We Tried Chipotle’s Plant-Based Chorizo So You Don’t Have To
We’re only a few weeks into the new year, yet there have already been several new additions to the ever-expanding fast restaurant plant-based cannon. KFC finally joined the ring with their Beyond Fried Chicken Nuggets, but the outcome was far from spectacular.
Chipotle Mexican Grill had previously introduced its Plant-Based Chorizo, a vegan version of the famous Mexican spicy pork sausage. The restaurant company is no stranger to serving both flesh-free and chorizo options.
The tofu-based Sofritas has been on the menu for a long time (via AZCentral). Chorizo has been one of Chipotle’s biggest disasters, as the restaurant has tried (and failed) to satisfy the people with several variations of the sausage, including one that blended ground pork and sausage.
Furthermore, according to Chipotle Chief Marketing Officer Chris Brandt, “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.”
With such high hopes, we were eager to put the Plant-Based Chorizo to the test. Everything you need to know about Chipotle’s brand-new protein option is right here. Looking Here Chipotle Menu With Prices
Chipotle’s Plant-Based Chorizo Isn’t Lab-Made
Because plant-based is still a new category, there is considerable misunderstanding about what the phrase includes.
While companies like Impossible Foods are making a reputation for themselves with innovative (and disputed) laboratory-created vegetarian products, Chipotle emphasizes that the “real” ingredients for their Plant-Based Chorizo come from farms.
The sausage’s backbone is comprised of fresh peas, which, despite their mushy appearance, perfectly mimic the feel of ground pork.
Seasonings include chipotle chilies, crushed garlic, juicy tomatoes, and Spanish smoked paprika. With everything in it, it will not disappoint when it strikes your taste buds.
For individuals who have dietary concerns or limits other than avoiding animal products, this chorizo is gluten-free, grain-free, and soy-free.
If chemical additions, cheats, shortcuts, and general 21st-century kitchen wizardry irritate you, keep in mind that there are no additional preservatives, fake flavors, or dyes.
In connection with the launch of their Plant-Based Chorizo, Chipotle has also created three lifestyle bowls that combine the protein with a predetermined list of components (more on them later).
Of course, you can always go with the standard Chipotle customizable mix-and-match style and fill a bowl or tortilla with your favorite rice, beans, salsa, greens, cheese, and guacamole.
It’s packed with protein
It’s impossible to talk about food these days without discussing protein levels, so it’s no surprise that Chipotle is eager to stress how many grams their Plant-Based Chorizo contains. A regular 4-ounce dish contains 16 grams of protein, according to the chain.
While that is twice as much as a plate of Sofritas, it is less than the total amount of protein delivered by all of the actual meat fillings. (For the record, chicken has the most protein per serving (32 grams).
The Plant-Based Chorizo, on the other hand, has the most calories per serving (220). Sofritas and steak, both of which have 150 calories per serving, are at the bottom of the list.
Those on the Keto Diet should avoid the Plant-Based Chorizo, since its carbohydrate count is 16 grams per serving, putting it at the top of the rankings once more. It takes bronze with 8 grams of fat per serving, trailing Sofritas (10 grams per serving) and carnitas (12 grams per serving).
To be clear, these statistics are only for the fillings; if rice, beans, and various Chipotle toppings are added, those values are certain to rise.
It’s in The middle of The Pack of Chipotle Pricing
Be aware that just because this chorizo isn’t manufactured from genuine meat doesn’t mean you’ll save money. (Perhaps the cost of entrance is to cover the years of research and development that went into this undertaking).
While prices may vary depending on location, the Plant-Based Chorizo was $9.40 for a normal bowl, burrito, or taco order at our local Los Angeles Chipotle.
(It should be noted that, despite being advertised throughout the venue and available for ordering, the Plant-Based Chorizo had yet to be put to the printed menu in the actual restaurant.
So, how does that compare to the other highlighted proteins at Chipotle? In terms of plant-based options, it’s a buck more than Sofritas or the veggie and guacamole combo. It’s also more expensive than chicken ($8.40) and carnitas ($8.90), but less expensive than barbacoa and steak ($9.75).
For $11.95 you can have the Whole30 Salad Bowl, which includes a supergreens lettuce blend, fajita veggies, fresh tomato salsa, and guacamole, in addition to the Plant-Based Chorizo Lifestyle Bowls we highlighted.
A Vegetarian Bowl ($9.40) with a supergreens lettuce blend, pinto beans, fresh tomato salsa, fajita veggies, and cheese is also available.
