Food,  Grain-Free

How to order a Paleo Chipotle Salad

My family really likes Chipotle. It’s our “fast food” go to–but admittedly, it’s a bit pricy for a family of 6. I am not complaining though, because I would rather pay for good quality ingredients and know that we are fueling the bodies of our family members WELL. Food is one area of life where I don’t recommend skimping. Go without a data plan, text messaging, internet, cable TV, a cell phone, air conditioning, $4 coffees, video services like Netflix, etc.–before you cut back on your food budget. I am not saying that you need to spend your food money on dining out at Chipotle. I’m just saying, in general, prioritize food in your budget. And if you have enough money to dine out on occasion, vote with your dollars and support companies who are making an effort to provide real, good nourishment to the people they serve.

I know there are purists out there who will say that Chipotle isn’t even good enough. You’re right. Chipotle is not perfect. At the time of this post, I am pleased to say that Chipotle has stopped using Soy Oil to cook and marinate their meat and veggies (VICTORY!!!), but the alternative they have chosen is rice bran oil, which I am not crazy about. I would rather they use a traditional fat, like, well, BACON GREASE! (Imagine how amazing Chipotle meats and veggies would taste if they were sautéed in bacon grease!). I understand the dilemma they face in making this decision, though. They’ve got a lot of misguided, nutrient-deprived people vegetarians as customers. If they used bacon grease, they might just lose some profit…It would taste better, and they’d make ME happy, but they might lose a customer or two…or thousands? So, they’re not perfect. But they’re making progress. They’re trying. Don’t we want to reward their efforts and support their business, and encourage them to sell the best foods possible? And, we should speak up when we see something wrong. I think they really do care about nourishing their customers and supporting local, organic farms.

When my family goes to Chipotle, we stand in line and clog the line up. Seriously, there are 6 of us, and we usually all get salads, and all of my kids have different preferences. The employees handle us well, but the customers behind us sometimes seem a little annoyed. (I don’t feel like we have to be “sorry” that we have 4 kids, or a big family. No apologies, peeps. My 6 family members spend just as much as 6 adult customers, and my 4 children are just as valuable human beings as any adult customer in that line…We aren’t going to purposely take a long time, and I do encourage my kids to think about what they’d like before we get up to the line….but I am not going to apologize to anyone for my kids being there…End rant. 🙂 ).

SO, I’m not worried about what other people think–but as of late, Chipotle’s lines have been outrageous! Out the door! Crazy! I don’t like waiting in lines. It’s why I choose to go to Disney Land when most children are in school, or Disney World when a hurricane is coming. I know–I’m a little weird (and no, I’m not going to Disney Land or Disney World all the time, y’all, it’s just the times I have gone in my adult life were during those seasons…). I don’t like lines. So I use the Chipotle App to order. I am really surprised that more people are not using this app. It is really simple to use. I sit in the car, on the way to Chipotle, and ask my kids “what do you want on your salad?” and I go down the list of ingredients (to clarify, this is while my husband is driving. I don’t advocate using the app while you drive!). The only thing you cannot do on the app, which I think is a BUG, is order the kids’ meals. That’s ok though–they contain GMO’s. And if you really want to get your kids a taco (which also contains GMO’s), just order a taco, or 2, up to 3. You can do that on the app. I have been known to walk into a Chipotle, see the CRAZY line, sit down at a table, order on the app, and then walk around the mall for 15 minutes…And when I come back, guess what? The people who I would have been right behind are still in line. I go right up to the counter and get my order. Done. I am not crazy about malls either, but I’d rather walk around a mall than stand in a line! 🙂

Ok, so I’ve been eating (mostly) Paleo for a couple of weeks now. I went to Chipotle with one of my kids when we were out running errands and needed food. I know how to order a GAPS Chipotle Salad (which includes a few more ingredients than the Paleo Chipotle Salad–like cheese and sour cream, and possibly even beans). This was my first time ordering a Paleo Chipotle Salad, though. Here’s how to do it.

How to order a Paleo Chipotle Salad

Go through the line (or use the app) and choose the following on your salad:

  • Carnitas
  • Tomato Salsa or
  • Green Chili Salsa or
  • Red Chili Salsa (or all 3 salsas if you like it spicy!!)
  • Guacamole (costs extra but oh-so-worth it!!)
  • Lettuce (for a little more lettuce on top)

Opt not to get the dressing if you’re die-hard Paleo because it contains rice bran oil. The grilled veggies (green peppers and onions) are also cooked with rice bran oil. You make the call on what you’re ok with consuming.

If you’d like to see a list of Chipotle’s Ingredients, they’re very up front about what they use. I respect this about their company. Check out their ingredients, including GMO items and foods that contain allergens on their Ingredients Statement.

And if you’d like to learn how to make a Chipotle Salad at home, my friend Tarena came up with an awesome GAPS Style Paleo Salad recipe. Try it!

 What do you enjoy at Chipotle?


  • Marie

    You are clearly uneducated on the benefits of a healthy vegetarian lifestyle and the diseases that are linked to consuming animal products.

    • Brenda

      Marie, I apologize if I offended you by my little jab at vegetarianism. I am not uneducated when it comes to nutrition, I can assure you that! I believe in eating real, healthy meat and fats. I believe that many crucial nutrients are fat-soluble and are only absorbed by the body with animal fat or a big helping of butter. I believe that the “diseases that are linked to consuming animal products”are only linked to eating tainted, CAFO, industrial “meat.” That’s not meat, and of course, if that was the only option, I’d opt for vegetarianism. But it’s not the only option–there are farms raising meat right, and I believe that their meat is very healthy for my body and for the bodies of my children.

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