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6 Major Menu Changes You'll See at Chipotle

The slow-to-innovate brand has been making moves.
FACT CHECKED BY Joseph Neese

Anyone who's a fan of Chipotle knows the fast-casual chain doesn't take innovation lightly. Every ingredient has to live up to high standards of quality, and customer tests and feedback are considered long before new items hit the menu.

Chipotle has freshened up its menu over the past year, in part by upgrading one popular ingredient and adding an entire new category. Here are the biggest changes you'll see on your next trip there.

And for more on the latest fast-food trends, check out 6 Most Anticipated Fast-Food Menu Items Launching This Year.

1

An upgraded salad mix

supergreens chipotle
Courtesy of Chipotle

 

In case you missed it, Chipotle upgraded its salad greens last year. The Supergreens Salad Mix, which is used as a base for salads and healthy Lifestyle Bowls, has baby kale and baby spinach in addition to romaine lettuce. The new greens pack antioxidant benefits, so you can feel better about eating lunch out. This upgrade has been rolled out nationwide.

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2

A new meaty protein

chipotle smoked brisket
Courtesy of Chipotle

Chipotle started testing a brand new meaty protein in November, which is a big deal for a brand that's notorious for sticking to its core menu. The new Smoked Brisket is a flavorful take on a popular cut of beef. It's rubbed with a blend of spices, seared on the grill, and finished with a punchy sauce made with Mexican peppers. Only a handful of lucky locations across California and Ohio are currently able to enjoy this new menu addition. If all goes well, a national rollout is likely in store.

3

New organic beverages

chipotle tractor beverages
Courtesy of Chipotle

Have you noticed that Chipotle now offers new, organic beverage options? The company announced a partnership with farmer-founded Tractor Beverage Co. last summer, and all nationwide locations now offer new aguas frescas, lemonades, and teas made from sustainably grown, real ingredients like turmeric, hibiscus, citruses, and berries.

4

A new plant-based rice option

chipotle cauliflower rice
Courtesy of Chipotle

Like the rest of us, Chipotle kicked off 2021 with a health-forward mindset. Hence the addition of a new plant-based "rice" that's been trending in healthy eating for several years. The chain's Cauliflower Rice is made with freshly grilled, riced cauliflower and finished with cilantro, lime, and salt, which makes it anything but bland. The new addition, which costs $2 extra, will give those following Whole30, veganpaleo, and keto diets a good reason to eat at Chipotle. However, this item is only available for a limited time.

5

Sneaky upcharges

Courtesy of Chipotle

Here's some bad news for those of you who love noshing on a side tortilla with your bowl or salad—they aren't free anymore. The chain began charging for tortilla-on-the-side requests last fall, and fans weren't amused (even though the 25-cent upcharge was small).

But that wasn't the only upcharge to hit Chipotle customers amid the pandemic. Thanks to a proliferation of digital orders, the chain is apparently better able to serve more consistent portion sizes than on store assembly lines. Want a little more of that barbacoa or salsa in your bowl? You now have to order them as separate sides instead of simply asking your Chipotle server for a little extra. Just like that, the pandemic (and digital ordering) took away some of our favorite Chipotle menu hacks.

6

A new entrée

chipotle quesadilla
Courtesy of Chipotle

After years of customer requests, the Hand-Crafted Quesadilla is finally on Chipotle menus nationwide! This formerly secret menu item is highly customizable, allowing customers to select their choice of protein and three sides. It's already available nationwide, but only via digital orders (which you can place on the chain's website or app). Yes, hand-mashed guac is still extra!

For more, check out 108 Most Popular Sodas Ranked By How Toxic They Are.

Mura Dominko
Mura is a Deputy Editor leading ETNT's coverage of America's favorite fast foods and restaurant chains. Read more