When Chipotle announced it was introducing new plant-based chorizo, I had to try it. Here's exactly what I thought of the fast casual's newest plant-based option, which is made from pea protein and seasoned with a blend of spices in a proprietary formula.

I always like to get a bit of everything in each bite, so a bowl was the most suitable option as you can curate each ingredient. Chipotle's new menu has “Lifestyle Bowls,” which are pre-set bowls targeted at specific audiences such as “Vegan Bowl,” “Vegetarian Salad Bowl,” or “High Protein Bowl.”

Rather than choosing one of these options to test out its new plant-based chorizo, I decided to make my own bowl and ordered brown rice, fajita vegetables, black beans, plant-based chorizo, fresh tomato salsa, lettuce, and a side of guacamole. I was a little nervous to dive into the bowl for fear that the plant-based meat would be mushy and tasteless — like some often are — but I was greeted with quite the opposite.

Flavor

Let’s first discuss the flavor: This plant-based chorizo was packed with all of the seasonings you would want in a burrito bowl — garlic, pepper, paprika, and even some chili. Chipotle really nailed the seasoning with this protein. It packed the perfect amount of punch in each bite, leaving me eager for more.

If you aren't a spice-lover, I would give you a slight caution to the spiciness of the plant-based chorizo as it might not be for everyone. One way to balance out this spice is the addition of guacamole to your Chipotle order, as it softens the spice of the plant-based chorizo.

Texture

Moving onto the texture, the plant-based chorizo held its form wonderfully. Often I have found that many plant-based meat options either crumble into pieces upon cutting into it or lack any kind of structure and turn into mush. However, this was not the case here. Chipotle’s plant-based chorizo was the perfect combination of firm and moist, holding its structure as I gathered each of the components in the bowl onto my fork. When biting into it, the plant-based chorizo fell apart in my mouth just as you would want, perfectly mixing with the other contents of my bowl.

The Final Verdict

Overall, I was really impressed with the extent of Chipotle’s vegan options on its menu. Chipotle’s other vegan meat option, Sofritas, has a much softer texture. If you are searching for something a little heartier with a deeper flavor, I would recommend the plant-based chorizo over the Sofritas option. Because Chipotle has two different plant-based protein options on its menu, it gives plant-based customers a choice when ordering, which isn’t true about most fast-food chains.

When ordering on the Chipotle website, you are able to apply filters such as plant-based, vegetarian, and vegan, which automatically highlight which items are in the selected filters. I am truly impressed with Chipotle’s efforts to include plant-based options on its menu, and it is clear that much thought went into the development of its new plant-based chorizo.

For more plant-based options at the fast-casual chain, visit The Beet's guide to eating vegan at Chipotle.

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