Chipotle's first ever major menu addition is vegan tofu

Chipotle stock logo (1020)

For the first time in its 20 year history, Chipotle is making a big change to its menu — by adding tofu. After a year-long testing period, the Mexican fast food chain will roll out Sofritas, the official name for the shredded organic tofu braised with poblanos, chipotle chiles, and spices, in its restaurants nationwide.

The decision wasn't made lightly — Chipotle's culinary manager Nate Appleman told Fast Company that they focused on making a product that tasted better than most other tofu out there, and preparing it with the best ingredients. The company partnered with soy producer Hodo Soy and worked with them to make their organic, GMO-free, soy-based protein into a tasty taco filling. Over the course of the year, Appleman perfected the recipe, experimenting with different Mexican flavors and eventually settling on a chili-based flavor that mimics chorizo.

"We came up with something that I think even if you're not a vegetarian or vegan, you could eat it and love it."

Right now, tofu-based menu items comprise about 3 percent of Chipotle sales, which isn't bad for minimal marketing and limited availability. The company hopes the meatless option will draw in new vegan and vegetarian customers, as well as customers who appreciate the company's environmental push. Chipotle has always been conscious of the world's dependence on meat, sometimes going to silly lengths to show people the horrors of factory farming. Appleman seems optimistic that the restaurant chain's tofu option could convert some of its meat-eating customers and cut meat sales. It's certainly possible, but that will take time — and some people will always go to Chipotle and just want to bite into a meat-filled burrito.

The Verge
Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.