overhead photo of a homemade burrito bowl

If you love Chipotle burrito bowls then my homemade burrito bowl is going to be a total game changer!

Easy Homemade Burrito Bowls are one of my favorite restaurant copycat dishes to make at home. They’re fresh, healthy, customizable and wallet friendly too since they’re made with fridge and pantry staples like rice, beans, chicken, salsa, and shredded cheese.

Plus, while I don’t mean to brag, my homemade quick and easy guacamole thwacked on top rivals any batch I’ve had from Chipotle (plus it doesn’t cost extra!)

fresh toppings in a homemade burrito bowl

What is a Burrito Bowl?

Burrito Bowls are basically the guts of a burrito – chicken, rice, beans, salsa, and guacamole – scooped inside of a bowl versus a tortilla, so they’re gluten free and lower in carbs than a traditional burrito.

At Chipotle I usually customize my chicken burrito bowl to include pico de gallo and corn salsa, but you don’t really need to make the individual salsas to get the flavor at home. I use chopped fresh tomatoes and frozen > thawed sweet corn, respectively. They hold all the flavor anyway, and you won’t miss the extra work of having to make a couple different salsas.

The real star of the bowls though? A bed of fluffy, flavorful Cilantro-Lime Rice. I’ve been making this copycat recipe for years and it never gets old. The rice grains are perfectly cooked but you still get those signature rice clumps that I’m always digging around for in my Chipotle Burrito Bowl. You know the ones!

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Is a Burrito Bowl Healthy?

The basic combination of protein, carbs, and fat (chicken, rice and beans, and guacamole and cheese, respectively) is not only healthy and filling, but incredibly satisfying too. You definitely won’t be looking for an evening snack after eating a burrito bowl for dinner.

That said, we’ve recently started paying attention to the sodium content in some of our favorite foods and were shocked to discover how much sodium is in Chipotle’s burrito bowls. SHOCKED! Making a homemade burrito bowl, vs dining out, lets you control the sodium content in all the different components of the dish.

Looking to reduce your carb intake? Swap the cilantro-lime rice for Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice instead!

forkful of homemade burrito bowl

How to Customize Your Burrito Bowl

  1. Pick Your Protein. I’m showing grilled, seasoned chicken here, but diced cooked shrimp, steak, or shredded pork are all fabulous options.
  2. Go Vegetarian: Sizzle up a portion of my famous fajita vegetables to top your burrito bowl if you’d like to go the meatless route. They are absolutely incredible – you will NEVER miss the meat!
  3. Goodbye Grains. If you’re watching grain consumption, these burrito bowls are incredibly delicious when made with Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice instead of white rice, or served over a big bed of fresh lettuce.

Ready to cook?!

fresh homemade chicken burrito bowl with toppings

How to Make a Chipotle-Style Burrito Bowl

Step 1: Season then Grill the Chicken

Start by making the seasoning mix you’ll need for both the chicken and black beans, including chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, cayenne pepper, cumin, and oregano.

seasoning mixture for chicken that tastes like chipotles

Next, pound 1lb chicken breasts, about 2 large chicken breasts, to an even thickness. I lay my chicken on a meat-only cutting board then cover with Glad Press’n’Seal and give them a few good whacks with a rolling pin or meat mallet until they’re the same thickness throughout.

chicken breasts on a cutting board

Mist or brush both sides with extra virgin olive oil then season liberally on both sides with the seasoning mix.

chicken breasts seasoned with seasoning mix

Grill the chicken for 3-4 minutes a side over medium-high heat then let rest for at least 5 minutes before chopping and setting aside. Chicken = done!

chicken breasts grilling on a grill

Step 2: Make the Cilantro-Lime Rice

Meanwhile, get the Cilantro-Lime Rice going. Add long grain white rice to a colander then rinse it really well under cold running water.

rice in a colander being rinsed off

Bring water, vegetable oil, plus a pinch of salt to a boil in a saucepan then add the rinsed rice. Place a lid on top then turn the heat down to low and simmer until the rice is tender, 10 minutes. Fluff the rice then add chopped cilantro and fresh lime juice, and then stir to combine.

fresh lime being squeezed into a pot of cilantro lime rice

I am telling you – best. rice. EVER! The salt and oil do something really magical in there. I won’t even begin to try and explain what that it is, but I promise it tastes exactly like Chipotle’s!

pan of cilantro lime rice

Step 3: Prepare the Black Beans

Meanwhile, add a can of black beans that have been drained and rinsed to a small sauce pan with seasoning mix and water. Bring to a boil then turn the heat down to low to keep warm.

water being poured into a pot of black beans

Step 4: Make the Guacamole

Last step is to make the guacamole. My FAVORITE part of the burrito bowls! Simply add ripe avocados, fresh lime juice, chopped cilantro, and garlic salt to a bowl then mash with a potato masher until smooth. That’s it!

fresh homemade chicken burrito bowl with toppings

Step 5: Add the Toppings

Scoop the Cilantro-Lime Rice into bowls then top with the seasoned beans, grilled chicken, and guacamole, plus any and all toppings including:

  • Chopped cherry, Roma, or vine-ripened tomatoes
  • Fresh or frozen-then-thawed sweet corn
  • Freshly grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • Sliced romaine lettuce
  • Salsa
  • Green Tabasco sauce

Each bite of these Easy Homemade Burrito Bowls is like a party in my mouth. Super fresh, incredibly filling, and a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. I hope you love each and every bite of your homemade burrito bowl too – enjoy!

fresh homemade burrito bowl with toppings

More Tex Mex Favorites

Easy Homemade Burrito Bowls

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Description

Easy Homemade Burrito Bowl is a simplified version of Chipotle's Burrito Bowls. Save time and money with this vibrant, fresh, and fabulous dinner recipe!

Ingredients

serves 4

  • 1lb chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness
  • 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1-1/2 cups cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1-1/2 cups sweet corn kernels (fresh or frozen-then-thawed)
  • 4oz freshly shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 small head romaine lettuce, sliced
  • For the seasoning mix:
    • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
    • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
    • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • For the Cilantro-Lime Rice:
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 Tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup long grain white rice
    • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
    • juice of 1/2 lime
  • For the Quick Guacamole:
    • 3 ripe avocados
    • juice from 1/2 lime
    • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
    • garlic salt, to taste

Directions

  1. Mix the seasonings together in a small bowl. Mist or brush chicken breasts with extra virgin olive oil then season on both sides with the mix and grill for 3-4 minutes a side over medium-high heat until no longer pink in the center. Let rest for 5 minutes then chop and set aside.
  2. For the Cilantro-Lime Rice: Bring water, oil, and salt to a boil in a saucepan. Rinse rice in a strainer under cold water then add to the boiling water, place a lid on top, turn heat down to medium-low, and then simmer until rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Add lime juice and cilantro then stir to combine and set aside.
  3. Add black beans to a small saucepan with water and 1 Tablespoon seasoning mix. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low to stay warm.
  4. For the Quick Gacamole: Add all ingredients to a bowl then mash with a potato masher. Taste and adjust garlic salt if necessary.
  5. Scoop cooked Cilantro-Lime Rice into bowls then top with grilled chicken, seasoned beans, cherry tomatoes, sweet corn, shredded cheese, romaine lettuce, and Quick Guacamole. Serve with Tabasco sauce and salsa, if desired.

Notes

  • You will need 1 lime and 6 Tablespoons chopped cilantro for the entire recipe.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.

photo collage of homemade burrito bowl