Is Chipotle Plant-Based Chorizo Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

July 31, 2023

Navigating the landscape of today’s food products can often feel like deciphering a complex puzzle, particularly when it comes to determining whether a product is truly vegan. 

This challenge often stems from manufacturers who, whether intentionally or not, cloaking their ingredients, like “natural and artificial flavors,” behind technical jargon, leaving the average consumer to question the nature and source of what they’re consuming. 

However, fear not, dear reader, for this article is here to shed light on the truth and support you in maintaining your commitment to a vegan lifestyle.

Is Chipotle’s Plant-Based Chorizo Vegan?

Yes, Chipotle’s plant-based chorizo is vegan. In fact, the product has been officially certified vegan​. None of the ingredients are animal derived, making it suitable for a vegan lifestyle.

Is Chipotle Plant-Based Chorizo Cruelty-Free?

Yes, Chipotle’s plant-based chorizo is cruelty-free. The ingredients used in the product do not involve any form of animal exploitation or harm, adhering to the principles of a cruelty-free and vegan lifestyle.

What Is Chipotle Plant-Based Chorizo Made Of?

Before we delve into the specifics of each ingredient, here’s a quick list of all the ingredients that make up this flavor-packed vegan chorizo:

  • Water
  • Pea protein
  • Tomato paste
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Onion powder
  • Smoked paprika
  • Chili powder
  • Vinegar
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Chipotle chili pepper
  • Cumin seed
  • Black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • Oregano

Each of these ingredients plays a vital role in creating the robust flavor of the plant-based chorizo, and they all contribute to its vegan status.


Water is a universal ingredient used in countless recipes and products. It acts as a solvent in this chorizo, allowing the other ingredients to blend smoothly.

Pea protein

Pea protein is derived from yellow split peas and is a popular choice for plant-based proteins due to its high protein content and minimal environmental impact. In this chorizo, peas serve as the primary source of protein, making it a satisfying vegan or vegetarian protein option.

Tomato paste

Ripe tomato paste, made by cooking and reducing ripe tomatoes, adds depth of flavor to the chorizo. It contributes a rich umami taste, a hint of sweetness, and a vibrant color. As a plant-based ingredient, it’s 100% vegan.

Extra virgin olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil (affectionately abbreviated EVOO) is derived from the fruit of the olive tree. It lends a smooth, slightly fruity flavor to the chorizo. Since it’s a plant product, it’s completely vegan.

Red wine vinegar

Red wine vinegar, made by fermenting red wine, adds a tangy flavor that balances the richness of the other ingredients. It’s a vegan ingredient.

Spanish smoked paprika

Spanish paprika is a spice made from ground, smoked, and dried red peppers. It provides a smoky, slightly sweet flavor and a warm color. It’s a plant-based and vegan ingredient.

Chili powder

Chili powder is primarily made up of ground chili peppers and can include other spices, like garlic, onion, and cumin​​. This contributes a spicy kick to the chorizo and, like the rest of the ingredients, is vegan.


Vinegar, an acidic liquid produced through the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria, adds tanginess to the chorizo. It’s a vegan-friendly ingredient.


Paprika, like the previously mentioned Spanish smoked paprika, is a ground spice made from dried red fruits of sweeter varieties of the plant Capsicum annuum. It adds a sweet, slightly smoky flavor to the chorizo and is vegan.

Garlic powder

Garlic powder is a ground spice made from dried, crushed garlic. It’s a vegan ingredient that adds a distinctive, aromatic flavor to the chorizo.

Chipotle chili pepper

Chipotle chili pepper is a smoke-dried jalapeño. Chipotle peppers impart a smoky, spicy flavor to the chorizo, adding to its unique taste profile. It’s a vegan ingredient.

Cumin seed

Cumin seeds are derived from the plant Cuminum cyminum. They add an earthy, warm flavor to the chorizo, contributing to its robust flavor. Cumin is a plant-based, vegan ingredient.

Black pepper

Black pepper, derived from the berries of the Piper nigrum plant, is a common seasoning with a sharp, spicy flavor. It’s vegan.

Sea salt

Sea salt is obtained through the evaporation of seawater. It enhances the overall flavor of the chorizo and, being a mineral is vegan.


Oregano is an herb derived from the plant Origanum vulgare. It adds a slight bitterness and a warm, aromatic flavor to the chorizo. Oregano is plant-based and vegan.

What Else Is Vegan at Chipotle?

At Chipotle, vegans have plenty of foods to choose from. Besides plant-based chorizo, here’s what you can find vegan at Chipotle:

  • Salsa: Vegan salsa at Chipotle includes fresh tomato salsa, roasted chili corn salsa, tomatillo red chili salsa, and tomatillo green chili salsa. The Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette, though, is not — honey comes from bees.
  • Sofritas: Sofritas is a flavorful, tofu-based protein option to have in place of meat.
  • Beans: From pinto beans to black beans, sofritas isn’t your only vegan protein option.
  • Fajita veggies: Chipotle’s fajita vegetables, made from grilled onions and sauteed bell peppers, are totally vegan.
  • Tortillas: Chipotle’s soft flour tortilla, crispy corn tortilla, and tortilla chips are completely vegan as well.
  • Rice: Chipotle’s lime- and cilantro-infused white rice and brown rice are both totally safe for vegan consumption.

Vegan Alternatives to Chipotle Plant-Based Chorizo

While Chipotle’s plant-based chorizo is a fantastic vegan option, variety is the spice of life, and it’s always good to know about available vegan alternatives. Here are some other options that you can consider:

  • Beyond Meat Sausage: This plant-based sausage from Beyond Meat is a popular vegan alternative that offers a similar texture and flavor profile to traditional sausage.
  • Impossible Foods Sausage: Another great plant-based sausage that’s a vegan alternative to traditional sausage. It’s made from plant-based ingredients and is designed to mimic the taste and texture of meat.
  • Tofurky Chorizo: Tofurky offers a plant-based chorizo that’s made from tofu and a blend of spices. It’s a delicious vegan alternative to traditional chorizo.
  • Field Roast Mexican Chipotle Sausage: This is a spicy, plant-based sausage that uses grain meat and is seasoned with traditional Mexican spices. It’s a great vegan substitute for chorizo.


In conclusion, Chipotle plant-based chorizo is both vegan and cruelty-free. Each ingredient contributes to its rich, robust flavor, all while adhering to vegan principles. 

Whether you’re enjoying a vegan bowl with brown rice, black beans, and fresh tomato salsa or a vegetarian salad bowl with super greens lettuce blend, shredded romaine lettuce, and corn salsa, this plant-based chorizo brand is a delicious addition that doesn’t sacrifice flavor for ethics. 

The journey towards a more conscious, vegan lifestyle is filled with delicious possibilities, and Chipotle’s plant-based chorizo is one such tasty option.