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The Healthiest Foods At Chipotle, According To Nutritionists

Chipotle bowls
Image by Chipotle
July 6, 2019
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Summer means lazy beach days, family reunions, and road trips—most of which require at least a few hours in the car or hanging at the airport. And while we'd love to prep and pack enough healthy, homemade fare to last us the duration of our travel time, that's not always realistic. At some point your choices will inevitably be limited to whatever's available off the next highway exit. So, you just have to do the best you can—but we're here to offer some help. Each week this summer, we'll be polling top dietitians for their go-to healthy picks from fast-food and fast-casual restaurants so you're never caught off guard. Next up: Chipotle!
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Paleo Salad Bowl

I love that sustainability is part of Chipotle's values and how they aim to provide high-quality ingredients for fast food. These dishes can get super high in sodium, though, so if you are doing a Chipotle run, then double up your water intake and have a banana for a snack, as the potassium will help flush out some of that excess salt. And then aim to have a homemade dinner (read: no salt added). If you're thinking premade, their new Paleo Salad Bowl (part of their new Lifestyle Bowls lineup, which also includes keto, Whole30, and double-protein bowls) is a good grain-free option that's high in veggies and low in carbs and sugar. Or you can make your own, which is what I do. I go with a salad so the base is romaine, then I add in double portions of the fajita veggies, fresh tomato salsa, and black beans or the chicken with guac on the side.

Brigitte Zeitlin, R.D., owner of BZ Nutrition


Chicken Burrito Bowl or Whole30 Salad Bowl

At Chipotle, I order the Chicken Burrito Bowl with brown rice and black beans. My toppings include lettuce, fresh tomato salsa, and guacamole. This combination provides healthy fat, lean protein, and whole grains. It's a pretty large serving, though, so I try to eat half and save the rest for tomorrow's lunch! Chipotle also has a new Whole30 Salad Bowl, which is a healthier menu option as well. It is lower in carbohydrates for those who are seeking that. For a leaner protein source, I would suggest substituting the carnitas in it with chicken. 

Jessica Bouchard, R.D., founder of Wellness Provision

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Vegetarian Burrito Bowl

I love Chipotle's menu because it's super customizable. You can go light, normal, or extra on their ingredients and can order the toppings on the side. My go-to is a burrito bowl with a light filling of cilantro-lime brown rice, black beans, guacamole, and a light topping of roasted chili-corn salsa. This adds up to a filling (but not overstuffed) 505 calories, 27 g fat, 13.5 g protein, and 840 mg sodium. Chipotle uses really great ingredients, but it's easy to overdo it there purely on the size of most of the dishes, so pace yourself and save some for leftovers.

Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, author of Eating in Color


Custom Salad Bowl

Because the menu is so customizable, Chipotle is a great option when you're trying to stay on track with healthy habits. I would go for a bowl with either chicken, steak, or black beans as the protein source, then load up on the fajita veggies and lettuce, and add some fresh tomato salsa and guacamole.

Jess Cording, R.D., mbg Collective member

I had a patient who worked at Chipotle, so I became very well versed in their menu options because they provide their staff with meals. I really appreciate the customizable nature of their offerings. My top pick would be a salad with guacamole, pinto beans, fajita vegetables, salsa as a veggie option. This one will provide a nice dose of fiber coming from the beans and fajita vegetables, and a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats from the guacamole. The salsa as a dressing provides extra flavor and pop. If you want to make this a meat-eater version, add a half portion of barbacoa.

Maya Feller, R.D., founder of Maya Feller Nutrition

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Stephanie Eckelkamp
Stephanie Eckelkamp
Contributing Health & Nutrition Editor

Stephanie Eckelkamp is a writer and editor who has been working for leading health publications for the past 10 years. She received her B.S. in journalism from Syracuse University with a minor in nutrition. In addition to contributing to mindbodygreen, she has written for Women's Health, Prevention, and Health. She is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She has a passion for natural, toxin-free living, particularly when it comes to managing issues like anxiety and chronic Lyme disease (read about how she personally overcame Lyme disease here).