What To Order At Chipotle If You Don't Eat Meat

Compared to other restaurant chains, Chipotle has long been ahead of the pack when it comes to meatless options. In fact, back in 2008 (which was somehow almost 15 years ago), Vegetarian Journal labeled the Tex-Mex eatery as one of the few truly vegetarian-friendly places to go out for a meal. In addition to the non-meat options, the restaurant's design has arguably been a big factor. Chipotle's cafeteria-style setup enables patrons to customize their order however they like, so ordering a meat-free meal has always been as simple as well, omitting the meat from the bowl or burrito.


In the years since 2008, the company has made an even greater effort to expand its options for meat-free eaters. Even the pinto beans became certifiably meat-free in 2013, according to Consumerist. According to a 2021 World of Vegan video, 44 of the 53 ingredients Chipotle uses are not only vegetarian but certified vegan, including its tortillas, rice, chips, salsas, vegetables, and guacamole. In fact, at the counter, the only non-vegan menu items aside from the meat options are the queso blanco, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, and chipotle-honey salad dressing, all four of which are vegetarian, per Chipotle's website

With that many choices, you could probably come up with a ton of meatless meal combinations. We won't attempt to list them all, but what we can tell you are some of the best things you can and should order at Chipotle if you don't eat meat.

Burritos, bowls, tacos, and salads with fajita veggies

Chipotle's meal setup makes it easy to transform pretty much anything on the menu into a vegetarian option. If you're ordering in person or online with the Chipotle app, start off your meatless meal by selecting the base: a flour tortilla if you want a nice hearty burrito or a bowl with your choice of white or brown rice. Looking for something lighter? You can order a single or set of three tacos, which come on either small flour or corn tortillas. Watching your carbs? Ask for a salad, which starts with a bed of romaine or a super greens lettuce blend (You can still add rice to this if you want, or even order half rice, half salad). 

From there, as long as you skip the meat, you're free to load up on as many fixings you want, including fajita veggies (which consist of sautéed bell peppers and onions), black or pinto beans, corn-chili salsa, medium tomatillo salsa, hot salsa, tomato salsa, sour cream, cheese, queso, and romaine lettuce. Pro tip: If you're feeling extra hungry, you can ask for up to four spoonfuls of each topping.

Best of all, the guacamole is included at no extra charge when you stick with just veggies. Even if you don't identify as a vegetarian, not having to pay extra may be reason enough to opt out of ordering meat every once in a while.


While some people will be plenty satisfied with just fajita veggies in their order, those who are craving more protein may want to consider trying Chipotle's signature animal-free protein, sofritas. First introduced in 2014, the meatless creation remains a staple for vegetarian fans nationwide. According to CNN, the chain sold 7.5 million pounds of it in 2018 alone. 

Consisting of crumbled organic tofu braised in roasted poblanos, chipotles, and other Mexican spices (per Nation's Restaurant News), sofritas offer a spicy, chili-like flavor that's as rich as real meat, according to Reddit. Some reviewers describe it as having a kick (per Business Insider), so it may be preferable for those who don't mind a bit of heat. Additionally, at 150 calories and 8 grams of protein per serving, this meat free alternative is solid option for those who crave a flavorful vegetarian dish that will fill them up just a bit more than the standard mix of fajita grilled peppers and onions. Order sofritas the same way you would with any meat: inside a burrito, or on top of a burrito bowl, salad, or tacos. 

However, there is one catch: Although sofritas are vegetarian, it technically counts as protein, which means you'll have to pay extra for guac. Disappointing, yes, but we probably don't need to convince you that the chain's guacamole is well worth the extra fee.

Plant-based lifestyle bowls

While you can always go the route of building a meatless bowl, burrito, or salad, if you're trying to make healthier choices, figuring out what combination of ingredients satisfies your taste buds and nutritional needs can be a hassle.Those who would rather not do any guesswork may want to consider Chipotle's plant-based "lifestyle bowls," two preconfigured options available exclusively online and via the Chipotle app.

