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Unveiling the Secrets: 12 Fascinating Facts About Taco Bell’s Chili Cheese Burrito

Taco Bell’s Chili Cheese Burrito: A delicious and mysterious menu item

Taco Bell, the popular Tex-Mex chain, has captured the hearts and taste buds of Americans for decades. With its affordable and flavorful dishes, Taco Bell continues to thrive in the competitive fast-food market. While some menu items such as Nacho Fries and Doritos Locos Tacos have gained massive popularity, there are others that have flown somewhat under the radar. One such item is the Chili Cheese Burrito, a cheesy and savory delight that has gained a devoted following. In this article, we will uncover the truth about Taco Bell’s Chili Cheese Burrito and explore 12 fascinating facts about this iconic menu item.

1. The Secret Menu Item

Similar to many other fast food restaurants, Taco Bell boasts a secret menu that offers a variety of food items that are not publicly displayed or readily available. Among these secret options is the legendary Chili Cheese Burrito, a delicious creation that was once part of the standard menu in the 1990s. While the secret menu is not officially available, dedicated Taco Bell fans have compiled online lists of these hidden gems, allowing you to add to your standard order and enjoy the Chili Cheese Burrito even though it’s not on the menu.

2. What makes the chili cheese burrito?

The Chili Cheese Burrito, sometimes referred to as a “chilito,” is a simple yet satisfying creation. As the name suggests, it combines chili and cheese wrapped in a flour tortilla. This standard-sized burrito has three main ingredients: beef, cheddar cheese, and a spicy chili sauce. The flavor combination of rich, spicy chili and melted cheese makes the Chili Cheese Burrito a fast food favorite. Despite its simplicity, this burrito offers a convenient and affordable meal option.

3. A Burrito with a Mysterious Journey

The chile cheese burrito has had a roller coaster ride on the Taco Bell menu. While it has come and gone over the years, it has never really been retired. In the mid-1990s, the burrito was removed from most Taco Bell menus, leading to its near-mythical status among fans. However, it was not completely phased out. The Chili Cheese Burrito remained available in select locations across the United States, sparking years of pleas and petitions from devoted fans. Finally, Taco Bell responded to the demand and quietly brought back the beloved burrito, much to the delight of its loyal customers.

4. The Origins of the Chili Cheese Burrito

Although the chile cheese burrito is now closely associated with Taco Bell, its true origins can be traced back to Zantigo, a fast-food chain specializing in Mexican food. Founded in 1969, Zantigo was known for its excellent service, fair prices, and high-quality ingredients. In 1986, Taco Bell acquired Zantigo and incorporated some of its original menu items, including the chili cheese burrito, which was still known as the Chilito. The move allowed Taco Bell to introduce a popular item to its own menu while paying homage to Zantigo’s legacy.

5. The Name Change

Originally known as the Chilito, Taco Bell decided to rebrand the Chili Cheese Burrito with a longer and more descriptive name. The reason for the change is not explicitly stated, but it is speculated that the decision was influenced by the colloquial use of the word “chilito” in Spanish, which can refer to a specific part of the male genitalia. Naming plays an important role in the food industry, and Taco Bell likely chose a name that would resonate positively with customers and improve the overall perception of the brand.

6. Promotion of the Chili Cheese Burrito

Taco Bell is no stranger to effective advertising campaigns, and the Chili Cheese Burrito has featured prominently in the company’s marketing efforts. In the early 1990s, when it was known as the Chilito, the burrito starred in upbeat commercials that showcased its spicy beef and abundance of cheddar cheese. These commercials helped build brand recognition and contributed to the Chili Cheese Burrito’s popularity among Taco Bell fans.

7. The Health Perspective

When it comes to fast food options, Taco Bell has made efforts to improve its image and offer healthier alternatives. While the Chili Cheese Burrito is not the lightest menu item, Taco Bell provides access to nutritional information so customers can make informed choices. The burrito contains approximately 380 calories, and customization options are available to reduce calorie intake, such as removing the cheese. Taco Bell’s commitment to using natural flavors and ingredients further contributes to its efforts to offer healthier menu options.

