Are you celebrating Cinco de Mayo? We don’t every year – in an official margaritas-chips-and-salsa-fiesta sort of way at least – but based on how much Mexican food we eat on a regular basis around here, there’s a good chance we’ll be enjoying something South-of-the-border-inspired tomorrow night.
Like these easy burrito bowls!
My husband has – among many wonderful qualities – a… fairly limited repertoire in the kitchen, but when when we first moved in together, he introduced me to these black beans and rice burrito bowls, and I was smitten. They’ve become one of our favorite meals, and a regular part of our weekly recipe rotation.
They’re part salad, part burrito in a bowl, fully delicious, and packed with clean-eating goodness. Since we make a variation of these at least once a week, I figured it was about time I share these everyday bowls of yum with you.
We’ve added more greens over the years, but the basic “recipe” to these burrito bowls stays the same. Brown rice, black beans, buttery avocado, scallions, lettuce, often tomatoes, and whatever other veggies are in season or on hand. All topped with fresh salsa and eaten with a healthy amount of tortilla chips, of course.
The hubby’s more of a traditional spicy red salsa/pico de gallo guy, but I usually opt for milder salsa verde, and that’s where the inspiration for this cilantro-lime vinaigrette comes in.
It’s a super simple (3 ingredients!) and flavorful sauce meant for drizzling over the whole bowl, but, if merely reading the word cilantro makes you gag, swap out the vinaigrette for your favorite salsa and call it a day. I happen to love the freshness of cilantro, but I know how polarizing that leafy green herb can be!
We also frequently add some crumbly, salty cotija or grated jack or cheddar cheese to this, but we were out (and I didn’t want to make an extra trip to the store) so I went dairy-free this time, for a veggie-packed, clean-eating meal in a bowl.
Oh, burrito bowls, how I love thee. Let me count the ways:
- You’re super flavorful, fresh and healthy.
- But still hearty and filling (for even my large, hungry, meat-loving husband).
- Highly-adaptable to vegetarian/vegan/omnivorous diets (and naturally gluten-free!). Though we almost always go meatless with these burrito bowls, they’re also great with grilled chicken (or another protein of your choice).
- Easily-adaptable to whatever veggies are in season. In the Summer, that means things get really colorful, with tons of homegrown cherry tomatoes, grilled zucchini, fresh corn, etc. piled on top.
- All of the elements can be prepared in advance (cooking the rice, chopping the veggies), and simply assembled before serving.
- Quick and affordable. We always have brown rice and canned beans stocked in the pantry – so this is an easy, last-minute dinner idea, that we’re just about always in the mood for.
These bowls have got everything I look for in everyday eats, so it’s no surprise they’ve easily become one of our very favorite weeknight dinners. Hope you love them as much as we do!
Did you make the recipe? I’d love to know! Leave a comment below, or take a pic and tag @forkknifeswoon on Instagram so I can see!
- 1-1/2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 cup cooked black beans
- 2 cups (loosely-packed) greens (arugula, spinach, romaine etc.)
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 2-3 spring onions, chopped
- for serving: fresh cilantro, lime wedges, jalapeños, cotija cheese, tortilla chips, etc.
- 2 Tbsp good olive oil
- 1 lime, juiced (about 2 Tbsp)
- 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, stems removed and minced
- kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- Stir together olive oil, fresh lime juice and minced cilantro until well-combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. May be made in advance, will keep refrigerated for up to a week.
- Warm the rice and beans. Season the beans with salt and pepper, to taste (canned beans vary greatly in saltiness).
- Divide the rice and beans between two large bowls. Top with the greens, avocado, veggies, and cheese, if using. Drizzle with the cilantro-lime vinaigrette, to taste. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
We just about always use organic canned (cooked) black beans, but you could also use canned pinto beans or white beans, or make your own from scratch!
These burrito bowls are naturally gluten-free, and vegan without the cheese. If you do opt to add cheese (after my own heart), Mexican cotija or goat cheese crumbles, or shredded jack or sharp cheddar cheese are all great here.