I don’t think I knew what a “burrito bowl” was before I walked into my first Chipotle nearly 10 years ago—was it even a thing before Chipotle made it one? But now, the burrito bowl is as ubiquitous as its wrapped namesake, and in recent years burrito bowls have replaced taco night in our house. This is how we make ours, though every ingredient and topping can be changed to suit your tastes and cravings!
We love bell peppers and onions. We add them to every dish in which they even remotely make sense. These burrito bowls are modeled after Chipotle’s, after all, so they start with peppers and onions. I usually use between three quarters of 1 or 1 whole pepper and onion, depending on the size. I cut them into bite size pieces, saute them about 6 to 8 min., then put them in a bowl and set aside.
Next comes the protein. We use 1 lb. of ground turkey because it’s lean and takes on flavors well, but you could use ground beef, pork or chicken. I’ve also tried strips of steak before, but I like to mix everything in my bowl together before I eat it, and I’ve found that you get more even bites with ground meat, since you can break it up so small. So I cook the meat in my pan, and when it’s nearly browned I generously add my seasonings. These are the ones I used:
This combo provides flavors like salt, chile pepper, lime, lemon, garlic and onion. So I sprinkled it onto the meat and mixed it in.
Once the meat is seasoned and fully browned, I turn down the heat and add my first round of mix-ins. In this case, those were the cooked peppers and onions, black beans and frozen corn.
I let that mixture warm together over low heat while I make the rice. You can use any rice you want, so if it’s one that takes longer to cook, you can start this step earlier. Here, I used cauliflower rice.
I’ve made cauliflower rice before in the food processor. But we do most of our grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s these days, and their riced cauliflower is inexpensive and I like the size of the pieces. To cook it, I toss it in a pan with some olive oil and salt. You can tell when it’s done because the cauliflower loses its pure white color and turns a more translucent, yellowy color. Plus the volume shrinks.
The last step before eating is to lay out the toppings. This is where you can really get creative. We used jalapenos, salsa, guacamole and shredded cheese. And no, this isn’t an ad for Trader Joe’s, but like I mentioned, we do all our shopping there.
A quick note: If you like the flavor of jalapenos but not the extreme spice, these are great ones to pick up. They really are nice and balanced between hot and sweet.
Now all that’s left to do is build the bowl and eat it! Like I said, I like to mix mine up to evenly distribute the ingredients to every bite. This makes between 4 and 6 servings—we had it for dinner, with seconds, and there was enough leftover for us both to have a smaller burrito bowl for lunch the next day.