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Easy Homemade Burrito Bowls are a simplified, homemade version of Chipotle’s Burrito Bowls. Fresh and fabulous!

Easy Homemade Burrito Bowls | iowagirleats.com

Despite my best efforts, I can’t tell you how many times over this past year I’ve looked at the clock, seen it read 5pm, then look to the kitchen to see nothing goin’ on. No chicken thawing, no oven warming, no veggies being prepped. Yeeeeeah, I have to tell Ben when he calls on his way home from the office, we’ve got nothin’ for dinner. 

Half the time he’ll come home then rummage around the fridge and cupboards and come up with something completely unexpected (seriously – put that man on Chopped and he’ll undoubtedly come out victorious.) Truth be told, those are my favorite nights. I love seeing what he comes up with! The other half of the time he’ll turn the steering wheel then head to Chipotle to pick up burrito bowls for dinner. The usual? He’ll ask. The usual. I’ll answer.

Wait, the new usual? Or the old usual? 

The old usual. 

I’ve recently switched from a chicken burrito bowl to a fajita veggie bowl, then back to chicken again, you see. I tried to get into the the green peppers in the fajita veggie mix but, well, you know!

Anyway, while it’s a filling and relatively healthy option for dinner, that ish adds up to the tune of $15+ a visit, what with the non-optional bag of chips and extra guacamole, of course. Chipotle has got the BEST guacamole, but guess what? My version is just as good!

While Chipotle’s good in a pinch, believe it or not some nights I do have my dinner game together. Earlier this week I actually made my own Easy Homemade Burrito Bowls and, while it’s not Wednesday, I thought I’d re-post the burrito bowl recipe I shared nearly five years ago (woah – five?!) for “flashback Friday”!

Easy Homemade Burrito Bowls | iowagirleats.com

Easy Homemade Burrito Bowls are one of my favorite restaurant dishes to make at home. They’re fresh, healthy, customizable and totally wallet friendly. Despite the length of the ingredient list, I already had everything except lettuce and cilantro in my fridge and cupboards!

At Chipotle I 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 simply used fresh cherry tomatoes from my garden, and thawed frozen sweet corn, respectively. They hold all the flavor anyway, and you won’t miss the extra work of making a couple different salsas.

Other fridge and pantry staples like shredded cheese, beans and chicken, which are both flavored with a simple homemade seasoning mix, give these Easy Homemade Burrito Bowls staying power. And, like I said, my homemade Quick Guacamole rivals any batch I’ve had from Chipotle. It’s all about the garlic salt, man.

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

Ahem. If you love Chipotle Burrito Bowls, this recipe’s a game changer. It’s simple enough to make on a weeknight, and comes together faster than having your spouse turn around and pick up take out. (Remind me of that the next time I tell him we’ve got nothing for dinner!)

Easy Homemade Burrito Bowls | iowagirleats.com

Start by making the seasoning mix you’ll need for both the chicken and black beans. This is my attempt at creating a fancy swirl with all the pretty colors. Nailed it.

It includes chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, cayenne pepper, cumin, and oregano. I already had everything on hand!


Next, pound out 1lb chicken breasts, about 2 large chicken breasts, so they grill evenly. I usually lay my chicken on a meat-only cutting board then cover ’em with Glad Press’n’Seal and give ’em a few good whacks with a rolling pin until they’re the same thickness throughout.


Mist or brush both sides with extra virgin olive oil then season liberally on both sides with the 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!


Meanwhile, get the Cilantro-Lime Rice going. Measure out 1 cup long grain white rice then rinse it really well under cold running water. Ben’s been doing this lately and it totally makes a difference in the end. The rice ends up more fluffy somehow!


Bring 2 cups water, 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a saucepan then add the rinsed rice, place a lid on top, and then turn the heat down and simmer until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Next add 1/4 cup chopped cilantro and the juice from 1/2 lime then stir to combine.


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!


Meanwhile, add 1 can black beans that have been drained and rinsed to a small sauce pan with 1 Tablespoon seasoning mix and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil then turn the heat down to low to keep warm.

At this point there’s a few elements in the making between the chicken, rice, and black beans, but they can all be done simultaneously and aren’t hard so don’t sweat it, mmkay?


Last step is to make the Quick Guacamole. My FAVORITE part of the burrito bowls. Simply add 3 ripe avocados, the juice of 1/2 lime, 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro, and garlic salt to a bowl then mash with a potato masher until smooth. That’s it!

Easy Homemade Burrito Bowls | iowagirleats.com

Scoop the Cilantro-Lime Rice into bowls then top with the seasoned beans and grilled chicken, halved cherry tomatoes, fresh or frozen-then-thawed sweet corn, freshly grated Monterey Jack cheese, sliced romaine lettuce, and a huge thwack of Quick Guacamole on top. Open wide!

Easy Homemade Burrito Bowls | iowagirleats.com

Easy Homemade Burrito Bowls


Easy Homemade Burrito Bowls are a simplified, homemade version of Chipotle’s Burrito Bowls. Fresh and fabulous!


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


  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.
  6. Note: for the entire recipe you will need 1 lime and 6 Tablespoons chopped cilantro

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

Easy Homemade Burrito Bowls | iowagirleats.com

Each bite of these Easy Homemade Burrito Bowls is like a party in my mouth. Add salsa and a few shakah-shakahs of green Tabasco sauce if you desire before digging in. Me? I simply slather that guacamole goodness all over the bowl before mining for rice clumps and digging in. Enjoy!

Easy Homemade Burrito Bowls | iowagirleats.com