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.

Chipotle burrito bowls in white bowls.

This is a Greatest Hits type of recipe which takes you through the basic steps of making some of your favorite components of Chipotle’s burrito bowl. I’ve broken everything down so you can make what you want right at home, for less money.

In the recipe card at the bottom of the post, I’ve manually scaled all the recipes to make enough for 4 Chipotle Burrito Bowls.

They will taste just as good, but probably even better than the restaurant.

Bowl ingredients:

Labeled Chipotle burrito bowl ingredients.

Ingredient notes:

  • Adobo sauce: You can drain off some adobo sauce from those small cans of Chipotle peppers in adobo, or you can purchase a jar of just adobo paste (La Costeña makes one). To make adobo sauce, mix together about 3 parts adobo paste + 1 part water.
  • Oregano: You can use either Italian or Mexican oregano if you’re lucky to find it. They have slightly different flavors (Mexican oregano tastes more like marjoram) but both taste great in this recipe. Feel free to use whatever you have.
  • Canned black beans: Canned black beans are the biggest shortcut here, but you can definitely make your own Chipotle black beans (or pinto beans) if you have time.

Step-by-step instructions:

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.

For making 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.  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.
    Chipotle chicken marinading in a Ziploc bag.
  2. 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.

For making 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.
    White rice cooking in a silver pot.
  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.

Chipotle cilantro lime rice in a white bowl.

For making 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.
    Corn on a baking sheet.
  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 serving bowl.

For making 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. Then combine all the ingredients in a bowl with lemon juice, lime juice, and some salt.

Chipotle tomato salsa in a black bowl on a blue plate with tortilla chips.

For making the guacamole:

  1. The best for last! Plan on about ½ avocado for each person. Scoop out the flesh of the avocados, and mash it together with the lemon and lime juice.
    Chipotle guacamole ingredients in a clear bowl.
  2. Then stir in the chopped onion, cilantro, jalapeño, and a pinch of salt.
    Chipotle guacamole in a serving dish on a white platter with tortilla chips.

For building the bowl:

  1. To build the bowl, just set everything out and pretend you’re at the Chipotle counter. Grab your biggest bowl.
  2. Start with the rice, then the beans, then the chicken. A little salsa, some corn, then a whole lotta guac. (No upcharge here!)
  3. Add some cheese, lettuce, and all that’s left to do is grab a fork and enjoy all your (not so) hard work.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Yield: The recipe card below is scaled down to make enough for 4 bowls.
  • Make ahead: Marinate the chicken the night before. Chop up the pico de gallo the day before you plan to eat. Try making slow cooker black beans so they’re ready by the time you’re hungry.
  • Leftovers: Save the leftovers for more bowls, or make a sheet tray of nachos in the oven and dig in.
  • 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.

Chipotle burrito bowls in white bowls.

The meats/proteins:

  • Barbacoa. Braised 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:

More fun dinner ideas:

A chipotle burrito bowl in a white bowl.

Chipotle Burrito Bowl

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.
4.97 from 31 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Calories 1014

Ingredients 

For the chicken:

  • 1/4 medium red onion coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (see note 1)
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus 1 tablespoon for oiling the pan
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (see note 2)
  • 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 fresh cilantro minced
  • 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 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 medium roasted poblano pepper diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro minced
  • 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 red onion finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro minced
  • 3 jalapeño peppers seeded, stemmed, and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice from 1 lime
  • salt

For the guacamole:

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

For assembling the bowls:

  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans rinsed and drained (see note 3)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese shredded

Instructions 

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, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Blend until smooth. Pour into a measuring cup and add water to reach ½ 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 ½ 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 Video

Notes

  1. Adobo sauce: You can drain off some adobo sauce from those small cans of Chipotle peppers in adobo, or you can purchase a jar of just adobo paste (La Costeña makes one). To make adobo sauce, mix together about 3 parts adobo paste + 1 part water.
  2. Oregano: You can use either Italian or Mexican oregano if you're lucky to find it. They have slightly different flavors (Mexican oregano tastes more like marjoram) but both taste great in this recipe. Feel free to use whatever you have.
  3. Canned black beans: Canned black beans are the biggest shortcut here, but you can definitely make your own Chipotle black beans (or pinto beans) if you have time.
  4. Yield: The recipe card below is scaled down to make enough for 4 bowls.
  5. Make ahead: Marinate the chicken the night before. Chop up the pico de gallo the day before you plan to eat. Try making slow cooker black beans so they're ready by the time you're hungry. 
  6. Leftovers: Save the leftovers for more bowls, or make a sheet tray of nachos in the oven and dig in.
  7. 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 1014kcalCarbohydrates: 80gProtein: 68gFat: 49gSaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 275mgSodium: 1382mgPotassium: 1850mgFiber: 14gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 2666IUVitamin C: 82mgCalcium: 498mgIron: 5mg
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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Comments

  1. Awesome recipe! Turned out great. I didn’t want to buy any ready to eat food from restaurant during covid times, specially the ones that can’t be heated much, like Chipotle burrito bowl. But we were seriously craving for it. Your recipe did the magic! My kids (age 6 and 9) don’t want to eat Chipotle bought bowl anymore. And I love making it for us using your recipe because its easy to follow and doesn’t take too long…5 stars

  2. This recipe was super easy to follow and made for a great dinner and leftovers!!! The only (and seriously only reason) I gave it 4 stars was because I didn’t feel the ‘prep time’ of 5 minutes was accurate–lots of chopping and mixing and I’m okay with a longer prep time but like to know in advance! I would say it takes about 15-20 between the tomato salsa, corn salsa, chicken marinade etc. I will definitely be coming back to this recipe regardless! So good!!4 stars

    1. Hi there Brooklyn, I’m sorry about that! The recipe card used to be for just assembling the bowls and that’s why it says 5 minutes. But to be more helpful I ended up adding all individual recipes (scaled to this portion size) to the card and forgot to update the prep time. Thank you for pointing that out, I’ll change it asap! – Meggan

    1. Hi CC, yes! All of the salsas can be stored in the fridge up to 4 days. Hope this helps! – Meggan

  3. Most of this recipe is great but the cooking method on that rice is wild. You should never have to drain and rinse rice unless it’s a very certain method of cooking brown rice.5 stars

    1. Hi Kevin, thank you for the comment. It is a very specific style of cooking rice, it’s called the pasta method. I hope you enjoy it! – Meggan

  4. AMAZING!! I despise spicy stuff so I was super skeptical when it came to adding jalapeños to the recipe but it’s not spicy at all!! It tastes JUST LIKE CHIPOTLE… or dare i say BETTER!! It’s super yummy, thank you so much for this recipe!!! :D5 stars

  5. This recipe is perfect! My husband and I really enjoyed it! I made enough to freeze so we could have it at a later date. This is definitely going to be a new feature on my home menu. We are trying not to eat out, I am trying to recreate our favorite foods at home and make them healthier!5 stars