Which Pepper is used in most Chipotle Menu Items

Which Pepper Is Used In Most Chipotle Menu Items?

Last Updated on May 14, 2024 by Shari Mason

Amidst busy times and hectic schedules, we often turn to Chipotle Mexican Grill as our go-to option for meals. We particularly enjoy the bell peppers in their fajita veggies.

Bell peppers come in red, yellow, orange, or green, but did it cross your mind which pepper is used in most Chipotle menu items? Keep scrolling to find out.

The Most Used Pepper in Chipotle Menu Items

chipotle peppers

The most used pepper on the Chipotle menu is chipotle pepper. Most food in the restaurant contains this kind of chili pepper, used in nine menu items, including Sofritas, Queso Blanco, and Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette.

The chipotle pepper looks like dried, smoked jalapeño peppers commonly used as a spice. It is a chili primarily used in Mexican cuisine like Tex-Mex and Southwestern American food.


How Spicy Is It?

Chipotle and jalapeño peppers both fall within the same overall Scoville heat unit range: 2,500 to 8,000. A substitute for this chili powder is smoked paprika which also gives a spicy, smoky flavor.

The heat, however, might be expected to be in the higher Scoville range.

Expect chipotle to have a higher general heat than unripened fresh green jalapenos because chili peppers contain the hot compound capsaicin, which makes them spicy.

Ripened jalapeño chiles have the highest capsaicin level because they were picked when fully ripe and red and used in Chipotle. Compared to ghost peppers, jalapeños are the mildest pepper.


What Does Chipotle Pepper Looks Like?

dried chipotle peppers

A chipotle pepper is a smoked jalapeño. These peppers, which are frequently created from red jalapeños, have the appearance of being slightly flexible but are not fragile.

Chipotles have been around since the Aztecs, who used smoking as a preservative since the thick flesh of jalapeños would rot before entirely air drying.

If you go to the store, you may see chipotles preserved in smokey-flavored adobo sauce. It is also called California chili, mixed with several peppers, herbs, tomatoes, and vinegar.

Is it Similar to Red Peppers?

No. Chipotle peppers are different from red peppers. Red peppers are cayenne peppers that have higher Scoville heat units than Chipotle.

Chipotle only has 2500 to 8000 heat units, same as the Jalapeño peppers, while Red pepper or Cayenne pepper has 30000 to 50000 heat units. 

In terms of appearance, cayenne and chipotle pepper are almost the same. Chipotle’s length is a little shorter and thicker, while cayenne pepper is longer and thinner.

They both give a spicy flavor when red, but cayenne or red pepper is hotter than chipotle peppers

Chipotle Menu Items that Used Chipotle Pepper

Chicken Salad Bowl – this is one of the spiciest meat among chipotle’s dishes, grilled with chili pepper and black beans. But can you freeze chicken salad with mayo?

Barbacoa Burrito Bowl – seasoned beef and flavorful meat with pinto beans, garlic, and cumin fusion, making it an ideal chipotle burrito.

Soft Shell Chicken Tacos – seasoned with salt and topped with the same chipotle pepper and adobo sauce. But does taco seasoning go bad?

Chipotle Vegetarian Burrito Bowl – a mixture of hotter chipotle, fajita seasoning, shredded tofu, and bell peppers

Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl – with tractor berry agua fresca

Vegetarian Salad Bowl – a chipotle-based diet helped in weight loss, with sweet bell peppers, and sour cream

How Do They Make These Peppers?

Making chipotle is similar to smoking dried meats for a smoky flavor. Days are spent in an enclosed smoking chamber with ripe jalapeño chilies.

They are repeatedly flipped while smoked, causing the smoke to permeate the jalapeño’s skin.

You probably have guessed that these chilies lose weight when drying, at least in volume.

Thus, if you’re interested in trying to make chipotle peppers yourself, be aware that it takes around ten pounds of jalapeños to make one pound of chipotle pepper. But less than half a gram is hot enough.

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Other Peppers Used At Chipotle


Ancho chiles are dried chile pepper frequently used in Mexican and Southwestern American cuisine. This chile is available year-round and has a mild, sweet flavor.

Ancho is frequently used as a pureed, chopped, or powdered ingredient in sauces, soups, and marinades to improve their flavor. It is also known as dry poblano pepper or poblano pepper which is almost ripe and is one of the mildest peppers.


Poblano peppers are chili pepper indigenous to Mexico. They resemble bell peppers but are smaller and often green. They are also larger than jalapenos.

Poblanos have a mild, mildly sweet flavor while they are fresh, yet they taste noticeably hotter when allowed to ripen until they are red.

Poblano peppers are rich in Vitamin C, a micronutrient that also functions as an antioxidant to help combat underlying damage from free radicals that may otherwise promote disease. [1]


Serrano peppers are Mexican cuisine hot chili peppers and are considered a fruit. It resembles the Anaheim peppers or New Mexico peppers, also known as the mildest Mexican pepper, but has a lower heat scale.

Serrano is a popular hot pepper second to smokey-dried jalapeno.

These small peppers are widely used in Southeast Asian cooking, giving dishes a hot kick. Serrano can be eaten cooked, pickled, or raw, with blazing heat and savory flavor.


Which is Chipotle’s spiciest pepper?

Cayenne pepper or red chili pepper is the spiciest pepper at Chipotle. It has a 30000 to 50000 Scoville heat scale, much higher than Serrano peppers, Anaheim peppers, and Chipotle pepper.

Cayenne pepper is used to make Spicier Sriracha and Red Chili Salsa, the spiciest sauce at Chipotle. It can also be added to barbacoa burritos, tortilla chips, or Sofritas burrito bowl.

Is Chipotle pepper just dried jalapeños?

Yes. The chipotle pepper is just a dried jalapeno. The heat differential in Chipotle is caused by the use of fully ripened red jalapeno peppers. 

While chipotle peppers and jalapenos are spicier, chipotle peppers typically have a greater average heat level than jalapeño peppers.

Final Thoughts

The chipotle peppers are the most used in all chipotle bowls, making it a chipotle-centric diet. You may lose weight eating chipotle bowls because hot peppers contain capsaicin, which can burn fats.

Suppose you want to order the Chipotle secret menu. In that case, you may ask the server to put cheese on the tortilla and ask for half the fillings of a burrito to be placed over the cheese.

But remember that this order has higher calories: protein, and sugar counts and may ruin your diet. [2] 


Shari Mason

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