Last updated on October 26th, 2022 at 05:19 pm
A regular at Chipotle will notice the absence of their newest cauliflower rice in the second half of 2021. While it didn’t bother some people, others sorely missed it.
If you are a fan of the American restaurant’s cauliflower rice, you may wonder what happened to the popular dish. Did Chipotle discontinue it?
Yes, Chipotle discontinued the Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower in May 2021 after its testing period. The dish is a limited offer, and Chipotle took it off after a successful debut in their restaurants.
What Is Chipotle Cauliflower Rice?
Chipotle cauliflower rice is a plant-based, grain-free dish offered at Chipotle Mexican Grill.
First rolled out in 2021, cauliflower rice is a low-carb substitute for white and brown rice.
The cauliflower rice is a welcome idea as customers of the brand have long anticipated it.
It impressed dieters, carb watchers, and other lifestyle enthusiasts the most.
The main ingredient of the rice is cauliflower cut into rice-like pieces. The other ingredients depend on the flavor, which could be limey or Mexican.
You can order Chipotle cauliflower rice on its own as a side dish or pair it with other menu options. It makes a good component of a Burrito bowl.
Just as fans of the brand are getting excited about the cauliflower rice, Chipotle discontinued it less than a year after its testing. However, all is not over for the cauliflower rice at Chipotle.
Does Chipotle Still Have Cauliflower Rice in 2022?
Despite the discontinuation of the Cilantro-Lime cauliflower rice at Chipotle, the restaurant chain still has Cauliflower rice in 2022. The new dish is the Chipotle Mexican cauliflower rice.
Like its Cilantro-Lime predecessor, the Mexican cauliflower rice is a limited-time offer and has been on since June.
It is available in only 60 Wisconsin, Southern California, and Arizona restaurants. The discontinuation of the cauliflower rice is not its end at Chipotle.
Over time, different flavor editions of the dish will be available at their restaurants, though as limited-time offers.
According to Neville Panthaky, Chipotle’s Vice President of Culinary, the brand is ready to test the Mexican cauliflower rice.
The new flavor is for the satisfaction of their guests’ craving for real, plant-based options.
Why Did Chipotle Discontinue Cauliflower Rice?
Chipotle discontinued its cauliflower rice because it is not a permanent addition to its menu.
The widely acclaimed dish is a limited-time offer that Chipotle discontinued after its test run.
According to Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol, limited offers keep people engaged with their menu.
So, the cauliflower rice will be an on-and-off rather than a permanent menu option.
The brand is still experimenting with plant-based food options with less processing.
Therefore, some of their dishes will be time-limited until they are perfect for a permanent menu option.
As well as the time limit, other factors that are much more subtle are reasons for the discontinuation of cauliflower rice.
These include customer reviews and production costs. Despite the cauliflower rice’s success, some reviews suggested it wasn’t all that perfect.
Many customers complained about the texture and flavor of the dish. Most people who tasted the rice said it would have been better with less salt.
The texture and amount in a serving also left them sorely disappointed.
How Good Is the Chipotle Cauliflower Rice?
Chipotle cauliflower rice is a good dish for the health-conscious customers of the American restaurant chain. It is a good alternative to white or brown rice for such people.
The cauliflower rice at Chipotle is a tasty option for keto dieters as it is low in carbs. The dish contains just 4g net carbs per one 4-ounce serving.
Chipotle also made the cauliflower rice Whole30 compliant by eliminating the need for white or brown-grained rice.
The other ingredients also support this cause as they are Whole30 approved.
Chipotle cauliflower rice is also a great option for vegans and vegetarians.
Its ingredients and even the oil for grilling it are plant-based except for an order with chicken or steak.
Cauliflower rice is especially good for people with risks of diseases like obesity, diabetes, and cancer. Plant-high diets like the dish reduce the risks of such ailments.
Due to the fiber content of cauliflower, foods made with it, such as cauliflower rice, aid digestion. Experts recommend it for weight loss enthusiasts.
Some other nutrients of cauliflower also boost memory retention. Invariably, cauliflower rice is good for learners.
Summarily, the nutritional value of cauliflower rice is low carbs, low calories, low fat, and high fiber. In terms of health, Chipotle cauliflower rice is very healthy.
While the cauliflower rice may be healthy, some customers didn’t find it particularly impressive.
The texture, taste, and amount of the rice in a serving are turn-offs for many people.
The people who gave their opinions suggested that Chipotle may have overcooked the cauliflower. The reason for this is the sogginess of the rice.
Properly cooked cauliflower rice is crunchy and crispy from the reviews of customers.
However, the grain-free rice at Chipotle ended up mushy and watery, leaving many disappointed.
The taste of Chipotle cauliflower rice is another thing to worry about for people who are much concerned about salt intake.
Everyone who tasted it agreed that it was salty. Given that it is cauliflower rice, one would naturally expect to see a bowl filled with the main ingredient.
However, the amount of rice in a serving is so small you can barely see it.
While a handful of customers endorsed the rice, many wished Chipotle would change some things about it. Others agreed that it was not worth the few extra dollars.
Despite the shortcomings of Chipotle cauliflower rice, it drew customers to the brand and increased its sales.
The increased patronage is probably a result of pre-excitement about grain-free, low-carb rice.
Chipotle noted that new trials of the brand made up one in five cauliflower orders in the first month of the test. That number is pretty decent for a new trial.
What Did Chipotle Replace the Cauliflower Rice With?
After discontinuing the Cilantro-Lime cauliflower rice in 2021, Chipotle announced another menu option in 2022, the Mexican Cauliflower Rice.
The situation is, however, more like a flavor change. The success of the Cilantro-Lime cauliflower rice is the motivating factor behind the latest flavor edition of the rice.
Chipotle trusts the Mexican cauliflower rice to do as well and even better.
Unlike the lime flavor of its Cilantro-Lime predecessor, the Mexican cauliflower rice comes with the flavor and hue of Mexican rice.
This difference is mainly due to the different ingredients, as shown in the table below:
|Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice
|Mexican Cauliflower Rice
Chipotle Mexican cauliflower rice is also a good menu option for dieters and other lifestyles.
It is grain-free, keto, paleo, vegetarian, and vegan like its Cilantro-Lime counterpart.
The rice is prepared in small batches daily in the restaurants in which it is available.
Grilling is the main part of the process, followed by seasoning with the spices in the table above.
The cauliflower rice can be a part of the main course or as a side order. The latter, however, comes with additional costs.
Chipotle Mexican cauliflower rice also came with delivery incentives. That is, delivery is free for orders from $10 to $200.
The free delivery, however, depends on some terms, which you can view here.
Currently, the latest flavor version of the rice is only available in 60 Chipotle restaurants in three states.
If anything, this might cause a bit of congestion in those locations. However, you don’t need to be inside the restaurant to place your order.
You can order Chipotle Mexican cauliflower rice on the Chipotle app.
Chipotle discontinued its cauliflower rice just months after its testing leaving customers with mixed feelings. Its time is up since it is a time-limited offer.
However, the discontinuation is not the end of the cauliflower rice at Chipotle. The brand is currently testing another flavor version of cauliflower rice.