Mexican chorizo is one of the ingredients that together add to the richness of the cuisine south of the border; it’s just that most of us would rather no know what’s in it. For fans of the Chipotle menu who enjoy spice but want to avoid animal products, fast-casual restaurant chain Chipotle now offers a vegan option at more of its locations.
The plant-based versions of chorizo that are available in some supermarkets are more than valid if you are looking for something to wrap in an omelette or if you like to mix with eggs (chicken or vegetables). But if you’re not up to cooking or prefer not to deal with the mess (cooking with any version of chorizo is not for the faint-hearted in the kitchen), Chipotle has thrown out some new menu ideas to try.
Today’s launch follows what the company says was a successful trial at more than 100 locations in Denver, Indianapolis and Orange County last summer. Participating restaurants will offer this filling in their popular bowls. The chorizo is soy-free and is made with peas mixed with chipotle chili, garlic, olive oil, paprika, and tomato paste.
As part of encouraging customers to try vegan chorizo, Chipotle is offering free delivery on their plant-based chorizo orders through January 9.
The chorizo’s nationwide launch comes on the heels of Chipotle’s long-standing success with its “sofritas.” First introduced nearly a decade ago, spicy braised hodo soy tofu has become a mainstay, with at least one source verified that the company sold 7.5 million pounds of the filling in 2018 alone.
So vegetarians and vegans who have long felt limited to bean and cheese burritos, while their friends gobbled up meaty options within their tacos and tortas, have another option.
This vegan chorizo joins a list of more meatless options available at Chipotle and its competitors, including the Beyond Meat menu at Del Taco, as well as the more conventional potato and bean-based options at Taco Bell.
“Creating a delicious grilled sizzling plant protein with the robust flavor and texture profile that chorizo lovers have come to expect was a real challenge,” said Chipotle’s Nevielle Panthaky in a public statement. “Our culinary team has worked tirelessly over the years to develop this innovative plant-based chorizo recipe that is uniquely Chipotle and aligns with leading food industry standards with brand integrity.”
Image credit via Chipotle’s media relations site.