For those who do not eat meat or dairy, there is the Vegan Bowl, which is made with white rice, black beans, corn salsa, fresh tomato salsa, and shredded romaine lettuce. That one, too, is $9.40.
Plant-Based Chorizo is Available For a Limited Time
The Chipotle Plant-Based Chorizo made its debut August 2021 exclusively in Denver and Indianapolis, per a Chipotle press release. But on January 3, 2022 it was officially unveiled with a nationwide rollout.
In addition to ordering the Plant-Based Chorizo at your neighborhood Chipotle to put in your bowl, tacos, or burrito, you can do it online at chipotle.com, through the Chipotle app, and through third-party delivery services like Postmates, DoorDash, and UberEats.
The Plant-Based Chorizo will be “available for a limited time,” according to the Chipotle news release, but no end date is specified.
Of course, the business may be trying to create hype by stating a limited window of availability, but in Chipotle’s 2014 news release for the launch of Sofritas,
By the end of that year, the firm specifically stated that the item will become a “permanent” menu item (and eight years later, it’s still available).
It would be difficult to believe that Chipotle would remove the Plant-Based Chorizo off the menu if it proves popular with customers.
It Tastes Similar To Pork Chorizo
Chipotle deserves credit: For a variety of reasons, choosing chorizo (the crumbly Mexican form, not the dried Spanish variety) for a plant-based remix was a wise choice.
Because the sausage is a Mexican staple, it’s a natural fit for the chain’s menu. Ground meat meals, notably burgers, have had the most success with plant-based conversions, so it stands to reason that sausage would be an excellent choice as well (via Food & Wine).
Because chorizo relies so largely on an intense blend of spices, the “meat” doesn’t have to do all the hard lifting.
But don’t act like you can’t tell the difference between this vegan, plant-based Chorizo and the genuine thing. It’s not as juicy or delicious, but it’s a decent replacement.
Another issue we noticed was that our Plant-Based Chorizo was overly burned. We’re not sure if this was an issue with that particular batch or if Chipotle is emphasizing the Plant-Based Chorizo’s suitability for a flat top sear, but the consequence was that some bites were a little acidic.
The dryness of the Plant-Based Chorizo makes it a poor choice as a solo taco filling, but because it delivers on flavor, it works well as a team player – combined with rice, beans, salsa, and other toppings — which is standard in a Chipotle order.
Plant-Based Chorizo Is a Major Upgrade From Sofritas
As previously said, the Plant-Based Chorizo is aggressively seasoned, and those spices are sure to shine no matter what extra toppings you add to your plate.
Sofritas, on the other hand, are at the opposite extreme of the flavor spectrum. If you’re only looking to add some nutrients and scrambled egg texture to your dinner, the tofu-based mash will suffice, but for flavor, whichever salsa you pick will take the lead.
In a plant-based battle, chorizo comes out on top. If you want to avoid meat but don’t mind spiciness, choose the grilled vegetable and guacamole combo, which we prefer over the Sofritas snoozefest.
But would we order the Plant-Based Chorizo instead of the real deal meat alternatives from Chipotle? Maybe. We wouldn’t mind adding a scoop to our meal if we were in a very spicy mood.
In general, we’d put it after barbacoa, carnitas, steak, and chicken (in that order). In other words, genuine flesh remains our personal preference.
Despite being plant-based, this certified vegan sausage has the characteristic salty, spicy, smoky chorizo flavor profile that we love. Overall, we say yes to peas!
Yes, Chipotle’s plant-based chorizo is vegan as it is made with entirely plant-based ingredients and contains no animal products.
No, Chipotle’s plant-based chorizo is gluten-free as it contains no wheat or gluten-containing ingredients.
Chipotle’s plant-based chorizo has a similar texture and spiciness level as their regular chorizo. However, the plant-based version has a slightly different flavor profile due to the absence of animal-based ingredients.
Yes, you can customize your Chipotle order to include plant-based chorizo as a protein option instead of the regular meat options.
Chipotle’s plant-based chorizo is slightly more expensive than their regular meat options, but the price difference is minimal.
You can check the Chipotle website or app to see if your local location offers plant-based chorizo as a protein option.
Yes, you can order Chipotle’s plant-based chorizo online for delivery or pickup through the Chipotle website or app.
As an AI language model, I am unable to provide personal opinions, but generally, if you are looking for a vegan or plant-based protein option at Chipotle, their plant-based chorizo is worth trying.