Ah, Chipotle. Their delicious burrito bowl is both a blessing on the tastebuds and a curse on the wallet. $9 for a bowl of rice and beans—who knew highway robbery could taste so good? But there's a better way. You can make your own homemade Mexican rice bowl with as much flavor as Chipotle. The best part? It's ALSO easy on your bank account.

For about the same price as one bowl of Chipotle, you get three bowls of this Mexican rice bowl. And honestly, it tastes even better that Chipotle. The key is the rice, because duh! Of course the most important part of a Mexican rice bowl is the rice.

For this recipe, I pack in lots of extra flavor by using boxed Spanish rice, although you can use any rice you have (but use Spanish if you can). This Mexican rice bowl recipe is gluten-free, vegetarian, and can be made vegan if you leave out the cheese. As a bonus, it stores well in the fridge, so it's also great for meal prepping.

Mexican Rice Bowl

  • Prep Time:10 mins
  • Cook Time:30 mins
  • Total Time:40 mins
  • Servings:4
  • Medium


  • 1 box Spanish rice
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 handful cheese
  • 1 jar salsa
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1 avocado or guacamole optional
Quang Pham
  • Step 1

    Prepare the Spanish rice according to the directions on the box, bringing the rice mix, diced tomatoes, and water to a boil, then reducing the heat to low. Let the rice steam while you prepare the rest of the ingredients, about 25 minutes.

    cereal, meat, pepper, vegetable, rice
    Quang Pham
  • Step 2

    Heat a skillet on medium heat, and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil (or any neutral oil you have on hand) once the pan is hot. Chop your onion, and add it to the skillet once the oil is fully heated. Sauté the onion for 3-5 minutes, until fully cooked. Transfer the onion to a bowl, and return the skillet to the heat.

    Quang Pham
  • Step 3

    Drain the black beans by placing them in a colander and running water until they have been washed clean. Add another tablespoon of oil to your skillet. Make sure all the water has been drained from the black beans, and add them to your skillet. Stir the black beans around for 3-5 minutes, then pour them into another bowl and turn off the heat.

    rice, vegetable
    Quang Pham
  • Step 4

    When your rice is done, remove from heat and let cool. Arrange the rice, onion, black beans, cheese, salsa, spinach, and avocado in a line. Make your Mexican rice bowl according to taste, mixing spoonfuls of everything together in your own personal rice bowl.

    salad, beans, rice, black beans
    Quang Pham

Personally, I like to fill my bowl with a big dollop of Spanish rice, equal-sized scoops of salsa, spinach, onion, and black beans, and a huge amount of cheese and guacamole. But the best part about this Mexican rice bowl is that you get to make it any way you want. That's twice as must customization as Chipotle, with half the price. ¡Buen provecho!