Southwestern Burrito Bowls

In Southeast Texas, burritos are not only a major food group, they are a way of life. Stand on any street corner and I can guarantee there will be a taco stand within burrito-throwing distance.  So, naturally, how can I possibly be Texan and not have a burrito recipe on here yet? Today, that changes.

I just joined the blogging collective, 37 Cooks. If you haven’t heard of them, they’re a group of cooks that create recipes for a specific challenge (most recently hosted by The Spice House) or purpose. As a new member, I was asked to complete the “Meet the Cooks Challenge” and develop a recipe that describes me. “How can I possibly narrow myself down to a single recipe?” I wondered aloud. Oh, right. I love Mexican food. Duh. So I created a new burrito bowl recipe loosely inspired by one of the very first recipes I ever mastered, Southwestern Egg Rolls with Avocado Ranch.

Now call me crazy, but I prefer burrito bowls over actual burritos. You get all of the delicious innards (paints a lovely picture, doesn’t it) without killing your appetite with a tortilla. Don’t get me wrong, I love tortillas. I may even throw up my recipe on here soon. But choosing a bowl over a burrito offers more versatility, larger portions and is much easier to reheat.

Everything you love about a burrito in a bowl. Change the toppings as you wish to create your own experience!

Not to mention, it’s much easier to appear like a classy lady eating a beautifully dressed dish such as this. Not so easy shoving a giant burrito down my fat gob, as I’ve been known to do.

But I digress.

Earlier I mentioned versatility. The recipe below is what I enjoy in my burrito, but by no means is it a comprehensive and concrete list. Add or subtract toppings as you please and build the whole thing à la carte. The only thing I really have to stress though, is that cooking proper Mexican rice requires NO OPENING THE LID. Short of burning down the house, I ask that you refrain from lifting the lid. Otherwise, the rice will come out gummy. I’m sure the last thing you want to dig into is a straight up brick of rice. Using a rice cooker is a super easy way to complete the rice portion of this recipe. Just make sure your rice cooker has a saute function for the first step or fry the rice in a skillet before transferring everything else to the cooker.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you feel so inclined, hop on over to my entry at 37 Cooks to see some fabulous recipes and learn a little more about yours truly.

Everything you love about a burrito in a bowl. Change the toppings as you wish to create your own experience!

Looking for something to go with your burrito bowl? Check out my recipes for Tex Mex Queso and Ultimate Green Sauce.

Until next time. X

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Items used in this recipe:

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Everything you love about a burrito in a bowl. Change the toppings as you wish to create your own experience!

Southwestern Burrito Bowls

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For the Rice:

  • 2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
  • 4 oz tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

For the Toppings:

  • 1 yellow onion, sliced into rings
  • 2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • black beans, cooked, rinsed and drained
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • corn, steamed and drained
  • carrots, diced, steamed and drained
  • spinach, chopped, steamed and squeezed dry with a paper towel
  • red cabbage, chopped roughly
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced thinly into rounds
  • 1 avocado
  • sour cream or plain greek yogurt (optional)


  1. Place the oil and uncooked rice in a medium skillet over medium heat and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until the rice turns white.
  2. Add the tomato sauce, cumin, garlic salt, oregano and broth to the skillet and stir until combined.
  3. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered with a heavy lid, for about 15 minutes. Do not remove the lid.
  4. After the 15 minutes, remove from heat and let sit for another 5 minutes.
  5. Uncover and fluff with a fork. The rice should be dry and not gummy (unless the lid was lifted) and can be made ahead of time if needed.
  6. While the rice is cooking, heat the canola or vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium high heat.
  7. Toss in the onions, making sure to coat each piece in oil.
  8. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring or tossing often with a pair of tongs. The onions should be soft and translucent, slightly browned and smelling sweet. You can continue cooking for a deeper caramelization or stop now, as they should finish around the time the rice does.
  9. For easy preparation, use the steam-able frozen bags of vegetables for the corn, carrots, spinach and black beans. Using canned or cooking from fresh is also an option but takes more time.
  10. In a bowl, layer about 1/2 cup of rice, the sautéed onions, black beans, tomatoes, corn, carrots, spinach, red cabbage and jalapeño to your tastes.
  11. Remove the pit from the avocado and make a cross hatch pattern in the flesh, then scoop onto the top of the bowls, leaving the skin behind.
  12. Drizzle with sour cream or plain greek yogurt and enjoy!
Everything you love about a burrito in a bowl. Change the toppings as you wish to create your own experience!

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