This Chipotle-inspired vegan burrito bowl tastes just like the real deal! Not only is it packed with super-nutritious ingredients, but the vegan proteins and tomato salsa make this dish incredibly well-balanced.
If you’ve been looking to spice up Mexican night in a BIG way, then you’re in the right place.
This plant-based bowl is loaded with cilantro-lime rice, crispy veggies, an amazing corn salsa, and all your favorite toppings.
In short, it’s a complete fiesta that contains everything from healthy fats to plant-based proteins!
What’s In a Burrito Bowl?
The base of any good burrito bowl contains white rice or brown rice. But this Chipotle-inspired recipe is all about cilantro lime rice.
If you’re low-carb, just use cauliflower rice!
You can either make your rice in an Instant Pot or on the stove. And if you have a rice cooker it’ll make things even easier.
I love using simple but bold fajita veggies like onions, bell peppers, and corn as they add tons of color and kick.
Yellow, orange, and red pepper are sweeter options, but green pepper can add a sharper flavor that’s equally delicious.
The main plant-based protein used in burrito bowls are canned beans like black beans or pinto beans. And that’s because they’re 100% vegan and nutritionally dense!
Great alternatives or additions to beans are crispy tofu or tempeh.
I can’t get enough of a classic Pico de Gallo as it’s packed with cherry tomatoes and sweetcorn (it’s also relatively mild!).
If you want to dial up the heat, you can add more jalapeños!
Want to mimic Chipotle’s bold salsa options? Throw in fresh chili peppers, chili powder, or hot sauce, and adjust the spice factor to your taste.
How to Make a Burrito Bowl
- Prepare your pan: Add your rice to a bowl and rinse off the excess starch under cold running water. You can then drain it using a fine mesh sieve and transfer your rice to a medium saucepan. Add water to the pan, half a teaspoon of salt, the bay leaf, and bring everything to a boil.
- Cook your rice: Gently boil your rice at medium heat for 10-15 minutes (or according to the package instructions!) before removing it from the heat and letting it rest.
- Finish off the rice: After 5 – 10 minutes, remove the bay leaf and add the cilantro and lime. Fluff the rice with a fork and add salt and extra lime/cilantro to taste.
- Prepare the fajita veggies: While your rice is cooking, heat some oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the peppers, onions, oregano, and salt. You can then stir the mixture occasionally and cook for a further 8 – 10 minutes until the peppers are tender and soft.
- Make the salsa: In my opinion, the salsa is the star of the show here! In a large bowl, combine the corn, tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, and salt. Mix everything well to combine before tasting for flavor and adding more lime or salt (if you want!).
- Assemble your burrito bowls: Once you have all the parts of your burrito bowl cooked, start by layering the cilantro rice into individual bowls. Then, top with black beans, fajita veggies, salsa, shredded romaine lettuce, and avocado slices (or guac!). Finish things off with a squeeze of lime, chopped jalapenos, fresh cilantro, black pepper, crumbled tortilla chips, and vegan sour cream.
How to Store and Meal Prep
This recipe stores for up to 3 days without going bad.
But to keep things fresh, store the vegan proteins, leftover rice, veggies, and tomato salsa in separate containers.
Just compile everything when you’re ready to eat to avoid things going soggy!
Tips and Variations
Alternative protein options
If you’re not a bean fan, replace them with seared tofu or Sofritas. The latter is meaty crumbled tofu made in a spicy chili sauce!
Between you and me, jackfruit-based pulled “pork” can also be a fun addition to a vegan burrito bowl (for next time, of course!).
Let the rice rest
Resting your rice allows any steam and heat trapped in your pot to evaporate. This results in a fluffier and tastier result that’s worth the 5-10-minute wait!
Cook the beans
It takes a bit longer, but you can add more flavor to the beans by cooking them for 5 minutes instead of serving them straight from the can.
To do this, heat a pan and add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
When it’s hot, add a crushed clove of garlic, and then add the beans with half a teaspoon of cumin, some chopped coriander, and chili powder for extra flavor.
I’m all about meal prepping as quickly as possible.
So, I suggest making the salsa while the rice and veggies are cooking to save yourself a decent chunk of time.
Why I Love This Vegan Burrito Bowl
- It’s packed with complex carbs, vibrant veggies, and plenty of protein – perfectly balanced!
- Quick and easy and stores surprisingly well for those busy weeks.
- A perfect way to spice up lunch or dinner time.
- 100% vegan and naturally gluten-free!
More Mexican-Inspired Recipes
More Lunch Ideas
- Easy Hummus Bowl
- Vegan Sushi Bowl
- Sesame Crusted Tofu
- Mediterranean Quinoa
- Salmon Poke Bowl
- Mediterranean Lunch Box
- 30+ Lunch Ideas
If you try this vegan burrito bowl recipe, please leave a comment and a rating and let me know how much you liked it!
Vegan Burrito Bowl (Chipotle Inspired!)
- ¾ cup long grain rice - white or brown
- 1 ½ cups water - 350ml
- 1 bay leaf
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup cilantro - chopped
- 1 lime - juice and zest
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 bell peppers - any color, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion - thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
Fresh Corn Salsa
- 1 medium-to-large-sized ears of fresh corn kernels - or 1 cups of frozen, defrosted corn
- 3 roma tomatoes - finely chopped
- 1/2 red onion - finely diced
- 1 jalapeno - finely diced
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro - finely chopped
- Pinch of salt
- 1 can black beans - 15oz, drained and rinsed (400g, 240g drained)
- 1 head of romaine - shredded
- 1 avocado
- Lime wedges
- Jalapenos - chopped
- Make the rice: Add the rice to a bowl and rinse well under cold running water. Drain in a fine-mesh sieve and transfer the rice to a medium saucepan. Add the water, ½ teaspoon salt, the bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook over a gentle boil for 10-15 minutes (or check the package instructions). Remove from the heat and let it rest for 5–10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Add the cilantro and lime, and fluff with a fork. Taste for salt and add more lime or cilantro to taste.
- Make the fajita veggies: While the rice is cooking, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the peppers, onions, oregano, and salt. Stir occasionally and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the peppers are tender and soft.
- Make the salsa: In a large mixing bowl, combine the corn, tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, and salt, mix well to combine. Taste for flavor, and add more lime juice or salt to taste.
- Assemble the bowls: To assemble your burrito bowls, layer some cooked rice into individual bowls, top with black beans, add some fajita veggies, salsa, shredded romaine lettuce, and some sliced or mashed avocado. Top with a squeeze of lime, chopped jalapenos, and some chopped cilantro. You can also add some vegan sour cream to finish it off.
Did you make this recipe? Tag @gatheringdreams on Instagram. I want to see it!