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Chipotle is now open an hour later. (photo via Wikimedia Commons user proshob)

6 Chipotle hacks to extend your next bowl

By this point, Chipotle is a staple food for students everywhere. Eight dollars gets you a filling meal with quality ingredients covering all the basic food groups. Not to mention the taste is downright delectable. 

What if you could get the same meal, for approximately the same price, but receive more food? There are a multitude of ways to increase the value of your dollar at Chipotle just by changing how you order your meal. Better yet, you can also use your leftovers at home as base ingredients in other meals. Here are six ways to extend your meal from Chipotle:

1.Order the bowl and get extras

It’s no small secret that a Chipotle bowl is the most filling out of all the options. You just get more food than a burrito or quesadilla. This is primarily due to the bowl not being restricted to the size of a tortilla or taco shell. So, if you want the most bang for your buck, be sure to get the bowl.

But, there is just something better about eating a burrito. Maybe it's because each bite contains all the ingredients. Maybe it's just because the warm, salty, chewy tortilla is just that good.

If you want the best of both worlds, order tortillas or taco shells on the side when you get your meal. Generally speaking, one bowl contains the same amount of ingredients present in three taco shells or about one burrito tortilla. Most of the time your server will add it for free, or at the very least charge you a few extra cents.

2. Ask For Half and Half

For every part of the ordering process, ask for half of one option, and half of another option. Generally speaking, this will net you more food in the long run because the server is not likely to properly measure out the ingredients. 

This works for both protein and beans. Use this to your advantage because two meats can complement each other. Chicken and barbacoa is recommended. If you want to keep it inexpensive, do chicken and sofritas. Adding red meats will generally raise the price, especially the beef options

3. Ask for Extra Rice

If you ask for extra rice the server will gladly add it for no extra cost. Rice is the cheapest ingredient at Chipotle, so they don’t mind giving you more. If you want extra nutrition make sure to get the brown rice, as it’s actually higher in calories. The grain adds vitamins and minerals. 

4. Go Late at Night

If you go to Chipotle just before closing, you'll find your meal being extra large. This is because the restaurant has to throw out all of their food before closing. You’d think they would take it home, but corporations don’t let their employees do that out of fear of them making too much food intentionally.

As a result, right before closing, your server will shovel as much food on your plate as possible in order to use up the food instead of wasting it. The downside to this? Well, generally they are quite literally scraping the bottom of the barrel, or in this case pan. So, it's not always the best ingredients, and most often it’s cold and has been sitting there for awhile. Try it at your own risk. 

5. Get everything

Don’t be a picky eater, load your meal up with every single ingredient Chipotle has to offer, except the ones that cost extra of course. Get the fajitas, get every single salsa and get the super greens on top of the lettuce. 

Sure, your server might look at you weird, but who cares? You got a mountain of food. Enjoy it. 

6. Make it into something else

Your humble Chipotle bowl can act as a base for a wide variety of different meals. If you plan on making a new meal out of your bowl, make sure to leave out the lettuce as it will wilt and rot. If you're cooking it, the lettuce will taste bad too.

Meal 1: Make a salad

The easiest way to extend your leftovers into a new meal is to add it as a topping to a salad. Get whatever head of lettuce you prefer, I recommend Boston lettuce, chop it up and put your leftover Chipotle on top. If you got the vinaigrette from them, you already have your dressing.

For other vegetables I recommend adding things not at Chipotle. Cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers and feta cheese are excellent choices.

Meal 2: Chipotle Stew

Your basic Chipotle meal is essentially the ingredients for chili. Here is a simple recipe for a filling stew. 


Leftover Chipotle bowl with cheese, lettuce and sour cream removed. (Add back in as toppers.)

2 cans of dark or light red kidney beans, drained

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, grated

2 cans of diced tomatoes

3 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 cup of water

Salt to taste


Take the onion and garlic and sauté it in 2 tbsp of neutral oil until the onion is translucent. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Cooking should take one hour. Add removed ingredients from Chipotle as a topper. 


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