Everyone knows Chipotle Mexican Grill as that place with flavorful tacos and hearty burritos. But this fast food giant offers a wide range of other meals, many of which are also keto friendly. If you're a big fan of Mexican food and also a keto dieter, there's no reason not to visit Chipotle from time to time.
In this article, you'll find an explanation of what ingredient options you have at Chipotle, what meals you can order when on a keto diet, and 4 low-carb keto Chipotle meal options to consider.
When you're on a low-carb diet, you obviously shouldn't order a burrito as one wrap packs almost 50 carbs. Not to mention that your average burrito also comes with rice, corn, beans, and other high-carb ingredients. The numbers quickly add up, and you'll be over your keto macros limit before you know it if you order that burrito.
Instead, it's best to go for salads that Chipotle lets you customize. Arrange your salad to contain a variety of meats, dairy products, different vegetables, and also salsa. The choices are endless at Chipotle, and include:
You can also order customized Burrito Bowls. A burrito bowl is simply a burrito minus the wrap. This low-carb meal is also suitable for those looking to eat Paleo, low-carb, and diabetic-friendly food. And as for drinks, stick to plain water, unsweetened ice tea, and diet coke.
For those just becoming familiar with keto, it's worth talking about ingredients you need to avoid at Chipotle. These are high in carbs and will likely kick you out of ketosis before you even finish your meal:
You can easily find what Chipotle has to offer on their website. There, you can also customize each meal and get access to nutritional info for every individual ingredient. That's great when you're carefully planning your daily macros intake, which you should on a low-carb diet such as keto.
But the good news doesn't end there. Chipotle's website also has a Nutrition section. By clicking there, you can access their Dietary Options where you'll find lower-carb options. That's pretty rare for a fast-food chain and means Chipotle is definitely catching up with their low-carb customers.
The lower-carb options described on the Chipotle website, however, may not apply well to keto. There, you'll see Chipotle suggest being moderate with beans and vinaigrette, which we definitely know are not keto-approved. But Chipotle didn't really have keto in mind when making this list, but this section is helpful nonetheless.
Now that you have a full picture of low-carb ingredients at Chipotle, it's time to make your order. But what exactly do you order? Consider the following options:
Order a salad with double steak on a bed of chopped romaine lettuce and your choice of garnish and dressing. As a suggestion, go for shredded cheese and tomato salsa as these complement the steak well. You can also add some guacamole to boost the total fat count of the salad. Coming at around $10, this hearty keto Chipotle salad is definitely a bang for your buck.
As far as nutrition goes, you'll get over 500 calories, 35 grams of fat, 50 grams of protein and just 4 grams of net carbs. You'll also get plenty of iron, zinc selenium, B vitamins, and choline from the steak. From the guac, you'll get loads of the antioxidant vitamin E as well as dietary fiber which is important for digestion and overall health.
Chicken is a healthier source of protein than steak. At Chipotle, you'll can order a salad with marinated grilled chicken thighs and do make it double to make it more satiating. Like with the steak salad, go for the low-carb dressing and toppings we mentioned earlier. Chicken salad goes best with fajita grilled vegetables, shredded cheese, and sour cream.
But if you like, you can add any low-carb dressing and topping you like. Some extra guacamole will cost you around $2 and will help you meet your keto macros. In case you didn't know – avocados are the best keto diet vegetables you can get your hands on – it's low in carbs, high in fat, and a great source of fiber.
A great vegan option that's as flavorful and spicy as should be at Chipotle. Sofritas are heavily marinated, grilled and shredded tofu. The taste and texture resembles shredded chicken and even pork. The sofritas go well with guacamole and red tomatillo sauce gives it loads of flavor. If you're not going for the sofritas salad for vegan reasons, then add cheese and sour cream to boost the fat content.
Besides being vegan and overall healthy, another great thing about this salad is that it's cheap costing around $8. You'll get about 400 calories from this salad and 10 grams of protein excluding the sour cream and cheese. On the downside, there are 12 grams of net carbs in this salad, so do be careful with the rest of your meals throughout the day.
Order a steak or chicken burrito bowl topped with sour cream, cheese, and guacamole. You can also add tomato salsa, shredded lettuce, and fajita vegetables for more crunch. While a burrito bowl is not as satisfying and nutritious as the above salad options, it's still keto-friendly.
Ask to double the cheese and guac to make the dish more satisfying. We suggest adding a side of queso to the mix to make it tasty and more nutritious. This dip is made with aged cheddar and other real ingredients like peppers, milk, lime juice, jalapeno, garlic, and others. You can find the full list of ingredients in Chipotle's queso on their website.
Recently, Chipotle introduced "lifestyle bowls" to cater to four trending diets, and, thankfully, keto is on the list. You can order three of the four new salad bowls to make your ordering at Chipotle way easier.
Whole30 is a new diet program developed by certified sports nutritionist Melissa Hartwig. It's very similar to the paleo diet but it also excludes many of the same ingredients as keto. That's why Chipotle's Whole30 bowl just happens to be somewhat keto friendly if you don't think 10g of carbs is too much.
It includes the following ingredients: carnitas, romaine lettuce, fajita veggies, tomato salsa, and guacamole.
Calories: 495, Fat: 34g, Protein: 27g, Net carbs: 10g
The paleo diet is similar to keto in certain aspects. It excludes grains and legumes and includes high-fat meat, nuts, and seeds. And that's why if you order the Paleo Salad Bowl at Chipotle, you'll get a macros ratio similar to keto. It's also a bit high in carbs, but some dieters may find it fits their macros.
Ingredients added to this bowl are barbacoa, romaine lettuce, fajita veggies, green salsa, and guacamole.
Calories: 455, Fat: 29g, Protein: 28g, Net carbs: 11g
And now for our favorite, the keto salad bowl. It's always a joy to see when a fast food place caters to keto dieters. This salad bowl is probably the best pick so far compared to the other two. It's pretty much loaded with fat and has a fairly low amount of carbs.
The Keto Salad Bowl contains carnitas, romaine lettuce, red salsa, cheese, and guacamole.
Calories: 590, Fat: 42g, Protein: 32g, Net carbs: 7g
Chipotle offers several low-carb options that also happen to be healthy as well as delicious. Chipotle is also known for their food quality. Their vegetables are grown in healthy soil and they offer humanely raised meat. Another great thing about Chipotle is the high-quality and friendly service you'll get there.
But you'll likely find better places to meet your daily macros and with more offers. Low-carb options at Chipotle are fairly limited compared to other restaurants. Chipotle also doesn't offer breakfast options and their meals tend to be on the pricier side when compared to other popular fast food places like McDonald's and Taco Bell.
If you are a fan of Mexican, spicy food but need to stick to a carb limit of 50 grams per day, then visit Chipotle and order one of the 4 meals we described here. You'll get plenty of protein, loads of fat, and will get to enjoy high-quality ingredients with lots of flavor.
Chipotle is known for its simple and spicy food and doesn't have a bulky menu. So your options are fairly limited at this popular fast food place. But Chipotle is good at what it does best and you'll definitely get your bang for the buck.