Chicken Burrito Bowls

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Chicken burrito bowls are simple, easy to make, and a huge hit with the whole family!

chicken, lettuce, black beans, tomatoes, lime, and sour cream in a bowl
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chicken, lettuce, black beans, tomatoes, lime, and sour cream in a bowl with radishes and cheese

Mexican Chicken Burrito Bowls

If you love hearty, cheesy, delicious chicken burritos – but you’re looking for a bit of a lighter, gluten-free option, this chicken bowl is packed with flavor the whole family loves – it is easy to customize, perfect for a taco bar, and great for an easy weeknight dinner!

This recipe is designed to be adaptable – meaning you can change out ingredients, add different spices and flavors, try a different protein – the sky is the limit.

If you love Chipotle taco bowls – you’re going to love this chicken burrito bowl recipe!

These Mexican Tex Mex inspired bowls are delicious for meal prep and if you want to go keto or healthier you can substitute the rice with cauliflower rice!

chicken, lettuce, black beans, tomatoes, lime, and sour cream in a bowl with radishes and cheese

How to Make Burrito Bowls with Chicken

First assemble the following ingredients:

  • Cooked white rice (2 cups) – Forms a fluffy, neutral base that absorbs the flavors of the toppings, serving as the foundation of the chicken burrito bowl.
  • Chicken breast with fajita seasoning (2 cups) – Offers lean protein that’s packed with bold, spicy flavors, adding a savory kick to the bowl.
  • Olive oil (¼ cup) – Used for cooking the chicken, it contributes to the dish’s overall richness and helps the spices cling to the meat.
  • Black beans (12 oz) – Provide a creamy texture and a hearty, earthy component that’s rich in protein and fiber.
  • Radishes (¼ cup) – Add a crisp, peppery bite that contrasts with the other ingredients, bringing freshness and color.
  • Tomatoes (¼ cup) – Contribute juicy sweetness and a burst of freshness, brightening up the bowl with their vibrant flavor.
  • Red onion (¼ cup) – Brings a sharp, slightly sweet flavor that adds depth and a bit of crunch, complementing the creamy and savory elements.
  • Mexican cheese blend (½ cup) – Melts into a gooey, stringy layer of deliciousness, adding a rich, cheesy goodness that blankets the bowl in comfort.
  • Cilantro (¼ cup) – Offers a burst of herbal freshness that brightens the dish and ties all the flavors together with its distinctive, lively taste.
  • Romaine lettuce (¼ cup) – Provides a crunchy, fresh base that lightens the dish, adding volume and a refreshing crispness.
  • Lime (1) – A squeeze of lime juice over the top brings zesty brightness, enhancing the overall flavor profile and adding a touch of acidity.
  • Optional Add Ons – salsa, corn, avocados, or fajita veggies

Use this Method

Cook Chicken. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Place cubed chicken into the pan, and cover for about 10 minutes. Flip every few minutes. Check on chicken, turn the heat up for a couple minutes until the internal temp is 165ºF. 

Prep Vegetables. While this is covered wash and chop veggies.

Assemble. Put cooked rice at the base in the bowl you are eating out of and then add the rest of the toppings. Once your bowl is built, enjoy!

chicken, lettuce, black beans, tomatoes, lime, and sour cream in a bowl with radishes and cheese

Tips and Tricks for Making Chicken Burrito Bowls

Marinate the Chicken: For flavorful chicken, marinate it for at least an hour (or overnight) in a mixture of lime juice, garlic, cumin, and chili powder to infuse it with classic Mexican flavors.

Cook Rice with Broth: Instead of water, use chicken or vegetable broth to cook the rice, adding a bay leaf and a squeeze of lime juice for extra flavor that complements the other ingredients in the bowl.

Grill the Chicken: If possible, grill the chicken instead of pan-frying it. Grilling adds a smoky flavor that can’t be matched by cooking in a skillet.

Let the Chicken Rest: After cooking, let the chicken rest for a few minutes before slicing. This ensures it retains its juices, keeping it moist and flavorful.

Warm Your Bowls: Serve your burrito bowls in warmed bowls to keep everything hot longer, especially if using ingredients like cold lettuce or sour cream.

Customizable Toppings: Set out a variety of toppings and let everyone customize their bowl. This not only makes the meal more interactive but also caters to different tastes and dietary preferences.

Add a Crunch: Include crunchy elements like tortilla strips, radishes, or jicama to add texture and contrast to the soft ingredients in the bowl.

Experiment with Grains: While rice is traditional, feel free to experiment with other grains like quinoa or farro for a different twist on the classic burrito bowl.

FAQs

What type of rice works best in a chicken burrito bowl?

While traditional long-grain white rice is commonly used for its fluffy texture, brown rice can also be a great option for those seeking a whole grain choice with a nuttier flavor. Additionally, cilantro lime rice is a popular variant that adds a fresh, zesty taste.

Can I meal prep chicken burrito bowls?

Yes, chicken burrito bowls are perfect for meal prep! Cook the components separately and store them in airtight containers in the refrigerator. When ready to eat, simply reheat and assemble your bowl. The ingredients generally keep well for up to 4-5 days.

How can I make my chicken burrito bowl healthier?

