How many calories in a chicken and cheese quesadilla from Chipotle?

A chicken and cheese quesadilla from Chipotle is a popular menu item that many people enjoy. However, it’s important to be mindful of the calorie content, especially if you are watching your waistline.

The Nutrition Facts

According to the Chipotle website, one chicken and cheese quesadilla (without any added sides or ingredients) contains the following nutrition facts:

Calories 670
Total Fat 28g
Saturated Fat 12g
Trans Fat 1.5g
Cholesterol 115mg
Sodium 1430mg
Total Carbohydrates 67g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 34g

As you can see, one quesadilla contains 670 calories, which is quite high for a single menu item. The majority of the calories come from fat (28g total) and carbohydrates (67g total).

Calories from Specific Ingredients

To understand where most of the calories come from, we need to break down the nutrition information by each ingredient:

  • Tortilla: The 12-inch flour tortilla accounts for approximately 300 calories.
  • Cheese: The cheese (a blend of Monterey Jack and cheddar) adds about 220 calories.
  • Chicken: The grilled adobo chicken contributes around 150 calories.

So as you can see, the tortilla actually provides the majority of calories at nearly half of the total. The cheese and chicken are also significant sources.

How to Order a Lower Calorie Quesadilla

If you’re looking for ways to lighten up your Chipotle quesadilla, here are some tips:

  • Order a kids size quesadilla on a 6″ tortilla instead of the regular 12″ size.
  • Choose chicken, steak, or carnitas instead of the higher fat barbacoa or chorizo.
  • Ask for light cheese or a sprinkle of cheese rather than the full amount.
  • Load up on vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, onions, peppers to add volume.
  • Avoid extra toppings like guacamole, sour cream, and dressing which will add even more calories.
  • Cut the quesadilla in half or quarters and share with a friend.

Implementing some of these modifications can save you several hundred calories compared to a full size chicken and cheese quesadilla.

How Many Calories Compared to Other Menu Items

At 670 calories, the standard chicken and cheese quesadilla is one of the higher calorie options at Chipotle. Here’s how it compares to some other popular menu choices:

Menu Item Calories
Chicken and Cheese Quesadilla 670
Steak Burrito Bowl 625
Carnitas Burrito 900
Barbacoa Burrito 1,065
Vegetarian Salad Bowl 535

As the table shows, a quesadilla has fewer calories than burritos made with higher fat meats like barbacoa or carnitas. But it has more calories than lighter options like a steak burrito bowl or vegetarian salad. So in the context of Chipotle’s full menu, the quesadilla lands around mid-range in terms of calorie density.

How the Quesadilla Compares to Other Fast Food

Chipotle is widely considered one of the healthier fast food options. But even at Chipotle it’s very easy to go overboard on calories, sodium, fat, etc. when customizing your meal.

Here’s how a Chipotle chicken and cheese quesadilla compares to quesadillas from some other popular Mexican fast food chains:

Restaurant Quesadilla Calories
Chipotle 670
Moe’s Southwest Grill 530
Qdoba 760
Taco Bell 470

The numbers show that Chipotle falls around the middle of the pack as far as quesadilla calories compared to other chains. Qdoba’s quesadilla packs significantly more calories, while Taco Bell’s manages to keep the calorie count lower. Moe’s Southwest Grill emerges as the overall winner when purely comparing quesadilla nutritionals.

Does Chipotle Quesadilla Nutrition Depend on Location?

Chipotle operates over 3,000 locations worldwide, so you may be wondering if nutrition information varies by region. The short answer is no – Chipotle utilizes centralized kitchen procedures to ensure consistency across all restaurants. A chicken and cheese quesadilla should have the same 670 calorie count whether you order it in New York City, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, or Oslo, Norway. Locations do not alter recipes or calorie amounts independently.

Of course, if you customize your quesadilla by adding different ingredients, toppings, salsas etc., then the nutrition facts will change accordingly based on your exact specifications. But the base quesadilla itself remains uniform wherever you order it.

How Ingredients Impact the Calories

As noted previously, the three main ingredients – tortilla, cheese, and chicken – make up the bulk of calories in a standard quesadilla. Here is a more detailed breakdown of how each element contributes to the total calorie count:

  • Tortilla: At around 300 calories, the 12-inch flour tortilla accounts for nearly half the calories. Flour tortillas tend to be higher in carbohydrates and calories compared to corn tortillas. Opting for a smaller 6-8 inch tortilla is an easy way to reduce calories.
  • Cheese: Using a blend of Monterey Jack and cheddar, the cheese provides approximately 220 calories and 16g of fat. Going light on cheese or requesting a lower fat variety like queso fresco can lower this number.
  • Chicken: Chipotle’s adobo grilled chicken adds 150 calories and 9g of protein. Choosing a lower fat protein like carnitas instead could save you around 50 calories.

In addition, any extra toppings and ingredients you add will tack on more calories. For example guacamole adds 230 calories and sour cream adds 115 calories per serving. Keeping your quesadilla simple with chicken, a sprinkle of cheese, and some salsa is your best bet for limiting calories.

Compare Chicken vs. Steak vs. Sofritas

Instead of chicken, you can also choose to fill your Chipotle quesadilla with steak or sofritas (tofu). Here’s how the calories and nutrition compare for each protein option in a standard cheese quesadilla:

Protein Calories Fat (g) Carbs (g) Protein (g)
Chicken 670 28 67 34
Steak 680 29 67 34
Sofritas 630 26 67 30

As you can see, both chicken and steak offer nearly identical nutrition profiles. The tofu sofritas option shaves off 40 calories and 2g of fat compared to the meat choices. Overall though, the differences are minor – the bulk of calories still come from the tortilla and cheese.

Making Healthier Choices at Chipotle

While a chicken and cheese quesadilla isn’t the most diet-friendly choice at 670 calories, there are ways to enjoy Chipotle more nutritiously:

  • Order a burrito bowl without the tortilla to eliminate a huge carb and calorie source.
  • Load up on salsa, lettuce, tomato, corn salsa, and other veggies to add volume.
  • Choose black or pinto beans as a fiber source.
  • Add a small amount of brown rice instead of white for more fiber.
  • Select chicken, steak, carnitas or sofritas for lean protein.
  • Ask for a light sprinkling of cheese instead of the full amount.
  • Avoid extras like chips, queso, and sugary drinks that pile on calories.
  • Use lime juice instead of dressing or sour cream.

There are plenty of ways to cut hundreds of calories off your order and still feel satisfied. With smart choices, you can eat healthy and nutritious at Chipotle.

Should You Avoid Chipotle Quesadillas Altogether?

Based on the nutrition information, should you skip the quesadillas at Chipotle altogether if you are counting calories? Not necessarily.

There are strategies you can use to reduce the calorie count substantially. Ordering a kids size quesadilla on a smaller 6-inch tortilla cuts around 200 calories right away. Choosing sofritas instead of chicken saves another 40 calories. Asking for extra vegetables and just a light sprinkle of cheese shaves off even more.

The combination of these modifications allows you to enjoy a quesadilla from Chipotle in moderation as part of an overall balanced diet. Going with healthier preparation choices can make a significant difference and allow the quesadilla to fit into your nutritional goals.


A standard chicken and cheese quesadilla from Chipotle packs 670 calories. This number is driven largely by the 300 calorie tortilla, 220 calories of cheese, and 150 calories of chicken. There are several ways to reduce the calorie count substantially by ordering a smaller size, limiting high-fat and carb ingredients, and loading up on vegetables. While the quesadilla is one of the higher calorie options, with smart customization you can still find ways to fit it into your diet in moderation.

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