The Whole30 Chipotle Hack (Whole30)
Chipotle Mexican Grill is one of the few restaurant chains (at least here in the United States) that transparently shares their ingredient listings online. That means it's very easy to find a (limited selection, but) Whole30 compliant meal at Chipotle!
It's well-known that Carnitas (AKA Pulled Pork) are your only Whole30 compliant protein choice, unless you're one of the lucky few whose Chipotle offers Chorizo (yum). There are also a number of salsas and veggies you can top your meat with as well.
But did you know that HOW you order at Chipotle matters?
Today I'm spilling all the (figurative because they aren't compliant) BEANS on how I have the biggest, yummiest Whole30 Chipotle order, ever. There are two major parts to this hack: how you order it, and how you eat it after. And it starts at Step 1.
STEP 1: ORDER A BURRITO BOWL, TO GO-- NOT A SALAD!
You may not have noticed, but Chipotle charges you based on the protein you choose, and NOT the type of meal you choose. So a carnitas salad and a carnitas burrito bowl costs the SAME amount.
When you order a salad, they scoot over to the lettuce bin, fill up your bowl, and "top" the lettuce with carnitas meat. When you order a carnitas bowl with NO rice and NO beans, the first thing that goes in your bowl is the carnitas. And they are ALWAYS more generous putting meat into an empty bowl than putting it in a bowl already filled with lettuce!
It's also important to order your burrito bowl TO GO: even if you're dining in. That's because we'll need the lid for this hack later!
STEP 2: ORDER YOUR BURRITO BOWL WITH CARNITAS, NO RICE, AND NO BEANS
Look at that enormous scoop of carnitas! This is going to make your meal so much more filling. Yum!
STEP 3: ADD SOME SALSA
The pico de gallo, salsa verde, and red salsa are all Whole30 compliant. The corn salsa is not compliant (corn is a grain!). The fajita veggies are not compliant either: they're cooked in rice bran oil, which is not compliant. On a slow day, you can ask them to cook the fajita veggies on the grill without the oil! But as is they are not compliant.
STEP 4: GUAC, OF COURSE
Yes sir, I know it's extra. GIMME.
STEP 5: EXTRA LETTUCE, PLEASE.
This is when your bowl becomes a salad: the extra lettuce provides the salad base you need, but this way with more generous toppings from the get go. But we're not done yet!
STEP 6: MAKE SURE THE LID IS ON TIGHT...
This is what it will look like after you check out: looks like just lettuce, right?! Now put the lid on, and fold the lip over to make sure the lid is really secure.
STEP 7: NOW, FLIP IT UPSIDE DOWN!
Here's the real hack now that we have ample toppings. We're flipping our bowl upside down, so that the extra lettuce we got on TOP will be on the BOTTOM now, with all the yummy stuff on top!
And there you have it! Your salad is stuffed with all the good stuff, it's Whole30 compliant, it checks all the meal template boxes, and it's ready to eat. I like to take the original paper bowl and slip it under the foil lid (now the bowl) so it's more secure. Works EVERY time!
Absolute Whole30 perfection!