Chipotle Burrito Bowl

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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 Chipotle 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.
    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:

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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.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Calories 1014
5 from 215 votes

Equipment

Ingredients 

For the chicken:

For the rice:

For the corn salsa:

For the tomato salsa:

For the guacamole:

For assembling the bowls:

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
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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Comments

  1. This was delicious. A little time consuming but I didn’t mind as the results were impressive! My famiky loved!5 stars

    1. So glad you loved it, Nesi! Thank you so much for the comment! Take care! – Meggan

  2. SO GOOD!!
    My son asked if we could pick up chipotle tonight and I said why not make them ourselves. This recipe was a hit..dinner time was so quiet the kids were too busy eating to talk! Will be saving this recipe for another night.

  3. This was absolutely amazing!! I did tweak it a little but still turned out great and I’m making it for the second week in a row for lunches! I just took about 3 adobo peppers from the jar along with the sauce and put that on the food processor. I didn’t have any ancho chili powder but figured I was good with using full adobo peppers. I used only 1 lb of chicken for 5 bowls. I made the rice, corn salsa and tomato salsa as is. This time I will make a little less rice though. I didn’t have fresh poblano but had this pack of frozen chopped up poblano/long green pepper from our garden over the summer.. thawed it then roasted it in my air fryer. Just used avocado mash from Costco (because we already had some). I didn’t use any cheese (avoiding the calories). The day I eat it, I heat it up in the microwave for like 30 seconds then put the whole thing on a bed of romaine. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!5 stars

    1. Thank you so much Liz for your comment, I appreciate it! I love your changes, I’m glad it’s been so adaptable. Take care! – Meggan

  4. Truly delicious, my whole family (6) noshed down on this with happy faces. It’s a really lovely mix of yumminess, and every mouthful is a party.5 stars

    1. Hi Lizzie, that’s so wonderful! I’m glad you and your family enjoyed them! – Meggan

  5. Probably the BEST Mexican recipe I’ve ever made but it took me much longer than 50 minutes. It was definitely worth it. Excellent! Maybe make this one for guests or when you have a few hours. But very good5 stars

  6. This takes hours to prepare. Every topping takes as long as as preparing a meal.. Although better than the fast food joint, it’s so worth it because my 15 year old girl says so. And “Chipotle” is her favorite.

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