Chipotle Burrito Bowl Recipe

Tonight, stay in and build your own Chipotle Burrito Bowl with the copycat recipes you know and love. Fluffy rice, black beans, tender chicken, sweet corn salsa, tomato salsa, and lots of guacamole. It's great for lunch or dinner when you want fresh food fast. 

Any way you want it, that's the way you need it, especially when it comes to burrito bowls. I created authentic, as-good-as-it-gets copycat recipes of all the Chipotle menu items! You don't have to make them all at once, just pick what sounds good at the moment - maybe Barbacoa, pintos, and tomatillo salsa? Next week, choose a different, delicious adventure.

Chipotle burrito bowls in white bowls.
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What's in your dream bowl at Chipotle? Mine is this one right here, an all-star combination of protein, spice, and crunch. Every single bite is interesting and delicious, and you don't even miss the tortilla. Making Chipotle at home is actually easy! Plus it's totally kid-friendly; little ones love customizing their meal, just like at the restaurant. Serve everything with lots of choices: shredded lettuce, cheese, sour cream, corn chips--whatever you want. Even if you're not cooking for kids, it's an absolute no-brainer for making ahead-of-time meals, to eat all through the week. If you're the kind of person who could eat at Chipotle every single day - like me - this recipe is dedicated to you. I'll take you through the steps here, and then leave it to you to go forth and Build Your Own Bowl. PS: If you're in a huge hurry, you can switch out store-bought ingredients when you can. Pre-made pico or guacamole? Fine. A can of beans, when you simply don't have time to simmer? A-ok. Last night's grilled chicken? Don't mind if you do. Oh, and don't forget to make a batch of Paloma cocktails or Agua de Horchata, because that's the kind of thing you can do when you cook at home. Recreating the best stuff at Chipotle for a ton of hungry people? Just click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.

How to make a Chipotle Burrito Bowl:

This is a quick walkthrough of how to make my favorite burrito bowl ingredients. Each ingredient has its own linked post, where I go more in-depth with cooking techniques and substitutions. If you're curious, click on over! Otherwise, in the recipe card at the bottom of the post, I've manually scaled all the recipes to make 4 Chipotle Burrito Bowls. First, the chicken.
  1. Make the marinade in a food processor by blending together the red onion, garlic, adobo sauce, ancho chili powder, olive oil, cumin, and oregano. Throw in a little salt and pepper.
  2. Add a little water to the marinade, then pour it into a zipper-top plastic bag with the boneless chicken thighs. (Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are okay, too.) Let marinate for 30 minutes or up to overnight.
  3. When ready, cook the chicken in a skillet over medium-high heat, using a little olive oil. Sear the chicken on one side, then the other, until it registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Take the chicken out of the pan and chop into bite-sized pieces.
Chipotle chicken in a white serving bowl. Next, the cilantro lime rice.
  1. Cook the basmati rice in a pot of water, using a 4:1 water to rice ratio. Bring the water to a boil, then add the rice, a little salt, and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then cook for 10 to 12 minutes until tender.
  2. Drain off the excess water, rinse the rice with hot water in a fine-mesh sieve, and dump the rice in a bowl. Stir in the lemon and lime juices, and the chopped cilantro, then season with salt.
Learn the secrets to making Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice in the comfort of your own kitchen. This copycat recipe starts with getting the right type of rice and cooking it in a non-traditional way. This rice is soft and fluffy with just the right amount of chew and no stickiness. Don't forget the corn salsa.
  1. Frozen corn works great here, so cook it using the package's instructions, then spread it out on a baking sheet to let it cool.
  2. Then toss it together with the chopped roasted poblano pepper, red onion, cilantro, lemon juice, lime juice, and chopped jalapeño peppers. Give it a little bit of salt, too.
Chipotle corn salsa in a black bowl. Next the tomato salsa.
  1. Aka pico de gallo, this raw salsa is all about the chopping. Chop up raw tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, red onion, and cilantro.
  2. Then combine all the ingredients in a bowl with lemon juice, lime juice, and some salt.
Chipotle tomato salsa in a red bowl on a blue plate with tortilla chips. And finally, the guacamole.
  1. The best for last! Plan on about 1/2 avocado for each person. Scoop out the flesh of the avocados, and mash it together with the lemon and lime juice.
  2. Then stir in the chopped onion, cilantro, jalapeño, and a pinch of salt.
Chipotle guacamole in a bowl on a white plate with tortilla chips. To build the bowl, just pretend you're at the Chipotle counter. Grab your biggest bowl. Start with the rice, then the beans, then the chicken. A little salsa, some corn, then a whole lotta guac. (No upcharge here!) Add some cheese, lettuce, and all that's left to do is grab a fork and enjoy all your (not so) hard work.

