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Does Chipotle Use Chicken Breast Or Thighs? (Explained)

Does chipotle use chicken breast or thighs

When you are looking for some delicious, cheap food to tuck into, Chipotle always makes a good choice. Of course, the ingredients play a major role in the taste of the food, especially the protein. Chicken isn’t just chicken, after all. Each piece of chicken has a wildly different flavor. So, does Chipotle use chicken breasts or thighs?

Chipotle uses primarily chicken thighs. On occasion, they have introduced chicken breast products, but they prefer to stick to chicken thighs due to the juicier flavor, plus the fact that it tastes a whole lot better when cooked.

On this page, we’ll tell you everything that you need to know about Chipotle and its chicken offerings. 

Chipotle’s Menu and Chicken Offerings

While Chipotle’s menu is primarily focused on beef-based products (since they have Mexican cuisine), they do introduce a few chicken-based products to their menu too. Some of them are wildly popular. Not to mention the fact that for many of the products on the Chipotle menu, you can substitute chicken if needed.

Their most popular chicken-based product is their Chicken Adobo. However, their new Pollo Adado is also gaining a lot of traction. For those that want something a bit more traditionally Chipotle, you may want to tuck into the chicken burrito bowl. 

Chicken Breast vs Chicken Thighs: Nutritional Comparison

While both chicken breast and chicken thighs both come from the same animal, the nutritional content is different.

Chicken breast is a leaner meat, with chicken thighs having around 65% more fat on them. Thighs also have more protein (8% more).

Thighs are also much more nutritionally dense, with more vitamin E, iron, and B2 included in this cut of meat.

Chicken Breast: Pros and Cons

Chicken breast is a far leaner protein. It has 65% less fat than chicken thighs, and it makes a great ‘healthy’ option (as far as meat can be healthy).

The problem with chicken breast is that it is very easy to cook it wrong. Because there is a lower amount of fat in chicken breast, it only takes a small amount of overcooking for the meat to completely dry out. When that happens, the chicken breast won’t taste anywhere near as good. 

Chicken Thighs: Pros and Cons

Chicken thighs have a lot of flavor, and they are far juicier than their chicken breast counterparts. This is all thanks to the higher fat content.

Although, that higher fat content is also going to cause a good number of issues. After all, more fat means that chicken thighs really need to be eaten in moderation. It isn’t the sort of thing that you want to be eating every single day if you are trying to lose weight or want to buff yourself up in the gym. 

Chipotle’s Chicken Choices

Almost all of the chicken dishes at Chipotle will have chicken thighs in them. This is because chicken thighs are a whole lot easier to cook for fast food purposes. There may be an odd dish that says that it uses chicken breast, but these are rare.

That being said, Chipotle does have chicken breast in stock sometimes. If it does, then you can substitute for chicken breast. You just need to ask! 

Ingredient Transparency and Customer Preferences

One of the wonderful things about Chipotle (other than their great-tasting food, of course), is the fact that they are always 100% clear about the ingredients that they include in their foods.

They like to be as transparent as possible. If you head on over to their website right now, you can get a complete list of every single ingredient loaded into those Chipotle dishes.

Obviously, their menu has been shaped by customer preferences. Let’s be honest, the vast majority of people who head into Chipotle are not eating there because they want something healthy.

They want something that tastes good, which is why it makes sense that the prime focus for Chipotle has been to develop a menu that focuses on chicken thighs rather than chicken breast.

Customer Feedback and Reactions for Chipotle Using Chicken Thigh

You do get some people who wish that Chipotle would include chicken breast instead of chicken thighs as standard, although the complaints are rather minor.

After all, the vast majority of people know that Chipotle is hardly going to be the healthiest place in the world to eat. Plus, they probably won’t care too much about the ingredients anyway.

Most people are not too fussed about the difference between thighs and breasts. They just want something that tastes delicious.

That being said, Chipotle is a company that is well-known for listening to its customers. So, if there was suddenly a major push from their customers to try and introduce more chicken breast into their menu, then you can bet your bottom dollar that Chipotle would do that.

In fact, a good amount of their product selection has come from customer feedback.

Culinary Considerations and Menu Development

When it comes to menu development, the prime focus for Chipotle is to ensure that its products are consistent in flavor. It doesn’t matter which one of their 3,000 stores you head to. Because chicken thighs are easier to cook consistently (it is harder to dry them out), they love to add chicken thighs to their range.

Their next focus will be on the overall flavor. Again, chicken thighs will win out here due to the higher fat content.

The texture will also play a role, although this isn’t going to matter anywhere near as much when it comes to chicken as the texture is broadly the same, especially with how Chipotle processes it. 

Final Thoughts

Chipotle mostly uses chicken thighs in their dishes, although they may have some dishes that include chicken breast instead.

The reason why they use chicken thighs is because they taste so much better than chicken breast. They are also a lot easier to cook in a fast food environment.

If you wish that Chipotle added more chicken breast products to their menu, then reach out to them. They love customer feedback.


Shane is a fitness enthusiast who also has a passion for trying and cooking new foods. His favorite stores to shop at include Trader Joe's, Wholefoods Market, Sprouts, Stater Brothers, and Target.

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