Skip the line and make dinner at home with this Homemade Chipotle Bowl recipe! Marinated chicken combines with fresh tomato salsa and black beans over a bed of fluffy Jasmine rice. Add all your favorite toppings for a nutritious dinner that’s even better than the restaurant version!
What Is a Homemade Chipotle Bowl?
A homemade Chipotle bowl is exactly what you think! Inspired by the popular fast food chain, it’s a homemade variation of the classic burrito bowl loved by so many. Made with juicy marinated chicken, refreshing salsa, and soft, fluffy rice, this recipe features bold Tex-Mex flavors that taste just like the real deal! The best part? They’re made from the comfort of your own home.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
We don’t know about you, but our Chipotle obsession is real. As far as fast food goes, it’s pretty much as good as it gets in terms of nutrition and flavor! If we’re being honest, we could eat it every day, but that would not be great for our wallets. So, we decided to make our own homemade Chipotle bowl and the results were even better than the original! These bowls are:
- Great for
- Customizable to fit your flavor preferences and dietary needs.
- High-protein and full of fiber to keep you full.
- Excellent for feeding a hungry crowd.
Ingredients You’ll Need
For these homemade Chipotle bowls, we used common ingredients to recreate the flavors you know and love. Here’s everything you’ll need:
- Chicken – We highly recommend using chicken thighs as they have more flavor and fat, meaning they stay tender and juicy while they cook.
- Adobe Peppers – Find these in the ethnic aisle of your local grocery store, and make sure to use the sauce!
- Salt and Pepper – Use as little or as much as you’d like.
- Tomatoes – Use medium-sized, fresh tomatoes to form the base of the salsa.
- Red Onion – Chop it finely for a bit of crunch.
- Jalapeño Peppers – Be sure to remove the stems, ribs, and seeds to prevent it from being too spicy!
- Lime Juice – Used to preserve the salsa.
- Cilantro – Included for a refreshing, herbaceous flavor.
Cilantro Lime Rice
- Rice – Long-grain white rice like Jasmine or Basmati works best.
- Olive Oil – This helps keep the rice moist and adds lots of flavor.
- Garlic Powder – Just a dash helps enhance the flavor.
- Lime Juice and Zest – This is crucial to creating the unique flavor Chipotle is known for.
- Bay Leaf – Helps enhance the rest of the ingredients.
Extras & Add-Ins
Of course, one of the most fun things about going to Chipotle is building your own bowl, and these homemade Chipotle bowls are no different! Feel free to mix and match your favorite add-ins and toppings like:
- Black Beans
- Sautéed Veggies
- Shredded Cheese
- Sour Cream
- Hot Sauce
- Corn Salsa
How to Make a Homemade Chipotle Bowl
Once you learn how easy it is to make Chipotle bowls at home, you’ll never go back to the restaurant version again! Here’s how it’s done:
- Prepare the Chicken. Add the chipotle peppers, salt, and pepper to the bowl of a food processor, and pulse to combine. Place the chicken in a bowl, and pour the sauce on top. Cover, and marinate up to overnight. When you’re ready to cook, slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Heat it in a skillet over medium heat, flipping halfway through until it is cooked through and has reached an internal temperature of 165º Fahrenheit.
- Cook the Rice. Combine the rice, water, bay leaves olive oil, lime zest, and salt in a rice cooker, and set to cook. Once cooked, remove the bay leaf. Then, fluff it with a fork, and stir in the lime juice and cilantro.
- Make the Salsa. While the rice and chicken are cooking, slice the produce for the salsa, and toss everything together in a bowl.
- Assemble Your Bowl. When you’re ready to eat, arrange your rice in a bowl followed by the chicken and salsa. Then, add your favorite toppings, and enjoy!
These homemade chipotle bowls are complete meals on their own, but feel free to get creative with how you serve them! For instance, some of our favorite options include:
- In a tortilla shell as a burrito.
- Over a bed of lettuce as a salad.
- On top of tortilla chips for homemade nachos.
- With cheese in a quesadilla.
Common Questions About Homemade Chipotle Bowls
Bay leaves are the tough, green leaves from a bay laurel shrub. They are used to enhance the flavor of foods like rice, soups, stews, and more. However, they aren’t edible. So, be sure to remove them before serving your rice!
Yes! To prepare these bowls in advance, assemble the ingredients as instructed. Then, store each component in a separate airtight container in the fridge for a day or two. When you’re ready to eat, warm your rice and chicken in the microwave, assemble your bowls, and enjoy!
When stored separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator, these homemade Chipotle chicken bowls will stay fresh for up to 3 days.
Yes! These homemade Chipotle bowls are naturally gluten-free.
Yes! Chipotle bowls are made with high-quality protein, healthy fats, fiber, and nutrients making them super nutritious and filling.
More Chipotle-Inspired Recipes
Love Tex-Mex flavors as much as we do? Try out more of these easy Chipotle-inspired recipes!
- Meal Prep Chipotle Chicken Recipe
- Chipotle Chicken with Elote Corn Salad
- Southwest Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing
- Oven-Baked Chipotle Chicken Skewers
Homemade Chipotle Bowls Recipe
- 1 6 ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 chicken thighs
Cilantro Lime Rice
- 1 ½ cups long-grain white rice
- 3 cups water
- Zest of 1 lime
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 ½ Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
- 3 Tablespoons lime juice (juice from about 1 lime)
- 1 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
- Black pepper to taste
- 2-3 medium fresh tomatoes (stems removed)
- 1/2 medium red onion (chopped)
- 1 jalapeño pepper (stems, ribs, and seeds removed (less or more to taste))
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
- Kosher salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Optional: black beans, queso fresco, Monterey Jack cheese for garnish
For the Chicken
- In a food processor, add the chipotle peppers, salt, and pepper. Pulse until smooth.
- Place the chicken in a large bowl or sealable bag, and pour the marinade on top, coating it evenly. Refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
- Heat a non-stick grill pan over medium heat. Spray with coconut oil spray. Place the chicken on the pan, and cook for 3-4 minutes on one side.
- Flip over, and cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165° F.
For the Rice
- Rice Cooker Option:
- Add the rice, water, oil, lime zest, garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon salt to a rice cooker. Set to cook.
- Fluff the rice with a fork, and transfer it to a large bowl.
- Add the chopped cilantro and lime juice, stirring to combine. Season with extra salt and pepper, if desired.
- In a medium-sized saucepan, add the rice, water, bay leaf, lime zest, garlic powder, and olive oil. Bring the ingredients to a boil.
- Cover the saucepan, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes or as instructed by the package.
- Uncover the pan, fluff the rice with a fork, and remove the bay leaf. Then, stir in the lime juice and cilantro. Season with extra salt and pepper, if desired.
- For the Salsa
- Using a sharp knife, chop the tomatoes, red onion, and jalapeños.
- Add all the ingredients to a large bowl, and toss to combine.
For the Bowls
- Portion the rice into bowls.
- Layer the chicken on top followed by the tomato salsa and any extra garnishes of choice. Enjoy warm!
- Store ingredients in separate airtight containers in the fridge for 1-2 days.