8. The Return of the Chili Cheese Burrito

Thanks to the passionate pleas of fans and the enduring popularity of the Chili Cheese Burrito, Taco Bell has brought this beloved menu item back to select locations. While it may not be available at every Taco Bell restaurant, the burrito’s return demonstrates the power of customer feedback and the company’s willingness to listen to its guests. If you’re lucky enough to live near one of the locations still serving this iconic burrito, you can once again enjoy its cheesy goodness.

9. The Crunchy Taco Controversy

Just like the Chili Cheese Burrito, the Crunchy Taco has its fair share of controversy and debate over its origins. Some speculate that both menu items were inspired by Mexican cuisine, while others believe they were uniquely developed by Taco Bell. The truth behind these claims may remain shrouded in mystery, but what’s undeniable is the impact these items have had on Taco Bell’s menu and the loyalty they inspire among customers.

10. Creative Variations and Customizations

While the classic chile-cheese burrito remains a fan favorite, Taco Bell encourages customers to get creative and customize their orders. With a variety of sauces, toppings and add-ons available, you can elevate the flavor profile of your burrito and make it truly your own. Whether you prefer extra spice, extra cheese, or a combination of ingredients, Taco Bell offers a range of options to satisfy your taste buds.

11. A Legacy of Tex-Mex Delights

The Chili Cheese Burrito is just one example of the Tex-Mex delights that Taco Bell has brought to the fast food landscape. Since its inception in 1962, Taco Bell has continually introduced innovative and delicious menu items that blend Mexican and American flavors. Whether it’s the iconic Crunchwrap Supreme, the Cheesy Gordita Crunch or the fiery Diablo Sauce, Taco Bell has solidified its position as a destination for those craving bold and satisfying flavors.

12. The enduring popularity of Taco Bell

Despite evolving food trends and the ever-changing fast food landscape, Taco Bell has managed to maintain its popularity and capture the hearts of millions. With its affordable prices, diverse menu, and commitment to delivering bold and indulgent flavors, Taco Bell has become a staple for fast food enthusiasts. The Chili Cheese Burrito, with its cheesy simplicity and nostalgic appeal, is just one testament to Taco Bell’s enduring legacy and its ability to satisfy cravings and create memorable dining experiences.
In conclusion, the Taco Bell Chili Cheese Burrito holds a special place in the hearts of its fans. From its humble beginnings to its mysterious journey and eventual return, this menu item has captured the attention and taste buds of fast food enthusiasts. Whether you enjoy it on the secret menu or at one of the select locations where it’s available, the Chili Cheese Burrito offers a delicious combination of chili, cheese, and tortilla that continues to delight Taco Bell lovers. So the next time you’re in the mood for bold flavors and a touch of nostalgia, try the Chili Cheese Burrito and enjoy the Tex-Mex goodness that Taco Bell has to offer.


Is the Chili Cheese Burrito still available on the regular Taco Bell menu?

No, the Chili Cheese Burrito is no longer a regular menu item at Taco Bell. However, it can sometimes be found on the secret menu or at select locations.

What are the main ingredients in the Chili Cheese Burrito?

The Chili Cheese Burrito is a combination of beef, cheddar cheese and a spicy chili sauce, all wrapped in a flour tortilla.

Why did Taco Bell remove the Chili Cheese Burrito from its menu in the past?

The Chili Cheese Burrito has come and gone from Taco Bell’s menu over the years due to a variety of factors, including changes in consumer preferences and menu rotation. However, it has often been brought back in response to popular demand.

Can I customize my Chili Cheese Burrito at Taco Bell?

Yes, Taco Bell offers customization options for its menu items, including the Chili Cheese Burrito. You can add or remove ingredients, choose from a variety of sauces, and personalize your order to your liking.

How many calories are in the Chili Cheese Burrito?

A Taco Bell Chili Cheese Burrito typically contains about 380 calories. However, please note that nutritional information may vary depending on specific ingredients and customization choices.

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