Vegetarian cilantro-lime ranch burrito bowls made with fresh and good for you ingredients! These burrito bowls can be ready in less than 30 minutes and a meal the whole family will love; leave out the lettuce for little kids!
I know this looks like a salad, but it’s not really. In fact, it’s based off the Cantina Bowls from Taco Bell…have you tried those? I’m not the biggest Taco Bell fan, but the hubs really likes the place so we’ve been there a few times. My husband discovered the gem we will call Cantina Bowls and I instantly fell in love with them! Who knew? Go Taco Bell!
Basically they are burrito bowls with rice, chicken, beans, a dollup of guac, a pico de gallo, dollup of sour cream, some lettuce mixed in, and a delicious creamy dressing. These are essentially a vegetarian version of the dish and more of a filling meal than a salad. You can even leave out the lettuce and these will still work out great.
Little Grey hasn’t quite figured out how to eat lettuce, but he still devoured one of these burrito bowls. That kid is obsessed with rice!!
If you want to add chicken to this meal (Cantina bowl style) to make it even more filling or protein packed, I included a recipe at the end for my favorite chicken marinade. The recipe for the marinaded chicken will be perfect with the rest of the ingredients. Once the chicken is marinaded, just grill it or cook it over the stove-top, cut it up into bite-sized pieces, and add it into the bowl. Easy enough right? You could also add ground beef or ground turkey if desired.
The rest of the ingredients are super easy and come together pretty quickly. I did white rice just because it is quicker, but brown rice is healthier and would taste great in these as well. It just takes a bit longer to cook. The rice is cooked in a vegetarian broth to give it more flavor. If you aren’t vegetarian though, I love cooking the rice in chicken broth. Then some cilantro and lime juice + a tiny bit of sugar get mixed into the rice. SO just yum.
Then a quick homemade pico de gallo (chop up some tomatoes, onion, and cilantro), an even faster guacamole (mashed up avocado + salt, pepper, and some hot sauce), and a quick blending of only THREE ingredients for the dressing.
And bam. Dinner’s on the table and dinner is gooood.
Oh, and a quick warning…the ingredient list may seem long and overwhelming, but a lot of the ingredients repeat themselves in the different preparations. Like lime juice – it’s everywhere!
- Lettuce for serving
- 1 cup white or brown rice
- 2 cups vegetarian or chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 3 tablespoons packed cilantro stems removed; finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 can corn drained and rinsed
- Sour cream for serving (I used fat free)
- 1 ripe avocado
- 3-4 drops tabasco sauce to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 ripe plum tomatoes seeded and finely chopped
- 1/2 small white onion finely chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro stems removed; finely chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
- Salt to taste
- 2/3 cup ranch dressing
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2/3 cup packed cilantro stems removed
When measuring cilantro, make sure to measure it after stems have been removed and you have packed it into the measuring cup. Of course, feel free to adjust the amounts of cilantro to personal preference (I LOVE it!)
Prepare the rice by combining the rice, vegetarian or chicken broth, and minced garlic in a pot over high heat. As soon as the mixture begins to boil, reduce the heat, and cover until the rice is cooked through.
Once the rice is cooked and no liquid remains, stir in the lime juice, cilantro, and white sugar.
Add in the drained and rinsed black beans and corn.
Meanwhile, mash a ripe avocado with tabasco sauce and salt and pepper. I mash the avocado with a fork until smooth and no chunks remain.
Finely chop the tomatoes, white onion, and cilantro. Mix together and add lime juice and salt and pepper.
Prepare the dressing by blending all of the ingredients.
Lay down a bed of lettuce, top with the cilantro rice and bean mixture, add some pico de gallo, top with a dollup of guacamole and sour cream, and then drizzle with the dressing and enjoy!
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 3/4 cup Sprite you can use diet or regular
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Combine the Sprite, olive oil, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic powder, honey, and salt. Stir together. Submerge two large boneless skinless chicken breasts (fat removed) into the marinade and let sit covered in the fridge for at least 1 hour and preferably overnight or 8-10 hours.
Remove from the marinade and grill until completely cooked through. Alternatively cook on the stovetop over medium heat until the chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.
Allow to cool, and cut into bite-sized pieces then add to the burrito bowls.