clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

It’s a Springtime Quesadilla Throwdown Between Chipotle and Taco Bell

Chipotle’s quesadilla is its first new customizable menu item in 17 years, and it has some competition with the reintroduction of Taco Bell’s Quesalupa

A chicken quesadilla in a takeout container, next to a smartphone featuring a takeout menu for Chipotle
Chipotle’s quesadilla
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.
Jaya Saxena is a Correspondent at, and the series editor of Best American Food Writing. She explores wide ranging topics like labor, identity, and food culture.

The American-Mexican chains have spoken, and they say it’s time to spring forward... into cheese. For the first time since adding the salad 17 years ago, Chipotle is putting a new customizable item on its menu. This time, it’s a quesadilla made with Monterey Jack cheese and all the other burrito bar fixings, and its exclusively available through the restaurant’s app. According to Chipotle, the quesadilla — because of the grilled tortilla and melted cheese — will take longer to make than bowls and burritos, and ordering in advance will keep the line moving.

Taco Bell seems to have figured out the secret to make cheese melt quickly (is it cheese sauce?) and is bringing back the beloved Quesalupa for a limited time. Those with the Taco Bell app while have access to the taco-inside-a-quesadilla innovation on March 10 and it will be added to all in-store menus on March 11.

So, what is it about spring that invites dairy? It’s not like everyone introducing fish sandwiches for Lent. Maybe it’s just the promise of the new, mixed with the memory of milk’s freshness, that makes us crave cheese, all the better when stretched between two crisped tortillas. Or maybe its half of Chipotle’s revenue came from its app in the last fiscal quarter and a new menu item (with all the ingredients already on hand) could mean another boost. The world may never know! But if you’re fretting about what to order at a Taco Bell or Chipotle, take heart: a quesadilla is nearly impossible to fuck up.