How many calories is in chipotle sauce?

Chipotle sauce is a popular condiment served at Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants. It is known for adding a smoky, spicy kick to burritos, tacos, bowls and other menu items. But many Chipotle fans wonder just how many calories are in the restaurant’s signature sauce.

Quick Answer

According to Chipotle, a serving of their tomato-based chipotle sauce contains 20 calories. This serving size is 2 tablespoons or 30 grams. So a typical 2-3 ounce cup of the sauce would have around 60-90 calories.

Calorie Content of Chipotle Sauces

In addition to the original chipotle sauce, Chipotle offers several other hot sauce options as well. Here is the calorie content for 2 tablespoons or a single serving size of each sauce variety:

Sauce Calories per serving
Chipotle Sauce 20
Tomatillo Green Chili Sauce 0
Tomatillo Red Chili Sauce 0
Roasted Chili Corn Salsa 15
Tomatillo Green Chili Salsa 0
Tomatillo Red Chili Salsa 0

As you can see, the tomatillo green and red chili sauces have 0 calories per serving. So if you are looking to cut calories, these sauces are the best options.

The original chipotle sauce has 20 calories per serving, which is still quite low for a flavorful sauce. The roasted chili corn salsa also contains 15 calories per serving.

Nutrition Facts for Chipotle Sauces

In addition to calories, Chipotle provides complete nutrition facts for their sauces. Here is more detail on the nutrition content of 2 tablespoons (30 grams) of each sauce variety:

Sauce Calories Fat (g) Carbs (g) Protein (g) Sodium (mg)
Chipotle Sauce 20 0 4 0 125
Tomatillo Green Chili Sauce 0 0 1 0 5
Tomatillo Red Chili Sauce 0 0 1 0 5
Roasted Chili Corn Salsa 15 0 3 0 170
Tomatillo Green Chili Salsa 0 0 1 0 35
Tomatillo Red Chili Salsa 0 0 1 0 35

Key things to note from the nutrition facts:

  • The calorie count comes entirely from carbohydrates. None of the sauces contain any fat or protein.
  • Carbs range from 1-4 grams per serving for the different varieties.
  • Sodium content varies widely, from just 5mg for the tomatillo sauces up to 170mg for the roasted chili corn salsa.

Ingredients in Chipotle Sauce

Understanding the ingredients in Chipotle’s sauce can provide more context on its calorie content and nutrition facts.

Here are the ingredients in the original chipotle sauce:

  • Tomato puree
  • Chipotle peppers
  • Onion
  • Sugar
  • Garlic
  • Molasses
  • Salt
  • Spices
  • Natural smoke flavor
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon and lime juice

The tomato puree forms the base, providing texture along with vitamins and minerals. Chipotle peppers deliver the signature smoky, spicy flavor. Sugar adds a touch of sweetness to balance out the heat.

Overall this is a relatively simple and natural ingredient list. There are no thickeners, stabilizers or preservatives. This helps explain the low calorie and fat count.

How Chipotle Sauce is Made

Chipotle’s sauces are made fresh in each restaurant daily. Here is an overview of how the original chipotle sauce is prepared:

  1. Diced tomatoes are blended into a thick puree
  2. Chopped chipotle peppers, onions, garlic, spices and seasonings are mixed in
  3. The mixture is simmered to meld the flavors
  4. Sugar, vinegar and citrus juices are added for balanced flavor
  5. The sauce is finished with a touch of molasses and natural smoke flavoring
  6. It is stored refrigerated until serving

Making the sauce fresh allows Chipotle to control the texture and flavor profile. The simplicity of preparation also helps keep calories and other nutrients in check.

How Many Calories in a Typical Serving

Now that we know the calorie content per serving, how many calories are in a typical amount of chipotle sauce added to a meal?

A standard serving cup of sauce ranges from 2-3 ounces (60-90ml). Applying the nutrition info for 2 tablespoons, we can estimate calories for the full serving cup of sauce:

  • 2 ounce cup: 40 calories
  • 3 ounce cup: 60 calories

Most customers use less than a full cup of sauce. A more typical amount may be:

  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons): 20 calories
  • 1.5 ounces: 30 calories

Bottom line – most people will get 20-60 extra calories from the chipotle sauce added to their meal. That’s a relatively modest calorie addition for a flavorful sauce.

