simplified chipotle burrito bowls

I am a huge fan of Chipotles veggie burrito bowls.

Hu-uuge fan.

The simple flavors work well together and the heaping pile of guacamole is totally where it’s at.

Now, how to make it all at home!? 

While there are quite a few elements to cook + prep separately, it is a straightforward recipe.  The thing about Chipotle is that sometimes it can be hit or miss.  I hate when the rice is undercooked or when the beans are swimming in liquid.  The worst is when the food is lukewarm.

This meal is a guar-awn-tee pleaser! 

I’ve tried to simplify the components as much as possible to make this a frugal meal and one that’s done in under an hour.  And really, it doesn’t take an hour of active cook time.  It’s the rice that takes an hour to completely cook.  Everything else can be made in the last 20-30min while the rice is finishing.

The one main difference between this version + Chipotle’s, is that I left out the cilantro.  It’s my dream veggie burrito bowl!!!  Add it in if you prefer.

Ready for this step-by-step process??

Print this!

Simplified Chipotle Veggie Burrito Bowls 

vegan, gluten-free // serves 3

  • 1 cup short grain brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1.5 cups [or 1, 15oz can] black beans – liquid reserved
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil/sunflower oil [or other high heat oil]
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 3/4 - 1 cup red onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon chives, minced [or cilantro]
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 – 1.5 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper
  • shredded romaine, hot sauce, plain greek yogurt, sour cream, salsa, cheddar cheese [optional]


  1. Add 1 Tbsp oil to a pot over medium heat and add the rice once hot, stirring for 3-5min until the rice starts to toast.
  2. Add the water, stir, and bring to a boil over med-high.
  3. Reduce heat to simmer, stir once, then cover with a tight fitting lid for 50min [until water is absorbed].  Do not stir or open when cooking.  After 50min, move the pot to a cool burner and let sit covered for 10min.  Fluff with a fork.
  4. Stir in the lime juice, 1/4 tsp salt, and chives [or cilantro if preferred]. 

While the rice is cooking prepare the following…

Simplified Guacamole

  1. Slice avocados, remove pits, and scoop the avocado meat into a bowl, then mash.
  2. Add 1 Tbsp of lime juice, 1/4 cup red onion, and about 1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt.  Taste and add more salt if desired.
  3. Cover by pressing plastic wrap directly onto the top of the guacamole and place in the fridge until ready to serve.  Stir when you remove from the fridge.
  4. *Add cilantro if desired.

Smokey Black BeansThese have a bit more flavor than the traditional Chipotle black beans which I find slightly bland.  The trick with this bean recipe is to use the sauce from the can to keep them moist!

  1. Drain the liquid from the can of beans into a bowl.  [Or reserve 1/2 cup of bean cooking liquid.]
  2. Heat a pan over medium and add 1/2 Tbsp oil to the pan.
  3. Once hot, add the minced garlic, chili powder, smoked paprika [or cumin instead], oregano, and 1/4 tsp salt.  Stir.
  4. After 30 sec – 1 minute [when the garlic starts to brown] add the beans to the pan with 1/2 cup of bean liquid.
  5. Reduce heat to simmer for 5-7 minutes until the mixture starts to thicken. 
  6. Place in a bowl.  Mixture will thicken as it sits.


  1. Heat a pan to medium and add 1/2 Tbsp oil.
  2. Once hot, place the sliced pepper + sliced onion in the pan with 1/4 tsp salt + a few grinds of black pepper.
  3. Stir every minute or so until the veggies soften slightly and start to brown.  ~6-8 minutes
  4. Remove from the pan.

AssembleInstead of using salsa, I used a chopped tomato to simplify things.  Feel free to add your favorite salsa instead.  Add more salt to any of the components if desired.

You know the drill! 

rice + beans + fajitas + tomato/salsa + cheese + sour cream + guacamole + romaine + hot sauce

Easily make this vegan by leaving off the sour cream + cheese like my brother and I did.

Doubling the recipe is encouraged.

Off to Pittsburgh for an overnight girls’ trip with my mom, aunt, and cousin!