Is Chipotle the best fast food brand right now? Before you freak out in the comments and call me names, chill out. I’ve been roasting Chipotle for years, both professionally and personally — any criticism you have of the brand, I’ve heard it and probably said it myself. I’m from Los Angeles, so for my entire life I’ve been able to go outside and walk in any random direction and get really great Mexican food. When the world was going nuts for Chipotle, I would shrug it off and wonder, “Why is it okay for this brand to charge so much for food that is magically expected to be cheap when people who look like me make it?” Also, “Where is all the flavor?”
But over the last couple of years, things have been changing — at least from a flavor perspective. Last year, Chipotle dropped a whole bunch of new limited-time protein options that dunked on the permanent menu (why they didn’t keep them, I’ll never understand) and now for 2023, they’re giving a fan-favorite menu hack the official treatment — The Quesadilla with Fajita Veggies.
Popularized by TikTok creators Keith Lee and Alexis Frost, this fajitas quesadilla hack is super simple — it features Monterey Jack cheese and your protein of choice, folded in a tortilla with some fajitas thrown in. It shouldn’t have to be a hack, it’s so obvious that Chipotle should’ve made it a permanent menu item as soon as people started ordering quesadillas but it wasn’t, so credit where credit due — Frost and Lee got it done. To Chipotle’s credit, they haven’t forgotten that, and we think that’s kind of cool.
Seriously, Chipotle could’ve said “Thanks for the idea, now f*ck off” but instead they put Frost and Lee right in the marketing material. It was both creators’ coveted 10 out of 10 ratings that made the hack go viral after all, and Frost’s original review inspired Lee to stitch in his own hack to the recipe: Chipotle’s honey vinaigrette mixed with sour cream combination for a dip, a fan favorite which you’ll be able to recreate as an option on the app dubbed the “Keithadilla.”
So now that the Fajita Quesadilla will be officially available beginning March 2nd, we had to ask: was it worth the wait? We found out by tasting the official recipe early, here are our thoughts.
The Fajita Quesadilla
Before you make fun of me for my admittedly bad side choices, let me defend myself. My go-to at Chipotle is a burrito, I haven’t ordered a quesadilla since the days when it was an off-menu item and it came wrapped in foil. I had no idea that the quesadilla now comes in its own special little box with three side compartments for dips. Once I saw the packaging, I knew I f*cked up by asking for rice. Moving on!
Like all menu items at Chipotle, the fajita quesadilla is fully customizable, you can order it with barbacoa, sofritas, steak, chicken, or carnitas as a side option. Because I’ve rigorously sampled each of Chipotle’s protein options, I ordered the best choice — a barbacoa quesadilla with fajita veggies.
This just might be the best item on Chipotle’s entire menu. A common complaint of Chipotle is that their food isn’t hot, it’s lukewarm at best. But for a quesadilla to work cheese needs to be melted and it is. Each bite gave off a gooey trail of cheese that was satisfying to pull apart. This is also Chipotle’s messiest dish, your hands will be left greasy.
In terms of flavors, the fajitas make a world of difference. The earthy clove and oregano-heavy flavor of the tender barbacoa are paired with vegetal aromatics and a savory — almost buttery — top note that makes each bite more addicting than the last. My method of utilizing the sides included a big spoon scoop of tomatillo red salsa and beans on top of each bite, which added some mouthwatering heat and a bit more texture to the mouthfeel. Don’t ask about the rice.
Would I have swapped the beans and rice for a side of sour cream and some honey vinaigrette dressing? Absolutely, but luckily that gives me an excuse to order it again. And again. And Again.
Seriously, trust me when I tell you this is Chipotle’s best menu item — we’ve done the work and have built the best burrito, taco, and bowl the menu has to offer. As great as all of those are, this simple flavor combination is the best the brand has put out. Because it’s now official, that means Chipotle has an official method of making this combination work consistently. It sucks that you’ll have to wait until March 2nd to order it, but do it as soon as you can.
As a follow up allow us to offer Chipotle this suggestion — Nachos. I mean come on, the ingredients are all right there! Grab an order of chips (tamp down all the freaking lime, please), throw them in a bowl with a few scoops of pinto beans, add the protein of your choice, fajitas, the salsa of your choice, sour cream (optional), a whole bunch of cheese and a healthy scoop of guacamole and you’ll have the greatest dish Chipotle could ever offer.
The Bottom Line:
Instantly our favorite dish at Chipotle. This simple change-up elevates the quesadilla from an off-menu curiosity to a full-blown essential order.
Find your nearest Chipotle here.