The skills Chipotle crews use to prep and cook our food are the same techniques used by classically trained chefs everywhere. In fact, if you take a peek into our kitchens, they more closely resemble a fine dining restaurant than a typical fast food joint. Cooking food this way has been part of Chipotle since the beginning, and it still is today.



worker dicing bell peppers

chopping and dicing

When our crews get dicing, they work to make sure that each ingredient is cut to a consistent size so each bite is as good as the last. Take a look at the onions in your guac next time, and you'll find some tasty symmetrical goodness.

get mashing

Avocados are sliced in half and their pits removed. The avocados are then scooped and scooped into a big bowl. Salt is added to the bowl and then mashing commences until smooth.

toss it up

Chopped red onions, cilantro and jalapeños are combined and tossed in a pan with some citrus juice.

finishing touches

The onions, cilantro, jalapeños and citrus juice are mixed with the mashed avocados, and voilà — a batch made in heaven.

a close up image of finished guacamole

green chili salsa: roasting the real thing


let's get roasting

One of the first steps in our Green Tomatillo Salsa recipe is roasting tomatillos, tomatoes and jalapeños in our central kitchens until their skins are perfectly charred. It takes a lot of time (and a lot of space for the roaster), but results in a genuine, slightly smoky flavor that you just can't get any other way.

roasted tomatillos

crushing it

From here, the tomatillos, tomatoes and jalapeños are crushed and tossed into a big pot and simmered with aromatic spices until their flavors are combined. The salsa is then packed to be finished at the restaurant. 

last but not least

Right before the salsa is placed on the line, freshly diced onions, cilantro and oregano are added to the salsa and it's ready to be served.

chicken: from adobo to the grill


grind it out

We make our own adobo by grinding chipotle peppers and mixing in cumin, garlic, oregano and black pepper. These ingredients are then simmered slowly to achieve a smoky and spicy marinade that gives our chicken its distinctive flavor. 

spices are simmered in a vat for the marinade

let it marinate

We marinate our chicken overnight so it can truly be saturated in the adobo marinade.

on the grill

The marinated chicken is then placed on the grill and charred to perfection to give it a subtle caramelized flavor. It's then diced and placed on the line.

rice: first in line


rinse the rice

We cook a whopping amount of rice each and every day and our technique is probably pretty close to the way you cook rice at home. We start by rinsing the rice and pouring it into a rice cooker.


From there, we pour in a small amount of rice bran oil and place some bay leaves on top of the rice. Bay leaves add a subtle layer of savory flavor that helps our rice create a great base for your burrito and bowl creations. It’s now ready to be steamed. 

close up of white rice with bay leaves on top


Once the rice is nice and fluffy, the bay leaves are removed. The rice is then seasoned with salt and citrus juice, then tossed with cilantro for a fresh, herbaceous flavor. 

close up of white rice with cilantro



Soaking beans

Black beans arrive at our central kitchens in 2000 lb bags and are soaked for about 15 hours in large batches in order to get a head start on the cooking process.

Sauté and Simmer

Yellow onions are diced, garlic is minced, then both are sautéed together in a hot kettle. Cumin, chipotle chiles, dried oregano and ground dried bay leaves are added, allowing the spices to bloom. Later, the soaked beans and sauté are combined and cooked sous vide, allowing their flavors to mix and meld. After this, the beans are shipped. 

In the restaurant

Once the beans reach the restaurant, they’re finished either by stovetop or a hot water bath. From there they’re mixed with salt and citrus juice, then placed on the line. 

a line worker adds some beans to someone's burrito

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