Meal prep is made super easy and healthy with Chicken Burrito Bowls! Loaded with homemade salsa, cilantro-lime rice, and grilled chipotle chicken with a little lettuce on the side, this recipe is perfect for a grab-and-go lunch. So much better than Chipotle!
The Best Chipotle Chicken Bowl Recipe
This Chicken Burrito Bowl is way better than Chipotle’s. It is loaded with flavor and tons of fresh ingredients. It’s also the perfect meal to prep for lunches!
I loaded the burrito bowls up with homemade salsa, black beans, cilantro-lime rice, grilled chipotle chicken, and shredded lettuce. Everything you love about a burrito without the tortilla.
The base of this burrito bowl is my Cilantro Lime Rice. I brown the rice in hot oil then toss in lots of garlic. The rice simmers for 20 minutes in chicken broth then gets tossed with fresh-squeezed lime juice and cilantro.
I marinate the chicken overnight with some chilies in adobo, lime juice, seasoning, and a bit of oil. The chicken is amazing! Little effort for tons of flavor! The chicken has a smokey spicy flavor thanks to the chiles in adobo sauce.
When everything is prepped I assemble it into meals and store it in the fridge for up to a week. It is the perfect grab-and-go lunch or a delicious dinner!
Ingredients in this Chipotle Chicken Bowl Recipe
- Black Beans: No need for extra cooking, I simply rinsed and drained a can of black beans. They’re already soft and ready to eat!
- Lettuce: I added shredded romaine lettuce as it keeps really well in the fridge. It adds plenty of bulk to this recipe with next to zero calories.
- Chicken: I used boneless skinless chicken thighs this time because they are extremely juicy and tend to keep their moisture. You could add chicken breast instead, however, it may become dry after a day or two in the fridge. This is important to note if you’re making these Chicken Burrito Bowls for meal prep!
- Chipotle in adobo sauce: Chipotle peppers are deliciously spicy, and adobo sauce brings smokiness, sweetness, and a kick of tang! It’s an amazingly flavorful ingredient.
- Lime: A little acidity balances the other flavors and complements the chipotles in adobo sauce so well.
- Seasoning: Plenty of Mexican staples: cumin, oregano, garlic powder, and onion powder. Together they are SO good!
- Rice: I usually make this recipe with brown rice, but for speed, I opted for long-grain white rice this time. Either will work, just follow this linked recipe if you go for brown rice instead.
- Garlic: Garlic adds a ton of flavor!
- Broth: I always add chicken broth instead of boiled water for flavor and salt, however, vegetable broth is a great substitute if that’s what you have on hand.
- Cilantro: Herby and an essential Mexican staple, cilantro really elevates the taste with freshness.
- Lime: A tart kick of lime adds acidity and balance.
- Tomatoes: I diced 2 cups of tomatoes to make the salsa. You can use your favorite kind of tomato, like cherry tomatoes or Roma, for example.
- Onion: I like to go for red onion as opposed to white or yellow when eating it raw, just like this salsa recipe. It’s sweeter and slightly more palatable.
- Garlic: As always, garlic brings plenty of flavor!
- Cumin: Just a tiny amount of cumin is added as a hint of aroma. It’s delicate and so tasty.
- Cilantro: Again, cilantro really elevates the taste with freshness.
How to make Chicken Burrito Bowls
- Cook the chicken: Add chicken thighs, chipotles in adobo, lime juice, oil, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and oregano to a large ziplock bag. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Toss to coat the chicken and marinate for at least an hour or overnight. When you are ready to eat grill chicken until fully cooked flipping halfway. Allow the chicken to rest on the cutting board before cutting into bite-size pieces and setting it aside.
- Cook the rice: Toast rice in a hot pan with olive oil until golden brown. Add in garlic and cook for an additional minute. Stir in chicken broth, cover, and simmer until tender about 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and stir in cilantro and lime juice.
- Make the salsa: Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Assembly: When you are ready to assemble the chicken burrito bowls, layer the cilantro-lime rice, black beans, chicken, salsa, and shredded lettuce. Top with any other favorite topping. I like jalapeños and sour cream. Serve immediately or pack into an airtight container for meal prep.
Either store each ingredient separately in airtight containers or split the ingredients evenly between 6 airtight containers for an easy grab-and-go lunch! These Chicken Burrito Bowls will last in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Add Riced cauliflower instead of Cilantro-Lime Rice for a healthy low-carb option.
- Pinto beans can be used in place of the black beans.
- Whip up some Pico de Gallo, Cherry Tomato Peach Salsa, or Salsa Verde instead of the included recipe for salsa.
- To add even more vegetables to these Chicken Burrito Bowls, my Chipotle Corn Salsa and my Black Bean and Corn Salsa are both amazing and easy to throw together.
- Make it even more filling by adding some guacamole! My Spicy Chipotle Guacamole has an amazing kick of heat, and my Healthy Greek Yogurt Guacamole is lighter but certainly does not lack in flavor!
- Pickled red onions, corn, sautéed bell peppers, and sliced jalapeños would be a great addition to this chicken burrito bowls recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Are burrito bowls healthy? Yes! They are an excellent source of protein (chicken and beans), vegetables (lettuce and salsa), and carbs (cilantro-lime rice) making this a well-rounded healthy meal idea.
- What is a burrito bowl made of? These healthy chicken burrito bowls consist of chicken, cilantro-lime rice, salsa, black beans, and romaine lettuce.
- Are burritos or burrito bowls healthier? Depending on what you add, generally, burrito bowls are much healthier than burritos because they skip the bread (usually a HUGE tortilla) and they go easy on the sauces. These Chicken Burrito Bowls contain really clean ingredients and are also very light yet filling at the same time!
Here are more delicious chicken recipes to try!
- Easy Chicken Marsala
- The BEST Chicken Parmesan
- Easy Chicken Shawarma
- Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken
- Easy One Pan Bourbon Chicken
- Easy Thai Chicken Satay
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Chicken Burrito Bowls
Chicken Burrito Bowls
- 1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans rinsed and drained
- 2 cups romaine lettuce washed and shredded
- Cilantro lime rice recipe follows
- Salsa recipe follows
- Chicken recipe follows
Cilantro Lime Rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons cilantro roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 cups diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup red onion
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/8 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons chipotle in adobo sauce
- 1/2 lime
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- salt and pepper
Cilantro Lime Rice
- Heat the oil in a medium saucepan.
- Add rice and cook until golden brown, 3-4 minutes.
- Add in garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Stir in chicken broth, cover and simmer until tender about 20 minutes.
- Fluff with a fork and stir in cilantro and lime juice.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Add all of the ingredients including the chicken thighs to a large ziplock bag. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Toss to coat the chicken and marinade for at least and hour or overnight.
- When you are ready to cook preheat the grill to 400 degrees and spray the grill with non stick cooking spray.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill flipping halfway until fully cooked.
- Allow the chicken to rest on the cutting board before cutting into it, I usually wait 5 minutes.
- Cube the chicken into bite size pieces and set aside.
- When you are ready to assemble layer the cilantro lime rice, black beans, chicken, salsa and shredded lettuce. Top with any other favorite topping. I like jalapeños and sour cream. Serve immediately or package into airtight container for meal prep.
Originally published Aug 29, 2017