Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., often known simply as Chipotle is an American chain of fast casual restaurants in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and France, specializing in tacos and Mission burritos that are made to order in front of the customer.
But, can you eat gluten free at this fast casual restaurants?
The restaurant believe that food has the power to change the world and they do it by being real. They are born of the radical belief that there is a connection between how food is raised and prepared and how it tastes.
They believe that real is better, better for you, better for the people, better for the planet. For them it may be hard way to do things but it is the right way.
They believe that this is just not food for thought it is thought for food.
Chipotle on being real
The restaurant believe that being real is making food fresh every day.
No artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, no freezers, can openers or short cuts.
Being real means they only use 53 ingredients that people can pronounce. And the only ingredient that is hard to pronounce at Chipotle is “Chipotle “ its chih-poat-lay.
Being real means being committed, they are one of the first national restaurant brands to commit to goals on local and organic produce.
First national restaurant brand to commit to using only responsibly raised meat with some of the highest animal welfare standards.
Being real means fighting for the planet, the restaurant is committed to divert 50% of their waste from landfills during 2020. And in 2018, Chipotle began a pilot program recycling their used plastic gloves into waste bags that they use in 43% of our very own restaurants.
Being real means treating people right, supporting people who live their values with real culinary training, career opportunities and great benefits.
They believe that one meal might not change the world, but the way they make it might.
Their commitment on being real is on real ingredients, real purpose, real flavor.
But then again, can you eat gluten free at this restaurant? The answer is yes.
What is a gluten free diet?
A gluten-free diet excludes any foods that contain gluten, which is a protein found in wheat and several other grains. It means eating only whole foods that don’t contain gluten, such as fruits, vegetables, meat and eggs, as well as processed gluten-free foods like gluten-free bread or pasta
On not what to eat when in a gluten free diet.
(The 8 most common sources of gluten include)
Bread. This includes all types of bread (unless labeled “gluten-free”) such as rolls, buns, bagels, biscuits, and flour tortillas.
Baked Goods, Pasta, Cereal, Crackers, Beer, Gravy and Soup.
If you have a gluten intolerance, avoid the following: white bread, whole wheat bread, potato bread, rye bread, sourdough bread, wheat crackers, whole wheat wraps and flour tortillas.
Based on HEALTHLINE Social media page under Nutrition, an article “7 Gluten-Free Options at Chipotle” written by SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD on January 27, 2022 — Medically reviewed by Katherine Marengo LDN, R.D., Nutrition, says that indeed you can eat Gluten free at Chipotle.
Gluten-free options at Chipotle
There are endless combinations of gluten-free meals available at Chipotle. If you’re avoiding gluten, you can order anything off the menu, except burritos, quesadillas, or tacos made with flour tortillas.
It has included at least one option from all the remaining menu categories on Chipotle’s menu (burrito bowls, salads, tacos, sides, kids’ meals, and Lifestyle Bowls), but one can customize these in any way with rice, beans, meat, veggies, and condiments.
Chipotle also offers the nutrition facts on their menu.
1. Burrito bowl
Chipotle’s burrito bowls are essentially unwrapped burritos. All the hearty ingredients are layered into a bowl, rather than wrapped in a tortilla.
One can choose from any of Chipotle’s meats or vegetarian options. Then, add white or brown rice, black beans or pinto beans, and the veggies, salsas, and cheeses or condiments of your choice.
A carnitas bowl with white rice, black beans, fajita veggies, cheese, and corn salsa provides (4):
Fat: 27 grams
Protein: 45 grams
Carbs: 84 grams
Fiber: 12 grams
Sodium: 1,680 mg
A greener and low-carb option, Chipotle’s salads replace the bed of rice with a healthy base of romaine lettuce.
These salads provide an excellent option if one is trying to limit carb or calorie intake — all while staying gluten-free. However, one can still add some rice or beans.
A salad with chicken, corn salsa, and Chipotle-Honey Vinaigrette dressing provides (4):
Fat: 25 grams
Protein: 37 grams
Carbs: 37 grams
Fiber: 6 grams
Sodium: 1,505 mg
3. Tacos with corn tortillas
If one has a taste for tacos, but want to stay gluten-free, corn tortillas could satisfy spicy cravings while saving painful indigestion.
Chipotle’s taco entrée includes three tacos on a soft flour tortilla or a hard-shell corn tortilla. Choose the corn tortillas, as they’re the gluten-free alternative to flour tortillas. Many prefer the taste, too.
Chipotle includes a gluten cross-contamination disclaimer for items containing corn, and corn salsa may have trace amounts of gluten from potentially co-mingling with gluten-containing grains in the field.”
The tacos come standard with a meat or vegetarian protein of one’s choice, guacamole, salsa, queso, sour cream or cheese, and lettuce.
The barbacoa tacos on corn tortillas with guacamole, queso, red salsa, cheese, and lettuce provide (4):
Fat: 55 grams
Protein: 40 grams
Carbs: 49 grams
Fiber: 12 grams
Sodium: 1,840 mg
4. Chips and dip
Chips and dip satisfy snacking urge while staying gluten-free at Chipotle.
If one enjoy Chipotle’s chips and want to make them their meal, they can have them with any of the dips and salsas Chipotle offers: guacamole, queso blanco, fresh tomato salsa, corn salsa, green chili salsa, and red chili salsa.
A regular order of tortilla chips with queso blanco contains (4):
Fat: 43 grams
Protein: 17 grams
Carbs: 80 grams
Fiber: 7 grams
Sodium: 880 mg
5. Kid’s Build Your Own with corn tortillas
If a child eats gluten-free, Chipotle has an option for them. Choose a Kid’s Build-Your-Own with corn tortillas and the fillings of their choice. They can also add a side of chips or fruit.
The Kid’s Build-Your-Own with corn tortillas, chicken, pinto beans, and fresh tomato salsa contains (4):
Fat: 10 grams
Protein: 23 grams
Carbs: 35 grams
Fiber: 8 grams
Sodium: 620 mg
6. Whole30 Salad Lifestyle Bowl
To keep ordering simple, one can choose a Lifestyle Bowl. All of Chipotle’s Lifestyle Bowls are gluten-free, and they’re targeted toward specific dietary needs, including keto, paleo, Whole30, vegan, and vegetarian.
The Whole30 Salad Bowl with carnitas, lettuce, fajita veggies, fresh tomato salsa, and guacamole provides (4):
Fat: 34 grams
Protein: 27 grams
Carbs: 20 grams
Fiber: 10 grams
Sodium: 1,535 mg
7. Vegan Lifestyle Bowl
Plant-based diets can still be gluten-free, especially at Chipotle.
If one eat a plant-based diet, he can choose from the Vegetarian Lifestyle Bowl or the Vegan Lifestyle Bowl if one like to simply order a meal without choosing individual ingredients and toppings.
The Vegan Bowl with sofritas, black beans, fresh tomato salsa, corn salsa, and lettuce contains (4):
Fat: 24 grams
Protein: 12 grams
Carbs: 42 grams
Fiber: 17 grams
Sodium: 1,295 mg
The bottom line
Chipotle is a great restaurant for gluten-free options. As long as you steer clear of the flour tortillas in the burrito, quesadilla, and tacos, you can choose any item on the menu.
The restaurant also offer in their official website the nutrition-calculator wherein one can build their calorie, carb and nutrition information based on their selected meal using the nutrition calculator.
However, if one has Celiac disease or is extremely gluten-sensitive, cross-contamination at the restaurant may be an issue.
To minimize the risk of cross-contamination, ask for a server with freshly-washed hands and clean gloves to prepare your meal — preferably from new tubs of ingredients with clean utensils.