Feb 15, 2022

Review: Chipotle - Plant-Based Chorizo

Chipotle's Plant-Based Chorizo is a new vegan protein option for the chain that features pea protein as a base, seasoned with chipotle peppers, tomato paste, crushed garlic, Spanish smoked paprika, and extra virgin olive oil.

A burrito bowl featuring the plant-based chorizo cost me $9.60.

The flavor of the plant-based chorizo is, first and foremost, fairly spicy--a lot spicier than I was initially expecting, as I was basing my expectations on Chipotle's original chorizo that disappeared a few years ago. I've noticed a trend with plant-based meat alternatives being unnecessarily spicy, and I wonder if it's partly to mask the aftertaste of the vegetable proteins used to make these offerings.

Compared to Chipotle's original chorizo, the new plant-based chorizo has a flavor profile that is much more similar to Mexican chorizo, with some smokiness, savory notes, sweetness, and a tomato-forward initial bite. It is surprisingly not salty and tangy at all, which is a bit unusual as far as chorizo goes. The end result is very mild and somewhat odd in combination with the rest of the ingredients, as the sweet notes of the plant-based chorizo got amplified by the sweet corn salsa and fajita vegetables I had in my bowl. Aside from the sweetness, a lot of the other flavors of the plant-based chorizo got masked by the other ingredients.

The texture of the plant-based chorizo leaves much to be desired, unfortunately. The pea protein base results in a very tough chew, almost akin to ultra-lean, overcooked beef but without the gristly pull. It's not quite rubbery, but that may be the closest adjective I can find to describe it. It doesn't do very well in mimicking ground meat and ranks among the worst in terms of mouthfeel of the plant-based meat alternatives I've tried. The crumbles are very fine and distributed evenly throughout the bowl, though, so you get a little bit in every mouthful.

Chipotle's Plant-Based Chorizo was a miss for me personally. I loved the original chorizo and was hoping for something of a similar experience with the new plant-based version, but what I got instead were tough, oddly sweet, and unexpectedly spicy crumbles. While I appreciate that many chains are starting to offer different options for various dietary restrictions and lifestyles, I would say that the plant-based chorizo has a great deal of room for improvement in both the taste and texture department.

By Renee.

Nutritional Info - Chipotle Plant-Based Chorizo (per 4-oz serving)
Calories - 220 (from Fat - 80)
Fat - 8g (Saturated Fat - 2g)
Sodium - 690mg
Carbs - 16g (Sugar - 1g)
Protein - 16g

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting. If it helps any, you don't need to type a URL to leave a name.