Walking Guide

Food on the Run: Chipotle Mexican Grill

By , SparkPeople Blogger
"Food with Integrity" is the holistic philosophy that guides the Chipotle restaurant chain. Some of the key words that are used in their "food with integrity" motto include words like unprocessed, sustainable, naturally raised, added hormone free, and organic.

So how does this "food with integrity" focus compare to other fast food options?

Read on and find out.

One of the reasons Chipotle is a growing company and a favorite for so many people could be because of their "naturally raised meats free of antibiotics and added growth hormones which are humanely raised and fed a vegetarian diet." While they do not yet have restaurants all over the United States and Canada, there are over 800 locations with more most certainly on the horizon.

Cautions to Consider

While it is great that Chipotle is very earth, animal and sustainability focused, care still must be taken when it comes to nutrient consumption even when they are wholesome nutrients. One plus this mexican buffet style fast food restaurant offers is that you control how your burrito, taco or salad is made with more than 60,000 ways you can build your entrees. However, you have to know what to add and what to limit as you build. That is hopefully where we can help. As we have seen in our ongoing Food on the Run series, sodium content at fast food restaurants tends to be quite high. Chipotle's lower sodium ingredients provide another plus for fast food diners.

One of the negatives for this wholesome restaurant is their large portion sizes. As you will see, each individual ingredient looks great nutritionally, however, when you put 4 or 5 of them together, you are way over a recommended meal intake. Remember that our ongoing goal is to select entrees that are around 250 calories and less than 10 grams of fat per serving. It is possible at Chipotle but you really have to know what you are doing as you build. If you are not including additional sides, it is fine to be in the 300-350 calorie range but since many of us need to minimize our fat intake, aiming for 10-15 grams of fat would still be advisable. There are many options that can fit in these guidelines if you know what you are doing as you build.


The Ingredient Basics

Flour Tortilla to make burrito - 1 each
Calories - 290
Fat - 9.0 grams
Sodium - 670 mg
Fiber - 2 grams
Protein - 7 grams

Flour Tortilla to make a taco - 1 each
Calories - 90
Fat - 2.5 grams
Sodium - 200 mg
Carbohydrates - 13 grams
Fiber - 0
Protein - 2 grams

Crispy Taco Shell - 1 each
Calories - 60
Fat - 2 grams
Sodium - 1 mg
Carbohydrates - 9 grams
Fiber - 1 gram
Protein - 0 grams

Cilantro-Lime Rice - 3 oz serving
Calories - 130
Fat - 2 grams
Sodium - 150 mg
Carbohydrates - 23 grams
Fiber - 0 grams
Protein - 2 grams

Black Beans - 4 oz serving
Calories - 120
Fat - 1 gram
Sodium - 250 mg
Carbohydrates - 23 grams
Fiber - 11 grams
Protein - 7 grams

Pinto Beans - 4 oz serving
Calories - 120
Fat - 1 gram
Sodium - 330 mg
Carbohydrates - 22 grams
Fiber - 10 grams
Protein - 7 grams

Fajita Vegetables - 2.5 oz serving
Calories - 20
Fat - .5 grams
Sodium - 170 mg
Carbohydrates - 4 grams
Fiber - 1 gram
Protein - 1 gram

Barbacoa - 4 oz serving
Calories - 170
Fat - 7 grams
Sodium - 510 mg
Carbohydrates - 2 grams
Fiber - 0 grams
Protein - 24 grams

Chicken - 4 oz serving
Calories - 190
Fat - 6.5 grams
Sodium - 370 mg
Carbohydrates - 1 gram
Fiber - 0 grams
Protein - 32 grams

Carnitas - 4 oz serving
Calories - 190
Fat - 8 grams
Sodium - 590 mg
Carbohydrates - 0 grams
Fiber - 0 grams
Protein - 27 grams

Steak - 4 oz serving
Calories - 190
Fat - 6.5 grams
Sodium - 320 mg
Carbohydrates - 2 grams
Fiber - 0 grams
Protein - 30 grams

Tomato Salsa - 3.5 oz serving
Calories - 20
Fat - 0 grams
Sodium - 470 mg
Carbohydrates - 4 grams
Fiber - 0 grams
Protein - 1 gram

Corn Salsa - 3.5 oz serving
Calories - 80
Fat - 1.5 grams
Sodium - 410 mg
Carbohydrates - 15 grams
Fiber - 3 grams
Protein - 3 grams

Red Tomatillo Salsa - 2 fl oz serving
Calories - 40
Fat - 1 gram
Sodium - 510 mg
Carbohydrates - 8 grams
Fiber - 4 grams
Protein - 2 grams

