A Guide To Chipotle’s Meat Options

Chipotle is a restaurant chain that is known for its fresh, made-to-order Mexican food.

While burritos and tacos are popular menu items, many people are unaware of the different meat options that Chipotle offers.

In this guide, we will take a closer look at the types of meat that Chipotle uses in its dishes. We will also discuss how each one is prepared and provide some nutritional information.


Does Chipotle Have Ground Beef as an Option?

Chipotle does not offer ground beef as an option for their burritos, tacos, bowls, or salads.

However, they do offer a variety of other proteins such as steak, barbacoa (braised and shredded beef), carnitas (pork shoulder), and chicken.

If you are looking for a more economical option than these proteins, you may want to consider sofritas, which is a vegan-friendly and high-protein alternative made from shredded tofu.

Why Does Chipotle Not Have Ground Beef?

Chipotle has made the decision to not offer ground beef as an option due to concerns about its environmental impact, as well as its health and safety.

Ground beef is more prone to contamination than other proteins, and it also produces more emissions when being farmed or processed.

By choosing not to serve ground beef, Chipotle is making a conscious effort to reduce its environmental footprint and prioritize the health and safety of its customers.

Unfortunately, this means that Chipotle does not currently sell oxtail either, which is sometimes used as an alternative to ground beef in some dishes.

If you are looking for an economical protein option from Chipotle, you may want to consider its sofritas instead.

What Are the Chipotle Meat Options?

Let’s take a closer look at each one and how it can help you manage your dietary choices. 

1. Steak 

This is the classic steak option that is seasoned with pepper, salt, and cumin.

The steak is grilled to perfection and served hot in your burrito or bowl.

This option is high in protein and low in fat. 

2. Chicken:

This chicken option comes from chickens that are antibiotic-free, raised without added hormones, and fed a vegetarian diet.

The chicken is marinated over 12 hours with freshly squeezed lime juice, garlic, cilantro, and chili peppers before it’s grilled to perfection.

It contains 26 grams of protein per serving and 2 grams of fat per serving. 

3. Chorizo:

Chipotle’s chorizo is made with pork that has been responsibly raised with no antibiotics ever used in its production.

It also contains spices like paprika, which gives it its signature smoky flavor.


You won’t find any preservatives or artificial ingredients here either! Chorizo has 27 grams of protein per serving and 10 grams of fat per serving. 

4. Barbacoa:

Barbacoa is made from the slow-cooked beef shoulder that’s seasoned with a blend of spices like oregano, cumin, and cloves for maximum flavor.

barbacoa beef served in a plate

It contains 26 grams of protein per serving and 13 grams of fat per serving for a balanced nutritional profile. 

5. Carnitas:

Carnitas are made from responsibly raised pork that has been cooked until tender by simmering it in orange juice with bay leaves for flavor.

pork Carnitas

Carnitas have 19 grams of protein per serving and 12 grams of fat per serving so they’re great if you’re looking to get some extra protein while keeping an eye on your fat intake as well! 

6. Sofritas

Sofritas are vegan-friendly because they’re made from tofu that’s cooked in chipotle peppers for additional flavor.

 Sofritas in a pan

They contain 14 grams of protein per serving but only 3 grams of fat making them an excellent choice for those looking to watch their calories but still get enough protein throughout the day!

What Is Taco Meat Called at Chipotle?

At Chipotle, taco meat is typically referred to as “steak” or “barbacoa.”

Steak is a classic protein choice that’s seasoned with salt, pepper, and cumin for flavor.

Barbacoa is slow-cooked beef shoulder that’s been seasoned with oregano, cumin, and cloves for additional flavor.

Both these proteins are high in protein and low in fat, so they’re great options for anyone looking to get a balanced nutritional profile.

Why Is There No Fish at Chipotle?

Chipotle does not currently offer fish as an option because it is concerned about the sustainability of most commercial fisheries.

Chipotle has committed to using only regionally and sustainably sourced ingredients in its menu items, and this includes seafood.

As such, they have yet to find a sustainable source of wild-caught or farm-raised fish that meets their standards. However, shrimp is available as an option in some locations.

What Are Chipotle Tacos Made Of?

At Chipotle, tacos are typically made with a choice of protein, such as steak or chicken, onions, cilantro, cheese (optional), and salsa.

Chipotle Tacos in a red basket

Depending on your preference, you can also add guacamole or sour cream to your taco. The tacos are served in soft corn or flour tortillas and can be customized with a variety of toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes, and jalapenos.

What Kind of Meat Is in Chipotle Carnitas?

Chipotle carnitas is made with responsibly raised pork that has been cooked until tender by simmering it in orange juice and bay leaves for flavor.

It contains 19 grams of protein per serving and 12 grams of fat per serving so it’s a great option if you’re looking to get some extra protein while keeping an eye on your fat intake as well!

Is the Chipotle Secret Menu Real?

The Chipotle secret menu is an unofficial list of items that customers can order at their local restaurant.

Many of these dishes consist of combinations of existing menu items, while others are unique creations that come from customer feedback or experimentation.

The items on the secret menu range from classic burrito bowls to more creative options like nachos, quesadillas, and quesaritos. 

Can I Order From The Secret Menu? 

Yes! While technically unofficial, most Chipotle locations will have no problem taking your order for a secret menu item.

However, as with any special order, you may need to explain exactly what you want your meal to include if it’s not a traditional item on their regular menu. 

