Burritos are like hugs. They’re comforting, warm the soul, and have the power to bring unparalleled joy in just one bite. But sometimes we want less of a squeeze. And sometimes we want to ditch the tortilla, eat with a fork, and save the food coma for another day.
The beautiful thing about burritos—or rather, one of the beautiful things about burritos—is that you can slice and dice them in any way you please. Vegan, Paleo, steak-filled, cheese-bombed… it’s all a matter of preference. And it’s as simple as tossing a few handfuls of ingredients in a bowl. So easy, and so not a #saddesklunch.
These 11 healthy burrito bowls go lighter on the ingredients and heavy on flavor. And hey, if you want to toss 'em in a tortilla, we won’t tell anyone.
This is a perfect meal to prep on Sunday and enjoy all week long. Bake the sweet potato and red peppers while the rice is cooking, rinse the black beans, whip up the dressing, slice some avocado, and in 40 minutes, you have all the makings of a perfect burrito bowl. Need a quick breakfast? Toss together leftovers and top with a fried egg. Want a bit more protein? Add some grilled chicken. The only thing not worth changing up is the dressing, which you’ll want exactly as is.
Shrimp is a great weeknight meal, as it cooks super fast and soaks up a ton of flavor from whatever spices and juices you add to it. This shrimp is loaded with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and cayenne, and cooked in coconut oil for the tiniest touch of sweet. We also love the flavored rice, but recommend skipping the sugar. If you need to tone down the lime, throw in a teaspoon of honey. Top with homemade black bean and corn salsa, or take the easy route and grab fresh pico de gallo or mango salsa from the store—any option will do.
Making chicken carnitas requires a slow cooker, but it’s worth every ounce of effort and will make enough meat to last many a meal. Still not convinced? Then grab a rotisserie chicken (pre-spiced, if possible) and tear it to shreds. The flavor isn’t as great, but toppings can help with that. Build your bowl with lettuce, cauliflower rice, chicken, tomatoes, Greek yogurt, cilantro, and anything else your heart desires. Perfect for lunch or dinner, and great with any type of meat.
You’ll want to put this Greek-yogurt based avocado lime dressing on everything. But before you go on a dipping spree, be sure to create at least one burrito bowl. We love the protein-packed quinoa as a stand-in grain for rice and the simplicity of ingredients—black beans, corn, tomato, romaine, and avocado. You could call it a salad, but why do that when you can call it a burrito (bowl)?
Fajitas are great for many reasons, but we especially love that they’re the perfect excuse to eat a ton of vegetables. Peppers of all colors and onions of all varieties sautéed to perfection in leftover steak sauce… yep, that kind of veggie goodness. Use any grain you please, or omit it if you prefer— just don’t skip the cilantro lime chimichurri. No matter the meat, the marinade makes the dish. If using chicken, just make sure to marinade for twice the amount of time.
This recipe does so many things right we don’t even know where to begin. For starters, the bowl’s base is cilantro lime rice with black beans—oh, and a bunch of melted cheese. Then it’s topped with ranch-flavored chicken (drool), crunchy tortilla strips, and the usual burrito bowl suspects (tomato and avocado). And yes, we saved the best for last: chipotle avocado ranch crema. We would start gushing over leftovers, but let’s be honest, there probably won’t be any.
Chipotle-spiced chickpeas, fresh guacamole, protein galore, and as filling as can be? Now that’s a meal we can get behind. We love the crunch you get from roasting the chickpeas and the savory spice from the homemade chipotle sauce. The only thing missing: hot sauce. To get some extra greens, fill the bowl with spinach or romaine before adding the rest of the goods.
This burrito bowl is a real crowd-pleaser. Perhaps it’s the homemade tortilla bowls or the strawberry mango salsa. Or maybe it’s the perfectly seasoned mahi mahi. Maybe it’s every ounce of love that goes into putting it together. It’s a bit on the time-intensive side, as everything is made from scratch (minus the actual tortillas), but the end result is worth every minute.
If you haven’t experimented with spaghetti squash yet, head to the grocery store stat. This squash is versatile, filling, and all kinds of healthy. It’s commonly paired with pasta sauce, but going burrito-style is arguably better—and it’s damn pretty too. For extra protein, add grilled chicken or ground turkey. But do us a favor and please don’t skimp on the crunchy cabbage.