Move over, Chipotle—these homemade chicken burrito bowls are even better than the restaurant version! Made with all natural ingredients and minimal effort, there’s nothing not to love about these tortilla-less burritos.
Raise your hand if you’re obsessed with Chipotle and crave it all the time. (Uh, I’ve got both my hands raised and my feet.)
I don’t know what it is about Chipotle, but I could easily eat there everyday if it weren’t for this whole food blogging thing I do. It doesn’t help that there’s like three Chipotles in a 2-mile radius from my house and it’s in every mall in the area. There’s! no! escape!
Well, there was no escape, but now my cravings are under control because I started making my favorite menu item—the chicken burrito bowl—at home and putting together meal prep lunches, Chipotle-style. Let me tell you, making this at home is so easy, and it’s also healthier because you know what’s actually going in all the toppings. Everything is homemade in these copycat Chipotle burrito bowls.
If you like more carbs or just don’t like the fact that this is a naked burrito, you can easily make this bowl into a burrito by piling all of the ingredients onto a large soft tortilla and wrapping it up. Or, you could grab some tortilla chips and treat these bowls as nacho toppings! With or without the added carbs, you’re going to go absolutely wild for these Chipotle-inspired burrito bowls.
And guess what? At home, the guac isn’t extra. Take THAT, Chipotle!
What You’ll Need
These chicken burrito bowls are highly customizable, so feel free to get creative and do your own thing. Here’s what I use in mine.
For the chicken:
- Chicken thighs – I like to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
- Vegetable oil – Avocado oil also works.
- Chili powder – Add a little more chili powder or cayenne for extra heat.
- Garlic powder – Let’s be real: this can be measured with your heart.
- Dried onions – Dried onions are a delight! I love adding them to so many things for a little extra sumthin-sumthin. Here, they add a bit of sweetness and a crunchy texture.
- Ground cumin
- Dried oregano
- Black pepper
For assembling your burrito bowls:
- Corn Salsa
- Cooked white rice – You can use brown rice, cauliflower rice, or another grain instead. Toss it with a squeeze of lime juice and cilantro for that authentic Chipotle experience.
What else can I add to my burrito bowl?
The sky is really the limit here! Freshly chopped or pickled jalapeños, sour cream, lettuce, cheese, onions, pico de gallo, beans, or anything else you like on your burrito bowls at Chipotle will work. Have fun, and get creative with your personalized toppings. Oh, and never forget the hot sauce.
How to Make Chicken Burrito Bowls
As I mentioned above, this recipe is perfect for meal prep. You can make everything in advance and keep it in the fridge separately until you’re ready to eat!
Marinate the chicken. Place the chicken thighs in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag with the oil. Seal and shake to coat the chicken. Mix the seasonings in a small bowl and add them to the bag, then seal again and turn the chicken until it’s well-coated. Refrigerate the chicken in the bag for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
Grill the chicken. Heat an indoor or outdoor grill to high. Grill each side of the chicken for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 160°F. Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest before you cut into it.
Make the toppings. While the chicken rests, make the corn salsa and guacamole according to the recipe instructions.
Cut the chicken. Place the chicken on a cutting board and cut it into cubes.
Assemble. Divide the rice into bowls, then add the chicken, guacamole, corn salsa, and any other toppings you’re using.
Tips for Success
Here are some of my best tips for making these chicken burrito bowls.
- Maximize the marinating. I recommend letting the chicken marinate for a full 24 hours, which results in the most flavor.
- Cut some corners. If you want to make this even simpler, you can do the chicken from scratch, then use store-bought salsa and guac. It’s not quite as good as from scratch, but when you’re short on time, sometimes easy is top priority!
- Make the most of your toppings. If you buy sour cream, lettuce, cheese, cilantro, and other toppings for your burrito bowls, you can use the leftovers by putting another Tex-Mex dinner on your meal plan for the week. Might I suggest Grilled Cumin Lime Shrimp Tacos or a Homemade Crunchwrap Supreme?
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
I recommend storing each component of your chicken burrito bowls separately, then assembling either when you’re ready to eat or when you’re putting together a lunch for work. This way, everything will taste its best! The components will last about 3 days in the fridge; reheat the rice and chicken in the microwave, then add the guac and salsa.
Can This Be Frozen?
If you want to freeze this recipe, I recommend freezing the guacamole and salsa separately and thawing them in the refrigerator overnight instead of microwaving them. Store the chicken and rice in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. You can reheat them in the microwave from frozen or thaw them in the fridge with the guac and salsa, then microwave.
When I’m craving restaurant-worthy food at home, here’s what I make!
For the chicken:
- 4 boneless skinless, chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried onions
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
For the rice:
- 2 cups (370 g) white rice, divided
- Place your chicken thighs in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Add the oil to the bag, seal it, and toss and turn the chicken inside the bag until they’re all well-coated in oil.
- Mix all the seasonings in a small bowl then pour them into the chicken bag. Seal it and toss and turn the chicken inside the bag until all of the chicken is well-coated with the seasoning mix. Refrigerate the chicken in the bag for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
- When ready, heat up your outdoor or indoor grill on high and grill each side of the chicken for 7-10 minutes until chicken is cooked through (internal temperature of 160 °F (71 °C)) and there are nice grill marks on both sides. Remove chicken from grill and set aside before cutting.
- While the chicken cools, prepare the corn salsa and guacamole.
- Transfer the cooled by warm chicken onto a cutting board and dice into cubes.
- Assemble the burrito bowl by putting a bed of rice into the bottom of a bowl then adding your toppings on. Enjoy!
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