These chicken burrito bowls are both refreshing and filling, packed with healthy chopped veggies and topped with a zesty citrus sauce along with cheese and sour cream.
I LOVE making these burrito bowls when I'm craving fresh and healthy comfort food (admittedly, that's fairly often.) They are fun for the whole family and also make great meal prep options since all of the fixings can be prepared in advance.
This recipe is also super flexible too. If you don't have all of the toppings on hand, it's no big deal at all--just use what you have and it'll still be great. Burrito bowls also go great with smoothies on a warm day; especially this refreshing strawberry banana smoothie.
As mentioned, definitely don't fret if you don't have every single ingredient listed! Feel free to make whatever substitutions you'd like as well.
I chose a handful of veggies for the main toppings, plus a fresh lime for the citrus sauce.
Here is the full list of ingredients I used:
- uncooked white rice or brown rice
- olive oil
- chicken breasts or thighs
- fresh corn
- Romaine lettuce
- black beans
- chili powder
- garlic powder
- sea salt
- orange juice
- shredded cheese, to garnish
- sour cream, to garnish
See recipe card below for exact quantities.
To get started, start cooking the rice according to the instructions on its package and then set aside. (If you have rice already cooked on hand, feel free to just use that instead!)
Next, while the rice cooks, you can get all of the toppings ready to go for easy assembly.
Use a chef's knife to shred the lettuce, chop the cilantro, tomato and avocado, and slice the corn to remove the kernels (husk the corn first). Then, juice the lime and rinse the black beans, and set everything aside on a large plate or in separate bowls.
Next up is the chicken. Warm some olive oil in a large skillet on the stove over medium heat and chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Place the chicken pieces in a medium mixing bowl and sprinkle it with some chili powder and a little salt to taste, mixing with your hands to thoroughly coat the chicken with the spices. Add the chicken to the skillet and sauté for 6-8 minutes until cooked through, using a wooden fork or heat-safe spatula to turn the pieces often. Drain any liquid off after cooking and set the meat aside.
And finally: the sauce. In a measuring cup, use a fork to combine a little oil, some chili powder, garlic powder, honey, orange juice and fresh-squeezed lime juice.
To assemble the burrito bowls, divide the rice, lettuce, tomatoes, corn, avocado and chicken among serving bowls and drizzle the sauce over everything. Top with chopped cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese and sour cream (in any combination), season with salt to taste, and serve immediately.
The substitutions for chicken burrito bowls are endless! Here are some suggestions:
- Chicken - feel free to use grilled fish, steak or turkey; they're all great options
- Vegetarian - you can easily substitute baked tofu or tempeh, grilled veggies or extra black beans; they're all delicious!
- Vegan - choose your favorite non-meat item above, and substitute vegan cheese and/or sour cream for toppings
- Dairy free - swap out the cheese and sour cream with dairy-free versions
- Grain free - while the bowls are already gluten free, you can substitute cauliflower rice to make grain free burrito bowls
- Spicy - add a bit more chili powder to the chicken and sauce if you like things extra spicy
- Kid friendly - as written, this recipe is mild-flavored for all ages, and you can easily leave out any items your little ones aren't quite used to (shredded lettuce, etc.)
Here are the cooking tools you'll need for this recipe:
- medium pot or Instant Pot to cook the rice
- chef's knife
- cutting board
- large skillet
Once assembled, burrito bowls don't store well and should be enjoyed immediately.
However, they are great for meal prep! Simply prepare the rice and all of the toppings in advance, let the rice and chicken cool, and then store everything in separate containers in the fridge for easy meal assembly. Toppings should stay fresh for at least 2-3 days in the fridge. Note: you may want to slice the avocado just before assembly rather than in advance so that it doesn't turn brown.
🎉 Top tip
This chicken burrito bowl recipe is not just loaded with healthy protein--it packs a nutritional punch with nearly 50% of the daily fiber recommendation, too. 👍
Citrus Chicken Burrito Bowls
- 1 cup uncooked white rice or brown rice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 pound chicken breasts or thighs
- 1 ear corn
- ½ head Romaine lettuce
- ¼ bunch cilantro
- 1 medium tomato
- 1 large avocado
- 1 lime
- 1 15-ounce can black beans drained
- 2 teaspoons chili powder divided
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt plus more to taste
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- ¼ cup shredded cheese or more to garnish
- ¼ cup sour cream or more to garnish
- Cook the rice: Cook the rice according to package instructions and set aside.
- Prep the toppings: Meanwhile, husk the corn and use a chef's knife to shred the lettuce, chop the cilantro, tomato and avocado, and slice the corn to remove the kernels. Juice the lime and rinse the black beans. Set everything aside, separated on a large plate or in food prep bowls.
- Cook the chicken: Warm half the oil in a large skillet on the stove over medium heat. While the oil warms, chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces, place in a medium mixing bowl and sprinkle the chicken with half of the chili powder and a little salt to taste, mixing with your hands to coat the chicken with the spices. Add the chicken to the skillet and sauté for 6-8 minutes until cooked through, using a wooden fork or heat-safe spatula to turn the pieces often. Drain off any liquid after cooking and set the chicken aside.
- Make the sauce: In a measuring cup, use a fork to combine the rest of the oil and chili powder, the garlic powder, honey, orange juice and squeezed lime juice.
- Assemble: Divide the rice, lettuce, tomatoes, corn, avocado and chicken among serving bowls and drizzle the sauce over everything.
- Garnish: Top with chopped cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese and sour cream, or any combination of your favorites, and season with salt to taste. Enjoy!
🌡️ Food safety
- Cook chicken to a minimum temperature of 165°F (74°C)
- Don't wash raw chicken to avoid spreading germs
- Use separate kitchen tools and utensils for prepping raw meat
- Wash hands in warm soapy water after handling raw meat
- Never leave food unattended on a hot stove
- Refrigerate leftover chicken within 2 hours
See more guidelines at foodsafety.gov.