A decade ago, fries and bare salads were the only vegan options you could find at fast food chains. Those days are gone. If you are following a vegan diet and find yourself needing to stop for some convenient fast food there is no need to worry; you can choose from a wide selection of fast food options for a complete plant-based meal that will not affect your diet and exercise success. From Taco Bell to Einstein Brothers if you do some research ahead of time you can create a go to list of fast food chains that will leave you feeling full and guilt free. Let’s start with my favorite: Chipotle!

5 Steps to Build a Healthy Vegan Meal at Chipotle

I love that there is less stress when ordering vegan at this mainstream Mexican-inspired grill because everything is made fresh at each location, and as long as you maneuver around the meat and choose to be cheese-less, you’re pretty safe. If you can find a Chipotle location (there are more than 2,500 of them across the U.S. and several abroad as well) you’ll be able to enjoy a fantastic and filling meal. Because of their use of whole-food, fresh ingredients, Chipotle is one of the healthier fast-food restaurants with vegan options! Did you know that Chipotle only uses 53 ingredients in all of the meals they make? And 44 of the 53 ingredients are vegan and only 9 were not. 

Eat Vegan Fast Food at Chipotle Without Sacrificing Your Diet

So, if you are looking for how to order the best vegan options at Chipotle, here are five steps to building a healthy meal at Chipotle:

1.Opt for a bowl

Choosing a bowl at Chipotle is one of the easiest ways to still get all the flavors of a burrito, but massively cut down on the calories.

2. Make veggies the base

Instead of filling the bottom of your bowl with rice, which could be up to three servings, choose lettuce or spinach to up the fiber and save 300 to 400 calories. If you order a build-your-own option and ask for Fajita Veggies, guacamole is included at no charge. HAD to say that! In addition to this fajita Veggies (a mix of sautéed peppers and onions) are also AWESOME add-ons for the bowl. 

3. Rice

Chipotle offers three variations of rice, and all of them are vegan. Choose to pack your bowl with their standard Cilantro-Lime brown (ideally because of the FIBER content) or white rice. They do offer Cilantro Lime caul rice BUT I would not suggest it because you want the carbs!

 4. Pick your protein

Sofrito’s or Chorizo

For protein and a spicy kick, add the tofu-based sofrito. If you’re really hungry, you can double your protein portion for $2.60. Or the newly launched pea-based chorizos!


These extras add essential flavor, spice, and texture to any Chipotle bowl. Pile on shredded romaine and dollops of guac, then choose from a wide assortment of vegan-friendly salsas including Roasted Chili-Corn, Tomatillo-Red Chili, Tomatillo-Green Chili, and Fresh Tomato (pico de gallo).


Do you need help navigating your plant-based diet for weightl oss success? Schedule a Free Consultation Call with me, a Vegan Registered Dietitian.

Carol Aguirre MS, RD/LDN