Chipotle Mexican Grill’s long-rumored quesadilla is finally hitting stores this week.
Customizable quesadillas will become a permanent menu item at Chipotle beginning Thursday, the chain’s first new build-your-own entree to join the menu since it introduced salads nearly two decades ago.
Chipotle is calling the quesadillas a “digital-only” menu item, available through the chain’s app and website. The item won’t appear on menu boards in-store, but “crew members will make a quesadilla if a fan requests it when ordering on the line,” a Chipotle spokesman said.
The fast casual first began testing quesadillas in June of 2018, noting that the melty, cheese-y entree was among the most requested by consumers.
It’s little wonder it took some time to make quesadillas available nationwide at Chipotle. They are cooked in custom ovens that have been installed in “nearly all” of the chain’s digital kitchen makelines.
“The new equipment melts the cheese perfectly and enables restaurants to make quesadillas more quickly and conveniently,” the chain said.
The quesadillas are filled with Monterey Jack cheese as well as a choice of chicken, steak, carnitas, barbacoa, sofritas or fajita veggies. Diners can then choose from three salsas or sides, including tomato salsa, sour cream or guacamole, which is available for a small surcharge.
Once cooked, they’re cut into triangles and served in fully compostable packaging, the chain said.
“We’re so excited to answer the call from fans and introduce one of the most highly anticipated menu items in our brand’s history,” said Chris Brandt, chief marketing officer, in a statement. “The Hand-Crafted Quesadilla brings so many new possibilities to our menu, and fans will love exploring fresh flavor combinations through its sides and salsa options.”
Last summer, Chipotle tested quesadillas as a digital-only menu item in Cleveland and Indianapolis, part of the chain’s “stagegate” process for testing new items and operational innovations.
Early this year, the chain rolled out Cauliflower Rice nationwide. And late last year, it said it was testing smoked brisket at select locations.
To incentivize quesadilla ordering, Chipotle will offer free delivery from Thursday until March 21 on all digital orders that include the new item.