Green Tomatillo Salsa - 2 fl oz serving
Calories - 15
Fat - 0 grams
Sodium - 230 mg
Carbohydrates - 3 grams
Fiber - 1 gram
Protein - 1 gram

Cheese - 1 oz serving
Calories - 100
Fat - 8.5 grams
Sodium - 180 mg
Carbohydrates - 0 grams
Fiber - 0 grams
Protein - 8 grams

Sour Cream - 2 oz serving
Calories - 120
Fat - 10 grams
Sodium - 30 mg
Carbohydrates - 2 grams
Fiber - 0 grams
Protein - 2 grams

Guacamole - 3.5 oz serving
Calories - 150
Fat - 13 grams
Sodium - 190 mg
Carbohydrates - 8 grams
Fiber - 6 grams
Protein - 2 grams

Romaine Lettuce - 2.5 oz salad serving
Calories - 10
Fat - 0 grams
Sodium - 5 grams
Carbohydrates - 2 grams
Fiber - 1 gram
Protein - 1 gram

Romaine Lettuce - 1 oz taco serving
Calories - 5
Fat - 0 grams
Sodium - 0 mg
Carbohydrates - 1 gram
Fiber - 1 gram
Protein - 0 grams

Chips – 4 oz serving
Calories – 570
Fat – 27 grams
Sodium – 420 mg
Carbohydrates – 73 grams
Fiber – 8 grams
Protein – 8 grams

Vinaigrette - 2 fl oz serving
Calories - 260
Fat - 24.5 grams
Sodium - 700 mg
Carbohydrates - 12 grams
Fiber - 1 gram
Protein - 0 grams

Popular Combinations

Burrito with cilantro-lime rice, pinto beans, chicken, red salsa, cheese, sour cream and romaine lettuce
Calories - 995
Fat - 39 grams (18 grams saturated fat)
Sodium - 2240 mg
Carbohydrates - 100 grams
Fiber - 16 grams
Protein - 60 grams

Vegetarian Burrito with cilantro-lime rice, vegetarian black beans, romaine lettuce and guacamole
Calories - 695
Fat - 26 grams (6 grams saturated fat)
Sodium - 1260 mg
Carbohydrates - 98 grams
Fiber - 19 grams
Protein - 18 grams

Fajita Burrito with cilantro-lime rice, barbacoa, sautéed peppers and onions, cheese, sour cream, green salsa and romaine lettuce
Calories - 850
Fat - 38 grams (18 grams of saturated fat)
Sodium - 1940 mg
Carbohydrates - 78 grams
Fiber - 4 grams
Protein - 45 grams

Vegetarian Fajita made with guacamole and vegetarian black beans, sautéed peppers and onions
Calories - 570
Fat - 24 grams (5 grams saturated fat)
Sodium - 1280 mg
Carbohydrate - 79 grams
Fiber - 20 grams
Protein - 17 grams

Burrito Bowl with cilantro-lime rice, red salsa, carnitas, cheese, sour cream and Romaine lettuce
Calories - 715
Fat - 32 grams (15 grams saturated fat)
Sodium - 1790 mg
Carbohydrates - 48 grams
Fiber - 14 grams
Protein - 48 grams

Vegetarian Fajita Burrito Bowl with cilantro-lime rice, vegetarian black beans, red salsa, Romaine lettuce, sautéed peppers and onions and guacamole
Calories - 475
Fat - 19 grams (3 grams of saturated fat)
Sodium - 1270 mg
Carbohydrates - 66 grams
Fiber - 22 grams
Protein - 14 grams

Three Hard Tacos with cilantro-lime rice, steak, green salsa, cheese, sour cream and Romaine lettuce
Calories - 860
Fat - 35 grams (16 grams of saturated fat)
Sodium - 1270 mg
Carbohydrates - 79 grams
Fiber - 13 grams
Protein - 52 grams

So what can you eat that isn't going to ruin your intake for the whole day? Here are some entrees that I have built to give you an idea of how to select and limit as you build

Burrito Bowl with cilantro-lime rice, chicken, and lettuce
Calories - 335
Fat - 10 grams (3 grams of saturated fat)
Sodium - 520 mg
Carbohydrates - 24 grams
Fiber - 0 grams
Protein - 34 grams

Three Hard Tacos with vegetarian black beans, sautéed peppers and onions
Calories - 320
Fat - 8 grams (2 grams of saturated fat)
Sodium - 450 mg
Carbohydrates - 54 grams
Fiber - 14 grams
Protein - 10 grams

Burrito Bowl with cilantro-lime rice, pinto beans, sautéed peppers and onions and Romaine lettuce
Calories - 285
Fat - 5 grams (0 grams saturated fat)
Sodium - 650 mg
Carbohydrates - 49 grams
Fiber - 11 grams
Protein - 10 grams

Burrito Bowl with carnitas, sautéed onions and peppers, cilantro-lime rice, Romaine lettuce and tomato salsa
Calories - 345
Fat - 11 grams (3 grams of saturated fat)
Sodium - 1300 mg
Carbohydrates - 33 grams
Fiber - 1 gram
Protein - 28 grams

You can use the same Chipotle calculator tool I did to calculate your favorite combination.

How does this unique fast food restaurant compare to the others? Have you ever eaten at one and if so, what did you think? If not, would you like to see one come to your community?

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ELRIDDICK 2/18/2018
Thanks for sharing Report
ELRIDDICK 1/7/2018
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Thanks for the info! Report
ELRIDDICK 7/12/2017
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Thanks! Report
chipotle also has a calculator on their website that is really nice so you can see how each ingredient effects you www.chipotle.com/nutrition-calculat
Thank you for including the sodium. So many of us need that information. Report
We've learned over the years that the vegetarian fajita bowl is just too big for me in one setting. I get it with the cilantro-lime rice (or the cilantro brown rice if they have it), the vegetarian black beans, the fajita pepper/onions mixture, the red salsa, sometimes the corn salsa, sometimes the lettuce and other times I leave it off to keep it from going bad in the refrigerator, and of course the cheese and guacamole and sour cream. What I've discovered is if I carefully mix the guacamole througout the entire salad and add some more of the garlic Tabasco sauce or the green Tabasco sauce (extra antioxidant power), I can scoot about 2/3 of the mixture towards the other side, and then eat the 1/3. I'll get the foil so I can take it "to go", and mixed up like that, it all preserves the guacamole and keeps it from going yucky, and I can eat it again for another meal. That way I'm not just so tanked out after eating one whole bowl, and I enjoy smaller portions of the flavors that I do like. Report
Don't eat fast food as a rule but I always thought when I ate at Chitotle I was doing well by having the vege bowl......yea I guess calorie wise it would be better with out the guac and sour cream.... Report
Great info! I love Chipotle but avoid them because of the huge calorie count in my fav items there. I always say I'm going to just eat half but I never do. This is so helpful I can't wait to go there again and feel satisfied that I got what I wanted but didn't blow my whole eating plan. :) Report
I love Chipotle and eat there fairly often, but lately I've been trying to eat a healthy amount of sodium. This seems impossible! WHAT to do WHAT to do?? Report
Chipotle is awesome but I think it would be helpful to link to a simple Chipotle Calorie Counter and Calculator for calories and nutrition info. Check out: http://www.chipotlecaloriecalculato
for a simple one. Report
Chipotle is awesome but I think it would be helpful to link to a simple Chipotle Calorie Counter and Calculator for calories and nutrition info. Check out: http://www.chipotlecaloriecalculato
for a simple one. Report
On Chipotlefan.com, the fajita veggies are listed under 20 calories. I watched them make the veggies and they hardly put any oil in it. I love Chipotle, it is my favorite, favorite food on the run! I really like their burritos, but these days I'm eating my Burrito Bols w/o rice and enjoying it. I will actually have one today. Pile on the extra salsa!! Report
Sounds great and I'll probably try it soon ~ there is one just a few blocks from my home. But how are the fajita veggies 100 calories? They must be sauted is a lot of oil. Report
I LOVE Chipotle - I usually get a burrito bowl and divide it into two meals (the portion is huge)! It's nice to see that the sodium content is much lower than many other fast food places. Report
I LOOOOVVVEEE that I can jump online before going to Chipotle and figure out what I'm going to order by using their calorie calculator ahead of time!! Then I can just go and order a meal that's within my calorie range for that day and think about enjoying the food instead of worrying about the calorie count. I sooooo wish other restaurants would provide this awesome tool! Report
Chipotle is one of the only national "fast food" chains I patronize - for lots of reasons. To set the record straight, the MacDonald's corporation was a major share holder in Chipotle bu sold it's holdings back in 2006. They were never part of the MacDonald's supply chain.
I appreciate that I can see my food being assembled, and have control over what goes in to it. All in all, the food value/satisfaction/cost ratios are great here. There are very few places I can get that much nutrition and enjoyment for such a reasonable cost. I typically get a "salad" and skip the rice, so it's lettuce, beans, meat, lots of fresh salsa and sour cream. This runs under 500 calories and makes a satisfying dinner, or a big lunch. I'm very active, so my daily range is pretty high and a 350 calorie lunch is small, and no where near a dinner portion. I typically have 800 calories for dinner, so I can even have it all wrapped up in a tortilla and stick to my ranges for the day, if I've planned accordingly.
While the portions are big, if I have to eat "fast food" I don't feel I've compromised my eating habits after dinner there.
Terri Report
Chipotle is owned by McDonald's Corporation. This is just a different business model for them, a tasty one at that! Report

I guess I'm an odd one since I totally eat my whole meal. I get a vegan burrito bol with rice, black beans, salsa, lettuce and guac. It's really not bad, calorie-wise, and I can eat a whole one without feeling sick or dead. And then I pass on my evening snack since I'm full (but not overfull) all night.

I wonder if it's due to the lack of meat/dairy that I can eat the whole thing. It's much lighter in fat and lacks cholesterol so maybe that's it. Or I'm a glutton. ;) Oh well, I've lost 45 pounds, hit goal and still ate Chipotle about 1-2X a month, so it couldn't be that bad. Report
When I go to Chipotle, I order two soft tacos instead of three. Try that and you can still have your guac! Report
One thing that they have, that I never see listed, is corn soft tacos. I don't know their particulars, but in general, two corn tortillas are about 80-90 calories. So, soft tacos, with healthier fillings are a really yummy, and healthy option. It is on the menu, but never in the nutrition info. Report
I have been in one, but never ordered. The other person's burrito was enough for 2 meals. It was HUGE! But I have wanted to try their food since I first saw the place in redlands in 2001. Report
I'm including this to clarify the following post. I DO NOT eat two burritos a day, just one if I can finish it, but two meals, yes. Report
Their portion size is a negative? It depends! I eat two meals a day. A large breakfast or lunch, and a light dinner. I work on my feet all day so I'm sure I burn off more than ample calories, and if I can't eat it all, I'll eat 2/3rds and have the rest for breakfast the next morning. If you go back to the office to sit at a desk, that's another story!!! For the fat phobic amongst the many of you, the avocado is considered a power food due to its high protein, mineral, vitamin, and heart healthy fat content. Try it for lunch, alone with a little sea salt and lime juice, a great pick me up. Yum! You may even notice a difference in your hair and skin..., and go find some good books on healthy fats, some which increase your metabolism thereby actually helping you to lose weight! Think coconut. Yea I know, how scandalous, but true!!! Report
I love Chipotle, but let me caution dieters that as portion control is key to eating healthy here, it really matters how much of each item your server puts in your meal. I don't think I've ever been served a burrito bowl that only had 3 oz of rice in it, for instance (after years of calorie counting, I'm pretty good at assessing portion sizes with my eye). So if you are trimming calories, be very specific about how much of everything you want. It's very easy to go way over 'budget' at Chipotle. Report
Even though I've always went with the salad, with the corn and sour cream, the salad is still delicious. I'm a cheese person..so I'll just deal with the few extra calories and continue to enjoy. Report
There is a Chipotle in the building where I work. I love the food but even without the extras just the tomato salsa the calories are around 700-750. But I usually eat a very light dinner the days that I eat there. Report
Thanks for the calorie counter...it is a lot easier than figuring it out in my head ;)
We LOVE Chipotles!! I always get the veggie bowl (rice, black beans, guac & sauce) because I would rather have guac than meat! I was getting all the salsas though...did not realize they had so much sodium...will cut that back to one at a time! But still great food, cheap, and nutritious if you do it right!! Report
love the calculator! Report
My biggest beef with Chipotle is that they only have "to-go" dishes. I wish they had real bowls and flatware. Everything else is great and I can portion things myself. Report
My husband and I have been splitting the burrito lately- it's great because we're not wrecking our bodies our our wallet (where else can you get a meal for two for around $6.00?). It seems that the longer I eat healthy the less I want these "big ticket" items. We used to each get our own burrito plus chips and salsa and guacamole to split. There is no way that I could now eat that much food without feeling sick. I still do love Chipotle occasionally and in moderation! Report
Loving that Chipotle calculator-awesome!!! Will use that from now on-wow almost 300 calories in that HUGE tortilla for the burritos. Report
my, my there is one within 2 miles of my house! Perhaps my walk will take me there one of these days!

