I’ve been a little late to the bowl bandwagon. This is, in part, due to my reluctance to pay $8.50 for a bowl of rice, beans, lettuce, salsa, and guacamole with some chicken on top. Plus you have to drive there and go inside. And stand in line.

I can’t replicate the pleasure of driving to upper Peach Street to pick up a fast meal for dinner. If that’s your gig, then I get it. I’ve stopped at Chick-Fil-A on more than one occasion on the drive back and forth to my daughter’s evening tennis lesson. I’ve spent the same amount on a salad with grilled chicken on top. I rationalize it because I didn’t have to go inside. Nor did I have to listen to a teen tell me how she was STARVING during the 20 minute drive home. Home, where there was nothing but a chicken that needed roasted, but would take about 40 minutes.

And she was STARVING. Which meant she would head straight to the snack cabinet faster than the dog can get to his food bowl when I put leftovers in it.

Since I don’t want to engage in mortal combat using a sleeve a crackers against a STARVING teen, I’ve discovered the burrito bowl can be made at home. This is a genius staple because you can hide leftovers in it. No meat? No problem. The rice and beans can provide the protein.

Rice bowl for dinner. I didn’t have any black beans, so I substituted Italian white beans.

The rest of the ingredients are pantry staples – rice, canned corn, salsa, black beans, and a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. From the fridge you need lettuce – I like romaine hearts – sour cream or plain yogurt, a lime, cheese, and cilantro (both optional). If you have barbecue sauce, that’s great too. Just toss the leftover chicken, beef, or pork in some barbecue sauce, and you have a whole new layer of flavor. You’ll also need an avocado, or guacamole.

Then, in the time it takes to cook rice (or buy the 90 second microwave kind) and open a couple of cans – you can have dinner. And the STARVING teen can make it herself. And go back for seconds.

Happy meals,


Print Recipe
Basic Burrito Bowl
This burrito bowl will come together in less than 15 minutes if you use microwave rice.
Course Main Dish, Salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Course Main Dish, Salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
  1. Cook rice according to package directions. Remove from heat and stir in your favorite salsa. Taste and add 1 teaspoon of lime juice, if desired.
  2. In a food processor or blender, pulse the sour cream or yogurt together with the chipotle pepper with some adobo sauce and ground cumin. Taste and add about 1 teaspoon lime juice. Stir.
  3. To assemble, place a layer of rice in the bottom of each bowl (this serves 4). Top with lettuce. Sprinkle with corn, beans, protein (chicken, beef or pork), and avocado pieces or guacamole. Add more salsa if desired or chopped tomatoes. Drizzle chipotle sauce on top. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired.
Recipe Notes

Instead of salsa, you can substitute Ro-Tel tomatoes with lime juice.

The amount of lime juice you use will depend on your taste. Chipotle adds lime juice and cilantro to its rice base. If you want to be true to its taste, add lime juice to the cooking water for the rice or squeeze fresh lime juice over microwaved rice. Stir in cilantro, if desired.

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Mom, blogger, former magazine editor in who loves family, friends, good food, and adventure. She is the owner of Meadballs, LLC, which delivers farm-fresh meals she has cooked in her northwestern Pennsylvania kitchen.

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