Review: Smothered Burrito from Taco Bell

For some, Taco Bell is a guilty pleasure and the idea is often a great deal more satisfying than the experience. However, that is not why I shudder when ordering there. The apprehension is really more due to the service than the food itself. I like the food quite a bit, actually. It just seems to me that if you make the slightest alteration you are likely to get the exact opposite of whatever it is you wanted. I once got a Big Mac instead of a chicken quesadilla with added pepper jack sauce. Sometimes even ordering straight off the menu is a bad move. Getting an incorrect or disappointing takeout meal enrages me admittedly more than it should. Ryan himself can probably recite word for word my cringe-worthy experience at (you guessed it) Taco Bell involving a double chicken quesadilla and a side of guacamole which I was billed for a total of three times and still did not receive.  So it warms my heart to give them a gold star for once with the new Smothered Burrito.Smothered Burrito Taco BellTaco Bell describes their new Smothered Burrito like this:

Our new Smothered Burrito is filled with shredded chicken, premium Latin rice, hearty beans, and creamy chipotle sauce. Then it’s smothered with red sauce, loads of melted cheeses and topped with reduced-fat sour cream.

I agree with every word of this and I have a few of my own. I really enjoyed the shredded chicken. It had a delicate quality to it but still satisfied and stood up to a chew or two, allowing the well-seasoned flavor to come through before being swallowed. While it was only very slightly over salted, I nonetheless enjoyed both the taste and texture. It had the consistency of their old shredded chicken in the spicy chicken burritos from way back when, but without the heat.

Taco Bell New Smothered BurritoThe beans and rice were standard, but complemented the new shredded chicken and wet ingredients nicely. There was plenty of rich melted cheese and just enough reduced fat sour cream to keep things interesting. Not to mention the burrito literally WAS smothered in the red sauce which I absolutely cannot get enough of. I would put that stuff on my cereal… if I ate cereal. Anyway, after a few bites I noticed a very slight tingle on my tongue as if there were the merest impression of spice buried in the chipotle sauce. Not unwelcome but it reminded me of the mild sauce they provide in packets by the handful and invariably made me want to spice things up. So five packets of fire sauce later and I have slaughtered this thing. I could not get enough, and I maaaaaay have licked the bowl. No judging.

Smothered Burrito Taco Bell 2This burrito was nicely sized, comparable to their Grilled Stuft Burrito I believe, but with the lovely additions of red sauce, melted cheese and sour cream on the outside. I have to say: the Smothered Burrito really impressed me. The thing has a great price point at $3.99, and the quality of not only the chicken but the entrée as a whole was higher than I would normally expect from Taco Bell. Not quite on a level with the more expensive fast casual places like Chipotle or Qdoba. Maybe more on par with say… Purple Burrito… without the upset stomach, of course. With all this in mind, I hope to enjoy many more of these beauties in the future and if you even glanced at this review you owe it to yourself to try one as well.

Pros: Quality shredded chicken, plentiful ingredients, fair price at $3.99. This burrito hit all the sweet spots.

Cons: Just a bit too much salt in the shredded chicken. I did happen to notice that my local Taco Bell had gotten rid of the Big Box Meals. What gives?

Taste: 8.25/10
Value: 7.50/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.00/10
Price: $3.99

Overall GrubGrade: 8.25/10

More Info: http://www.tacobell.com/food/menuitem/Smothered-Burrito
Nutrition Facts:
Calories 650 g
Calories from fat  250 g
Saturated fat 10 g
Total fat 28 g
Trans fat 0 g
Sodium 2230 g
Carbs 67 g
Dietary Fiber 8 g
Sugars 4 g
Protein 34 g

46 comments on “Review: Smothered Burrito from Taco Bell

  1. Pilar says:

    I want to try this so Bad!!!

  2. Nick says:

    I had one yesterday. It was really good, but was surprised that it was pretty big too.

  3. Bob Smith says:

    Looks like I’ll have to try this.

    Purple Burrito? In Missouri?

    • Jarek says:

      We have two Purple Burritos in Springfield, MO. I’ve eaten there twice. Wasn’t impressed either time – Chipotle had better quality ingredients and freshness.

      That said, I usually love everything from Taco Bell. This new Smothered Burrito was not very good. It was a step above gas station food, if that. Good price, weird taste and it didn’t seem to be very high quality. Really disappointing. And yes, it is LOADED with salt.

