Growing up the Chipotle Burrito Bowl was a way of life for us. Any time we we’re on the road and didn’t have much time or a solid rec for a place to start, the answer was always Chipotle.
That continued through college, where I ate at Chipotle on a regular basis because it was a fast option, and there was guacamole. These days, I still want all the goodness of a Chipotle Burrito Bowl, but I’d rather make it at home! So I’m whipping up my version of a DIY Chipotle Burrito Bowl so we can all enjoy these little bowls of heaven on a regular basis. I know you’ll also love that these bowls are ready and on the table in 30 minutes, so that means they are the perfect meal for a busy weeknight, and you can always count on them being a crowdpleaser.
Let’s talk about the chicken in this recipe, which is bananas. It’s THAT good. The secret to how it’s so flavorful is the marinade. I recommend letting the chicken marinate for at least an hour, but you can also prep the chicken the night before or the morning of when you plan on cooking it by placing the chicken with all the marinade ingredients in a zip top bag and letting it marinate in the fridge until you’re ready to cook it. Seriously don’t skip this step. It makes a world of difference. Then when you’re ready to cook it, throw it on the grill or on a cast iron skillet to get a nice sear on it. After it’s finished cooking, let it rest for 10 minutes to lock in the juices before cutting it up into small bite sized pieces.
Next up is the rice. This is the base of our bowl, so we’re adding a little bit of pizazz to some basmati rice with a garnish of cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice to take it to the next level. This cilantro lime rice is the key to building all the flavor and where all the magic happens. I promise once you try it, you’ll never go back to plain rice.
For toppings, we’ve got all our favorites on deck pinto beans, charred corn, guac, pico, and shredded cheese, but feel free to throw in whatever you’ve got on hand into the mix. And just a suggestion, you might want to make a double batch of guac because can you ever have too much guac?
Everything combined into one big bowl makes the perfect quick and easy meal during the week for lunch or dinner.
And if you’re cooking for a group that has different dietary restrictions or for picky eaters, these bowls are going to be your best friend. You can serve the chicken, rice, and all toppings separately and let everyone assemble their bowls with whatever they like. They are truly the perfect family meal that allows everyone to recreate their go-to chipotle burrito bowl order from home!
DIY Chipotle Burrito Bowl
For the Chicken
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (or 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
For the Rice
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup white basmati rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
- kosher salt to taste
For the toppings
- 1 cup pinto beans warmed
- 1 cup frozen charred corn warmed
- 1 cup guacamole
- 1 cup pico de gallo
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup finely shredded monterey jack cheese
For the Chicken
- Combine the vegetable oil, chopped chipotle peppers in adobo, garlic powder, cumin, dried oregano, and black pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine.
- Place the chicken in a large zip top plastic bag and add the marinade. Zip the bag and mix the chicken into the marinade. Place it into the fridge and let it marinate for at least 1 hour.
- Heat an indoor or outdoor grill to about 400 degrees F (medium high heat). Remove the chicken from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken onto the grill and grill 5 to 6 minutes per side, until the chicken is cooked. Remove the chicken from the grill and let rest for 10 minutes. Chop the chicken into small bite sized pieces and use as needed.
For the Rice
- In a heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the white rice and lime juice and sauté for 60 seconds to toast the rice.
- Add the water and bring the rice to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low and cook until the rice is tender and all the water is absorbed.
- Add in the cilantro and fluff rice with a fork.
- Arrange equal parts of the white rice and chopped grilled chicken in 4 bowls. Top with equal parts of the pinto beans, corn, guacamole, pico and cheese. Season with salt and pepper as needed and serve immediately.