This burrito bowl recipe is a lightning fast easy dinner idea! Add veggies and drizzle with creamy chipotle ranch dressing.
Here’s a quick dinner idea that’s always satisfying and works for nearly every diet. That’s right, the good old Burrito Bowl! We can thank Chipotle for its widespread popularity, but it really is a killer idea. Throw rice, veggies, and burrito fillings in a bowl and call it meal! Here’s the thing: a good burrito bowl can actually take a while to make at home with all the components. Want a burrito bowl that’s lightening fast to make? We’ve got you. In fact, you can make this one 15 minutes (we timed ourselves).
How to make a burrito bowl… fast!
The longest lead time item in a burrito bowl is the rice. If you want to make a speedy bowl, you’ve got to short cut the rice cook time. There are a few options:
- Fastest: Use packaged pre-cooked rice! There are a few brands on the market (we used Seeds of Change)
- Fast: Cook the rice the night before, then reheat it with a splash of water on the stovetop
- Medium speed: Cook white rice in 20 minutes on the stovetop, or even better make Cilantro Lime Rice
- Longest: Cook brown rice in 45 minutes on the stovetop (consider doing this in advance)
Make shortcut black bean salad
The other key to this quick burrito bowl? Our shortcut Black Bean and Corn Salad! We discovered this trick and have been using it ever since. All you have to do is mix together 3 ingredients, and you’ve got a salad that tastes like you spend hours chopping. The keys? Mix together:
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can corn
- 1 cup purchased pico de gallo: you’ll find this packaged in the refrigerated section at your local grocery! It may be labeled pico de gallo or fresh salsa. It’s a total lifesaver and adds a tangy zing to the entire salad.
Whip up the chipotle ranch dressing
When we timed ourselves making this burrito bowl, we used pre-cooked packaged rice for maximum speed. So we had plenty of time to whip up this Chipotle Ranch Dressing! It’s so delicious and easy to put together. Here are the magic ingredients:
- Yogurt plus mayonnaise: Using yogurt with the mayo helps cut down calories but maintains some of the richness of standard ranch dressing.
- Adobo sauce: You’ll use adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chilis. It’s typically easy to find this ingredient next to the Mexican ingredients in your grocery. Only use the sauce from the can.
Want a milder version of this sauce, especially for kids? Just use half the adobo sauce (1 tablespoon). It won’t be spicy, but it will still have great smoky flavor!
Burrito bowl recipe variations
The best part about a burrito bowl, in our opinion? You can customize it to any diet. In fact, you can make these bowls for a crowd and provide options for everyone. It’s absolutely our go-to for large gatherings! As is, this burrito bowl is vegetarian and gluten free. Here’s how to modify it for other diets:
- Vegan: Use chipotle sauce instead of chipotle ranch
- Grain-free / Paleo: Use cauliflower rice (homemade or frozen)
- Carnivore: Add shredded pre-cooked chicken (flavored with taco seasoning, if desired)
- Pescatarian: Add sauteed shrimp
Other add ins!
Of course, you can also make this burrito bowl a whole lot fancier. We designed it as a quick weeknight meal. But if you’re hosting a dinner party, here are ways to step it up:
- Add fajita veggies or roasted peppers
- Top with vegan taco meat (made with walnuts and mushrooms — it’s so delicious!)
- Use pickled onions or pickled jalapenos
- Mix up a batch of vegan queso
- Add refried beans
Let us know what you think of this quick burrito bowl recipe: we hope it comes in handy for times when you need a healthy dinner…fast!
More bowl meals
Love meals in a bowl? Us too! Here are a few of our top bowl meals to try:
- Mix up a Easy Grain Bowl with quinoa and chickpeas
- Try our Simple Salmon Bowl
- Opt for the ever-popular Poke Bowl
- Grab a quick and easy Soba Noodle Bowl
This burrito bowl recipe is…
Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, use chipotle sauce.Print
This burrito bowl is a lightning fast easy dinner idea! Add veggies and drizzle with creamy chipotle ranch dressing.
For the burrito bowl
- 1 ½ cups dry rice (or 1 recipe Cilantro Lime Rice) or pre-cooked rice packages (like Seeds of Change or other)
- 15-ounce can black beans
- 15-ounce can corn
- 1 cup fresh pico de gallo, aka fresh salsa (purchased)*
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Vegetables: Avocado, cherry tomatoes, red onion (or pickled onions), chopped romaine
- Add ins: nacho cheese, roasted peppers, sauteed shrimp, shredded cooked chicken, etc.
For the chipotle ranch (use chipotle sauce for vegan)
- ½ cup plain whole milk yogurt (or Greek yogurt plus 1 tablespoon water)
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 each teaspoon each dried dill, garlic powder and onion powder
- 1/4 each teaspoon each kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chilis**
- Cook the rice: make the Stovetop White Rice, Stovetop Brown Rice,Instant Pot Rice, or Cilantro Lime Rice. Alternatively, buy a precooked package that cooks in 2 minutes (like Seeds of Change brand). When the rice is done, fluff it with a fork and add a few pinches salt and a drizzle of olive oil, to taste (don’t skip this step!).
- Make the black bean and corn salad: In a bowl, mix together the beans (drained and rinsed), corn, and pico de gallo with the kosher salt.
- Chop the veggies: Cut the avocado. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half, and thinly slice the onions.
- Make the chipotle ranch: Mix all dressing ingredients in a small bowl until fully combined.
- Serve: Add the rice to bowls, then top with the black bean and corn salad, veggies, and chipotle ranch dressing.
*You’ll find this packaged in the refrigerated section at your local grocery: it may be labeled pico de gallo or fresh salsa. If you can’t find it, make homemade Pico de Gallo.
**Customize to your heat level. For a mild version, use 1 tablespoon adobo sauce.
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Mexican inspired
Keywords: Burrito bowl