These easy meal prep burrito bowls are the perfect balanced meal that only take a few minutes to put together and take just an hour to make!
I’m so excited to finally share a recipe that we make in our house all the time — meal prep burrito bowls!
We probably make these almost every other week. Once because they are so easy, but two, because they are so DELICIOUS!
Our two year old loves these two, and gobbles the entire thing up with absolutely no fuss, so that is always a win!
This entire chicken burrito bowl meal prep takes just about an hour, and will give you an entire week filled with flavorful and easy lunches or dinners that you will CRAVE — even by Thursday!
Are Burrito Bowls Healthy?
Yes! Burrito bowls are amazing because they are a fully balanced meal in just one single bowl. You have a lean protein, whole grain carbohydrates, healthy fats, and it’s loaded with veggies. Plus, black beans provide a ton of fiber to keep you feeling full and satiated.
These burrito bowls use chicken thighs and brown rice, filled with flavorful fajita veggies, and of course are topped with guacamole for a completely nutritious meal.
Not to mention the flavor will keep you feeling satisfied even if you are trying to stay on track with your health and fitness goals.
How to Meal Prep Burrito Bowls
- Long Grain Brown Rice (white rice also works fine if that’s what you prefer)
- Chicken thighs (chicken breasts work well to, but tend to dry out a bit when cooking)
- Bell Peppers – any color works, I chose red and green
- Onion – red or white work best here
- Black Beans – low-sodium canned black beans work great and require no additional cooking or prep
- Corn – I prefer frozen, fire roasted corn, but you could use fresh corn on the cob too
- Pico de Galo or Salsa
- Guacamole or avocados
- Spices for Taco Seasoning – chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper
- Any additional toppings you desire!
- A medium saucepan and lid – for the brown rice
- A Skillet – for the fajita veggies and chicken
- Meal prep Containers – these Pyrex bowls are my favorite for this meal
- A Sharp Knife – for cutting
- A colander – to drain and rinse the black beans
- Microwave-safe medium bowl -for preparing the corn
Step-by Step Instructions
Step 1:Start making your rice
This step takes the longest so you’ll want to start here. I use my simple baked brown rice recipe for perfectly cooked rice, but you can use any method that works for you. I just like the baking method because I never seem to have the right consistency when I make it on the stove top.
This step will take about an hour, so start this before anything else because you can chop everything else and cook it in that amount of time.
Preheat your oven to 375 F and boil 2 1/2 cups of water in a saucepan. Once boiling add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of salt, and stir to combine.
Add 1 1/2 cups of brown rice and stir. Cover with the lid of the saucepan, and bake for 1 hour.
Step 2: Prepare your Taco Seasoning
This is something that we have in our house at all times — like a giant shaker bottle of it. We use this for so many things, but especially for these burrito bowls.
I love making my own taco seasoning because I can control the flavor more and the sodium is much less than store bought varieties.
All you do is simple mix all of your spices in a bowl or mason jar, and keep a baby of that goodness ready and waiting in your pantry.
We usually triple or even quadruple the recipe for our big shaker bottle.
Step 3: Chop your veggies and Cook
Now chop your veggies into slices. You’ll want to make sure everything is cut about the same size so that it all cooks evenly.
I usually cut the peppers into 1/2 inch wide strips, and then cut those in half, then slice up your onions.
Now, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated add your veggies and gently toss every few minutes allowing the peppers and onions to slightly char.
If you desire, near the end of cooking, sprinkle with some of the taco seasoning for a little extra flavor.
Once your vegetables are cooked to your desired tenderness, you can transfer them to a plate so that you can re-use your skillet for the chicken — I am all about less dishes!
Step 4: Season and Cook the Chicken
Now you’ll want to season up your chicken. Grab your taco seasoning again and generously season with 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning per pound.
Heat a little more olive oil in your skillet over a medium-high heat and then carefully place the chicken thighs in the skillet. Allow it to cook about 7-8 minutes per side making sure not to move the chicken until you flip it. This will allow the chicken to brown and get a nice crispy layer.
Once the chicken is cooked through with and internal temperature at 165 F remove the chicken from the pan and set aside on a large cutting board. Allow the chicken to cool slightly while you prepare the corn and beans, and then slice into bite-sized pieces.
Step 5: Prepare your Corn and Black Beans
For the corn if you are using frozen, simply pour the bag of corn into a microwave safe bowl and add a small amount of water — about 2-3 tablespoons. Cook the corn according the directions on the bag. Usually about 6 minutes per pound, stirring halfway through.
For the black beans if you are using canned black beans all you need to do is drain and rinse in a colander and they are good to go.
How to Assemble Chicken Burrito Bowls
Now it’s time to make our bowls of tastiness!