Pick out some other Chipotle recipes:

Maybe next time, you want to switch it up? No problem. All the Chipotle recipes are here so you can make them at home.

The meats/proteins:

  • Barbacoa. Briased or slow-cooked shredded beef.
  • Steak. Juicy grilled steak is hard to resist.
  • Chicken. So good baked, in the skillet, or grilled.
  • Carnitas. Slow roasted pork shoulder that tastes exactly like the real thing, thanks to one ingredient.
  • Sofritas. Pressed, fried tofu is a great vegan option, and you'll never miss the meat.

The beans and rice:

The salsas (in order of spiciness, from mild to hot):

The extras:

Chipotle Burrito Bowl Recipe

Build your own Chipotle Burrito Bowls with all the best copycat recipes! Or, lighten the workload with a mix of store-bought substitutions.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword chicken
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 1039kcal

For the chicken:

  • 1/4 medium red onion coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus 1 tablespoon for oiling the pan
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (see notes)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

For the rice:

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • tablespoon fresh lime juice from 1 lime

For the corn salsa:

  • 12 ounces frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 medium roasted poblano pepper diced
  • 1 jalapeño chile stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice from 1 lime
  • salt

For the tomato salsa:

  • 1 pound tomatoes cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 3 jalapeño chiles seeded, stemmed, and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice from 1 lime
  • salt

For the guacamole:

  • 2 large Hass avocados halved and pitted
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice from 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1-2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 jalapeño chiles seeded, stemmed, and finely chopped
  • salt

For assembling the bowls:

  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

To make the chicken:

  • To the bowl of a food processor or blender, add red onion, garlic, adobo sauce, ancho chile powder, olive oil, cumin, dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Blend until smooth. Pour into a measuring cup and add water to reach 1/2 cup.
  • Place the chicken in a large freezer-safe plastic bag. Pour in marinade, close the bag, and mash until chicken is evenly coated. Place the plastic bag in a dish and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet until shimmering. Add chicken to the pan and cook, turning occasionally, until the temperature reaches 165 degrees on an internal thermometer. Remove to a cutting board and chop into small pieces. Season to taste with salt.

To make the rice:

  • Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large pot. Add rice, bay leaf, and salt to taste (I like 1 teaspoons). Stir and return to a boil. Boil uncovered for 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Remove bay leaf. Using a fine mesh strainer, drain rice and rinse with hot water. Pour into a large bowl. Stir in cilantro, lime juice, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt.

To make the corn salsa:

  • Cook corn according to package directions. Spread on a baking sheet to cool. To a large bowl, add cooled corn, red onion, jalapeño peppers, poblano pepper, cilantro, lemon juice, and lime juice. Season to taste with salt. Serve with tortilla chips.

To make the tomato salsa:

  • In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, jalapeño, and lime juice. Season to taste with salt.

To make the guacamole:

  • In a medium bowl, combine avocados, lemon juice, and lime juice. Mash until smooth. Stir in red onion, jalapeño, and cilantro. Season to taste with salt (I like 1/2 teaspoon).

To assemble the bowls:

  • Build each bowl with an equal amount of chicken, rice, black beans, corn salsa, tomato salsa, guacamole, and shredded cheese.

Recipe Notes

You can use either Italian or Mexican oregano. They have different flavors (Mexican oregano tastes more like marjoram) but both taste great in this recipe. Feel free to use whatever you have.
Adobo sauce: You can get adobo sauce from cans of Chipotle peppers or you can purchase a jar of just adobo paste (La Costeña makes one). Substitute about 3 tablespoons of paste + 1 tablespoon water.


Calories: 1039kcal


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