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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Vegetarian Burrito Bowl with Black Beans (Chipotle Inspired!)

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This healthy and easy Vegetarian Burrito Bowl with black beans is packed with goodness and awesome flavors! Inspired by Chipotle’s veggie bowl, it’s loaded with jalapeno peppers, black beans, onions, peppers, warm spices, hearty brown rice, sweet corn, and a secret ingredient that makes it extra filling and satisfying! It’s naturally gluten-free, easily made vegan, healthier than takeout, and is sure to become your new favorite meal!

vegetarian burrito bowl with black beans, tortilla chips, corn, cheese and lime

This made-over Chipotle veggie bowl recipe is one of my favorite easy weeknight meals. It’s basically a deconstructed burrito with a twist: my secret ingredient – cottage cheese – adds creaminess, tangy-ness, and a protein punch; a few crumbled corn chips add great texture and crunch; and tomatoes, corn and cilantro replace the traditional lettuce often found in vegetarian burrito bowls.

It’s filling, spicy and satisfying, and takes less than 30 minutes to make!

Latest Recipe Video!

I know you may think it’s a little crazy that I add cottage cheese to my burrito bowl recipe. Trust me, I thought it was crazy at first, too, but then I tasted the fantastic flavors together and knew that it was a match made in heaven. Cottage cheese is the perfect way to add protein to your meal and enhance the creaminess and flavor with the other ingredients. 

This healthy burrito bowl has fewer calories than a burrito bowl you’d get at a restaurant, but doesn’t sacrifice any of the flavor. One huge serving has only 290 calories, 5 grams of fat, 12 grams of fiber and 16 grams of plant protein!

This recipe makes 4 very healthy servings. If you wanted smaller bowls you could also end up with 5-6 servings too. I ended up eating this the next day for leftovers! It tasted even better once all the flavors had marinated together for a while. It’s just spicy healthy goodness in a bowl. It doesn’t get better than that.

This is sure to be a favorite the whole family will love!

How To Make A Chipotle Inspired, Healthy Vegetarian Burrito Bowl

Recipe Ingredients & Notes

vegetarian burrito bowl ingredients
  • Black Beans: I used canned beans — this is the one recipe where I recommend you use canned beans and don’t rinse/drain them beforehand.
  • Jalapeño Pepper: Essential for adding flavor and spice! If you’re sensitive to spice, you can omit this ingredient.
  • Veggies: You can’t make a veggie burrito bowl without veggies! I used onions, peppers and corn, but you can use any vegetables you have on hand.
  • Spices: I used cumin, chili powder, garlic and salt. Great for adding flavor without too much heat.
  • Rice: You can use any type of grain you like, I used brown rice.
  • Cottage Cheese: Yes, cottage cheese!! This is the secret ingredient to making these burrito bowls taste super decadent and also adds a ton of protein. I used low fat cottage cheese.
  • Toppings: It’s a burrito bowl so you can really use any toppings you like! I chose diced tomato, chopped cilantro, salsa and tortilla chips.

Tools and Equipment You’ll Need

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Saute garlic, jalapeno, onion, and bell pepper in 1 tsp olive oil until soft.

peppers and spices sauteeing in a pan

Step 2: Add cumin, chili powder and let the spices toast for a minute. Then add the can of black beans + liquid (don’t rinse and drain the black beans before) into the pan.

black beans and peppers in a pan

Step 3: Bring the mixture to a boil, let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

cooked down black beans and peppers in a pan

Step 4: Once the bean mixture is done, start assembling your bowl! Put 1/4 cup cooked brown rice in a bowl, top with 1/4 of the black bean mixture, then add your toppings: 2 Tbsp cottage cheese, 2 Tbsp corn, diced tomato, cilantro, salsa, and 3-4 corn chips crumbled on top. Serve warm!

vegetarian burrito bowl with black beans, tortilla chips, corn, cheese and lime

What Makes This Vegetarian Burrito Bowl Healthy?

  • High In Protein: It’s essential to get enough protein in your diet because it’s good for your appetite, bones, muscles and even boosts your metabolism. Each serving provides you with 16 grams of heart healthy plant protein. 
  • Low Calorie: The key to healthy meal planning is to make super filling recipes that aren’t calorie dense. This vegetarian burrito bowl is exactly that – with under 300 calories in every (giant) serving, you’ll be full and satisfied once dinner is over!
  • Fiber: Fiber helps control your blood sugar levels, keeps you full, and even helps with digestion — and you’ll get 12 grams of fiber in every serving.