  4. Jay says:

    Nice review Dustin. Might have to try one of these with my next Taco pack.

  5. skipper jones says:

    I hope they didn’t ruin their shredded chicken with the crappy tasting citris marinade like they did with the other chicken.

  6. Jonathan Wayne says:

    Had it, the same one, it was very good and very good quality, especially for Taco Bell. It was pretty big too.

  7. Kevin says:

    oh yea!!!! taco bell and shredded chicken reunite to epic proportions! I have been waiting for shredded chicken like the old spicy chicken they used to serve. Epic-ly excited but must wait to splurge… :(

    I live vicariously through you gg

  8. TS says:

    My guess is because no one is buying the big box meals. For $5 you can buy everything off the menu for less than that and not be forced to have whatever crap is in the box deal at that time.

    • Scrape says:

      Yea, a la carte is pretty much the way to go. I stopped getting the meal box when they dropped the cinnamon twists that came with them, and it was down to four items for five bucks, rather than five items for five bucks. It took all the value out of it. And then they introduced the Doritos Nacho Locos Supreme covered in cheese and crack dust…now I don’t order anything BUT a la carte.

  9. Bob Smith says:

    Tried it today. I thought it was pretty good. Would have been even better if Taco Bell offered the option of real sour cream.

  10. rondoman says:

    Over 2200g of sodium?!

    Holy crap!

    • Dustin says:

      It IS unfortunately a sodium bomb. Although it’s worth noting that the cholesterol and sodium should actually be listed here as MILLIGRAMS instead of GRAMS. That was an oversight on my part. Sorry about the confusion, all.

    • MP says:

      “This was so awesome!” said a very thirsty Dustin with his heart pounding out of his chest. 2230mg of sodium with 5 Fire sauce packets each with 60mg of sodium (almost double of the Mild sauce) tact on & it’s 2530mg of sodium!

  11. Griffin says:

    Looks good- But I think 2200mg of Sodium would put you into Cardiac Arrest… I might be over-exaggerating… and this looks big… but I know a lot of people who would get this and then something else on top of it. Get ready to feel deliciously bloated.

    • Deek says:

      That’s around the recommended daily sodium intake for a healthy adult. Theoretically, you can help your kidneys excise some sodium by increasing your water consumption, but that could potentially lead to dangerously lowering your sodium levels, which can be more harmful than high-sodium diets. If you’re a healthy adult, high-sodium diets in and of themselves aren’t cause for great concern, particularly if they aren’t a daily occurrence, but Americans do consume way too much sodium on average. There’s nearly a teaspoon of salt in each of these burritos, though.

    • Tyler M says:

      Just be sure to eat plenty of potassium afterwards.

    • Will Buckingham says:

      As someone who was on a low sodium diet for a while, 2200mg is just under the recommended daily sodium value for an average person. 2500mg is the recommended daily intake, but it’s fairly hard to keep under that value these days if you’re not preparing your own food for at least one meal, and even then pre-packed sauces can have a lot. So yes, it’s pretty bad, and above what I would have been allowed for an entire day back when I was on that diet. Still, looking forward to trying it on a day I haven’t already had fast food.

  12. Jay J says:

    Wow! Surprised it was rated so highly. I usually dig salty food but the salt was the only thing I could taste on this burrito. The chicken is nowhere as good as the old spicy chicken was. Maybe I just got a bad batch but I won’t be touching this shredded chicken for awhile

  13. vi says:

    Its looks OK. I haven’t had tbell in years and will not have it ever!!! This meal is 650 cal and 2200g of sodium! That is absolutely disgusting and why our country is do obese!! Eating healthy is expensive but do worth it!!

  14. zxGriffin says:

    I got a Soft Supreme shredded chicken taco just now and had them add the Red Sauce from the smothered burrito to it. Id be willing to be Fresco Style would be awesome for a flavor boost because their Pico is oddly good. Anyway the softtaco version was really good and 400 calories less give or take….Next time around I’m going for a classic- the Shredded chicken crunchwrap supreme. This chicken is very similar to what they had years ago and the texture and taste are better than that citrus-tasting crap.

