If you’re like me and you love a good burrito bowl (I KNOW you’re out there), you are going to want to make these Chicken and Black Bean Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowls next time you get a craving for one. Not only are they much healthier (see below for a comparison of numbers) than a typical burrito bowl from a restaurant, they have been taste tested and given two thumbs up by a group of college ladies, who know a thing or two about a good burrito bowl.
As I mentioned in my last post, No Mayo Avocado Chicken Salad, I got to spend part of an afternoon last weekend showing some college seniors at my alma mater how to cook a couple of recipes as well as talk with them about healthy cooking and healthy eating. I had a hunch that these women would love a healthier burrito bowl recipe, so I created these Chicken and Black Bean Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowls to make for them. Based on how they gobbled up the bowls (it was just before dinnertime!), I’d say they were a hit!
In case you’re not familiar with burrito bowls, let me give a quick description. Think of a burrito bowl as a deconstructed burrito, with all the components you’d find wrapped up IN a burrito/tortilla, piled into a bowl…MINUS the tortilla. You can use any type of meat you like (or none at all!), beans or no beans, rice (if you like), fajita-style veggies (or not), and then add your favorite toppers, which could include salsa, lettuce, hot peppers, guacamole or avocado, sour cream, cheese, etc. There’s no right or wrong way to construct a burrito bowl because it’s all based on personal preference.
If you’ve never been on the website for Chipotle restaurant (which is where many burrito bowls are consumed!), they have a great nutrition calculator for their menu items. It’s really easy to use and the best part is you can customize it based on your preferences and the way you “build” any menu item you order. I wanted to see how my cauliflower rice burrito bowl stacked up against a similar burrito bowl from Chipotle, so I entered the comparable options for a rice, black bean, and chicken burrito bowl to see what the nutrition info would be. Here’s what the numbers show for one serving of a typical chicken, black bean, and brown rice burrito bowl from Chipotle, with similar toppings as my burrito bowl:
- 875 cals
- 45 g fat
- 15 g sat fat
- 1425 mg sodium
- 76 g carb
- 22 g fiber
- 47 g pro
Seeing those numbers should make you appreciate making your own at home even more, especially when you make the healthier swaps that I’ve done in these Chicken and Black Bean Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowls. My version has almost HALF the CALORIES, ONE-THIRD the amount of FAT, over 500 mg LESS sodium, and about HALF the carbohydrates as the Chipotle version, and trust me, it’s no less satisfying or less filling.
One Last Note
If you’re intimidated by the length of the ingredient list in this recipe, keep in mind that several of the ingredients are repeated throughout the list so you don’t need as many ingredients as what it may look like on first glance. Plus, you can take out any parts you don’t like in your burrito bowls. Not a fan of avocado? Leave it off…Don’t love chicken? Leave that off…there’s still plenty of protein from the black beans. You get the idea…customize it to make it your own bowl just like you can at Chipotle.
Chicken and Black Bean Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowls How-To Photos:
Cut a cauliflower head into florets – you will need 4 cups (you can substitute purchased fresh cauliflower rice – see tip under recipe)
Use a food processor to finely chop the cauliflower florets.
Cook the cauliflower rice with red sweet pepper, green onion bottoms, garlic, chili powder, and salt in a little oil.
This only takes a few minutes – you want the sweet pepper to be crisp tender and the cauliflower to be just tender.
Here is the finished cauliflower rice mixture.
Combine canned black beans and salsa in a saucepan.
The sauce is so simple. Plain yogurt, lime juice, avocado oil, honey, chili powder and salt are all you need.
Stir the sauce with a fork or whisk until well combined.
Assemble the bowls and add your favorite toppings!
- 4 cups cauliflower florets
- 4 green onions
- 1 medium red sweet pepper, cut into thin bite-size strips
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 15-ounce can reduced-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup jarred salsa
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon avocado or canola oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
- 1 pound grilled* chicken breast halves, thinly sliced
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
- Salsa (optional)
- Sliced green onion tops
- Lime wedges
- For cauliflower rice, place cauliflower florets in a food processor. Cover and pulse until very finely chopped (cauliflower should resemble rice). Thinly slice green onions, keeping white bottoms separate from green tops. Reserve green tops for the topping.
- In a large skillet, cook the riced cauliflower, white bottoms of green onions, red pepper strips, garlic, chili powder and salt in hot oil over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes or until pepper strips are crisp tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat.
- For salsa beans, in a small saucepan combine black beans and salsa. Cook over medium-low heat 4 to 5 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
- For sweet chili-lime sauce, in a small bowl stir together yogurt, lime juice, oil, honey, salt, and chili powder.
- To assemble bowls, divide spinach, cauliflower rice, and salsa beans among four shallow bowls. Top with sliced chicken. Add avocado, additional salsa (if desired), green onion tops, and lime wedges to each serving.
- * You can substitute 3 ½ cups purchased fresh riced cauliflower for the cauliflower florets. Skip the step of finely chopping the cauliflower in the food processor.
- ** Season chicken any way you like before grilling. You can also broil, bake, or cook the chicken in a skillet instead of grilling it.
- To spice up the heat level of this, add 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped, to the skillet with the cauliflower rice.
- This recipe is loaded with all of my favorite parts of a burrito bowl. Feel free to take out any of the parts (the beans, chicken, cauliflower rice, etc.) to make it more like your preferred burrito bowl.
- 4 servings
- 458 cals, 46 g pro, 39 g carb, 14 g fat, 99 mg cholesterol, 3 g sat fat, 11 g fiber, 896 mg sodium