"Eat to live, not live to eat!" Report
Wow ... I thought I was making some sensible choices when building my burrito. Boy was I wrong. Basically everything I like seams to be bad for me. I just don't know how people eat anything anymore. I will try cutting out some ingredients and cutting it in half if I ever get the craving to eat a burrito again. Report
I love Chipotles - love it love it!!! I get the burrito bowl w/ 3 kinds of salsa and make it 2 meals when I am being "good". Seems the worst thing is the sodium content. Report
I actually cut down on calories eating at Chipotle by having my burritos over two meals. They're so huge that I can never eat more than half anyway. A chicken burrito with healthy fillings only ends up being about 300 calories when you halve it! Report
Wow. I always thought the carnitas would be a good choice. Thanks for the great info. I love Chipotle. I always get the bowl - so I will now limit my add ons. Report
Me le gusta mucho! I was not surprised at the caloric or sodium counts. Thank you for the specifics here so that we can make optimum combinations. Chipotles food is fresh and flavorful. I have never had it too spicy, but then, I LOVE an intense spice and these guys keep it to a minimum for the masses. Great food! Report
My wife and daughter say Chipotle is too sicy for them but I love their food. I get a big old veggie fajita burrito and to handle the calories I have to eat light the rest of the day.

I like Chipotle much better than their competitors like Baja Fresh, and Moe's Southwest Grill. Report
We LUUUVVEE Chipotle! It's my teenage son's favorite fast food restaurant. Often my office will place a large order to go and several of us will split orders as there is always more than enough for two. My favorite item is the salad with extra lettuce and either a half portion of rice and beans or the chicken. I always get the corn salsa and green salsa and depending on whether I exercised that morning, will get the guacamole (on the side) or a small sprinkling of cheese.

And yes, Chipotle USED TO BE owned by McDonalds, but they sold it a few years back which is a good thing for Chipotle as they soon started expanding their menu and locations. Report
Wow! Chipotle sounds like a great place to eat on the run! Wish we had one near us - Nope! We do have a Mexican fast food place in Norwalk, that's even better considering how they do not add salt to their beans!! Yum.... Report
I ate at Chipotles for the very first time today! Gosh it was good. The food is really fresh and flavorful. I had a couple of different salsas on mine and some guacamole, but skipped the cheese. The black beans were very good. I had mine in "bowl" form so I could skip the added bread. I wanted to splurge on their great guacamole, so decided on no meats for this meal, but even those looked good, spiced and flavored but not swimming in some greasy liquid. I've added Chipotles to my short list of restaurants that I'm willing to spend my money at. I guess the older I get, the picker I get about what goes in my food and what I'm willing to spend my hard earned money on. This ones a winner Report
I worked for Chipotle for 3.5 years (left 2 years ago) and have never tired of their food. FWI (Food With Integrity) is the really deal for them and they take it very seriously. Only the freshest ingredients go into their food...EVER. My absolute favorite is the steak...I get it in a fajita bol (light on the rice or no rice) with extra corn salsa, green salsa and lettuce. Once in a while I will get some sour cream on the side and dip the tines of my fork into it for just a taste. I don't miss the cheese at all....sometimes I crave the guac though, but just a few bites and I'm satisfied. The one thing I've learned (just like dressing in other restaurants) is to get the fats (cheese, sour cream, guac) on the side and add it yourself. My other piece of advice would be to "pick your fat", what can't you live without as you are standing there? Guac? Cheese? OR Sour Cream?. Pick the one you want most (if any at all) and be satisfied with your choice.

Thanks for adding a link to the nutirtion calculator! Report
I love Chipotle. My boyfriend and I usually split a burrito bowl, either chicken or steak, with the green salsa, rice, black beans, cheese, sour cream and lettuce. Even when I go by myself, I can only eat half. I agree that their portion sizes are huge. Report
Chipotle is my weekly food splurge. I used to get the chicken fajita burrito, but since trying it in a bol it is unlikely that I will have the burrito again. I forgo the rice and beans and have chicken, fajita veggies, tomato salsa, sour cream, cheese and lettuce - it is awesome! The mix of the tomato salsa and sour cream makes a great dressing. Report
I love the chicken burrito bowl Report
I love the chicken burrito bowl Report
Thank you for the Chipotle calorie counter. I love their food and I am so very careful but I am never quite certain that I am accurately calculating the calories. I am down 29 lbs and want to keep moving in the right direction!!! Report
Chipotle is one of my favorite places to eat. I had no idea how many calories were in their burritos. I can't eat a whole one at one sitting if if I wanted to but I love the tip about having them divide it up and wrap half to save for a future meal. Report
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