How to Make Burrito Bowls at Home

This recipe is for how to make burrito bowls at home. As you will see, it uses a variety of many ingredients that could go into a traditional Mexican burrito. Additionally, they’re served as layers in a bowl instead. Also, this is part of our Main Courses Recipes Category.

This is a Burrito Bowl recipe that has been designed to be made Speedy and Easy. And, it's extremely Tasty so, it satisfies all 3 of our mission statement requirements.
Burrito Bowl

What is a Burrito Bowl?

A Burrito Bowl is a full meal of a burrito in a bowl. However, there’s no tortilla. So, you eat it with a fork. Plain and simple. And, in reality, you wouldn’t put all these things into a single burrito. This is a full meal, not a sandwich! So, you’re getting a lot more nutrients and great flavors. And, because it’s open in a bowl, many have changed up the ingredients in a whole lot of ways.

Most of these burrito bowls will have a lot more than what’s typically on a burrito. Because of this, you get a nutritious and very filling entire meal with this. Read on for learning how to make this healthy and delicious easy dinner. Also, it has a very surprising origin, which you’ll find out.

Burrito Bowl Homemade

Since there are a lot of ways to make a burrito bowl, you can add or skip as many ingredients as you want. Also, there are some common layers that are done in a sequence but everyone does it different. Here are some of those layers and their optional ingredients for each.

Base Initial Burrito-style Layers for Every Recipe

  1. Rice (Mexican Rice – aka Spanish Rice, Cilantro Lime Rice, or Brown Rice)
  2. Black Beans, seasoned
  3. Refried Beans

Meat Layer (or skip it for a meatless burrito bowl)

  • Meat Choice (freshly cooked or leftover)
    • grilled chicken
    • steak
    • ground beef)

Toppings for Burrito Bowls

  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Romaine Lettuce, shredded
  • Tomato, diced
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole or Avocado
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Corn

Garnishes & Final Toppers

  • Cilantro
  • Lime Juice
  • Chipotle Ranch Dressing, Creamy Chipotle, or Sour Cream

Burrito Bowl Prep: Step-by-Step

Follow the Burrito Bowl Prep step-by-step. Then, you can easily make it from scratch at home. It’s healthier than eating out. Also, you get to customize what goes in it.

  1. Make the Rice.
  2. Cook and cutup the meat (diced or strips). Then, season the meat, if not done previously.
  3. Season the Black Beans and heat up.
  4. Heat up the refried beans.
  5. Start your base layers to build your Burrito Bowl.
  6. Add your toppings such as the Salsa, Guacamole, Pico de Gallo, or other.

Rice for Burrito Bowl Recipe

Most will make this with a Mexican rice recipe. Also, you can use a Spanish rice or even a Brown rice if you prefer. Lastly, if you must, you could use a basic white rice recipe. Now, if you’re making a rice other than Mexican rice, just make it according to package instructions. However, we do show you how to make the classic Mexican rice for this.

Traditional Mexican Rice Recipe

Homemade Burrito Bowl Healthy

There are healthy aspects to a homemade burrito bowl. Because of this, many will go for it because it’s protein-rich and low in fat. And, being customizable, it’s easy to go vegetarian and leave out the meat. Also, it’s not a burrito, so you’re also “breadless” without the tortilla. That will reduce the gluten intake. Traditional Mexican restaurants typically use gluten-free tortillas. Regardless, Burrito Bowls are pretty healthy and filling. Therefore, they rapidly gained in popularity.

The nutritional values are shown in the recipe. Also, here’s a great article that will help guide you on healthy customizing of your own burrito bowl. It’s “7 Reasons Why The Burrito Bowl Is The Best Meal For Weight Loss” by Derek Mulch. And, he explains how to make your choices very well.

Burrito Bowl Nutrition

The nutritional values are shown in the <Print Recipe> option. And, by the way, this recipe’s nutritional health metrics are use ALL of the optional toppings and ingredients completely.

How long can I keep a Burrito Bowl in the Fridge?

You can keep it in the fridge for about 3 days (some say 3-5) and reheat it for a tasty dinner or lunch. However, keep the key ingredients in separate containers. Then, it will still have that quality gourmet flavor. Ensure you’ve avoided adding some of the fresh produce toppings like shredded lettuce or diced tomatoes. For this reason, you’ll have good quality storage.

What to Serve with Burrito Bowls?

A popular side are Tortilla Chips and Salsa. Others make it with Nachos and Cheese Dip. Some will make a meatless burrito bowl and then have Ground Beef Tacos along with it. Top it off with a helpful adult beverage such as a Margarita adds to the theme.

