These Homemade Vegetarian Burrito Bowls Are Like Next-Level Chipotle!
I’ve had a love affair with Chipotle ever since I was a college student at Marquette. Back then I had to take the bus through downtown Milwaukee or borrow my best friend Emily’s car in order to grab some ‘potes – it was a serious commitment! But the pinnacle of my Chipotle love was the summer after senior year.
My college boyfriend thought it would be funny to drop business cards from his spring semester internship at Chipotle cash registers. You know – the ones where you can ‘Enter to win a Chipotle catered lunch for the whole office!‘? We thought it was a joke but then HE WON. The thing was, it was pretty much just me & Kev on campus at that point & there was certainly no “office party” to be had. So Kev dressed up all business casual to pick up his winnings & brought 18 burritos(!!!) back to campus with him. (For the record, 18 burritos is enough to feed 2 broke college kids for about a week. 🤪) (It was the best/worst week ever. 😂)
These days I don’t get to Chipotle nearly as much as I did back in college (& it’s definitely not anywhere close to 18 burritos a week!). The truth is, it’s so much easier to make a top-notch Chipotle-style burrito bowl at home. Making burrito bowls at home also helps reign in my takeout budget (unless you happen to get them for free – not that I condone that! 😉). That’s how this grilled vegetarian burrito bowl recipe was born!
Vegetable Burrito Bowl Recipe Highlights
You’ll love making a veggie burrito bowl at home! This recipe is…
- VEGGIE LOADED. It wouldn’t be a vegetarian burrito bowl without plenty of veggies! Load up each bowl with layers of grilled sweet potatoes, bell peppers, onions, & corn, plus some black beans for a feel-good punch of plant-based protein.
- EASY TO PREP. Homemade vegetable burrito bowls have never been easier! With only a few components & all cooking done on the grill, this recipe is quick & easy with minimal clean-up. Plus, a bit of simple meal prep can make dinner even easier!
- INFINITELY VERSATILE. This veggie burrito bowl recipe is a great foundation, but feel free to choose your add-ins, customize each bowl to your liking, or turn it into a salad or burrito. Super fun & never boring!
Move over, Chipotle! ♡ Read on to learn more about how to make these Grilled Veggie Burrito Bowls with Green Rice, or jump straight to the recipe & get cooking!
Key Vegetarian Burrito Bowl Components
Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.
Like any bowl-style meal, these veggie burrito bowls consist of a few different components. They’re all really simple to prepare & easily tweaked to suit your cravings or time constraints. You’ll need…
- Grilled veggies – The hero of a vegetarian burrito bowl! Hearty veggies like sweet corn, bell peppers, red onion, & sweet potatoes get perfectly charred-yet-tender on the grill & they’re super easy to cook.
- Green rice – This green rice is the game-changer in this vegetable burrito bowl recipe – it’s like Chipotle cilantro lime rice 2.0! Simply fold brown rice into a creamy avocado sauce made with cilantro, lime juice & jalapeño for a kick. Absolutely delicious!
- Black beans – An easy way to add a little plant-based protein. Canned black beans work great!
- Add-ons – A few simple burrito bowl toppings like pico de gallo or salsa, shredded lettuce, & freshly chopped cilantro add the perfect finishing touch.
Start By Grilling Your Fave Veggies for Your Vegetarian Burrito Bowl
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Veggies are one of my favorite things to cook on the grill, especially during the summer when so much produce is at the peak of its season. In this vegetarian burrito bowl recipe, I lean towards fajitas-style bell peppers & onions, plus some hearty sweet corn & sweet potatoes to help bulk up the bowls. Feel free to grill up whatever veggies you love most!
How to grill vegetables? ⇢ Learn everything about how to grill summer veggies in PWWB’s A-Z Guide to Grilled Vegetables. A few tips to get you started…
Slice the veggies into large, uniform pieces to ensure they grill evenly & don’t fall through the grates. Tip! ⇢ Think bigger than you’d want to eat – it’s okay since the grilled veggies are chopped before serving!
Season with avocado oil, salt & pepper. Simple seasoning is all you need since the smoky grill adds plenty of charred flavor. Using a high smoke point oil, like avocado oil, is key since grilled vegetables cook at a pretty high heat.
