeños.

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What’s Really Inside Jack In The Box Tacos Shells?

Jack in the Box tacos are just hard taco shells and ground beef. The hard taco shells contain wheat flour, water, vegetable shortening, salt, corn starch, and cheddar cheese.

The ground beef is mixed with other ingredients, including soybean oil, onion powder, tomato powder, sugar, and garlic powder. These tacos are then fried until they’re crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Some Alternatives For Vegans

Luckily, there are some vegan options at Jack in the Box. For example, you can order a Garden Salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing or any breakfast items, such as pancakes, biscuits, and gravy. You can also request any item from their menu sans meat for a meatless taco (or burrito). 

Both have to be ordered without cheese, but it might be worth it if you’re trying to avoid animal products. The Jack in the Box tacos are made of ground beef, onions, water, and spices with a corn tortilla as a base. 


According to the information provided in this article, Jack In The Box Tacos contain real beef and chicken products and may not be suitable for vegetarians or vegans. You aren’t out of luck at Jack In The Box if you are vegan because Jack In The Box’s French Fries, Hash Browns, Potato Wedges, and Seasoned Curly Fries are vegan-friendly!


Here are some faqs about our main topic, “What Are Jack in the Box Tacos Made Of?”

Are Jack In The Box Tacos Made With Real Meat?

Jack in the Box Tacos contains natural beef and chicken products, according to this article. Vegans and vegetarians cannot consume them.

Are The Tacos At Jack In The Box Made Of Soy?

As listed in the Taco Filling Ingredients list, Jack in the Box taco filling contains soy, described as “textured vegetable protein” and “defatted soy grits.”

What meat is inside Jack in the Box tiny tacos?

The ground beef and ground chicken are just seasoned and ground. There is no shredded lettuce or cheese on these sandwiches like on the originals.