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Make a fresh one-bowl meal at home that’s better than take-out!

Build a chicken burrito bowl on a bed of chopped romaine topped with a flavorful rice and bean stir fry, shredded chicken, fresh tomatoes, avocado, onions and creamy queso fresco crumbles.

a bowl filled with lettuce, rice and beans, chicken, tomatoes, and avocado slices on a table.

This burrito bowl recipe doesn’t include heavy sour cream, guacamole, or even salsa, yet it’s extremely tasty and satisfying — and just as tasty as a Chipotle bowl!

The flavor in this dish comes from simmering the chicken in enchilada sauce and stir frying hearty brown rice with black beans, onions and more sauce. Finish with a squeeze of lime and quesco fresco cheese.

Looking for more one-bowl meal ideas? My Teriyaki Salmon Bowl with broccoli and pineapple and these easy Chicken Egg Roll Bowls are both prepared in under 30 minutes!

Key ingredients & substitutions for Chicken Burrito Bowls

  • Chicken — I tend to use boneless breasts for this recipe, but boneless thighs would be just as delicious (especially if you prefer dark meat).
  • Rice — I like to use brown rice in this recipe for it’s nutritious value, but if you find it hard to digest white rice or farro are good alternatives.
  • Black beans — If you’re not a fan of black beans, pinto beans are a great substitute.
  • Enchilada Sauce — Here’s where you can really adjust the heat by either using mild or spicy sauce.
  • Toppings — Keep it simple with avocado slices, tomatoes, green onions, queso fresco, and cilantro, if you like. Or, add your favorite salsa or another shredded cheese like cheddar or Monterey Jack.
  • Cheese — Monterey Jack has a mild flavor and melts seamlessly into this easy enchilada soup. Try Colby Jack for sharper flavor or Pepper Jack for an extra kick. Whichever you choose, shred a fresh block by hand!

tips

  • Make this recipe even quicker by using a rotisserie chicken. Simply shred the meat into a bowl and mix with enchilada sauce as directed in the recipe.
  • Also, ready to serve microwavable brown rice cups are convenient and fast if you’re crunched for time.

a skillet with rice and beans and a plate of shredded chicken for chicken burrito bowls.

How to make burrito bowls with chicken?

STEP 1 | Cook the chicken and rice

While the rice is cooking, simmer the chicken in enchilada sauce until cooked through and fork tender.

Remove the chicken to a plate and shred using two forks. Reserve 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce, then pour the remaining sauce over the chicken and toss.

STEP 2 | Prep other bowl ingredients

While the rice and chicken are cooking, slice the onions, tomatoes, and avocado. Rinse the lettuce under cool water and spin to remove excess water. Chop and divide evenly between 4 large salad bowls.

Also, chop and set aside about 1/2 cup of white onion for the rice and bean mixture.

STEP 3 | Heat rice and beans

In a large skillet, cook the onions in a small amount of olive oil until tender. Add the cooked rice, black beans, and reserved enchilada sauce and stir until combined.

Continue cooking until the mixture is completely heated through, about 5 minutes.

ingredients for building chicken burrito bowls on a table: rice and beans; shredded chicken; lettuce; tomatoes; avocado; queso fresca cheese.

STEP 4 | Assemble the bowls

Now for the fun part! Top each lettuce bowl with equal amounts of the rice and bean mixture and shredded chicken.

Arrange avocado slices and tomatoes on top, then sprinkle with the sliced green onions. Add a squeeze of lime and sprinkle with queso fresco crumbles (or other toppings) and serve.

Frequently asked questions

Is a chicken burrito bowl healthy?

This chicken burrito bowl is healthier than a lot of Mexican food because it incorporates whole grain brown rice and avoids heavy sour cream and queso cheese dip. Using no-salt enchilada sauce adds even more health benefits.

Can you freeze chicken burrito bowls?

You can freeze the rice and bean mixture and the shredded chicken for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then when ready to serve warm them up separately in the microwave. Serve on bowls of fresh lettuce and add toppings as directed in the recipe.

Can I make this recipe without the lettuce?

Absolutely. In fact, without lettuce it makes an easier meal prep option.

chicken burrito bowl with lettuce, tomato, and avocado with a wooden fork to the side.

Serving suggestions

While this bowl is a meal in itself, a side of Mexican Street Corn or chips with homemade salsa is always a tasty option!

Please share!

Your shares are how this site grows and I appreciate each one. Do you know someone who would enjoy this recipe? I’d love it if you would share it on Facebook or on your favorite Pinterest board!

a bowl filled with lettuce, rice and beans, chicken, tomatoes, and avocado slices on a table.

Tex-Mex Chicken Burrito Bowl

Make a fresh one-bowl meal at home that's better than take-out! Build a chicken burrito bowl with a flavorful rice and bean stir fry, shredded chicken, and fresh toppings.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 servings
Calories 654 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 (10-oz.) can enchilada sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion sliced vertically
  • 2 cups brown rice cooked
  • 1 (15-oz.) can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups romaine lettuce chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 avocado thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco crumbled
  • 2-3 green onions sliced thinly
  • lime wedges

Instructions
 

  • Simmer chicken breasts in the enchilada sauce over medium heat until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Remove chicken from the sauce and shred with two forks, reserving the sauce.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute until tender. Add cooked rice and the beans and about 1/2 of the reserved enchilada sauce. Cook and stir until heated through.
  • Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the shredded chicken and toss.
  • Divide the lettuce evenly between 4 bowls. Top with equal amounts of the rice/bean mixture and the shredded chicken.
  • Top each bowl with tomatoes, avocado, and sliced green onions, then add a squeeze of lime and sprinkle with queso fresco crumbles.

Notes

  • Make this recipe even quicker by using a rotisserie chicken. Simply shred the meat into a bowl and mix with the enchilada sauce as directed in the recipe.
  • Also, ready to serve microwavable brown rice cups are convenient and fast if you’re crunched for time.

Nutrition

Serving: 4servingsCalories: 654kcalCarbohydrates: 82gProtein: 36gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 263mgPotassium: 1195mgFiber: 8gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 3828IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 154mgIron: 3mg
Keyword beans, burrito bowl, chicken, rice
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
sheila thigpen in her kitchen

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

2 Comments

  1. Hi Sheila! I work on behalf of a food brand and would love to work with you. Are you open to sponsored posts?

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