Burrito Bowl with Guacamole and Salsa

This recipe was inspired by many trips to Whole Foods Market for a burrito bowl when I was too tired to cook. Burrito bowls came onto the scene as more people cut out refined carbs, including tortillas. This is one of my favorite easy meals.

This recipe is very open to interpretation, so have fun with it and make it with all the ingredients and amounts that sound best to you. If you are watching your calories, you may leave off the olives and avocado, since these are both high-fat plant foods.

1 cup dry, short-grain brown rice
2 cups water
6 Romaine lettuce leaves, thinly sliced
1 cup very thinly sliced cabbage
1 can black or pinto beans (or about 1-1/2 cups home-cooked beans)
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, parsley or basil
1 cup corn kernels (or kernels from one cob), cooked or raw
1 avocado, chopped
2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (1-2 limes)
guacamole (optional, see recipe below)
salsa (optional, see recipe below)

1. In a pot, bring rice and water to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 50 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes with the lid on. Remove lid and set aside.

2. Using two or more large soup or salad bowls, layer all of the ingredients equally into each bowl and squeeze lime juice over the top. Or in one large salad bowl, toss all ingredients together, including lime juice, then serve into your individual bowls. Top with salsa and/or quacamole (see recipes below). The cooked beans and rice may be used warm or cold.

Preparation: 15 minutes (to chop and assemble)
Cooking time: 50 minutes to cook rice
Makes: 2 large entree servings or 4 salad servings


Rice and beans: Try short-grain brown, long-grain brown, or wild rice; really, any type would work. The same goes for beans, however, pinto and black are the most popular varieties for this type of dish.

Dressing: I keep the dressing here very light, just lime juice, because this is such a hearty and flavorful dish. But you may want to add a little prepared mustard and/or brown rice vinegar along with the lime juice. And if you’re using salsa and/or guacamole, you really don’t need anything else besides the lime juice (you could use lemon juice as well). A little of the salsa blended also make a nice dressing.

Salsa and guacamole: If adding either or both of these, you may want to leave off the diced avocado and/or tomatoes.

Other ingredient options: Toast or steam a corn tortilla and chop into small strips or squares and throw in. Shredded carrots, cooked or raw greens or mushrooms, bell peppers, sprouts, chilies, and pumpkin seeds are also good. Leftover veggie burger crumbles are also a great addition.

3 small to medium avocados, diced and somewhat mashed
2-3 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 yellow onion, small diced
1/2 cup cilantro or basil leaves, chopped
1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin

In a bowl, blend all ingredients with a fork.
Makes about 2 cups

6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/4 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1 clove fresh garlic, minced

In a bowl, combine all ingredients.
Makes about 3 cups

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  1. samantha freeman says

    Olé Extreme Wellness tortillas are a great add in too. With only 17g of carbs and 12g of fiber that’s a net carb count of only 5g! They are also low cal (tomato basil is 68 & spinach herb is 74) and have 7-8g protein.

  2. Leigh Ann says

    This was a huge hit with me (easy) and the kids (not always easy)! I decided on “Do It Yourself” so that I wouldn’t hear any complaints about one ingredient or another. No one noticed the cabbage mixed in with the romaine and there was no need for dressing! Thanks for the simple recipes. I direct lots of people to your lovely blog. Thinking of trying the cobbler tonight!

    • says

      Hi Leigh Anne, yay, that’s great! That’s a good idea, to let people “build their own.” The cobbler is something your kids will definitely like. Thanks for sending people to the blog! 😉

  3. Angie says

    I don’t eat rice, so I used quinoa instead and added some fresh jalapenos instead of olives. Very good and filling.

  4. Terri says

    I made this last night for a large family gathering and everyone loved the burrito bowls. Some of us are new vegan converts and this was so yummy. Even the rest of the family enjoyed this as well. We didn’t miss the meat, oil, dairy at all. Thanks.

  5. says

    I tried this for the first time last night. My boyfriend and I loved it. We started eating vegan (or as vegan as possible) about three months ago. With sites like yours it’s been surprisingly easy. Thanks!

  6. Andrea says

    I am 11 weeks pregnant and have been pretty much only eating Trader Joes Hashbrown shreds with blackbeans and pico for breakfast, and black beans/rice pico for lunch and dinner. Everything else makes me sick and I cannot cook…….This though…..Oh lordy! I will be printing this out for my husband to make me over and over again! I was not faithful at first because I was even more sick and loosing lots of weight (Daiya quesidillas and toast with earth balance entered back in) But I am determined to remain healthy and have shifted that stuff back out. Keep the whole grain, bean-y creaminess goodness coming!

  7. says

    Just saw your recipes on Forks Over Knives and decided to see what you have cooking on your blog!

    I’ve been eating a plant-based diet since the winter just as a way increase the amount of vegetables in my diet. This looks like just the thing I need to freshen up my recipes for spring and summer.

    This recipe looks fantastic Cathy. This is definitely going on the menu for the week!

  8. Suzette says

    Just had this recipe for dinner and I loved it! My kids will love it too. I’m definitely making it for them the next time they come over! Thanks for your fabulous recipes!

  9. Gloria Sanchez says

    I love tris recipe. I shared it with my other family members, and it was also a big hit! Thanks for sharing such a yummy recipe!

  10. Mary says

    I have to thank you for your wonderful, healthful recipes. I have a large family — 7 kids ages 16 to 1 — so finding dinner recipes they all like can be tricky. They have loved every recipe of yours that I have tried. Can’t thank you enough!! It’s so fulfilling to feed them food that I know will keep their bodies as healthy as possible.

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