Per Chipotle, the vegan lifestyle bowl is made using 100% certified vegan ingredients, including brown rice, sofritas, black beans, fresh tomato salsa, roasted chili-corn salsa, and romaine lettuce. It contains 600 calories, 19 grams of fat, and 23 grams of protein.

The vegetarian bowl includes super greens salad topped with brown rice, black beans, fajita veggies, fresh tomato salsa, and guac. (The reason it isn't vegan is because of the salad dressing it comes with is made with honey, which while dairy free, is not vegan, per Healthline.) Without modifications, this entree clocks in at around 620 calories, 30 grams of fat, and 15 grams of protein, which isn't bad considering you get a substantial amount of food. By comparison, a custom vegetarian burrito bowl fully loaded with all the fixings (including cheese and sour cream) clocks in at 920 calories and 48 grams of fat, per the Chipotle nutrition calculator. Deciding which bowl is right for you comes down to preference, but those who have a soy sensitivity may prefer this option because the sofritas are made with tofu.

Salsa and guacamole

At most fast-food restaurants, the snack selection for vegetarians is limited to salty snacks such as french fries. And as delicious as fried foods are, as Healthline points out, eating them frequently may increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other complications.

But at Chipotle, vegetarians have plenty of options for a slightly better-for-you light bite. For one, all four of the chain's salsas are made with fresh ingredients, such as fresh tomatoes, cilantro, onions, tomatillos, and peppers. But as many Chipotle fans will tell you, the guacamole is where it's at. As we learned from TikTok, each location makes the creamy concoction fresh daily using a flavorful combination of hand smashed Haas avocado, lime juice, jalapeños, cilantro, onion, and salt. No peas, no sour cream, no preservatives to be found. Just fresh, buttery green deliciousness. In fact, because of its immense popularity, the company started offering it in a large size a few years ago.

And because avocado is the main ingredient, you'll get some health benefits with each order. Per Healthline, avocados are an excellent source of fiber, along with other nutrients such as vitamin C and vitamin E.

Queso blanco

While we're on the subject of sides ... guacamole may be Chipotle's crown jewel, but it isn't the only tasty meat-free snack the chain has to offer. Enter the chain's Queso Blanco dip. Not to be confused with the chain's previous nacho queso — or the original queso that everyone hated, per Business Insider. This new take on the Tex-Mex classic debuted in March 2020 and has remained a mainstay on the menu ever since. 

Traditional queso often uses aged cheddar or a processed cheese such as American or Velveeta, notes U.S. Dairy. But Chipotle's queso blanco is made entirely with all natural ingredients, including real aged Monterey Jack cheese, chipotles, poblanos, tomatoes, and various spices, per the Chipotle website

Described by one Redditor as extra "creamy" and containing  "the perfect amount of spice," the cheesy dip can be ordered as an extra top of an entrée or as a standalone side.


Given that the burrito bowl has become kind of synonymous with Chipotle brand, it can be easy to overlook other hidden gems on the menu. For instance, did you know the chain sells quesadillas? It's okay if you didn't. Chipotle only started selling them in 2021 as an app-exclusive offering, and they've been a hit ever since. Per CNN, quesadillas now make up 10% of the chain's orders.

While most vegetarians are probably already familiar with quesadillas as a reliable, basic meatless meal, it's worth noting that Chipotle's hand-crafted quesadillas are probably nothing like the ones you make at home. As noted by one reviewer in The Takeout, the quesadilla consists of one of the chain's gigantic, preservative-free tortillas twice folded over melted, Monterey Jack cheese, which makes for an extra "sturdy" meal that won't leak any toppings out of the sides.

And though you can certainly call it a day there and eat this as is, you also get the option to fill it with a medley of grilled peppers and onions or sofritas at no extra charge, which gives an otherwise basic meal a boost of flavor. Your order also comes with your choice of three complimentary sides arranged in their own section on the tray.