Burrito Bowl

One of my favorite meals to order on the go is a burrito bowl– you know, where they pile on the rice, beans, guacamole and salsa and all other goodies into a single container and you can dig in without any fuss. But as much as I love eating stuff I don’t have to cook myself, I love eating the stuff I make at home more because — for one– I know exactly what’s going into it, and besides, I can make it healthier. And yes, even a vegan burrito bowl bought at a restaurant, however healthy, can be healthier.

The great thing about a burrito bowl is, there’s no one way to do it. You can add in all your favorites and leave out anything that doesn’t appeal to you. I usually order mine with rice, beans, guacamole and some lettuce and it’s just perfect.

For my homemade burrito bowl, I made yellow rice using brown rice instead of white– a great way to add healthy fiber without compromising taste. I then smothered it with some creamy refried black beans spiced with smoky chipotle chilis in adobo sauce. Because in Mexico they often stir cheese into the refried beans at the end, I substituted with a vegan powerhouse that makes a great cheese AND salt substitute– miso. You can leave it out but it adds great flavor.

On top of all this goodness I spooned some bright-green, chunky guacamole. And then I covered it all with strips of lettuce.

Bliss in a bowl.

You can, of course, tweak it to your taste. Some tomato salsa would be incredible here, or you might even add some mango salsa for a truly special touch.

Here go the recipes. Enjoy the weekend, all!
Burrito Bowl

(Makes 6 servings)

Yellow Rice


1 1/2 cups brown rice (I used long-grain Basmati)

3 1/2 cups water

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 jalapeno chilies, cut into rings (remove the seeds and white ribs if you want to tone down the heat)

1 onion, thinly sliced

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil

Salt to taste

Heat the oil. Add the cumin seeds and, when they sputter, add the onions.

Cook the onions over medium heat about 10 minutes until they caramelize. Don’t hurry through this step because you really want the flavors to develop.

Add the jalapeno rounds and stir in. Now add the turmeric and salt and mix.

Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil and spices and until it starts to turn opaque, which will take no more than 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the water, bring it to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer on a low flame for 45 minutes or until the water is completely absorbed and the rice is cooked.

Allow the rice to stand, covered, for at least 10-15 more minutes before serving.
Refried Black Beans


1 cup black beans, soaked overnight or at least 4-5 hours, then cooked with enough water until tender. Reserve about 2 cups of the cooking liquid. (If using canned, use 2 cups of black beans and the water they were canned in)

1 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil

1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, chopped fine, with 1 tsp of the sauce

1 red onion, minced

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp shiro miso (white miso), or, if you’d rather not use this, salt to taste

Coriander for garnish

Heat the oil. Add the onions and saute until golden-brown, about 10 minutes.

Add the garlic and chipotle chili. Stir together for a minute.

Add the beans and the water. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and allow it to simmer. Mash the beans with a potato masher or a ladle. I like to mash some but not all to get a great texture.

You want to turn off the heat when the beans are still a little soupy because they will thicken further as they stand. Just a minute or so before turning off the heat, add the miso and stir in. Add salt only if you need it.

Garnish with coriander.



2 perfectly ripe avocados, cut into a small dice

1/2 small red onion, minced

1 tsp garlic powder or 3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 jalapeno pepper, minced (remove seeds and ribs if you aren’t hot about the heat)

Salt to taste

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a spoon, mashing the avocado as you go. I like the avocado chunky but you can really mash it down if you like.

To put together the burrito bowl:

Chop some lettuce into fine strips.

In a bowl, place 3/4 cup of the yellow rice.

Make a dent in the center with a ladle, then spoon in about 1/2 cup of the refried beans

Top with 1/4 cup of the guacamole and as much lettuce as you like.

Desi loves to add a tablespoon of vegan sour cream to this (I use Tofutti), but I love it just the way it is.

Eat up!

For more great Mexican recipes from many creative cooks, visit It’s A Vegan World’s Mexican edition.

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

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  1. says

    Wow,this is actually my daughter’s fav too.Looks great and love the way you used brown rice.Too tempting
    BTW,I have posted one Chinese entry.May be trying out few others and will be mailing you later.

  2. says


    I like it that you are using Miso here, as I am trying to find new ways to add sea vegetables for more nutrients.

    Is there some reason you did not use tomatoes here?

  3. says

    Hahhaaha, my burrito bowls end up being about 90% guacamole with a few rice and beans to round out the meal. I love this kind of dish for the same reason that you do: they are never the same and you can change them up any which way you want. But they are ALWAYS delicious! I love your luscious photos, making my mouth water!

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