Recipes > Lunch/Dinner > Chicken Burrito Bowl with Rice and Beans

Chicken Burrito Bowl with Rice and Beans

This easy chicken burrito bowl is packed with essential nutrients for a healthy mind and body. The featured ingredients in this bowl are brown rice, chicken, beans, and sweet potatoes.
chicken burrito bowl with rice and beans in a bowl with lime and hot sauce

This is a variation of our healthy burrito bowl base recipe. If you’re looking for a delicious Mexican inspired meal that’s both versatile and meal prep-friendly, a chicken burrito bowl with rice and beans is a great choice! Packed with protein, fiber, and flavor, this recipe is great for lunch or dinner!

Learn How to Make Brown Rice

Three Must-Know Culinary Skills

For culinary success, learn how to:

Culinary Tips for the Best Burrito Bowl Recipe

To make your burrito bowl meal prep-friendly, cook the brown rice and Mexican chicken at the beginning of the week. If using dried beans, you can also prep those ahead of time.

Purchase parboiled (quick-cooking) brown rice to speed up the cooking time. 

Whether you use regular or quick cooking rice, simmer until al dente or until cooked through, but not mushy. Usually this happens once all the water evaporates, but occasionally it might be done before all of the water is gone. Don’t worry! Simply drain excess water.

For best results when roasting the sweet potatoes, use our memorable acronym: ROAST WELL. Check out this article for all of our best roasting tips.

Allow the chicken to sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour before cooking. This will help prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan.

Blot the chicken dry, then add the spices.

Remember the 3 F’s of flavor: fire, fat, food! Heat the pan, then the oil, and finally the chicken. This will help keep the chicken from sticking to the pan and will help develop a beautifully golden outside.

Once you add the chicken to the pan, don’t move it! Listen for a sizzle, but turn down the heat if the oil is splattering.

If you want to skip the searing step for time’s sake, you can! Just pour the salsa in the pan, and then top with the seasoned chicken thighs. Simmer for the full 30 minutes.

If too much liquid remains, simmer shredded chicken with the lid off until thickened. Note that the chicken will absorb liquid as it sits and if chilled overnight in the fridge.

If preparing your burrito bowl ahead of time, keep the romaine lettuce and avocado separate from the rest of the ingredients and add them to the bowl when ready to serve.

Ingredient Substitutions:

  • Brown Rice: substitute any intact whole grain. Quinoa, bulgur, barley, farro, and millet are some of our favorites.
  • Sweet Potatoes: use any variety – orange, white, or purple!
  • Canola or Avocado Oil: substitute a lower-quality extra virgin olive oil.
  • Chicken Thighs: substitute chicken breast.
  • Spices: substitute taco seasoning or another Mexican seasoning blend.
  • Salsa: use any flavor of your favorite jarred, fresh, homemade, or restaurant leftovers.
  • Pinto Beans: substitute canned black beans or make our Instant Pot Mexican Pinto Beans.
  • Romaine Lettuce: substitute spinach, red or green leaf lettuce, spring mix, baby kale, or even massaged kale for a different texture and flavor.
  • Avocado: substitute another fruit, vegetable, sauce, or dip! 

Recipe Variations:

Change this chicken burrito bowl with rice and beans to your taste! Feel free to add, swap, or omit ingredients. Swap pinto beans for black, corn for sweet potatoes, or grilled chicken for shredded.

Want more burrito bowl recipe inspiration?

Use our burrito bowl base recipe as a guide, or try out this tasty variation!

Equipment Recommendations

Use these kitchen tools for recipe success:

Is this a Healthy Chicken Burrito Bowl?

Yes! This easy chicken burrito bowl is packed with essential nutrients for a healthy mind and body. The featured ingredients in this bowl are brown rice, chicken, beans, and sweet potatoes.

Brown Rice

Brown rice is a good source of fiber, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Fiber is important for digestion, satiety, stable blood sugar, good cholesterol, and healthy gut bacteria. Phytonutrients work as antioxidants to help fight off diseases and keep us well.

