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Does Chipotle use chicken breast?

Chipotle is known for its fresh, high-quality ingredients, especially when it comes to its chicken. As one of the main protein options on the menu, many customers wonder if Chipotle uses 100% chicken breast in its recipes or if other parts are included.

The Short Answer

Yes, Chipotle confirms that they use whole chicken breast meat in all of their chicken entrées and side dishes. They do not use processed blended chicken or chicken that contains fillers or binders.

Examining Chipotle’s Chicken Sources and Preparation

Chipotle takes pride in its commitment to fresh, responsibly raised ingredients. The chicken they serve in their restaurants aligns with these values.

Chicken Suppliers

Chipotle sources its chicken from a handful of trusted suppliers who also uphold high standards for quality and animal welfare. Their chicken is raised without the use of antibiotics or added hormones.

Suppliers that meet Chipotle’s standards include:

  • Miller Poultry – family-owned poultry supplier in Ohio
  • Shenandoah Valley Organic – organic chicken producer in Virginia
  • Bell & Evans – premium organic and air-chilled chicken from Pennsylvania

Chicken Processing and Prep

Once the chicken arrives at Chipotle’s distribution centers, it undergoes careful processing and preparation before being shipped to restaurants.

The chicken is trimmed of excess fat and rinsed thoroughly. Portioned chicken breasts are lightly marinated in a blend of lemon and lime juice, garlic, cumin, sea salt, and other spices. This helps add flavor and keeps the meat juicy when cooked on Chipotle’s signature flattop grills.

The chicken is grilled fresh daily in restaurants. It is not pre-cooked or pre-packaged.

The Benefits of Chicken Breast

Using whole chicken breast has several advantages over processed blended chicken or chicken with fillers:

More Tender and Juicy

Chicken breast is naturally leaner and contains less connective tissue than chicken thighs or wings. This makes it ideal for grilling into tender, juicy pieces.

Higher Protein

Chicken breast contains more protein per ounce than other cuts of chicken. A 6-ounce chicken breast can pack around 43 grams of protein.

Chicken Cut (cooked) Protein per 4 oz Serving
Chicken Breast 43 grams
Chicken Thigh 24 grams
Chicken Wing 18 grams

Lower Fat

Chicken breast contains less saturated fat and calories than chicken legs, thighs, or wings. This makes it a leaner choice for health-conscious customers.

Consistent Texture and Flavor

Chicken breast has a mild flavor and consistent meaty texture throughout. Blending chicken or adding fillers may create an uneven texture.

Premium Quality

Customers expect and pay for premium 100% chicken breast at restaurants known for higher standards like Chipotle. Using chicken blends could compromise quality and trust.

Chipotle’s Menu Options with Chicken

Chipotle uses its grilled adobo chicken breast in many popular menu items, including:

Burritos and Bowls

Burritos and bowls make up the bulk of orders at Chipotle. Customers can choose chicken as the protein in four different main entrée options:

  • Chicken Burrito or Bowl
  • Supergreen Salad Bowl with Chicken
  • 3-Meat 3-Cheese Bowl or Burrito with Chicken
  • Custom build-your-own burrito or bowl

Tacos and Salad

Tacos and salad provide lighter chicken options:

  • Soft or Crispy Chicken Tacos
  • Chicken Salad


Chicken can also be added as a side to almost any order:

  • Chicken Side
  • Half Chicken Side

Why Customers Appreciate Chipotle’s Chicken

Chipotle fans rave about the chicken and keep coming back for more. Here are some of the top reasons why:

Consistently Delicious

Using the same formula of 100% chicken breast, signature adobo marinade, and skilled grilling ensures every bite tastes great.

Perfectly Seared and Seasoned

Chipotle has mastered the technique of charring the outside while keeping the inside juicy and flavorful.

Satisfying Portion Sizes

Whether ordering tacos, a salad, or a hearty burrito bowl, the generous pieces of chicken leave customers feeling full.

Reliable Freshness

Knowing the chicken is grilled in small batches throughout the day provides peace of mind.

Complementary Flavors

Chipotle’s salsas, guacamole, beans, rice, and other sides balance each bite of chicken perfectly.

Ethical and Environmental Standards

Customers feel good supporting Chipotle’s commitment to responsibly raised poultry.

Chicken Alternatives at Chipotle

While chicken is the most popular protein at Chipotle, diners looking for lower calorie, vegetarian, or vegan options have plenty of alternatives to choose from, including:


Sofritas are Chipotle’s shredded spiced tofu made with organic soybeans. They offer a meatless protein packed with flavor.

Fajita Veggies

A mix of grilled onions, peppers, mushrooms, and other fresh vegetables make a hearty veggie filling.

Black Beans or Pinto Beans

Beans offer fiber, plant-based protein, and a topping most burrito lovers enjoy.


Freshly made guacamole adds creaminess and a nutrition boost of healthy fats.

Romaine Lettuce

Crisp romaine provides crunch and balances out burritos, bowls, tacos, and salads.


Chipotle takes pride in its fresh ingredients and customized food prep. When it comes to chicken, they stick to the basics by grilling up natural, hormone and antibiotic-free chicken breast. This commitment ensures every meal with chicken delivers tasty bites customers crave.