Recent research from our group demonstrated that Bos indicus-influenced suckled beef cows had greater resilience to withstand nutrient restriction and establish pregnancy compared with B. taurus cows exposed to the same conditions. To further understand these findings, differences in metabolic profile between these same B. indicus-influenced and B. taurus females were explored. Suckled beef cows (n = 134) were enrolled in a completely randomized design with a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments. On day − 21, Angus (AN; Bos taurus) and Brangus (BN; B. indicus-influenced) cows were randomly assigned to 1) a diet that met daily energy maintenance requirements (MAINT), or 2) a diet that restricted intake to 70% of the daily energy maintenance requirements (RESTR). Cows were exposed to an estrus synchronization protocol and received an embryo 7 d after ovulation was pharmacologically induced on day 0. Blood samples were collected on days − 21 and 19 to determine circulating concentrations of non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), insulin, glucose, and IGF-1. Pregnancy status after embryo transfer was determined on day 28. As a consequence of the proposed diets, cows in the RESTR diet had less body condition score (BCS) on day 19 (P = 0.008) across breed types. Moreover, BCS change from day − 21 to 19 was included as independent covariate into subsequent analyses, allowing for the comparison of breed types under an equivalent level of body reserve mobilization. A breed × diet interaction was observed for plasma insulin (P = 0.03) and IGF-1 (P = 0.04) on day 19, where AN–RESTR cows had less plasma concentrations on day 19 compared with AN–MAINT cows. Diets did not impact (P > 0.10) plasma insulin and IGF-1 concentrations in BN cows. No diet or breed effects were observed in circulating concentrations of NEFA, BHB, and glucose (P > 0.10). Across breed types and nutritional treatment, there was positive linear effect (P ≤ 0.04) of plasma concentrations of insulin and IGF-1 on the probability of pregnancy to fixed-time embryo transfer. In summary, the negative impacts of nutrient restriction on the somatotropic axis, independently of body tissue mobilization, were heightened in Bos taurus females compared with B. indicus-influenced cohorts, which corroborate with the differences observed in fertility between these subspecies.