Chicken

Chicken is a lean protein source. It is also rich in B vitamins and minerals, such as iron. When consumed as part of a diet rich in vegetables, chicken may help reduce the risk of developing overweight and obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. Further, white meat is considered moderately protective or neutral on cancer risk. We recommend purchasing organic if it is within your budget.

Beans

Beans of all varieties contain plant-based protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients promote gut health, decrease risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, and promote a healthy weight. All of the world’s longest lived populations consume beans daily.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a great source of important nutrients, such as beta carotene and anthocyanins which are naturally-occurring phytonutrients. These phytonutrients help prevent diseases. 

Chicken Burrito Bowl Serving Suggestions

Burrito bowls are a great balanced lunch or dinner. You can serve it warm or cold, but if you’re reheating leftover rice, beans, and chicken, do so separately from the romaine to prevent wilting.

Storage Tips

To keep your burrito bowl ingredients fresh and ready for the week, store them separately in airtight containers for up to one week, except the avocado. Cut the avocado right before you plan on eating. 

If you cooked more than you can eat this week, don’t worry! Brown rice, chicken, sweet potatoes, and beans can be frozen for 3-6 months, preserving their quality and flavor.

Want more healthy dinner recipes?

Try out these favorites!

Bean Burgers Base Recipe

Healthy Quesadillas Base Recipe 

Baked Tostadas Base Recipe

Whole Grain Pasta Base Recipe

chicken burrito bowl with rice and beans in a bowl with lime and hot sauce

Chicken Burrito Bowl with Rice and Beans

This is a variation of our healthy burrito bowl base recipe. If you're looking for a delicious Mexican inspired meal that's both versatile and meal prep-friendly, a chicken burrito bowl with rice and beans is a great choice! Packed with protein, fiber, and flavor, this recipe is great for lunch or dinner!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

Brown Rice

  • 1 ¼ cups brown rice
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • Dash salt

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes (~4 cups diced)
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons avocado or canola oil
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Mexican Shredded Chicken

  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ~1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (1 package)
  • 2 Tablespoons avocado or canola oil
  • ½ cup salsa

Mexican Pinto Beans*

  • 2, 15-ounce cans low-sodium pinto beans
  • ¼ cup salsa
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder

Burrito Bowl

  • 6 cups shredded romaine
  • 1 ½ cups diced avocado

Instructions
 

  • Prepare rice. Add rice, water, and a dash of salt to a 3-4 quart saucepan. Bring water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer until rice is al dente and water is mostly absorbed (~40 minutes). Rest covered for 10 minutes, then remove lid, drain any excess water, and fluff with a fork.
  • Prepare sweet potatoes. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Clean and scrub sweet potatoes well. Do not peel. Dice into ½-¾" cubes. In a large mixing bowl, combine oil and salt. Add diced sweet potato. Using a spatula, toss to evenly coat. Spread sweet potatoes on a baking sheet in a single layer. Do not overcrowd the pan. Roast 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are browned, crisp, and easily pierced with a fork.
  • Prepare chicken. Combine spices in a small bowl. Trim fat off chicken thighs and rub both sides with spice blend. Heat a 10” stainless steel skillet over medium heat. Once pan is hot, add oil. Once oil is shimmering, add chicken thighs in batches, not overcrowding the pan. Sear ~3 minutes on each side, until chicken easily releases from pan. Remove to plate once done. Add salsa to pan, and return chicken to pan. Bring salsa to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer 25-30 minutes or until chicken is tender and can easily be shredded. Remove lid and shred with two forks.
  • Prepare beans. Place beans with liquid (do not drain), salsa, and spices in a 3-4 quart saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes or until liquid thickens.
  • Assemble bowls with shredded romaine, brown rice, chicken, sweet potatoes, pinto beans, diced avocado, and toppings to your taste. Enjoy!

Notes

*Check out our Instant Pot Mexican Pinto Beans recipe for easy meal prep.
 
Toppings to YOUR Taste
  • Dollop Greek yogurt, sour cream, or lime crema
  • Salsa, pico de gallo, or diced tomatoes
  • Shredded or crumbled cheese
  • Fresh or pickled red onion
  • Fresh or pickled jalapeño
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Hot sauce
Keyword Chicken Burrito Bowl

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