Looking for a quick and easy gluten-free meal? Chipotle Mexican Grill has plenty of gluten-free options! This article has the details on what to eat and what to avoid when dining at Chipotle, especially for those on a strict gluten-free diet.
Is Chipotle Gluten-Free?
Chipotle is mostly gluten-free. According to Chipotle's allergen grid, all menu items are gluten-free except for the flour tortillas, which are used in the burritos, soft tacos, and quesadillas.
While the flour tortillas are the only products that contain gluten, Chipotle also recommends avoiding items with corn, including chips, crispy corn tortillas, and corn salsa, especially if you are highly sensitive to gluten or have Celiac disease.
The company states these items may have trace amounts of gluten from potentially co-mingling with gluten-containing grains in the field.
Lastly, Chipotle notes that if you are highly sensitive to gluten and would like them to change their gloves, just let them know at the start of your order.
If you are very sensitive to gluten, you will also need to consider how to avoid cross-contact in the store when placing your order.
What is Gluten-Free at Chipotle?
Below is a list of gluten-free items at Chipotle. Chipotle often adds new or limited time options that may also be gluten-free. Be sure to check Chipotle's allergen grid to ensure any new items are also gluten-free before ordering.
Entrées That Can Be Made Gluten-Free
- Burrito Bowl
- Lifestyle Bowl
- Tacos with Crispy Corn Tortillas*
- Kids Meal - Build Your Own Tacos with Crispy Corn Taco Shell*
Beans & Rice
- Brown Rice
- White Rice
- Black Beans
- Pinto Beans
Toppings, Sides, and Other Items
- Fajita Vegetables
- Fresh Tomato Salsa
- Tomatillo Green-Chili Salsa
- Tomatillo Red-Chili Salsa
- Monterey Jack Cheese
- Romaine Lettuce
- Sour Cream
- Queso Blanco
- Honey Vinaigrette
*The items below do not have gluten ingredients but may have trace amounts of gluten from co-mingling in the fields. Tortilla chips are made in a dedicated fryer.
- Roasted Chili-Corn Salsa
- Crispy Corn Tortillas
- Tortilla Chips
Does Chipotle Have a Gluten-Free Menu?
Chipotle does not have a specific gluten-free menu, but most items at Chipotle are inherently gluten-free. You can also set your nutrition preferences within the app to easily see which items to avoid.
With your selections or dietary preferences saved, the app will alert you if you're choosing an item with an ingredient you're trying to avoid and tell you which items apply to a specific diet, such as vegetarian, Vegan, Paleo, Keto, or Whole30.
To do this, go into the menu on your app and select an item you wish to order, such as the burrito bowl. In the top right corner, tap where it says "Nutrition".
Then select the ingredients you're trying to avoid as well as any special diet you're trying to follow. Then click "apply".
As long as you're signed into the app, your nutrition preferences will be saved for future visits, making it easy to see what menu items to avoid. You'll see a red dot with an exclamation point next to any item that matches your "I'm avoiding" selections, a green dot with a v for vegan and vegetarian options, and a grey dot with an L for lifestyle selections.
How to Avoid Gluten at Chipotle
There are some items to avoid and precautions to take if you have Celiac disease or are gluten intolerant when dining at Chipotle Restaurants.
Items You Must Avoid
You must avoid anything made with the flour tortillas, which contain wheat flour and gluten. Currently that includes, burritos, soft shell tacos, and quesadillas.
Items You May Want To Avoid
According to Chipotle, anything with corn could have traces of gluten from co-mingling in the fields.
- Corn Salsa
- Corn Chips
- Crispy Corn Tortillas for Tacos
Since these items don't have gluten-ingredients, some people will take the risk and eat it, others will avoid. It's a personal decision based on your sensitivity.
Avoiding Cross Contact in Store
Even though most of Chipotle's items are gluten-free, you still need to be wary of cross-contact, sometimes mistakenly referred to as cross-contamination, due to the nature of Chipotle's assembly line process.
- Since workers may have used their gloved hands to handle the burritos that came before you, their gloves could be a source of gluten cross-contact. For this reason, you should ask the Chipotle employees to change their gloves before making your meal.
- Avoid anything that would be put in the tortilla press, which is mostly items made with gluten anyway so this should be easy.
- Consider the toppings. The cheese and lettuce are a high risk for cross-contact since the employees actually grab these ingredients with their hands. You should either avoid these items or ask for fresh ingredients from the back.
As far as asking for ingredients from fresh containers for the remaining toppings, that is a judgement call you will have to make based on your sensitivity and comfort levels.
Some people are comfortable eating the items that are scooped with a spoon, others are not. You can ask the workers to get fresh ingredients from the back if available. In this case you can be extra confident that your order has not had contact with gluten.
Another note, be wary of items that may fall into another topping. For example, the sour cream at my location often looks contaminated with the cheese, which is stored directly behind it. In this case I would definitely ask for it to be taken from a fresh container or avoid this item.
Generally speaking, Chipotle is a great place to get a gluten-free meal at a reasonable price but be advised that it is a restaurant chain and it is possible that not all Chipotle locations are as safe as others. It really comes down to the management at your local Chipotle.
If you have other food allergies or sensitivities, be sure to check out Chipotle's website and look for the ingredient list, which is available for each of Chipotle's menu items.
Yes, Chipotle brown rice is gluten-free. The ingrediets are: brown rice, bay leaf, cilantro, lemon juice, lime juice, rice bran oil, salt, and water.
Yes, someone with Celiac Disease can eat at Chipotle. Avoid the flour tortillas, used in burritos, soft tacos, and quesadillas, as those contain wheat. Take extra precautions by avoiding items with corn, asking workers to change their gloves, and also ask for fresh toppings from the back. These steps can help you have a safe dining experience.
Chipotle bowls are a burrito that is assembled in a bowl instead of wrapped in a tortilla. They do not inherently contain gluten unless you ask for an item with gluten to be added, such as the flour tortilla.
Chipotle chicken is gluten-free. The ingredients are chicken, chipotle chili, cumin, garlic, oregano, salt, sunflower oil, salt, black pepper, and distilled vinegar.
Yes, Chipotle steak is gluten-free. The ingredients are steak, chipotle chili, cumin, garlic, oregano, salt, sunflower oil, salt, and black pepper.
Yes, Chipotle carnitas are gluten-free. The ingredients are bay leaf, black pepper, juniper berries, pork, salt, sunflower oil, and thyme.
Chipotle restaurants are generally a great place to get a safe and delicious gluten-free meal. Most Chipotle menu items are naturally gluten-free, the only items with gluten are the flour tortillas.
If you are highly sensitive to gluten, you need to consider the risk of cross-contact with gluten and ask for accommodations from staff members accordingly.
You can minimize this risk by asking the person preparing your meal to change their gloves and grab fresh toppings from the back.