Chipotle returns Carne Asada to the menu for a limited run

For the first time, guests can fill a quesadilla with the popular protein option.
carne asada
The Carne Asada Quesadilla offers guests a new format for ordering the fan-favorite protein. | Photo courtesy of Chipotle Mexican Grill.

Chipotle Mexican Grill brings back Carne Asada for the third time on Wednesday, offering the popular protein in a quesadilla for the first time.  

Carne Asada is prepared at Chipotle with marinated, grilled steak that’s seasoned with a blend of spices including cumin, coriander and oregano. It’s then finished with fresh squeezed lime and chopped cilantro.

The Carne Asada Quesadilla is filled with the grilled steak along with melted Monterey Jack cheese and optional fajita veggies, then served with three sides. Chipotle’s head chef Nevielle Panthaky recommends sides of cilantro lime white rice, black beans and sour cream for dipping.

Carne Asada made its menu debut in September, 2019 as Chipotle’s second limited-time protein offering and quickly became a fan favorite. More than 10 million customers ordered it during its first run and it has since become one of the most requested items on social media.

But the item has always been an LTO because supplies are limited by Chipotle’s tough sourcing standards. The beef must be raised responsibly with a vegetarian diet and no antibiotics or added hormones. The Newport Beach, Calif.-based chain estimates that currently only 5% of the U.S. beef supplies meet these standards.

In March of this year, Chipotle launched the TikTok-inspired Fajita Quesadilla, which nearly doubled Chipotle’s quesadilla business at launch and resulted in two of the brand’s top digital sales days of all time. In the first quarter of 2023, revenues increased 17.2% to $2.4 billion.

The Carne Asada Quesadilla and Fajita Quesadilla are exclusively available on the Chipotle app,,, and third-party delivery platforms.

 “Over the past few years, our fans’ passion for Carne Asada has rivaled any other Chipotle menu item,” said Chris Brandt, Chief Brand Officer, in a statement. “Now, we’ve answered the call, brought back this iconic protein, and introduced an entirely new way to try Carne Asada with the Carne Asada Quesadilla.” 

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