Southwest Chicken Burrito Bowls are packed with tender and juicy meat, plenty of veggies, and fluffy nutritious quinoa. This recipe is super easy to put together and feeds up to six people, or makes a week’s worth of lunches. Plus, it’s way better for you than takeout.
Bowls are so trendy right now, and I’m not complaining! They are the simplest thing ever, and simplicity is high on my list. Throw a variety of foods in a bowl and — voila — dinner! Works for me.
This healthy burrito bowl combines comfort food flavor with nutritious ingredients for a perfectly balanced weeknight meal.
Since the burrito bowls at Chipotle & Qdoba are one of my favorite things to order, I thought — why not make them at home? We can eat them more often and save some cash in the process, all while keeping things on the healthier side.
- Chicken - Use boneless, skinless breasts. If they are thick, slice them in half lengthwise so they cook faster. 1 inch thick is good.
- Spices - A blend of chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder adds plenty of flavor. If you want to make your Mexican quinoa bowls a little spicier, include a pinch of cayenne.
- Quinoa - Prepare this ahead of time for easy prep. Use your favorite variety. I like to cook quinoa in the Instant Pot, but stove top works too.
- Black beans - Drain the can and rinse well to remove the extra sodium. Or, feel free to start with dried beans and prepare them
- Veggies - Here’s where you can really get creative! Orange bell pepper, tomato, avocado, and green onions add plenty of color and flavor. I also love the sweetness of corn. Use frozen kernels to avoid extra salt and thaw them before adding them to your chicken quinoa bowl.
- Cheddar cheese - I highly recommend you buy a block and grate it by hand. Bagged shreds contain preservatives and anti-caking agents that add a waxy texture. Plus, fresh shreds just taste better!
- Garnish - While completely optional, a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt adds extra tang. Fresh cilantro is lovely as well.
How To Make Chicken Burrito Bowls
This is an overview of the instructions, be sure to see the recipe card for all the details.
- Season- Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper. Mix the cumin, chili powder and garlic powder together, and rub it into all sides of the chicken.
- Grill the chicken. You can use a grill pan, actual grill outdoors, or pan sear.
- Slice. Let the cooked chicken rest for about 10 minutes, then slice into thin strips.
- Assemble your bowls. Divide everything into six bowls or your meal prep containers. Serve with toppings and dig in!
- This recipe allows everyone to build their own chicken quinoa bowl just how they like it. Set out the ingredients buffet style and let everyone choose their favorites. It’s especially great if you happen to have picky eaters.
- For a shortcut, purchase a rotisserie chicken from your local store. Remove all of the meat from the bone, then season it with the spices.
- These healthy burrito bowls are the perfect make-ahead lunch idea. You can divide everything into 5 containers, throw them in the fridge, and grab one on your way to work each day!
- Be sure to rinse quinoa in cold water before cooking. This gets rid of the saponin, which can cause it to taste bitter or soapy.
- Letting the meat rest before cutting into it allows the juices to redistribue after cooking which makes for juicier chicken.
- Rice makes a great substitute for quinoa. Wild rice is our favorite, but any rice will do!
These pair great with a Virgin Mojito.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Simple, Fresh, Ingredients.
- Quinoa gives a twist on flavor and nutrition.
- Works for dinner or meal prep.
Frequently Asked Questions
Quinoa pairs with just about any meal as a side dish. Or, use these ancient grains to make seasonal fruit breakfast bowls or mason jar salads for lunch. All three recipes are perfect for meal prep as well.
Yes! They are a well balanced meal with protein, healthy fats, and healthy carbs.
Simply replace the sour cream with nonfat plain Greek yogurt and leave off the cheese and avocado to keep it in E mode.
Storage and Reheating
If you want to prep meals for the week, you can load everything up at once and it will be fine in the refrigerator. However, I would suggest you slice the avocado just before you plan to eat so it doesn’t turn brown.
For leftovers after a meal, it’s best to store each ingredient in a separate airtight container (the veggies are fine altogether). Then you can warm the quinoa, chicken, and beans before assembling your bowl.
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Chicken Burrito Bowls
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon chile powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 large orange bell pepper, diced
- 2 cups diced tomato
- 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
- 2 Avocados, sliced or diced
- ½ cup green onions, sliced
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- cilantro for garnish
- plain Greek yogurt or Sour Cream for garnish
- Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Combine chile powder, garlic powder and cumin together. Rub on the chicken breasts.
- Heat oil in pan over medium high heat. Cook chicken breasts about 4-5 minutes on each side or until cooked through and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes, then cut it into slices or bite size pieces, set aside.
- Warm black beans on the stove top.
- Divide the quinoa, beans, chicken and remaining ingredients into 6 bowls. Top with plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, cheese and cilantro
- For a shortcut, purchase a rotisserie chicken from your local store, pull the meat off and season it with the spices.
- These healthy burrito bowls are the perfect make-ahead lunch idea. You can divide everything into 5 containers, throw them in the fridge, and grab one on your way to work each day.
- Rice can be substituted for quinoa.
- Leave off cheese and avocado to keep it in E mode
- Use nonfat plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream
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