Eating Keto At Chipotle Mexican Grill
I used to live in Denver, Colorado and one of my favorite restaurants to grab a quick to-go meal was Chipotle Mexican Grill. My go-to order was a veggie burrito with black beans, rice topped with Chipotle’s spicy salsa, sour cream, and guacamole. I was definitely NOT eating keto at Chipotle back then.
The restaurant was founded in Denver in 1993 by Steven Ells and as grown into a nationwide chain that is now a publicly-traded company. Chiptole also had some serious investment money from McDonald’s at one point.
Although most people may think of the Chipotle burritos with white rice and beans as the main fare at the restaurant, there is a good number of ways to eat low carb and keto at Chipotle.
In fact, Chipotle is experimenting with diving deeper into the low-carb, keto menu as just announced in July 2020 that they will be testing a cauliflower rice option in several markets with plans to possibly roll out the lower-carb alternative to Chipotle restaurant locations nationwide depending on the response.
How to Eat Keto at Chipotle
The traditional Chipotle burritos and tacos, while tasty, have too many carbs to be part of a low-carb keto diet. The flour burrito wrap itself packs 50 grams (200 calories) of carbohydrates which would max out your carbohydrates for the day even before you add the rice (40 grams of carbohydrates) and black beans (22 grams of carbohydrates).
Chipotle Burrito Carbohydrate Content and Nutrition
That 112 grams of mostly high glycemic carbs is also probably why I would pass out on my couch immediately after eating one of these Chipotle burritos.
Chipotle Tacos Carbohydrate Content and Nutrition
The Chipotle tacos also are too high in carbohydrates to be part of a ketogenic, low-carbohydrate diet. Three of their soft flour tacos have 40 grams of carbs, so pretty similar to the carbohydrate load of their burrito wraps, and again, that’s 40 grams of carbs before adding any toppings.
You can find more Chipotle nutrition info here.
Chipotle Keto Menu Options
Fortunately, Chipotle has been expanding its menu options over the years and since every meal is made-to-order in front of you, its easy to eat keto at Chipotle.
Keto Option #1 – Chipotle Salad Bowl
The Chipotle Salad Bowl (without beans) is a great keto option at Chipotle. The meal is on a base of mixed greens that only have 3 grams of carbs and 15 total calories.
I’ll skip the rice and beans and I will usually will add the double meat option with carnitas (210 calories/ 0 grams of carbs, 12 grams of fat and 25 grams of protein) and add sour cream ( 9 grams of fat, 2 grams of carbs), guacamole (22 grams of fat and 8 grams of carbs) and shredded Monterey Jack cheese for an extra 8 grams of fat versus just 1 gram of carbs).
That keto version of the Chipotle salad bowl ended up at a hefty 905 calories with 63 grams of fat, 57 grams of protein, and just 18 grams of total carbohydrates, including dietary fiber.
You can reduce the calories by skipping the double meat option and the cheese and sour cream to drop the total calories to a more manageable 485 calories with 34 grams of fat and lowering the total carbohydrates to 15 grams with 9 grams coming from fiber, so a keto-friendly net carbohydrate load of just 6 grams!
Keto Option #2 – Chipotle Keto Lifestyle Bowl
The Chipotle Lifestyle Bowls address the different style diets that Chipotle customers may be trying. The Chipotle menu features a Keto Salad Bowl, Whole30 Salad Bowl, Paleo Salad Bowl as well as vegan and vegetarian salad bowl options.
The Keto Salad Bowl featuring steak, tomatillo salsa with shredded cheese and guacamole has 535 calories, so similar to my typical custom Chipotle salad bowl above.
Keto Option #3 – Chipotle Paleo Lifestyle Bowl
Remember when Paleo was the popular diet? You can still relive your Paleolithic caveman days by ordering a Chipotle Paleo Lifestyle Bowl drops the steak and shredded cheese (Grok didn’t milk cows back in the Paleo days) and adds chicken and the fajita veggie mix of peppers and onions.
The Chipotle Paleo Lifestyle Bowl has 460 calories with 20 grams of carbs, 29 grams of fat and 36 grams of protein.
Keto Option #4 – Chipotle Whole30® Lifestyle Bowl
Chipotle also offers a Lifestyle Bowl that fits on the Whole30® diet. Chipolte’s Whole30® menu option is similar to their Keto and Paleo menu options, skipping the beans and rice for a low carb option. The Chipotle Whole30® Salad Bowl with carnitas, super greens, fajita veggies, salsa, and guacamole packs 500 calories with 34 grams of fat, 27 grams of protein and 20 grams of carbohydrates.
So it’s pretty easy to eat either low-carb, Wbole30®, or keto at Chipotle. The restaurant offers a “build-your-own” menu that offers a significant amount of nutritional flexibility.
If you love California’s In-n-Out Burger, we have all the info on the best keto options at In-n-Out.