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Fresh Black Bean Burrito Bowl

best burrito bowl recipe

Let me introduce you to one of the best meals I’ve had all season! These fresh black bean burrito bowls are made from scratch with simple, wholesome ingredients. While the components initially take some time to prepare, they make great leftovers to enjoy all week long. These bowls pack well for lunch, too.

In fact, these burrito bowls represent how I eat at home. I like to make a few components that play nicely together, and mix and match them all week. That way, I don’t get bored, and I don’t have to start from zero with every meal.

ingredients (rice, lime, cilantro, red onion)

“Tell me more, Kate,” you say. Ok, so maybe you first enjoy these burrito bowls exactly as shown here. You could change up your next bowl by adding some avocado and a fried egg.

Or, you could make a simple quesadilla, top it with pickled onion and cilantro pesto, and serve it with a side of black beans and rice. Another option? Turn these components into black bean tacos (or a burrito). Maybe you have some extra rice, so you warm it up and toss it into your green salad for lunch.

cilantro pesto and black beans

Black Bean Burrito Bowl Components

As you make your grocery list, you’ll notice that the ingredients for each component are simple, and many overlap (you’ll never several bunches of cilantro and two red onions, for example).

Black Beans

Cook your black beans from scratch for perfectly tender, well-seasoned beans. They’re the most delicious black beans I’ve ever had!

Yield: If you make a half batch, you’ll end up with 3 cups cooked beans. You might as well make the full batch, though, because the beans have many uses (see the post for a full rundown of suggestions). You could also freeze the leftovers for later.

Cilantro Lime Brown Rice

My cilantro-lime rice tastes just like Chipotle’s, and it’s so easy to make. The recipe is designed for brown rice—if you’d like to use white rice instead, cook it according to package directions before stirring in the suggested seasonings.

Yield: 4 1/2 cups

Quick-Pickled Onions

These tangy and crisp pickled onions are ready in 30 minutes. If you’re generally overwhelmed by raw onions, don’t worry, these are tamed. However, if you’re interested in an alternative, try my chunky avocado salsa or leave them off altogether.

Yield: 2 cups (you’ll have extra—try adding pickled onions to your tacos and burritos, sandwiches and burgers, salads and more)

Cilantro Hemp Pesto

This refreshing herbed sauce barely qualifies as pesto, since it’s made with cilantro (not basil) and hemp hearts (not pine nuts). Nonetheless, it’s super tasty and offers a fresh burst of flavor to this burrito bowl. Even my cilantro-detesting husband loves this sauce (check the recipe notes for less cilantro-focused options, if you’re interested).

Yield: 2/3 cup (enough for this recipe, but you it’s so good you might as well double it for leftovers)


Top your bowls with toasted pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) for some savory crunch. Creamy sliced avocado would be nice. Crumbled Cotija or feta cheese offers some tangy, creamy contrast.

Looking for more options? You could always add a handful of sliced cherry tomatoes, or a few dashes of hot sauce. For additional protein, add a fried egg, or for a boost of extra nutrients, add these quick collard greens.

best black beans recipe

homemade vegetarian burrito bowl

black bean burrito bowl recipe

Fresh Black Bean Burrito Bowl

  • Author: Cookie and Kate
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 ½ hours
  • Total Time: 5 minute
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Cooked
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegetarian

This homemade black bean burrito bowl recipe features cilantro-lime rice, tender black beans, pickled onions and fresh cilantro pesto! This healthy bowl makes great leftovers, too. It’s vegetarian (easily vegan) and gluten free. Recipe yields 4 hearty burrito bowls.



  • ½ batch Black Beans* (or make the full batch for leftovers)
  • 1 batch Cilantro Lime Brown Rice
  • 1 batch Quick-Pickled Onions
  • 1 batch Cilantro Hemp Pesto (double if you love sauce)
  • Optional additions: Fried eggs or scrambled eggs, toasted pepitas (green pumpkin seeds), crumbled Cotija or feta cheese, sliced avocado, handful of halved cherry tomatoes, hot sauce or quick collard greens


  1. Prepare each component according to directions (the beans will take the longest, approximately 1 to 2+ hours on the stove, but all of the components will keep well if made in advance).
  2. When you’re ready to serve, divide the rice into bowls. Top with a generous portion of black beans, followed by some pickled onions and a dollop or two of pesto. Finish it off with any additions of your choosing.
  3. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. For maximum freshness, store each component separately. When you’re ready to serve, gently reheat your desired portions of rice and beans before topping with onions, pesto, and additions.


Make it dairy free/vegan: Simply don’t top with cheese. If you’d like something extra creamy, try a dollop of my vegan sour cream.

*Make it quick: If you don’t want to cook your beans from scratch (they are worth the effort!) you could try the black bean component from this recipe, which is made with canned beans.

Change it up: Try replacing the pesto with your favorite Mexican/Latin American sauce, such as  this avocado sauce or guacamole, or red salsa or green salsa with some sliced avocado. (If you don’t like cilantro, I’d suggest any of those options over the pesto, and you can also omit the cilantro from the rice.)

▸ Nutrition Information

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.


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