Chipotle Nutrition Facts
Chipotle Mexican Grill is restaurant chain that provides an excellent quick-serve alternative to typical grease-laden fast food options. Specializing exclusively in tacos and burritos, this chain has made quite a name for itself in hundreds of locations throughout dozens of states with the exclusivity of its menu and by placing emphasis on using only the best whole food ingredients. Their ingredients are sourced from responsible and sustainable options, when possible choosing farms that treat animals humanely, don’t use hormones and limit the use of antibiotics, which results in a superior end product both taste-wise and nutritionally. In addition, all of their restaurants run the kitchen in full view of the patrons, which helps to alleviate the uncertainty about what exactly goes into the food that you buy from them.
Chipotle Nutrition Information
Chipotle operates its restaurants in a format similar to the Subway sandwich restaurants: there is a bar of ingredients laid out for you to choose from, and servers assemble your food right in front of you based on your specifications. This is a great system for ensuring the quality and accuracy of each order, and the limited selection of ingredients makes calculating nutritional info a breeze, but calorie-wise; it places the ball squarely in the customer’s court. You can load your selections with as many or as few ingredients as you want, and the more you include, the higher the calorie count will rise. The best way to assemble a delicious meal that doesn’t completely blow your recommended daily values out of the water is to understand the major nutrient groups—carbohydrates, protein, and fat—and to combine accordingly.
Carbohydrates are very energy-dense, meaning they provide substantial calories in relatively small portions. The chipotle menu offers the following carbs with the given calories per serving:
- Flour Tortilla (burrito) 290 calories
- Flour Tortilla (taco) 90 calories
- Soft Corn Tortilla 60 calories
- Crispy Taco Shell 60 calories
- Cilantro-Lime Rice 130 calories
- Black Beans 120 calories
- Pinto Beans 120 calories
- Chips 570 calories
A single burrito tortilla alone will provide a large number of calories right off the bat, though keep in mind that picking tacos gets you three per order so the difference isn’t as staggering as it looks. Still, since you’re getting so many calories from the shell alone it’s a good idea not to load your taco or burrito with additional calories in the form of rice or beans; save this tasty combination for the “bowl” option—basically a burrito served in a bowl instead of a tortilla.
Chipotle offers protein in the form of four different types of meats, each served in a four ounce portion:
- Barbacoa 170 calories
- Chicken 190 calories
- Carnitas 190 calories
- Steak 190 calories
Protein provides as many calories as carbs do. While Chipotle allows up to two types of meat per selection plus optional extra filling, it’s a good idea to limit yourself to just one to keep the calorie count somewhat within the realm of decency.
- Fajita Vegetables 20 calories
- Romaine Lettuce (salad) 10 calories
- Romaine Lettuce (tacos) 5 calories
- Fresh Tomato Salsa 20 calories
- Green Tomatillo Salsa 15 calories
- Roasted Chili – Corn Salsa 80 calories
- Red Tomatillo Salsa 40 calories
Vegetables are always a great choice, adding flavor, nutrients and crunchy texture with only a minimum of extra calories.
While all three of these things are delicious staples of Mexican cuisine, combining all three on a single order is just asking for trouble. If possible, limit yourself to just one, or opt to get guacamole on the side as an appetizer.
As you can see, the number of choices at Chipotle is deliberately kept simple, while still providing ample opportunity for inventive combining and experimentation. By making sensible choices and not doubling up the various calorically dense food stuffs from each nutritional category, a meal at Chipotle is a healthy, sensible and above all mouthwatering choice.