This part is so simple, you’ll simply build your bowls with your ingredients. You’ll divide all of your ingredients evenly between your bowls. For me this usually ends up being 1/2 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup chicken, 1/2 cup veggies, 1/3 cup black beans, 1/3 cup corn.
You’ll most likely have left over brown rice but you can either freeze the leftover brown rice for next time you make these bowls or use it in another recipe though the week.
Once you are ready to eat, you can reheat if necessary, then add in any additional toppings, and enjoy!
Variations You Can Try
Use Ground Chicken or Ground Turkey instead of Chicken
We use this variation a LOT, mostly because of how simple it is using ground meat — even less chopping. But you can use ground meat like chicken, turkey or even extra lean ground beef too.
You would prepare everything else the same, and just cook the ground meat on the stove top in a skillet for about 8-10 minutes. Add 2-3 tablespoons of taco seasoning per pound of meat right at the end of cooking, and violá! Simple and easy swap.
Use cauliflower rice or quinoa
Depending on your lifestyle and your metabolism, you light want to change out the rice for riced cauliflower for a low carb, high veggie option.
Some of my clients do better with tapering their carb consumption later in the day, so if you are like them and plan to have these bowls for dinner, or you just want some extra vegetables in your diet, you can absolutely substitute cauliflower rice for the brown rice.
You can also choose to use quinoa as well for a lower glycemic healthy carbohydrate option too. Which again may be better for your lifestyle depending on when you will be eating this bowl.
Use Pinto Beans instead of black beans
Depending on your tastebuds you can easily swap out the black beans in the recipe for pinto beans, and it’s a simple 1:1ratio swap. I just prefer black beans over pinto.But you do you girl!
Additional Topping Ideas
- Cotija Cheese
- Chipotle Tabasco or any hot sauce
- Guacamole (Obviously!) or sliced avocado
- Shredded Romaine Lettuce
- Pico de Galo os Salsa
- Fresh Cilantro
- A squeeze of Fresh Lime Juice
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt
For the Taco Seasoning:
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ – 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
For the Brown Rice:
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups long grain brown rice
For the Burrito Bowls:
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced
- ½ red onion, sliced
- 1 – 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed + drained
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 1 cup pico de gallo
- 1 avocado, diced or guacamole
For the Rice:
- Preheat your oven to 375ºF and boil 2 1/2 cups of water in a saucepan. Once boiling add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of salt, and stir to combine.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of brown rice and stir. Cover with the lid of the saucepan, and bake for 1 hour.
Prepare the Taco Seasoning:
- In a bowl or mason jar combine all the taco seasoning spice together until combined, and set aside.
For the Fajita Vegetables:
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated add your veggies and gently toss every few minutes allowing the peppers and onions to slightly char.
- If you desire, near the end of cooking, sprinkle with some of the taco seasoning for a little extra flavor.
- Once your vegetables are cooked to your desired tenderness, you can transfer them to a plate so that you can re-use your skillet for the chicken.
For the Chicken:
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in your skillet over a medium-high heat and then carefully place the chicken thighs in the skillet. Allow it to cook about 7-8 minutes per side making sure not to move the chicken until you flip it. This will allow the chicken to brown and get a nice crispy layer.
- Once the chicken is cooked through with and internal temperature at 165ºF remove the chicken from the pan and set aside on a large cutting board. Allow the chicken to cool slightly while you prepare the corn and beans, and then slice into bite-sized pieces.
For the Corn and Black Beans:
- For the corn, simply place the corn into a microwave safe bowl and add a small amount of water — about 2-3 tablespoons. Cook the corn according the directions on the bag. Usually about 6 minutes per pound, stirring halfway through.
- For the black beans all you need to do is drain and rinse in a colander and they are good to go.
How to Assemble Your Bowls:
- Divide all of your ingredients evenly between your bowls. This usually ends up being 1/2 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup chicken, 1/2 cup veggies, 1/2 cup corn, and 1/3 cup black beans.
- Once ready to serve, add in any additional toppings and enjoy!
How to Reheat for Meal Prep: Microwave for about 2 minutes, then add in your additional toppings and enjoy!
How to Reheat Meal prep Burrito Bowls
It’s so simple to reheat these burrito bowls, all you need to do is microwave them.
You’ll want to make sure that some of your toppings haven’t been added when you assembles them. Things like lettuce, guacamole, sou cream, and cheese may be better added after you reheat your bowls.
Microwave each bowl for about 2 minutes, and that’s it. Add any additional toppings and dig in!
How Long Do Burrito Bowl Last In The Fridge?
These burrito bowls will last about 5 days in the refrigerator, but remember to always use your best judgement when deciding if you think it spoiled.
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