Rice is a staple food for many cultures around the world. At Mexican-inspired fast casual restaurant Chipotle, white rice is a popular side dish option that can be added to burritos, bowls, tacos, and more. But many health-conscious consumers want to know: how many calories are in Chipotle’s white rice?
The Basics on Chipotle’s White Rice
Chipotle describes their white rice as being seasoned with a blend of garlic, cilantro and lime. It’s prepared by cooking long grain white rice in water until fully cooked and tender. The rice is then finished by adding their signature seasoning blend.
One serving or order of white rice at Chipotle provides 1 cup cooked. As a grain, rice is primarily a source of carbohydrates with a small amount of protein. Let’s look at the nutrition facts for 1 cup of Chipotle white rice:
|Nutrition Facts||1 cup white rice|
|Total Fat||0.5 g|
|Saturated Fat||0 g|
|Trans Fat||0 g|
|Total Carbohydrates||44 g|
|Dietary Fiber||0.5 g|
|Total Sugars||0 g|
|Added Sugars||0 g|
As you can see, one cup of Chipotle’s white rice contains 205 calories. It also provides 44g of carbohydrates and 4g of protein per serving.
Comparing Chipotle’s Rice to Other Rice Options
How does Chipotle’s white rice compare to other types of rice in terms of calories and nutrition?
Here is a comparison of the calories and macronutrients in 1 cup cooked portions of different rice varieties:
|Type of Rice||Calories||Carbs||Protein|
|Chipotle White Rice||205||44g||4g|
|Long Grain White||242||53g||4.4g|
Chipotle’s white rice is on the lower end for calories and carbohydrates compared to most other types of rice. This is likely due to the variety of rice they select and their method of preparation without adding fat or other ingredients.
Rice as Part of a Healthy Chipotle Meal
While rice is higher in carbohydrates, it can be part of a healthy Chipotle meal when paired with lean protein and vegetable toppings.
Some lower calorie rice bowl or burrito bowl options at Chipotle combine rice with toppings like:
- Chicken, steak, carnitas or barbacoa
- Fajita veggies
- Tomato salsa
Using brown rice instead of white rice will add more fiber and nutrients as well. Just keep portion sizes in check, as a very large burrito with rice, meat, cheese, sour cream and guacamole can end up being high in calories.
Tips for Enjoying Chipotle’s Rice
Here are some tips for enjoying white rice from Chipotle as part of a healthy lifestyle:
- Stick to a 1 cup portion – this contains 205 calories and 44g carbs.
- Pair it with lean proteins and veggies instead of heavier meats, cheeses and sour cream.
- Boost nutrition by asking for brown rice instead.
- Skip the tortilla to make it a rice bowl instead of burrito.
- Enjoy it as a side to a homemade meal, instead of just fast food.
- Add hot sauce or salsa to give it extra flavor.
Cooking Rice at Home
You can also save money and control portions by cooking plain rice at home. Here is a simple recipe and nutrition info per serving:
- 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
- 2 cups water or broth
- Pinch of salt
- Rinse rice in a mesh strainer until water runs clear.
- Bring water or broth to a boil in a saucepan.
- Add rice and salt. Return to boil.
- Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.
- Fluff with a fork.
This makes 3 cups of cooked rice total or about 1 cup cooked rice per serving. Here is the nutrition information per 1 cup serving:
|Nutrition Facts||1 cup homemade white rice|
As you see, plain homemade white rice has slightly higher calories and carbs compared to Chipotle’s rice due to differences in variety and cooking method. But it can be a budget-friendly option to enjoy rice at home.
Other Ways to Enjoy Rice
In addition to side dishes and burrito bowls, here are some other tasty ways to prepare and enjoy rice:
Cook rice in broth or stock with sautéed onions, garlic, carrots and celery for a flavorful pilaf. Add chicken, shrimp or chickpeas too.
Combine chilled, cooked rice with chopped vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and a vinaigrette dressing for a hearty rice salad.
Simmer white rice with milk, cinnamon, raisins and a touch of sugar for a comforting dessert.
Use rice to thicken and add body to soups like chicken noodle soup, vegetable soup or beef and barley soup.
Pile rice into bowls and top with saucy stir fries, curries, grilled meats, fried eggs or other proteins and veggies.
The Bottom Line
So how many calories are in a cup of white rice from Chipotle? One cup contains 205 calories, primarily from 44g carbohydrates and 4g protein. This is moderate for a side dish and lower in calories than many other types of rice.
Rice can be part of a healthy diet in proper portion sizes. Try combining Chipotle rice or homemade rice with lean proteins and vegetables. Limit high calorie toppings and enjoy rice bowls in moderation as part of an overall balanced approach to eating.