If you’re an athlete looking for a quick and nutritious meal on-the-go, and want to eat gluten free at Chipotle, you are in luck.
With fresh ingredients and customizable menu options, it’s easy to create a satisfying gluten free meal that meets your nutritional needs.
Since everything at Chipotle is gluten free except for the flour tortillas, you can fuel your body without compromising your health, dietary and sports nutrition needs.
In this post, we’ll walk you through the best ways to eat gluten-free at Chipotle. So you can stay on top of your game both on and off the field.
Is Chipotle completely gluten free
While Chipotle is not completely gluten free, most of the ingredients are. The only gluten containing food at Chipotle is the flour tortillas.
However, Chipotle also has a disclaimer for those who have celiac disease. It suggests that you may want to avoid the crispy corn tortillas, chips and corn salsa because these foods might have trace amounts of gluten due to cross contamination in the field.
Additionally, anyone who has celiac disease or a high gluten sensitivity should take extra steps to avoid cross contamination.
First, ask the server to change their gloves before preparing your food. Second, ask them to bring fresh food from the back so you they’re using food that contaminated gloves haven’t touched. (1)
Don’t be shy to ask. They practically tell you to ask them to take extra care to prevent cross contamination. And they’re happy to accommodate.
The Chipotle menu items to avoid are burritos, quesadillas and the kid’s build your own meal with small flour tortillas. Additionally if you order a kid’s meal, you could ask to swap any shell or tortilla for brown or white cilantro rice.
We’d recommend this if you have celiac or high sensitivity to gluten.
Gluten free carbohydrate options at Chipotle
The main gluten free carbohydrates at Chipotle are the brown and white cilantro and lime rice, black and pinto beans and crispy corn tortillas and chips.
Both white and brown rice are cooked with water and bay leaf and seasoned with lime juice and salt.
White and brown rice make a good high carbohydrate base to fuel your energy stores for your practice or game.
The black and pinto beans simmered in water, bay leaves and salt, do not contain any gluten ingredients. They provide a good source of gluten free carbs and plant based protein for vegetarian and vegan athletes.
Corn tortillas and chips
The corn tortillas are made from a simple blend of corn masa flour, water, lime and sunflower oil. Similarly, the tortilla chips are made from corn masa flour, sunflower oil, water, a squeeze of lime juice and kosher salt.
Gluten free protein options at Chipotle
Since the protein options at Chipotle are gluten free, you can take your pick of your favorite proteins to pile high to create your best high protein burrito bowl for recovery or add protein to your athlete plate to create a pre game meal.
Keep in mind that seasonal meats may not be gluten free and you should always ask before you order.
The chicken is cooked with adobo seasoning, which includes chipotle chili peppers, garlic and other spices.
Steak and barbacoa
The steak and barbacoa are cooked sous vide then marinated overnight in chipotle adobo. Then it’s grilled and more spices like oregano, bay and cloves are added.
The carnitas are braised with a blend of spices and bay leaves.
The sofritas are made with organic tofu and a blend of spices, tomato, onion, green pepper and vinegar.
Gluten free salsas and toppings
The salsas are gluten-free, including the fresh tomato salsa, roasted chili-corn salsa, tomatillo green chili salsa, and tomatillo red chili salsa. However, the roasted chili-corn salsa may contain gluten due to the possible cross contamination mentioned earlier.
The additional toppings at Chipotle are all gluten free. From the guacamole made with avocado, red onion, jalapeño, cilantro and lime juice to the cheese, sour cream, honey chipotle dressing, you can build your bowl or your salad to your liking.
Best gluten free menu choices at Chipotle
Since Chipotle lets you build your own meal, you can mix and match the ingredients above. When you build your meal, make sure you’re taking into account your energy needs to perform your best.
Knowing that the flour tortillas need to be avoided, the best gluten free menu items at Chipotle include:
- Burrito bowl
- Lifestyle bowls
- Build your own kid’s meal
Chipotle can be a great option for gluten free athletes on the go, since the menu has simple ingredients. Always be sure to remind the servers that you have gluten free request.
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Steph Magill, MS, RD, CD, FAND has over 22 years of experience in public health and nutrition. As a performance registered dietitian nutritionist, Stephanie specializes in sports nutrition and provides simple and actionable information so that athletes can be well fueled for high performance on and off the field. Stephanie has a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and is a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.