These vegetarian burrito bowls are made with simple ingredients like simmered and seasoned black beans, rice, and a handful of classic burrito toppings. They come together in just about 30 minutes and are great for meal prep!
As much as I love simple meals like rice and beans, it's hard to beat a burrito bowl loaded high with all the toppings. I've always loved burrito bowls from Chipotle, so naturally I have to have my own version to make at home.
These black bean burrito bowls feature a creamy chipotle sauce inspired by my chipotle ranch dressing, crispy corn tortilla strips, and lightly spicy simmered black beans.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Quick & easy: These bowls require minimal chopping and only about 5 minutes of active time to make. Most of the time is spent waiting for the rice to cook.
- Versatile: Burrito bowls are great for meal prep and weeknight dinners because the options are endless! Feel free to add your favorite salsa, guacamole, veggies, etc.
- Flavors: The black beans are simmered with smoked paprika, garlic, cilantro, and a pinch of cinnamon for a warming flavor.
- Black beans: Two cans of black beans is equal to about 3 cups of cooked black beans. I usually cook Instant Pot black beans to use in meals like this. Pinto beans also work well here.
- Rice: Choose white, yellow, or brown rice based on your preference. You can even use minute rice to make this a super quick meal.
- Cilantro is dappled throughout a few components of this bowl. If you don't like cilantro, omit it and adjust the other seasonings to taste. Fresh cilantro works best here.
- Greens: Spinach is my go-to, but shredded romaine is another great option. I like to tear spinach or roughly chop it so that the leaves disperse throughout the bowls more easily.
- Vegan mayo and chipotle chili powder are the base of the chipotle sauce. An equal amount of plain yogurt can be used in place of mayo if desired. I don't recommend using regular chili powder in place of chipotle chili powder because the chipotle part provides a significant amount of flavor.
- Fire-roasted corn: I use frozen fire-roasted corn, but canned also works. Or make your own (I talk about this method more in my chipotle pasta salad recipe).
- Toppings: Roasted pumpkin seeds, pickled onions, and spicy salsa are my go-to toppings.
How to make
Note: This recipe uses the liquid in canned black beans. I use reduced-sodium or low salt black beans to cut back on salt. If using black beans cooked from dry, add ¾ cup to 1 cup of vegetable broth. Water works in a pinch.
Making the black beans is as simple as mixing and simmering. See the recipe card below for full measurements.
Add the black beans, cilantro, and seasonings to a medium saucepot. Include the liquid from the black bean cans.
Bring to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat. Once simmering, lower the heat to a low simmer. Simmer the black beans, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes. The goal is to marry the flavors together and to evaporate some of the liquids.
The beans will still be pretty liquidy when they are done simmering. Add in the lime juice and lime zest just before serving.
Leftovers and storage
- Leftovers: The rice and beans are best enjoyed within 3-4 days. Keep refrigerated. The chipotle sauce keeps for up to a week. It thickens when refrigerated, so add an extra splash of milk or water to thin as needed.
- Reheating: Reheat the rice and beans together in the microwave in just 1-2 minutes. The beans can also be reheated on the stove over medium-low heat. Add a splash of broth or water as needed.
- Meal prep: If making these bowls for meal prep, I recommend keeping the rice, beans, and corn separate from the rest of the toppings. This makes the bowls much easier to heat up.
Recipe tips and variations
- Think of this recipe as a template. The black beans and chipotle sauce are the only "required" ingredients. This recipe is a great way to use up leftover veggies. I like to add things like roasted sweet potatoes, roasted butternut squash, etc.
- When making this recipe for meal prep, I like to serve it in different ways each day so that I don't get bored of it. One day as a burrito bowl, the next as tacos, the next as nachos or burritos, etc.
- Looking for more protein? Try adding ground tofu taco meat or tempeh taco meat.
More bowl ideas
This recipe is similar to my fajita veggie burrito bowls. You might also like these recipes:
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Black Bean Burrito Bowls
- ⅔ cup dry white rice yellow and brown rice also work
- 1 and ⅓ cup water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 15 ounce cans low-salt black beans do not drain!
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- pinch of cinnamon
- ¼ cup lime juice 2-3 limes
- zest of one lime
- 1 cup vegan mayonnaise plain yogurt also works
- ¼ cup cilantro roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons lime juice from 1 medium lime
- zest from one lime
- ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder add 1 teaspoon to make spicy
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2-4 tablespoons milk more as needed
- 2 handfuls spinach leaves torn or roughly chopped
- 1 cup fire-roasted corn
- to taste: salsa, pickled onions, tortilla strips, roasted pumpkin seeds
- To make the rice: Rinse rice well under cool running water. In a medium pot, combine the rice, 1 and ⅓ cup water, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce to a low simmer and cover. Cook until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the rice sit while covered for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
- Combine the black beans, cilantro, garlic powder, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, and cinnamon in a medium sauce pot. Bring to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce to a low simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove beans from heat. Stir in the lime juice and lime zest.
- While the beans are simmering, prepare the chipotle sauce. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayo, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, lime zest, chipotle chili powder, and salt. Whisk in milk as needed to reach a sauce-like consistency.
- This recipe makes 4-5 bowls. Divide all ingredients between bowls. Garnish with addition cilantro and lime wedges. Enjoy!
- If using black beans cooked from dry, add ¾ cup to 1 cup of vegetable broth. Water works in a pinch.
- Tortilla strips are usually by the salad dressings and croutons at the grocery store.
- More topping ideas/bowl additions: Roasted vegetables like sweet potato or butternut squash, fajita veggies, guacamole, avocado, cotija cheese.
- Nutrition facts are an estimate. The to-taste ingredients and toppings are not included in the calculations.