Burrito Bowl Origin

Here’s the true story about the surprising Burrito Bowl origin. So, in late 2016, the U.S. Army announced that in 2017, a new packaged to go (for field operations) chicken burrito meal without the tortilla was coming. It took hold and rapidly became extremely popular. Then, in mid-2022, it’s been trending for people wanting to learn how to make it at home. Here’s the article on the origin of the Burrito Bowl from the Army Times.

Conclusion – Did you make it? Share your experience!

Now you’ve learned how to make to make burrito bowls at home. So, comment below and tell me how it went! What toppings did you use on yours? Did you do something different you want to share? Tell me about it.

Burrito Bowl

Recipe for Burrito Bowls

This is a Burrito Bowl recipe that has been designed to be made Speedy and Easy. And, it's extremely Tasty so, it satisfies all 3 of our mission statement requirements.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 579kcal

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Mexican Rice

  • cup water
  • ½ Tbsp butter or olive oil
  • cup tomato sauce
  • tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp cilantro, freeze dried
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • tsp onion powder
  • ¾ cup white rice

Seasoned Meat

  • 1 lb chicken or other meat diced or strips of cooked chicken, beef, or ground beef
  • tsp Garlic Powder
  • tsp onion powder
  • tsp ground cumin
  • tsp Ground Black Pepper

Seasoned Black Beans

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
  • ½ large onion diced
  • 1 can canned black beans 15 oz can, not drained
  • 2 tsp minced garlic or ½ amount of garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro, freeze dried
  • tsp ground cumin

Refried Beans

  • 1 can refried beans 16 oz. can

Toppings (All Optional)

  • 2 leaves Romaine Lettuce shredded
  • 2 ozs shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 Tbsp salsa
  • 4 Tbsp Guacamole or avocado
  • 4 Tbsp Pico de Gallo
  • 4 Tbsp diced tomatoes
  • 4 Tbsp diced onions
  • 4 Tbsp sour cream or Chipotle Ranch dressing


  • RICE: Combine all "Mexican Rice" ingredients (except the rice): water, butter, tomato sauce, cumin, cilantro, lime juice, onion powder. Bring to a boil. Add the rice, return to a boil, turn OFF heat, cover pan, and let sit for 25 minutes (covered) on the same burner. When done, fluff it up with a fork.
    1½ cup water, ½ Tbsp butter, ⅓ cup tomato sauce, ⅓ tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp cilantro, freeze dried, 1 tsp lime juice, ¾ cup white rice, ⅓ tsp onion powder
    Cook the Mexican Rice Medium
  • MEAT: Boil, grill, or cook the meat of choice. For example, cut up boneless chicken breast(s) into strips and boil for 20 minutes. Then, drain and cool down over cold water. Dice or cut up into smaller strips and mix up with the "Seasoned Meat" ingredients of garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and black pepper. If not boiling meat, you can grill or cook it optionally with the seasonings already applied as a rub.
    1 lb chicken or other meat, ⅓ tsp Garlic Powder, ⅓ tsp onion powder, ⅓ tsp ground cumin, ⅛ tsp Ground Black Pepper
    Cutup the Cooked Chicken or Other Meat Medium
  • BLACK BEANS: Sauté the onions in oil for about 5 minutes. Then, add in the rest of the "Seasoned Black Beans" ingredients (black beans, garlic, cilantro, cumin) and heat up for about 5 minutes. Then, keep warm until ready to serve.
    1 can canned black beans, ½ large onion, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp minced garlic, 2 Tbsp cilantro, freeze dried, ⅓ tsp ground cumin
    Seasoned Black Beans Medium
  • REFRIED BEANS: Heat up the refried beans in a small saucepan or microwave and set aside.
    1 can refried beans
    Warmed Refried Beans Medium
  • TOPPINGS & SERVE: After prepping the chosen toppings, you're ready to serve!
    On a dinner plate, platter, or wide bowl, serve the layers in this sequence: rice, black beans, refried beans, toppings.
    Optionally, finish toppings with sour cream or Chipotle ranch dressing. Can serve alongside Tortilla chips and salsa.
    2 ozs shredded cheddar cheese, 2 leaves Romaine Lettuce, 8 Tbsp salsa, 4 Tbsp Guacamole, 4 Tbsp Pico de Gallo, 4 Tbsp diced tomatoes, 4 Tbsp diced onions, 4 Tbsp sour cream
    Add Layers of Burrito Bowl Medium


Calories: 579kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 1396mg | Potassium: 1134mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1921IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 223mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Let us all know how it was!

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