Chipotle Has Unveiled A New Protein Option, Garlic Guajillo Steak — Is It Worth Trying?

So far this year, Chipotle has unveiled three new protein options — Plant-Based Chorizo, Smoked Brisket, and Pollo Asado — and while all three were only available for a limited time, they’ve consistently been just as good if not better than any of the permanent menu options. This is a big deal because as beloved as Chipotle is for its transparent food sourcing and fresh ingredients, their menu has always been seriously lacking in flavor (save for the barbacoa, which is bomb).

Now before year’s end, Chipotle is unveiling a fourth new option and it promises to be the brand’s most flavorful yet. The Garlic Guajillo Steak will join Chipotle’s menu for a limited time at every Chipotle restaurant nationwide (and in Canada) beginning on September 14th and features tender cuts of steak peppered with a hefty helping of garlic, guajillo peppers, and cilantro.

We got the first taste of this protein option ahead of the nationwide release to see whether the new Garlic Guajillo Steak tastes good enough to pull you away from your current favorite. Once the new option officially hits the menu, we’ll see how it tastes in each of Chipotle’s food form factors (burrito, bowl, tacos) to see how it stacks up against our current favorites.

Garlic Guajillo Steak

Chipotle Review
Dane Rivera

For this review, I enjoyed the steak in a burrito with minimal ingredients and all sauces on the side so I could truly get a sense of what this new protein option offered and, wow, this straight-up blew me away. Never in a million years did I think I’d come across something from Chipotle with this much flavor and character. An initial sweetness hits the palate first, which settles into an earthy roasted garlic flavor, ending with a medley of spice and fresh peppery cilantro notes. The heat really lingers here — intensifying on your tongue between bites in a way that pulls you from one to the next.

While the actual pieces of steak don’t look nearly as meaty and substantial as the press photo might suggest, I was surprised at just how tender the texture was. It’s soft and incredibly easy to chew, unlike Chipotle’s regular steak option, which is drier and tougher. It melts in your mouth quickly, this is probably the only time I’ve ever eaten Chipotle and wished I had an extra serving of meat. While the burrito is my preferred form factor when it comes to Chipotle, I think this meat option probably works best in a bowl, where you can really enjoy the chunks of steak without the distraction of tortilla.

The Bottom Line:

I’ll have to see how it performs in a taco and bowl but I feel pretty confident that this is Chipotle’s best protein option ever. It takes the juicy tenderness of the barbacoa and combines it with the thick meaty bite of the steak, offering the best of both worlds. If you’re sensitive to spice I’d actually suggest you skip this one because it packs a more powerful kick of heat than any protein option on the entire menu. If you do love hot and spicy food, this will actually impress you — finally, Chipotle fans have a truly spicy option on the menu.

Let’s hope it sticks around and becomes a permanent option one day. Soon. Like tomorrow.

Find your nearest Chipotle here.