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Images: Courtesy Chipotle

We ranked the entire menu so you can create the best Chipotle order possible

From the juiciest proteins to the most lip-smacking toppings, here's how to craft the best Chipotle order

Written by
Eric Grossman

While we certainly love our Popeyes and Taco Bell, Chipotle stands out as one of the healthier fast food options. You won’t find any artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, microwaves, freezers or can openers here, and you can customize your order to your heart’s content. But with 53 total ingredients on the menu, how do you come up with the best Chipotle order? We’ve ranked all of Chipotle’s menu items, by category, to help you craft your next order.

Given the number of ingredients, you can chow down on a new combination at Chipotle every week. Start by deciding on the base of your meal. For a tasty hand-held option, go for a traditional burrito or an order of three tacos. If you’re not into tortillas, try a burrito bowl. For something a little lighter, there are salads and even bowls that cater to your nutritional preferences: Whole30, Keto, Paleo, high protein, vegan and vegetarian.

Once you’ve decided on the format, it’s time to customize with toppings and ingredients. Choosing among fajita veggies, sofritas, juicy meats marinated in flavorful spices, and a variety of beans, rice, salsas and other toppings can be overwhelming. So allow us to steer you towards the best Chipotle order with these menu rankings.

RECOMMENDED: Chipotle's carne asada is back on the menu

Best Chipotle order: Ranked menu

Fajita veggies
Photograph: Courtesy Chipotle

9. Fajita veggies

Chipotle is popular with vegetarians looking for some serious bang for their buck without the pressure to consider animal proteins. While you'll need to go to your local Tex-Mex sit-down spot for the sizzling platter experience, Chipotle's fajita veggies—thinly chopped and well-seasoned slices of bell pepper and onion—offer a nice base for enjoying fresh salsas and other flavors.

Photograph: Courtesy Chipotle/William Brinson

8. Sofritas

Made with spicy organic tofu, bell pepper, poblano pepper, onion and more, Chipotle's sofritas offers lots of umami for a meatless option. Many customers are surprised to learn that it has more fat, sodium, carbs and sugar than their other proteins. (It also has fewer calories and less protein as well.)

Photograph: Courtesy Chipotle

7. Beans

Your choice is black or pinto—although some customers ask for both, and others skip the beans entirely. But would you believe Chipotle serves some fancy black beans? The company uses varieties such as Condor, Blackhawk, Domino, Valentine and Black Magic. If you're looking for a richer, smokier bean experience, go with the pintos.

Queso blanco
Photographer: Courtesy Chipotle

6. Queso blanco

When going all-out at Chipotle, it’s hard to turn down some queso. Whether you have the staff slather it on to your bowl, or order some on the side for dipping, you can’t go wrong. Chipotle’s take on queso features a bit of spice, and you’ll want to make sure you have enough chips on hand for every last gooey drop.

Photograph: Courtesy Chipotle

5. Rice

Both of Chipotle's rice options—brown (favored by the health-conscious) and white—are steamed, seasoned with citrus, and sprinkled with cilantro. While traditionalists eschew rice in their tacos, many a Chipotle regular can't resist adding rice to their order, regardless of whether it's a burrito, taco, bowl or salad.

Photograph: Courtesy Chipotle/Beth Galton

4. Chips

Everyone has their own preferred style of tortilla chips. Made with corn masa flour, sunflower oil, water, lime juice and kosher salt, Chipotle's chips are served warm and are exceptionally light, thin and crispy.

Fresh salsas
Photograph: Courtesy Chipotle/William Brinson

3. Fresh salsas

True aficionados of Mexican cuisine know how important salsa is. The right one can make a dish, while the wrong one can ruin a meal. Chipotle offers four salsas of varying heat levels and textures, meaning there’s something for every palate. Our go-to is the lightest of the bunch, the fresh tomato salsa: vine-ripened tomatoes, red onion, cilantro and spices. There are red and green tomatillo-chili salsas, the latter of which gets a kick from Tabasco. And for some texture, consider asking for the roasted chili-corn salsa, which contains sweet corn, poblano peppers, jalapeños and cilantro.

Photograph: Courtesy Chipotle

2. Guacamole

Chipotle wins major points for hand-mashing its guac. In fact, seeing an employee working their way through a mound of avocados is a common occurrence. Chipotle’s guac depends on the quality of the avos, but in general you should be able to discern hints of garlic, red onion and cilantro.

Photograph: Courtesy Chipotle

1. Meats

For many Chipotle devotees, it’s all about the animal proteins. Sometimes we opt for the carnitas (hand-shredded, braised pork seasoned with juniper berries, thyme and bay leaves) or chicken (marinated overnight in smoky, spicy chipotle pepper adobo, and then grilled and charred), though most of the time we go the beefy route. Chipotle’s responsibly-raised beef is first cooked sous vide, then marinated overnight in the same chipotle pepper adobo, and finished on the grill (for steak) or slow-braised with aromatics and hand-shredded (for barbacoa).

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