  15. Taytay says:

    That is a literal hot mess. How can people regularly consume fast food? I will, only in times of absolute necessity and every single instance leaves me feeling physically disgusted and sick. Definitely nowhere remotely in the ballpark of what the experience was like as a child. How can sane adults willfully eat this tripe? The impact on our healthcare system, the impact on the environment… Cheap junk food actually has a very high cost for society as a whole

    • Steven says:

      That’s kind of the point is because it’s cheap. And it appeals to the tastes all humans like on a basic level, sweet or salty items. I’m sure a lot of people would like to eat better but eating healthy is not in reach for everybody. And fast food is made to appeal to our taste buds at the most basic level. People know how bad it is but they still go for it because of those reasons.

    • TJ says:

      Why do you read blogs about something you hate so much?

    • Jay says:

      Hey Bloomberg, this is America. Live the life you want and leave everybody else alone.

    • PeterInSantaRosa says:

      This fast-food oriented blog must drive you nuts!

  16. Jenna says:

    Sodium isn’t a problem if you drink proper amounts of water each day – which most Americans do not do. I have a glass water bottle that is 22 oz and I probably drink about five or six of them a day. And I never watch my sodium. No need, and studies are showing that sodium isn’t actually linked to heart issues.

    Also, Vi, 650 calories for one meal isn’t bad at all. The recommended average caloric intake is 2500 calories. So even if you ate one for every meal, you would still come under.

  17. al says:

    come on thats an insane amout of salt for the calories.. go to calrs jr and get the big calr. its 1300 claries for 1400 mgs of salt. i hope i helped. one big mess thats wat it is.. pass

  18. Tony says:

    If all you want to taste is the sauce then it’s great. Seriously the sauce is over powering and hot. If you are wanting a bit of authentic mexican flavors then don’t waste your money

  19. papa says:

    The bad- still gross re hydrated food only flavored by the sauce. The good- still the cheapest place to get gas. Pro or con?- guaranteed case of diarrhea- will clean you out at the expense of a burned asshole.

  20. ahecht says:

    My suburban taco bell recently started upping the prices on highly promoted items like this. While the beef version is $3.99, the steak and chicken were $4.99, which is a bit too much for what you get. That said, the ground beef version was very good.

  21. PeterInSantaRosa says:

    I tried one of these yesterday, just because Dustin gave it such a good review. (Thanks, Dustin!)
    I really liked it, the chicken was tasty and identifiable, lots of cheese and red sauce. Good portion for the money. Good quality for the money. I will order this again.
    I also had one of the Doritos tacos – I really like the nacho cheese shell. But on refection and comparison with the Chicken Burrito, the meat filling in the taco looks pretty dreadful (even if it tastes pretty good).

  22. stephanie says:

    Advertising worked! Hubby and I saw this thing on TV and actually grabbed the keys and made a run. Worth it. The chipotle sauce brought out all of the flavors and the texture of the chicken reminded me of the old Taco Bell days. When we got home with the burritos, my husband broke out the sour cream carton to add extra (he would smoke the stuff if he could find a way…)but found, to our happy surprise, that the thing WAS literally smothered in that incredible red sauce. The fact that he didn’t add sour cream is testimony to the wonderfulness of this little gem. Please Taco Bell – don’t tease me with this and then take it away. Good stuff.

  23. Jo says:

    I just bought this in the beef version and who knows what it tastes like other than heat and artificial. I even love Taco Bell, and thought this would be like the enchirito, but it is very large and really didn’t appeal to me at all.

  24. skipper jones says:

    Had one today for the first time and wasn’t that crazy about it,ordered the chicken one hoping to taste good chicken for a change with this place and it had hamburger in it along with the chicken (which was sparse),I don’t like chicken mixed with ground beef!Might have been good if not for that.

  25. Maltytasker says:

    $3.99?!! My local Taco Bell charges $6.59 for this.

  26. MP says:

    I ate half of one today, which was ground beef & $2.99. I wasn’t impressed by it. It just seemed like a soggy salty mess. Basically all it tasted like was hot sauce with a hint of liquid smoke flavor. The rice was al dente & the refried beans were completely overpowered & was strictly filler.
    The whole thing was pretty big – like 8″ X 3″ X 1.5″. But I didn’t like it & would not recommend it.

  27. Brad says:

    You MUST be joking. This burrito was disgusting, even for Taco Bell, and I LIKE Taco Bell.

  28. Kitty says:

    I don’t eat meat, so to substitute the chicken, I get the other type of beans on it. It’s a great burrito, and I rather like it.

  29. AdamCO says:

    I finally tried this yesterday. It is very salty, has no complexity of flavor, and isn’t even filling. Spend an extra $1.50 and go to chipotle.

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