I simply adore meals that can be prepped ahead of time – especially when it comes to lunches. This “recipe” for meal prepping your own burrito bowls is perfect for that, and it’s also a feature dish in one of our new Teaching Kitchen classes for 2020 (more to come on that!).

And not only do they remind me of Chipotle and Qdoba build-your-own naked burritos (we all love ’em), but they’re balanced with carbs, protein and fat, so they’ll be satisfying and keep you full for a few hours.

The complex carbs come from the brown rice or quinoa, black beans, and some of the topping options (like fruit and some veggies). The protein comes from the absolutely delicious chili-rubbed chicken (and Greek yogurt, if you’re into that). And the fat comes from the avocado, queso fresco and super tasty cilantro lime dressing that gets drizzled on top. And because they are build-your-own, the entire family can choose what toppings they want to put on their bowl, so no one has to fight over what’s going on the dinner table – now that’s a plus, am I right?!

Now tell me – what would you put on YOUR burrito bowl?!


Build-Your-Own Burrito Bowls

  • Author: Julie Andrews
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: Makes 4 bowls 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stove-Top, No-Cook


Build-your-own burrito bowls with chili-rubbed chicken and cilantro lime vinaigrette.



Chili-Rubbed Chicken Breasts

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ½ tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts

Cilantro Lime Dressing:

  • Zest and juice of 2 medium limes
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Build-Your-Own Burrito Bowls:

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice or quinoa
  • 4 cups baby spinach or chopped kale
  • 1 ½ cups cooked black beans
  • 1 pound Chili-Rubbed Chicken Breasts, diced
  • Cilantro Lime Dressing, for drizzling
  • Toppings of choice: diced avocado or guacamole, sliced green onion, chopped bell peppers or cooked fajita peppers, chopped tomatoes, fresh cilantro, fresh salsa or pico de gallo, mango or pineapple salsa, shredded cheese or crumbled queso fresco, Mexican-style corn, plain Greek yogurt, lime wedges


To cook the chicken:

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet to medium.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, onion powder, garlic powder and black pepper. Rub the chicken breasts with the spice mixture.
  3. Add the chicken breasts to the hot skillet and cook 4-5 minutes per side or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken breast reaches 165 degrees.
  4. Remove from the heat and let sit 5-10 minutes. Dice. (You may need to work in batches if your skillet is not large enough – do not overcrowd the pan.)

To make the dressing:

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the lime zest and juice, garlic, sugar, salt and black pepper until combined. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while continuing to whisk, then whisk in cilantro, Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

To make burrito bowls:

  1. Assemble 4 bowls with brown rice or quinoa, baby spinach or kale, black beans and chicken. Drizzle with cilantro lime dressing and top with desired toppings.



Cooking Tip: Batch cook and meal prep the burrito bowls so you have lunches all week.

*Nutrition facts depend on what bowl fillings and toppings you choose.


  • Serving Size: Serves 4

Keywords: burrito bowl, burrito bowls, dave wichmann, meal prep, lunch, entree


  1. Lori Wood on February 24, 2020 at 8:49 am

    I really love this recipe! I’d be curious of approximate calories if you use brown rice.

    • Julie Andrews on February 24, 2020 at 12:14 pm

      So glad you liked it, Lori! The nutrition facts would depend on the grain, meat and toppings you use. I’d suggest putting your specific bowl ingredients into an app like MyFitnessPal or LoseIt to calculate it!

  2. Alison on February 27, 2020 at 7:57 pm

    Burrito Bowls and Buddha Bowls are 2 of my favorite things! I love being able to swap out/add things!

    • Julie Andrews on March 2, 2020 at 8:52 am

      Me too! That way you never become bored with it!

  3. Amy on March 3, 2020 at 7:41 am

    I love these kind of bowls, keeping it simple is the best way to success!

    • Julie Andrews on March 3, 2020 at 10:08 am

      I love this!! Thanks for sharing your excitement, Amy. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *