Chipotle has certainly earned some loyal followers since it first opened back in the 90s. Now a fan favorite for fast-casual Mexican food across America, people everywhere love Chipotle for its generous portions, its build-your-own menu style, and its fresh ingredients.
From the rice in their burrito bowls to the tomatoes in their salsa to the cheese in their quesadillas, those fresh ingredients are key to making Chipotle what it is today. The national restaurant boasts no freezers, no can openers, no added hormones, and no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives (which is an impressive feat for a quick-service franchise).
As a brand, Chipotle is all about “being real” – and one of the ways the company commits to doing that is through the real ingredients they use. 53 of them, to be exact.
Every single item you can build and order at Chipotle is made from a selection of only 53 total ingredients, all of which are prepared fresh. So what are the 53 real ingredients that come together to create the flavorful favorites you love at Chipotle? Here’s the complete list.
|White Sweet Corn|
|Dairy + Animal Products|
|Monterey Jack Cheese|
|Legumes + Grains|
|Corn Masa Flour|
|Spices + Seasonings|
|Oils + Vinegars|
|Rice Bran Oil|
|Red Wine Vinegar|
|Water, Minerals + Enzymes|
That’s everything Chipotle uses to create its food! All 53 ingredients are “real” foods that you most likely recognize and know well – but you may be wondering about the last few on the list.
Lime, listed under “Water, Minerals + Enzymes”, is referring to the mineral lime (as opposed to the lime juice further up the list). It’s a white, powdery substance that’s naturally derived from limestone, shellfish, or coral. Lime helps corn become easier to digest; Chipotle uses it as an ingredient in their crispy corn tortillas.
Gypsum is another mineral that’s mined from a quarry and ground into a salt-like substance. It separates the curds from the whey when you add it to soy milk, and those curds are then formed into tofu. Chipotle uses gypsum in their signature Sofritas, which are their plant-based tofu offering.
Lastly, vegetable rennet may be something you’re not familiar with. Rennet is an enzyme that works the same way gypsum does – it separates milk curds from whey, and those curds become cheese. The rennet Chipotle uses is vegetable-based rather than animal-based, which makes their cheese vegetarian-friendly.
Chipotle uses rice bran oil as their primary cooking oil. They use rice bran oil to cook their meat because of its high smoke point and mild flavor.
Chipotle’s sofritas are a dish of chopped tofu that’s braised in a spicy chipotle sauce. It’s made with onions, bell peppers, garlic, and tomatoes, chipotle chiles, and a blend of spices.
Chipotle’s barbacoa is slow-cooked beef shoulder that’s marinated in a spicy chipotle pepper adobo and cooked with spices like oregano, cloves, and bay leaf.