Recipe FAQs

How Do You Meal Prep These Healthy Burrito Bowls?

Meal prepping these bowls is super easy! I recommend cooking the black bean mixture and the rice the night before, and storing them in two separate containers. Then prep any toppings that require chopping (e.g. cilantro) and store them in individual containers. When you’re ready to serve, just combine everything and enjoy!

How To Store and Keep?

The key to storing burrito bowls is to keep the toppings and the base separate. Make sure the black beans & rice have cooled, then transfer to an airtight container. Put the toppings in individual airtight containers as well. Store everything in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat the black beans & rice in the microwave and add your favorite toppings before serving. 

Are These Burrito Bowls Kid-Friendly?

Yes! Most kids love rice and beans, and these vegetarian burrito bowls are a twist on that classic dish! The Mexican flavors are impossible to resist, and most kids will love this recipe as-is. For younger kids, you can leave off the jalapeno. For picky eaters, you can cut up the veggies super small to “hide” them in the rice & beans, and leave off any toppings they don’t like!

vegetarian burrito bowl with black beans, tortilla chips, corn, cheese and lime

Recipe Variations

  • Change Up The Toppings: Add some chopped or sliced avocado (or guacamole) to your black bean burrito bowl. It’s creamy and will taste excellent with the cottage cheese and other ingredients. 
  • Add in Some Greens: Try adding some chopped baby spinach, romaine lettuce, or sauteed kale to add even more color, texture and nutrients.
  • Switch Up The Cheese: Instead of cottage cheese, try a shredded cheese like cheddar, pepper jack, monterery jack or a Mexican cheese blend. You could also try cojita cheese or queso fresco!
  • Make a Vegan Burrito Bowl: Making these healthy burrito bowls vegan is super easy! Just omit the cottage cheese and replace it with avocado or your favorite vegan sour cream!
  • Change Up The Rice: While black bean burrito bowls and brown rice is a classic combination, any grain will work great! Try a whole grain like quinoa, barley, wheat berries, or even cauliflower rice for a lower carb option.
  • Try Roasting Your Veggies: This veggie burrito bowl has sauteed veggies, but roasted veggies would be equally delicious!
  • Make it for Breakfast or Brunch: Add some scrambled eggs and you’ve got a healthy breakfast burrito bowl!

Other Tips For Making The Perfect Vegetarian Burrito Bowl

  • Make sure the black bean & corn mixture has cooled slightly before adding the toppings, so that the cottage cheese doesn’t get too warm before serving.
  • Feel free to change up the toppings and ingredients with whatever you have on hand!
  • Don’t rinse & drain your black beans – be sure to use the canning liquid from the black beans – it gives the mixture a depth of flavor and richness you can’t get otherwise!
vegetarian burrito bowl with black beans, tortilla chips, corn, cheese and lime

Check Out These Other Mexican Inspired Recipes!

If you have tried this Healthy Vegetarian Burrito Bowl or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

vegetarian burrito bowl with black beans, tortilla chips, corn, cheese and lime
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Vegetarian Burrito Bowl

This healthy and easy Vegetarian Burrito Bowl with black beans is packed with goodness and awesome flavors! Inspired by Chipotle's veggie bowl, it’s loaded with jalapeno peppers, black beans, onions, peppers, warm spices, hearty brown rice, sweet corn, and a secret ingredient that makes it extra filling and satisfying!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 291kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 15 oz low sodium whole black beans 1 can
  • ½ jalapeño pepper chopped
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper diced
  • tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp Salt more to taste
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice use ¼ cup cooked per bowl
  • ½ cup fresh corn use about 2 Tbsp per bowl
  • ½ cup low fat cottage cheese use 2 Tbsp per bowl
  • Chopped cilantro to taste
  • Diced tomato
  • Salsa
  • 12-16 Corn chips use 3-4 chips per bowl

Instructions

  • Saute garlic, jalapeno, onion, and bell pepper in 1 tsp olive oil until soft.
  • Add cumin, chili powder and let the spices toast for a minute. Then add the can of black beans + liquid (don’t rinse and drain the black beans before) into the pan.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Once the bean mixture is done, start assembling your bowl! Put ¼ cup cooked brown rice in a bowl, top with ¼ of the black bean mixture. Then add your toppings: 2 Tbsp cottage cheese, 2 Tbsp corn, diced tomato, cilantro, salsa, and 3-4 corn chips crumbled on top.

