The Reason Chipotle's Guacamole Is So Delicious

As the most popular American fast-casual restaurant (via Statista), Chipotle prides itself on its use of high-quality ingredients. The company raves about how its food is "real," made without artificial ingredients or the use of "freezers, can openers, or shortcuts." Chipotle also claims that only 53 ingredients are used for all of their meals combined — most of which you're probably familiar with and might even have in your own fridge, like beef and romaine lettuce.

If you've dined at Chipotle before, you'd likely agree that the taste of the food points to the high quality of the ingredients. The guacamole is a prime example. Multiple members of a group of chefs surveyed by Insider named guacamole as an "always-order" item at Chipotle, even though it's extra. One chef even takes care to order the guac on the side so it doesn't get warmed up by the hot ingredients.

If you've had it before, you can attest to how tasty the dip is — and how deserving of the pedestal even professional chefs place it on. But what makes Chipotle's guacamole so delicious, and what exactly does "real" mean when referring to the ingredients used to make it?

Chipotle guacamole uses only six ingredients

Those who have never made guacamole at home might be inclined to assume that restaurants use some fancy recipe with exotic ingredients that can't be easily replicated in your own kitchen — but at Chipotle, the opposite is true.

Chad Bauze, an executive chef for Chipotle, shared the full recipe and video tutorial for Chipotle's guacamole on the chain's Instagram page. The ingredients? Hass avocados from Mexico (the main supplier of Chipotle's avocados) ripened to perfection, fresh-squeezed lime juice, chopped cilantro, diced red onion, diced jalapenos, and kosher salt. That's it. TikToker @thechipotleguy, who claims to also be an employee of the fast-casual Mexican restaurant, shared his own guacamole-making demonstration using the same six ingredients, so it looks like the formula is not only real, but consistent — no need for the "elevated" add-ins you might find in copycat recipes.

The TikToker affirms Bauze's statements in another video from the same series, explaining that Chipotle uses high-quality avocados and only hand-cut ingredients. He attributes to these factors the higher cost of the guac compared to other restaurants, while Today credits them with the delicious taste.

Real avocados make a surprising difference

Remember that line about Chipotle using "real" ingredients? Well, according to Bauze and @thechipotleguy, it's true — and it's not just a slogan. The TikToker claims that Chipotle uses only real avocados for its guacamole, while some restaurants use an entirely different vegetable, one that shares similarities with avocados and zucchinis.

In 2019, Good Morning America reported on how the rising cost of avocados led some restaurants to use calabacitas instead. Calabacita is a Mexican squash that's considerably less expensive than avocado, but similar enough in taste and texture to substitute in certain recipes. The critical difference lies in the consistency when it's used as a base for guacamole: Newsweek describes guac made with calabacitas as "thinner and more watery" than that made with avocados.

In 2022, restaurants faced another avocado crisis, after the COVID-19 pandemic left many businesses still with labor shortages, in addition to ongoing supply chain struggles. Time suggested the possibility of some restaurants completely running out of avocados since they lacked the bulk-buying power of Chipotle. Whatever the case, if you've noticed watery guac in one of your favorite restaurants, this ingredient swap might be the culprit — and yet another reason Chipotle's dip stands out from the pack.