How to Order Lower Calorie

For those wanting to limit calorie intake, here are some tips for ordering Chipotle menu items with less sauce:

  • Ask for light sauce or sauce on the side to control how much you use
  • Choose tomatillo green or red chili sauce for zero calories
  • Order a burrito bowl without sauce and add salsa instead
  • Use just a spoonful of hot sauce and rely more on fresh salsa for flavor
  • Skip the sauce entirely and ask for extra lime or chili pepper seasoning

You can also create a lighter salsa mix using a combination of the fresh tomato, corn and tomatillo salsas. This allows you to add lots of flavor without extra calories or sodium from the creamier sauces.

Does Chipotle Sauce Have Dairy or Gluten?

For those with dietary restrictions, you may wonder if Chipotle’s signature sauce contains common allergens like dairy or gluten.

The original chipotle sauce does not contain any dairy ingredients. So it is safe for vegans and those avoiding lactose.

It is also gluten-free, as there are no wheat, barley or rye ingredients. So it can be enjoyed on a gluten-free diet.

The tomatillo green chili, tomatillo red chili, and tomatillo green chili salsas are also dairy-free and gluten-free.

However, the roasted chili corn salsa does contain dairy from sour cream. So that variety is not vegan/dairy-free friendly.

How Spicy is the Sauce?

Chipotle sauce gets its signature flavor from chipotle chili peppers. But how spicy is it actually?

On a scale of 1 to 10, most would rate the heat level of the sauce around a 4 or 5. It provides a distinct kick but is not overly fiery.

The smoky chili flavor shines through along with a good amount of tanginess. The spices are blended for balanced flavor rather than extreme heat.

Of course, individual tolerance for spicy foods can vary quite a bit. If you have a lower heat threshold, Chipotle sauce may subjectively feel more like a 6 or 7 to you.

Those desiring more heat can add extra jalapeños, habanero tabasco sauce or chili powder to turn up the spice level.

Spiciness Compared to Other Sauces

Compared to other popular hot sauces, Chipotle sauce is milder than many including:

  • Tabasco sauce
  • Sriracha
  • Cholula
  • Tapatío
  • El Yucateco

It is about on par heat-wise with taco sauce like Taco Bell’s Fire sauce. Frank’s RedHot is also comparable, perhaps just slightly hotter.

So while Chipotle sauce adds a kick, it remains relatively tame compared to extremely fiery hot sauces.

Uses for Chipotle Sauce

Chipotle’s sauce has a versatility that makes it useful for many applications beyond Mexican food. Here are some ideas for how to use the sauce:

  • Sandwiches and burgers – Drizzle on pulled pork, chicken or beef sandwiches. Also great for spicing up burgers.
  • Tacos – Use as a taco topping or mix into ground beef when making tacos.
  • Chili – Stir in a spoonful when preparing beef or turkey chili.
  • Nachos – Drizzle over cheesy nachos in place of typical hot sauce.
  • Salads – Shake on a little Chipotle sauce when making southwest salad dressings.
  • Pizza – Add a kick to homemade or frozen pizzas with the sauce.
  • Grilled foods – Brush on chicken, steaks, pork chops or shrimp before grilling.
  • Dips – Mix some sauce into tomato salsa, guacamole, bean dip or chile con queso.

A little Chipotle hot sauce goes a long way to add smoky, spicy flavor to all kinds of dishes beyond just burritos and tacos.

Where to Buy Chipotle Sauce

Wondering where you can purchase Chipotle’s signature sauce? Here are some options:

  • Chipotle restaurants – Purchase 2-3 ounce cups of the sauce to take home.
  • Online – Order from sites like Amazon, Walmart, Target and Chipotle’s online shop.
  • Grocery stores – Sometimes found bottled in the Hispanic/international food aisle.
  • Specialty retailers – Check hot sauce shops or Mexican grocery stores.

If you can’t find the exact Chipotle brand sauce, there are some copycat recipes online you can make at home too.


Chipotle’s iconic sauce adds a flavorful and moderately spicy kick to your Mexican favorites. A typical serving of 1-3 ounces will provide around 20-90 extra calories.

Opt for tomato-based salsa or hot sauces like the tomatillo varieties to eliminate extra calories and sodium if desired. But the original sauce can be enjoyed guilt-free in moderation, even for those watching their diet and nutrition.

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