Notes

Tips For Making The Perfect Vegetarian Burrito Bowl
  • Make sure the black bean & corn mixture has cooled slightly before adding the toppings, so that the cottage cheese doesn’t get too warm before serving.
  • Feel free to change up the toppings and ingredients with whatever you have on hand!
  • Don’t rinse & drain your black beans – be sure to use the canning liquid from the black beans – it gives the mixture a depth of flavor and richness you can’t get otherwise!
  • Store the black bean and rice mixture in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Store the toppings separately, also in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. 

Nutrition

Calories: 291kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 691mg | Potassium: 728mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 5g

Posted In…

Mexican Recipes ·

Mexican flavors are perfect for easy one-pot, kid-friendly dishes like my cheesy quinoa and black bean casserole. With smart swaps, you can create a healthy version of a Mexican favorite: “guacamole” with about half the calories and 3x the protein!

Like Chipotle? You’ll love my ultimate sofritas and burrito bowls! These recipes are so easy to remix to add your own style (or use up some leftovers).

31 responses to “Vegetarian Burrito Bowl with Black Beans (Chipotle Inspired!)”

    • Hi! This recipe has 163.7mg Sodium per serving. I’ve updated the nutritional info in the recipe too. Hope that helps!

  1. Thanks for this great recipe, I cooked it last night and reviewed it today on my blog, check it out!

  2. I see you used cottage cheese in this recipe, is it just because it makes for a healthier dish (I love sour cream and use low fat) so I am wondering should I try the cottage cheese or stick to what I know I like???(would just like your to hear your take on the matter) Thanks

    • Hi! Yup I used cottage cheese because it increases the protein content of this dish dramatically without increasing the fat/calories much at all. Low fat sour cream is definitely tasty, but it won’t give you the extra boost of protein that cottage cheese will give you. If you like the taste and aren’t looking for a protein packed meal, you can certainly use the low fat sour cream. But otherwise I’d highly recommend trying the cottage cheese – it’s healthier than the sour cream and tastes delicious!!

  3. Hello Anjali! My company sells rice and beans and I am always looking for creative and well documented recipes to inspire us. I enjoy your use of large hi res photos and “save recipe” button. I noticed you used organic canned beans. Have you every implemented this recipe or one similar using your own dry beans that you have pre soaked yourself? I tend to find it is easier to key in on my desired flavor when I have control over how my beans are seasoned. Keep up the great post!

    • Hi Nelson! Thanks for reaching out! I’m so glad you’re enjoying my photos and recipes. To your question – I have (once or twice) used dry beans that I’ve pre-soaked, and you’re right that they taste absolutely delicious! I usually don’t have much time in the kitchen though, so I opt for the organic canned beans as a way to cut down on the prep time for recipes. Rinsing them thoroughly helps a great deal in reducing the amount of sodium/etc. and then allows me to flavor them myself. But in an ideal world, I’d be using dry beans more often!

  4. Made this for dinner tonight, its so easy, healthy and delicious to top it all! Thank you so much, I’m in love with your blog and will be a very frequent visitor!

    • Yayy!! I’m so happy you liked this recipe. And yes – it is SO easy and fast to make – I love having this during the week, especially. Thanks so much for your kind words – can’t wait to hear how my other recipes turn out for you!

    • Hi Shruti! I actually mean Chili Powder (not chili pepper) — and yes – that’s a Mexican/Latin spice! The bottle will say “Chili Powder” on it so just look for that on the label and you will be good to go! It will be reddish in color, but it won’t be super spicy the way Indian red chili pepper would be. Hope that helps!

  5. Thanks for sharing this wonderful take on a burrito recipe! It looks absolutely suitable for the whole family 🙂

  6. Thanks for sharing this beautiful burrito recipe! Looks really healthy and appetizing! Is it alright to use feta instead of cottage cheese?

    • No problem at all! And yes – I think a mild feta would taste good – but then I would probably leave out the salsa. Hope that helps, let me know how the feta works in this recipe!

  7. Wow! I just tried this recipe and it was fantastic….very fresh tasting. I will definitely add this one to my “favorites”.

    • Absolutely Maria!! I think this tastes even better the next day – so it would be perfect for lunch 🙂 I’m sure you and your husband will love this recipe!

  8. We made burrito bowls similar to this a few weeks ago (we love Chipotle–so it’s nice to do a little copy-cat meal). This looks delicious. I love the use of cottage cheese–I need to try that out!

    • Hehe you know, I had Chipotle in mind when I was creating this – it definitely reminded me of my go-to-burrito-bowl order there! The cottage cheese is one of my favorite parts of this recipe – you’ll have to let me know how you like it!

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