What Can I Find On The Secret Menu? 

The items available on the Chipotle secret menu vary from location to location, but some popular favorites include Quesaritos (a quesadilla filled with burrito ingredients), Nachos (tortilla chips topped with cheese sauce, beans, and meat), and Burrito Bowls (a bowl filled with burrito ingredients without a tortilla wrap).

Additionally, many customers enjoy ordering ‘Chips & Guac’ which is simply an order of chips served with guacamole instead of salsa or sour cream.

What Is the Most Popular Chipotle Order?

The most popular Chipotle order is the classic burrito bowl, which includes a base of rice or beans, your protein of choice, shredded cheese, sour cream, and guacamole.

burrito bowl

Customers also often add additional toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes, jalapenos, and salsa to customize their orders.

Another favorite that customers love to order is the burrito, which includes a flour tortilla wrapped around all the same ingredients as the burrito bowl

What Is the Best Meat to Get At Chipotle?

The best meat to get at Chipotle is carne asada.

Carne asada is made from a marinated, grilled steak that has a slightly smoky flavor and tender texture. It’s high in protein and low in fat, making it an excellent choice if you’re looking for something nutritious and flavorful.

Additionally, Chipotle also offers chicken, carnitas (braised pork), and veggie options for those who prefer a vegetarian or vegan diet.

What Has Chipotle Been Sued For?

Chipotle has been sued in the past for a number of reasons, including labor violations, food safety issues, and false advertising.

In 2019, the company was sued by two former employees who alleged that they were subjected to racial discrimination while working at Chipotle stores in California.

Additionally, in 2020 Chipotle was hit with multiple lawsuits related to their labeling of food items containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

What Type of Meat Is in Barbacoa?

Barbacoa is made with a variety of meats, including beef, lamb, pork, chicken, and goat. The meat is typically slow-cooked until it is soft and tender.

Barbacoa has a smoky flavor and is often served with rice, beans, tortillas, and salsa.

It can also be used as an ingredient in dishes such as burritos, tacos, and quesadillas.

What Is Chipotle Most Famous for?

Chipotle is best known for its burritos, which are available in three sizes: regular, large, and “grande.”

Customers can choose from either a flour or wheat tortilla filled with their choice of protein (chicken, steak, barbacoa beef), black beans or pinto beans, white rice or brown rice, salsa (mild or hot), and a variety of other toppings.

The combination of flavors makes for an incredibly satisfying meal that packs plenty of flavor into each bite. 

– The Rise of the Burrito Bowl 

In recent years, there has been a significant rise in the popularity of the “burrito bowl”—a dish that combines all of the ingredients typically found in a burrito minus the tortilla.

Burrito bowls have become increasingly popular as they provide customers with more options when it comes to how they want to customize their meals.

Burrito bowls also offer customers an easy way to reduce their carbohydrate intake while still enjoying all of the flavors they love from Chipotle’s traditional burritos. 

What Should I Get In My Chipotle Bowl?

When it comes to building your perfect Chipotle bowl, you have endless options. This guide will help walk you through each step of creating your own custom Chipotle bowl.

1. Select Your Protein

The base of any great bowl is protein.

Whether you choose steak, barbacoa, carnitas, chicken, or sofritas (vegan option), it’s important to pick a protein that fits your dietary needs and taste preferences.

All proteins are marinated in spices and cooked over an open flame for a smoky flavor with each bite.

2. Create Your Base

Now comes the fun part – creating your base! You can pick either cilantro-lime white or brown rice as well as black or pinto beans.

If you prefer something light and healthy, opt for just one of these bases instead of both combined together.

After that, it’s time to add some flavor with salsas and sauces – from mild salsa verde to spicy tomatillo-red chili salsa (or even their famous guacamole!).

3. Toppings & Extras

Once your base is complete, it’s time to top off your bowl with some extra goodies!

Cheese and sour cream are always a favorite when it comes to adding extra texture and creaminess while diced onions and peppers bring out more flavor in every bite.

Add on some crunchy lettuce for an extra burst of flavor or scoop up some fajita veggies if you’re looking for something more substantial.

For those who love spice, squeeze on some fresh lime juice plus hot sauce for an extra kick!

Is Chipotle’s Chicken or Steak Better?

Chipotle’s chicken and steak are both flavorful and juicy, so ultimately it comes down to personal preference.

The chicken is marinated in a blend of spices including chili peppers, garlic, cumin, and oregano which give it a unique flavor profile.

The steak is also marinated in a special blend of herbs and spices that makes it tender and flavorful.

Both types of meat are grilled over an open flame, giving them a smoky flavor that customers love.


Chipotle Mexican Grill has earned a reputation as one of America’s favorite fast-food restaurants due largely to its delicious burritos and commitment to quality ingredients.

Its rise in popularity can be attributed not only to its flavorful dishes but also to its wide range of customizable options that allow customers to create dishes tailored specifically to their tastes and dietary needs.

Whether you’re looking for something light like a burrito bowl or something hearty like a classic burrito, you can be sure that you’ll get something delicious every time you visit Chipotle Mexican Grill!

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.

Kapnos Taverna Author - Small
About the author

Natalie is a food enthusiast who spends all of her time trying out new recipes, testing out new appliances, and making her kitchen as awesome as possible. She is a professional writer and blogs here about her love of food & kitchen.

Leave a Comment