This is a variation of our healthy burrito bowl base recipe. If you’re looking for a delicious meal that’s both versatile and meal prep-friendly, a grass-finished beef burrito bowl with lentils is a great choice! Packed with protein, fiber, and flavor, this recipe is great for lunch or dinner. As always, change up the ingredients to your taste!
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Culinary Tips for the Best Beef Burrito Bowl Recipe
To make your burrito bowl meal prep-friendly, cook the quinoa at the beginning of the week. If using dried lentils, you can also prep those ahead of time.
If preparing your burrito bowl ahead of time, avoid mixing the beef-lentil mixture and quinoa with the romaine lettuce as this will cause the lettuce to wilt. Instead, add all the ingredients to the bowl when ready to serve.
- Quinoa: substitute any intact whole grain. Brown rice, bulgur, barley, farro, or millet are some of our favorites.
- Onion: use red, white, or yellow onion or shallot.
- Beef: substitute ground lamb, ground turkey, or ground chicken, but recognize that it won’t be a beef burrito bowl anymore!
- Garlic: substitute 1 teaspoon pre-minced garlic, ½ teaspoon granulated garlic, or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder.
- Spices: substitute 1 Tablespoon taco seasoning.
- Lentils: substitute pinto or black beans, but note that they won’t mix in with the meat as well. Feel free to experiment with chickpeas, edamame, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, or white beans. Non-refried beans can also add a unique taste and texture.
- Salsa: use any flavor of salsa that you like. We enjoy fire-roasted and chipotle flavored salsas.
- Romaine Lettuce: substitute spinach, red or green leaf lettuce, spring mix, baby kale, or even massaged kale for a different texture and flavor.
This ground beef burrito bowl is highly customizable. Feel free to add, swap, or omit ingredients to your taste.
For a fun twist, use our beef and mushroom taco meat in place of the beef-lentil mixture.
Want to learn how to make this recipe to your taste? Check out our healthy burrito bowl base recipe.
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Is this a Healthy Burrito Bowl?
Yes! This beef and lentil burrito bowl is packed with essential nutrients for a healthy mind and body. The featured ingredients in this bowl are quinoa, grass-finished ground beef, lentils, and leafy greens.
Whole grains such as quinoa are rich in disease-fighting phytonutrients, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Fiber is important for digestion, satiety, stable blood sugar, good cholesterol, and healthy gut bacteria. Carbohydrates are important for energy and focus. Quinoa contains more protein than other grains, making it a great option for people following a plant-forward diet.
Grass-Finished Ground Beef
Red meat is not inherently bad. Most people just eat way too much and the wrong kind. Even people in the world’s longest lived populations eat meat on occasion! The key is eating high quality meat, in small portions, and not too often.
We recognize that grass-finished beef is usually more expensive, but because you are using half the amount of meat in this recipe, it is definitely worth the cost! By cutting back on the amount of meat you eat, you can afford to eat the high quality stuff when you want.
Lentils are a nutrient powerhouse! They are packed with plant-based protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients promote gut health, reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, and help maintain a healthy weight.
Leafy greens such as romaine lettuce provide essential vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that promote health and combat diseases.
Mexican Burrito Bowl Serving Suggestions
Enjoy this burrito bowl for lunch or dinner. You can serve it warm or cold, but if you’re reheating leftover quinoa and lentils, do so separately from the romaine to prevent wilting.
To keep your burrito bowl ingredients fresh and ready for the week, store them separately in airtight containers for up to one week. If you cooked more than you can eat this week, don’t worry; both quinoa and the beef-lentil mixture can be frozen for 3-6 months, preserving their quality and flavor.
Want more healthy dinner recipes?
Try out these favorites!
Beef Burrito Bowl with Lentils
- 1 ½ cups quinoa
- 2 ¼ cups cups water or low-sodium broth or stock
- Dash + ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ medium onion, diced (~½ cup)
- 8 ounces grass-finished ground beef
- 2 small garlic cloves (~1 teaspoon minced)
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1, 15- ounce can lentils, drained and rinsed (~1 ½ cups)
- ½ cup salsa
- 4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
Toppings to YOUR taste
- Sliced or diced avocado
- Sautéed peppers and/or onions
- Fresh or roasted corn
- Shredded or crumbled cheese
- Lime juice
- Hot sauce
- Fresh chopped cilantro
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Pico de gallo or salsa
- Fresh or pickled jalapeño
- Cook quinoa: Dry toast the quinoa in the saucepan over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add water or broth and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed (~15 minutes). Look for a white ring that pops out when the quinoa is cooked. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, for 10 minutes.
- While quinoa is cooking, heat a 10-12” skillet over medium heat. Add oil. Once oil is shimmering, add onion and sauté until translucent, ~5 minutes.
- Add ground beef and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt. Use a spatula to break apart into smaller pieces. Cook until mostly brown and the beef begins to release some juices. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, and paprika. Cook for ~1 minute.
- Add lentils and salsa. Cook for 3-5 minutes until lentils are heated through and beef browns completely. Add more salt to taste.
- Fluff quinoa with fork. Assemble bowls with leafy greens, quinoa, beef-lentil mixture, and toppings to your taste. Enjoy!