To make a healthier chicken burrito bowl, opt for brown rice or quinoa as the base, use lean chicken breast, increase the amount of vegetables like bell peppers and lettuce, and add avocado for healthy fats. Additionally, be mindful of portion sizes and high-calorie toppings like cheese and sour cream.

What are some good vegetarian substitutes for chicken in a burrito bowl?

For a vegetarian version, grilled or sautéed vegetables, tofu, tempeh, or black beans and quinoa make excellent substitutes for chicken, offering protein and a satisfying texture. Season them with the same spices as you would the chicken for a similar flavor profile.

How can I add more flavor to my chicken burrito bowl?

Marinate the chicken in lime juice, garlic, and chili spices before cooking to infuse it with flavor. Additionally, using homemade or high-quality store-bought salsas, fresh cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice over the finished bowl can greatly enhance the overall taste.

Can I freeze the components of a chicken burrito bowl?

Most components of a chicken burrito bowl freeze well, including the cooked chicken, rice, and beans. However, it’s best to add fresh vegetables and any dairy toppings after reheating the base components to maintain texture and freshness.

What are some unique toppings I can add to my chicken burrito bowl?

Beyond the classic toppings, consider adding roasted sweet potatoes, pickled red onions, grilled pineapple, or a sprinkle of cotija cheese. These ingredients can add unique flavors and textures that make your bowl even more enjoyable.

Is it better to use chicken breast or thigh for burrito bowls?

Both can be used effectively depending on your preference. Chicken breast is leaner and milder in flavor, making it a healthy choice, while chicken thighs are slightly fattier but richer in taste and tend to be more forgiving during cooking, remaining moist and tender.

How do I keep my avocado from browning in leftover burrito bowls?

To prevent avocado from browning, sprinkle it with lemon or lime juice before storing. Keep the pit in the sliced avocado and store it tightly wrapped in plastic wrap or in an airtight container to minimize exposure to air.

chicken, lettuce, black beans, tomatoes, lime, and sour cream in a bowl with radishes and cheese

What to Serve with Mexican Burrito Bowls with Chicken

Guacamole: The creaminess and rich flavor of guacamole complement the spiciness of the chicken, adding a layer of complexity and a dose of healthy fats to the meal.

Corn Salsa: A sweet and tangy corn salsa can brighten up the flavors in the burrito bowl, adding a delightful crunch and a pop of sweetness that balances the savory elements.

Tortilla Chips: Crispy tortilla chips offer a crunchy texture contrast and are perfect for scooping up the ingredients, turning every bite into a mini nacho experience.

Cilantro Lime Rice: For those who prefer their bowls with extra grains, cilantro lime rice on the side can provide a refreshing and zesty option, doubling down on the flavors found within the bowl.

Grilled Vegetables: A side of grilled vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, or asparagus, can add a smoky flavor and an extra serving of veggies, making the meal more balanced and colorful.

Queso Dip: A warm, creamy queso dip can be a decadent addition for drizzling over or dipping into with your bowl, adding a rich, cheesy element that pairs well with the spices of the chicken.

Chilled Margaritas: The cool, citrusy sweetness of a margarita contrasts beautifully with the heat from the burrito bowl, offering a refreshing beverage choice that enhances the dining experience.

Fresh Salad: A simple salad dressed with a lime vinaigrette can offer a light, crisp side that complements the denseness of the burrito bowl, adding a refreshing element to cleanse the palate.

Black Bean Soup: For a heartier companion, a bowl of black bean soup can complement the flavors in the chicken burrito bowl, offering a warm, comforting side that’s rich in protein and fiber.

chicken, lettuce, black beans, tomatoes, lime, and sour cream in a bowl with radishes and cheese

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chicken, lettuce, black beans, tomatoes, lime, and sour cream in a bowl with radishes and cheese

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A bowl of chicken burrito bowls with assorted toppings and a side of tortilla chips.
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Chicken Burrito Bowls

Chicken burrito bowls combine tender fajita-seasoned chicken, fluffy white rice, and a colorful array of toppings like black beans, fresh veggies, and creamy cheese, creating a customizable and flavorful dish that's both satisfying and nutritious.
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword chicken bowl, chicken taco bowl, chipotle chicken bowl, healthy burrito bowl, mexican bowl
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 bowls
Calories 386kcal
Author Courtney ODell
Cost $12

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 2 cups chicken breast with fajita seasoning cubed
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 12 oz black beans
  • ¼ cup radishes chopped
  • ¼ cup tomatoes chopped
  • ¼ cup red onion chopped
  • ½ cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • ¼ cup cilantro chopped
  • ¼ cup romaine lettuce chopped
  • 1 lime
  • Optional Add Ons: salsa, corn, avocados, or fajita veggies

Instructions

  • Pour olive oil on a low heated pan. Place cubed chicken into the pan, and cover for about 10 minutes. Flip every few minutes. Check on chicken, turn the heat up for a couple minutes until the internal temp is 165ºF.
  • While this is covered wash and chop veggies
  • Put cooked rice at the base in the bowl you are eating out of and then add the rest of the toppings.
  • Once your bowl is built, enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 115mg | Potassium: 426mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 497IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 204mg | Iron: 2mg

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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2 Comments

  1. Katherine says:

    5 stars
    Thanks!

  2. Katherine says:

    5 stars
    Delicious!