Taco Bell Zeroes In on Chicken With 5 New Menu Items

Also, Chipotle brings back Chicken al Pastor.

March 15, 2024

Taco Bell announced that it is “all in on chicken” with the introduction of its new Cantina Chicken Menu. The new menu includes five new items, launching nationwide on March 21. Select menu items are now available to Taco Bell Rewards members.

“This Cantina Chicken menu has been a labor of love, and we’ve worked tirelessly to ensure we landed on the best slow-roasted chicken recipe and selected the finest supporting ingredients to maximize craveability,” said Liz Matthews, global chief food innovation officer. “As we constantly listen to our audiences, we know that a winning equation is giving them what we know they want plus something next level. We knew our fans wanted more chicken, and we also knew that we could elevate chicken with unexpected ingredients like purple cabbage and avocado verde salsa.”

The five new menu items on the Cantina Chicken menu are: The Cantina Chicken soft taco, Cantina Chicken crispy taco, Cantina Chicken burrito, Cantina Chicken quesadilla and Cantina Chicken bowl.

According to Taco Bell, the new chicken has been “slow-roasted with a savory seasoning of Mexican spices including garlic, onions and a variety of chilies.” Other ingredients highlighted in the new menu include shredded purple cabbage, freshly fried white corn tortilla shells and pico de gallo, prepared daily.

Taco Bell is also introducing a new salsa with the Cantina Chicken menu. The avocado verde salsa features tomatillos, green chili peppers and real avocado pulp. The QSR said the salsa was designed to complement the Cantina Chicken menu. One packet of salsa will come with every order off the new menu.

Meanwhile, Chipotle announced that it is bringing back chicken al pastor for a limited time to restaurants around the world following popular demand by fans.

Chicken al pastor, which debuted in March 2023, is made with “chicken hot off the grill, a rich marinade of seared morita peppers and ground achiote, balanced with a splash of pineapple for the right amount of heat, finished with fresh lime and hand-chopped cilantro.”

“About one in five transactions included chicken al pastor when it was featured on our menu last year,” said Chris Brandt, chief brand officer. “Given the performance and the fans wanting its return so enthusiastically, we are thrilled to make this the fastest item to ever come back to Chipotle.”

According to the company, there have been three times more requests to “bring back chicken al pastor” on social media than any other limited time offering in the brand’s history.

To celebrate the return of the limited-time item, Chipotle is offering a $0 delivery fee on all chicken al pastor orders through March 24 in the United States and Canada.