See, I promised you these burrito bowls would make their way to the blog soon enough!
Since my celiac diagnosis at the end of last year and having to be gluten-free, I find myself gravitating more toward Mexican-inspired food and restaurants. Don’t get me wrong, Italian food is still my love of loves; but Mexican food seems to be easier to navigate in terms of avoiding gluten. Really the only thing there I can’t eat are flour tortillas and churros (I know I’m oversimplifying).
As you can imagine, I’m finding myself at Chipotle…a lot these days. Not that I never went before, but not nearly as much as I do now. If I’m out somewhere and need to grab something quick for lunch, I usually go there because it’s a lot more likely to be safer in terms of cross-contamination than most other fast food chains.
Thus, my current un-dying love of Chicken Burrito Bowls was born.
If you’ve been to Chipotle, you know that even without adding extras like guacamole or chips, a bowl and a drink can easily cost you $10 each time. While it’s not the most expensive fast food option, it can still be pretty pricey, especially if you are one of those people that could easily eat it every day.
(Which is me sometimes, don’t judge me.)
I’ve been trying to be a lot more diligent about meal planning this school year, so when I had an enormous craving for this one week, I decided, “How about I try to make my own version of these?”
I will admit, this is a little bit of a process, but there is really nothing hard about making these. I meal-prepped an entire weeks worth of these in about an hour on a Sunday afternoon (which included my own Easy and Delicious Pico de Gallo.)
These are the meal prep containers I used for this. I bought a 20-pack of these for under $20 on Amazon Prime Day over the summer. They come in quite handy for lunches.
This recipe is based on the exact bowl that I order from Chipotle, which has white rice, black beans, and chicken, topped with cheese, lettuce, pico, and sour cream. Obviously, you can switch things up a bit and top it with whatever you normally put on your bowls, or switch out the meat for beef or chorizo; change out the black beans for pinto….you get my point. I did add some corn this, just because I like corn; that’s really the only reason.
For me, the most important part of this burrito bowl is the rice. Since rice has become my go-to carb source since “normal” pasta is out for me, it has to be delicious.
The one fundamental difference to my rice is that there is no cilantro in it, considering I think it tastes like soap, it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. In fact, I usually try to get the rice without cilantro in it when I go to Chipotle. They do actually, usually, have a small container under their prep station of rice without cilantro in it that they are willing to serve if you ask for it. You’re welcome if you hate cilantro as much as I do.
But I do use lime in my rice and I also put in a dried bay leaf or two. It just adds an earthiness to the rice that I can’t seem to get any other way. I just used regular white rice, but I have read that Jasmine rice is preferred due to its starch content.
While the rice cooked, I made the chicken. I made this as easy as humanly possible on myself; just chicken tenderloins and a taco seasoning packet. You’re welcome to make your own taco seasoning blend, but I figured I didn’t have to be that “homemade” with it all.
I used tenderloins just because they cook quicker and since I was only cooking them in a skillet, I wanted to ensure that they cooked all the way through but didn’t dry out. I gave them about 5 minutes per side and they were perfectly cooked and juicy.
The chicken and rice are genuinely the only real cooking you do for this; the rest is all assembly.
If you’re meal prepping this like I did; these containers I got from Amazon over the summer are perfect. I place a good helping of the rice and chicken in the bigger side of the container and the beans and the corn on the smaller side just to keep any excess juice out of the rice and chicken until it was time to eat.
I topped this with my pico de gallo, shredded Monterey Jack cheese (I couldn’t find shredded, so I just found a block of it and shredded it on a box grater), chopped romaine lettuce, and a nice dollop of sour cream.
This is delicious and kept me full most of the day, which is good because it kept me from mindlessly snacking by the end of the school day. It would be great for dinner, you could even do your own burrito bar with all sorts of fixings.
It’s just good. And if you love Chipotle as much as I do, you should definitely make it.