Dinner · Fruit · Mexican · Recipe

DIY Chipotle-style Burrito Bowls

There are few days where I’m not craving Chipotle. It fulfills many of my everyday food desires- something filling, something warm, something with tons of different flavors, something that is pretty easy and un-intimidating, something quick, something with vegetables! I apologize for the lack of photos of the finished product- there was a LOT of food in a small, tight place but I did the best I could.

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Evan was visiting and since Chipotle was one of our go-to places for a quick, off campus eat last year, I thought it would be nice to make a homemade build you own burrito bowl bar! I stuck with all of the classics- guacamole, medium heat salsa, cilantro lime corn, cilantro lime brown rice, shredded lettuce, black beans, fajita vegetables, fajita chicken, and lime tortilla chips. There is a reason why this is only served fast food style at Chipotle because it was a FEAT to make. While I was super happy to carve out three hours to just cook and do nothing else, it was DEFINITELY a time commitment and required a bit more planning on my part than I allotted, since things got a little chaotic at the end. (Plus, trying to share one kitchen with eight other girls didn’t exactly help).

This is a bit longer post because I think the steps to making this as easy and efficient are super important to follow! I have attached links to all of the recipes I used since that could make this post even longer/it varies based on what I wanted to cook versus what you might!

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One another important note: I HIGHLY recommend buying an all purpose taco or fajita seasoning, especially if your cabinet isn’t already stocked with chili pepper, cayenne, paprika, oregano, etc. It will make your life easier and your wallet fuller if you buy a blend that you can use for all parts of this burrito bowl!

Below is a list of the order in which I would make everything for your own sake. I certainly did not follow these steps and just made everything up as I went along with it (As I often do) but in hindsight, this is how I should have organized myself (and my counter/stove):

  • Marinate/Season chicken and let it sit until the last 15 minutes when you’re ready to pop it in the oven. The longer the spices have to flavor the chicken, the better! (I would recommend this, even if you’re making steak/tofu/etc.)
  • Lay out the tortilla chips on a baking tray and sprinkle with salt and lime juice
  • Chop the veggies for the salsa. Again, the longer the ingredients and seasoning have to sit, the juicier the tomatoes will get and the flavors will blend well together. Salt will actually help the tomatoes release their juices so doing this in advance will give you a really nice salsa.
  • Shred the lettuce. This takes a couple of minutes and it’s something you can put in a bowl and set aside until the very last minute when you go to assemble your bowl. If you’re not like me and are okay buying some ingredients ready to go from the bag, I would recommend buying shredded lettuce just as a small time saver. However, I have too much pride in my own cooking and preparation so I have to insist that I MADE EVERYTHING (even if it was just shredded lettuce).
  • Start the water for the rice. Brown rice takes about 30 minutes, depending on how much you’re making and the type of rice you’re using so this is a good time to let the rice start cooking.
  • Chop all veggies for fajita veggies, guacamole, cilantro for extra flavor and garnish, etc.
  • Bake the chicken in the oven (this step might depend on what type of chicken you are using and how big they are…I used pre-cut breast tenders which cooked super quickly)!
  • Saute fajita veggies and corn while also heating up the beans in a saucepan (all four burners on your stove will be used)
  • Make the guacamole (since avocados brown super quickly when exposed to air, I did this towards the end when it was almost time to eat)
  • Add chips to the oven to toast for about 5 minutes (they can go in at the same temperature as the chicken, which was 350 degrees)
  • Add lime, cilantro, salt & pepper to EVERYTHING (rice, veggies, corn)
  • Pile up and serve!

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I referenced all of the following recipes for my own burrito bowls:

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