What Kind Of Cheese Does Chipotle Serve?

Since arriving on the scene in 1993, Chipotle has shaken up the world of fast-casual dining. Famous for its fresh ingredients and quick service, the restaurant chain has quickly become one of the most popular Mexican food chains in the United States. According to the company website, Chipotle reported a total revenue of $9.9 billion in 2023, a number that has steadily increased in recent years.

Chipotle's success can be attributed to many unique characteristics, including their small but mighty line-up of ingredients. Customers can choose between a handful of proteins, two variations of rice and beans, a few salsas, veggies, and of course, cheese. Whether you opt for a burrito, a salad bowl, or a gooey quesadilla, cheese is one of the most sought-after ingredients that Chipotle offers. The shredded white cheese that Chipotle uses is commonly known as Monterey Jack. It is a semi-hard cheese made from cow's milk that melts well when exposed to heat. Chipotle's Monterey Jack cheese is used to make quesadillas and queso dip, and it's happily added to any menu item when asked. 

Will asking for more cheese cost some extra cheddar?

Chipotle famously charges customers who wish to add premium toppings to their meals. For a scoop of guacamole, get ready to pay $2–3 dollars depending on your location, and don't be surprised when you see an extra, $8 charge on your receipt if you asked for an extra helping of protein. Does the same philosophy apply to Chipotle's cheese offerings? It depends on how much cheese you're asking for.

Queso will always be an extra surcharge, whether you add it to your burrito bowl or order it as a dippable side along with Chipotle's delicious, in-house-made chips. The shredded cheese, however, is included in the price of your meal up to a certain point. Asking for an extra pinch or two of Monterey Jack cheese won't raise too many alarm bells, but turning your burrito into a glorified quesadilla may result in an extra charge. According to a Reddit user on the r/Chipotle page, they were told by an employee after asking multiple times for additional cheese, "Anything more than this would cost extra." One commenter replied, "Unwritten rule, once you ask for more and more[,] after the third time[,] you'll most likely get charged." While Chipotle has not made any official claims concerning extra shredded cheese, employees have admitted that they are required to only give certain amounts of food per guest.

Chipotle's queso initially received some backlash from fans, but Monterey Jack saved the day

While a helping of shredded Monterey Jack cheese is offered to customers free of charge, it isn't the only cheese that customers have to choose from. Chipotle's queso blanco was introduced back in 2017 after fans begged for a dippable cheese spread to be added to the menu. When the queso first debuted, it was reportedly made with aged cheddar and no processed ingredients. Unfortunately for Chipotle, fans were not happy with the texture of the original recipe. Customers complained that the queso was extremely grainy and off-putting; The New Yorker even described the texture as, "If someone preparing the sauce for a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese had failed to let the powder fully dissolve in the milk." 

After receiving widely spread backlash, Chipotle went back to the drawing board and came out with their queso 2.0 in 2020. The cheese sauce is now made with Monterey Jack, white cheddar, and serrano, poblano, and chipotle peppers. Now, the sauce is much creamier and has remained on the menu ever since. Clearly, when it comes to cheese, Chipotle fans are team Monterey Jack.