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Does Chipotle restaurant use chicken thighs?

Chipotle Mexican Grill is one of the most popular fast-food chains in the United States that offers a variety of Mexican-themed dishes. Known for its customizable burritos, tacos, and bowls, Chipotle is a go-to option for many people looking for a quick and satisfying meal. However, one question that has been on the minds of many Chipotle customers is whether or not the restaurant uses chicken thighs in their dishes.

History of Chipotle

Chipotle Mexican Grill was founded in 1993, with its first location in Denver, Colorado. The restaurant chain was created by Steve Ells, who was a classically trained chef, and focused on using high-quality ingredients to create his dishes. The restaurant quickly gained popularity, and by 1998, it had expanded to Arizona and Kansas.

In 2006, Chipotle became a public company, and as of 2021, the chain has over 2,700 locations across the world. The restaurant is known for using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and offering a customizable menu where customers can choose their own protein, toppings, and sides.

Chipotle’s Meat Options

Chipotle offers several meat options for their customers, including steak, chicken, carnitas, barbacoa, and sofritas (a vegetarian option). Each protein option has its own unique flavor profile, texture, and preparation method.

When it comes to chicken, many customers wonder if Chipotle uses chicken thighs or chicken breasts. The answer is that the restaurant primarily uses chicken thighs. Chicken thigh meat is more moist and tender than breast meat, making it a popular choice amongst chefs.

Why Use Chicken Thighs?

Chicken thigh meat has several advantages over chicken breast meat. For one, it has a higher fat content, which makes it more flavorful and moist. Chicken thighs are also more forgiving in cooking, as they are less likely to dry out or become overcooked.

Additionally, chicken thighs are more cost-effective than chicken breasts, which may explain why Chipotle chooses to use them in their dishes. Thighs are often less expensive than breasts, which allows the restaurant to offer more affordable menu items to their customers.

Alternatives to Chicken Thighs

While Chipotle primarily uses chicken thighs in their dishes, it’s worth noting that they have also experimented with other chicken cuts in the past. In 2019, the restaurant introduced “Carne Asada” to its menu, which is made with thinly sliced steak that is marinated and seasoned for flavor.

Chipotle has also experimented with other alternative proteins, such as sofritas (a tofu-based option), barbacoa (shredded beef), and carnitas (pulled pork). These options offer customers a chance to try something new and different, while still enjoying the classic flavors and style of Chipotle.


In conclusion, Chipotle Mexican Grill primarily uses chicken thighs in their dishes. Chicken thighs are flavorful, moist, and cost-effective, making them a popular choice amongst chefs and restaurants. While Chipotle has experimented with other chicken cuts and proteins, chicken thighs remain a staple in their menu. Next time you visit Chipotle, you can rest assured that your chicken bowl or burrito is made with high-quality and delicious ingredients.


Is the chicken at Chipotle breast or thigh?

If you’re a fan of Chipotle’s chicken, you may have wondered whether it’s made with breast meat or thigh meat. The answer is that Chipotle’s chicken is made with thigh meat. Chipotle uses boneless, skinless chicken thighs that are marinated in a blend of spices, then grilled on a flat-top grill.

Many people prefer chicken breast over thighs because it’s considered healthier and has less fat. However, chicken thigh meat is actually juicier and more flavorful than breast meat, due to its higher fat content. It also tends to be more affordable than chicken breast, making it a cost-effective choice for restaurants like Chipotle.

While some may be disappointed to hear that Chipotle’s chicken isn’t made with breast meat, it’s worth giving their chicken thighs a chance. They’re seasoned and cooked to perfection, making them a great protein option for any Chipotle dish. Whether you’re ordering a burrito, bowl, taco, or salad, the chicken at Chipotle is sure to satisfy your craving.