Chipotle adds plant-based chorizo to menu for limited time

A new, craveable protein from Chipotle, Plant-Based Chorizo is certified vegan, packed with 16 grams of protein per 4oz serving, and is made without artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, grains, gluten, or soy.

Chipotle Mexican Grill announced that it will add plant-based chorizo to its menu for a limited time at U.S. locations. 

"A new, craveable protein, Plant-Based Chorizo is made using all real, fresh ingredients grown on a farm, not in a lab," the company said in a news release Monday. 

The company expanded its rollout after testing out the food option in Denver and Indianapolis in August 2021. 

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"We are thrilled to introduce guests to our new, flavor-packed Plant-Based Chorizo during a season when healthier options are top of mind," Chris Brandt, Chief Marketing Officer, said. "Plant-Based Chorizo is our best chorizo ever and proves that you don't have to sacrifice flavor to enjoy a vegan or vegetarian protein."

According to Chipotle, the list of ingredients include chipotle peppers, tomato paste, crushed garlic, Spanish smoked paprika and extra virgin olive oil. The protein will come from peas. 

"Creating a delicious plant-based protein that sizzles on the grill with the robust flavor and texture profile chorizo-lovers expect was a real challenge," Nevielle Panthaky, Vice President of Culinary, said. "Our culinary team has worked relentlessly for years to develop this breakthrough Plant-Based Chorizo recipe that is uniquely Chipotle and aligns with the brand's industry-leading Food with Integrity standards."

The restaurant chain is also rolling out preconfigured "Lifestyle Bowls" with the meatless chorizo for people who follow various diets such as Whole30Ⓡ, Keto, Paleo, high protein, vegan and vegetarian.

To further promote the product, the restaurant will offer a $0 delivery fee for plant-based chorizo orders on the Chipotle app or website. 

Chipotle continues to follow the footsteps of other restaurants chains offering more healthy options for customers.

In 2019, McDonald’s started selling the PLT, or the plant, lettuce and tomato burger. McDonald’s said it developed the special recipe using burgers from Beyond Meat, a California-based startup that makes "meat" from pea protein, canola oil, beet juice and other ingredients.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.