Grill over direct, medium-high heat. For beautiful char & perfectly tender-crisp textures, a temperature of about 450-500 degrees F is ideal for cooking veggies on the grill.
Timing it all out. When grilling a big batch of vegetables, always start with heartier veggies that take longer to cook (e.g. sweet corn) & finish with more quick-cooking veggies (e.g. sliced sweet potatoes, onions, & bell peppers) to ensure everything is ready to serve at the same time.
The Veggie Burrito Bowl Game-Changer: Green Rice with a Creamy Avocado Sauce
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Creamy green rice takes this vegetarian burrito bowl recipe to new heights. It’s kind of like Chipotle’s cilantro lime rice, but it’s super creamy & flavorful thanks to a beautiful avocado sauce. Think of it as a delicious mash-up of guacamole & cilantro lime rice – so good! Plus, it’s really quick & easy to prep while the veggies are on the grill. It takes just a couple of minutes!
Creamy Green Rice. ⇢ Combine avocado, jalapeño, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, & a little water in a food processor, give it a whirl, & then fold it into a bowl of cooked brown rice. The rice turns beautifully vibrant green & it takes on a whole new layer of bright, zippy, & slightly spicy flavor. It’s the perfect base for a veggie burrito bowl. 😍
Meal Prep & Store-Bought Shortcuts!
To ensure the green rice comes together really quickly at dinnertime, either cook the brown rice ahead of time or feel free to use a packet of quick-cooking ‘heat and eat’ rice instead. Easy! Refer to the Recipe Notes, below, for more meal prep guidance.
Quick & Easy Vegetable Burrito Bowl Assembly
Once all the components are ready, all that’s left to do is assemble the veggie burrito bowls. There’s really no wrong approach here – that said, this is how I like to build a vegetarian burrito bowl…
- Start with a base of green rice. I love a big pile of creamy green rice at the base of my vegetable burrito bowl – it captures any sauciness from the layers on top & makes each bite a little more satisfying.
- Add plenty of black beans. Don’t hold back here either – beans are the primary source of plant-based protein in this vegetarian burrito bowl!
- Pile on the grilled veggies. I love an even mix of everything – the grilled fajitas are charred & smoky, the sweet potatoes are super hearty, & the sweet corn adds a pop of seasonal sweetness.
- Add-ons for extra flavor & texture. Whatever you love most! I like the freshness of chopped lettuce & a salsa like pico de gallo. Check out the Recipe Notes, below, for a quick how-to on my go-to easy pico recipe.
- Non-negotiable finishing touches. Before you dig in, finish everything with a good squeeze of lime juice & a showering of finely chopped fresh cilantro.
Meal Prep Tips!
These grilled vegetarian burrito bowls are super simple to whip up any night of the week, but it never hurts to have a couple of shortcuts on a busy weeknight. A bit of easy meal prep goes a long way in helping cut down on active prep at dinnertime.
How to Meal Prep Vegetable Burrito Bowls…
- Cook the brown rice according to package directions & store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Due to the avocado, it’s best to whip up the creamy green sauce at dinnertime & fold it into the already-cooked rice.
- Prep the veggies. Slice all the veggies & store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. At dinnertime, they’re practically grill-ready – all you need to do is season them.
Have Fun With It! 🌯 Veggie Burrito Bowl Variations
One of my favorite things about this vegetable burrito bowl recipe is its flexibility. You can build your bowls around whatever you already have in the kitchen or love most – there are infinite substitutes & swaps! A few ideas to get you started…
- Add animal proteins – I love a feel-good vegetarian burrito bowl, but you can also add meat if you’d like. Simple grilled chicken is easy since the grill is already lit – try seasoning it with a quick chili lime marinade! Fun recipes like Chicken al Pastor, Sheet Pan Salsa Verde Chicken, & Beer Braised Carnitas are also great options.
- Alternate grains – I love brown rice, but you can use a different grain like quinoa, pearl couscous, or farro if you prefer. It all tastes delicious once it’s folded into the creamy avocado sauce!
- Add a few more sauces – Why stop at creamy green rice?! A spoonful of sour cream or guacamole is always welcomed on a veggie burrito bowl. For a dairy-free option, blend up a batch of vegan cashew crema.
- Grate some cheese like cotija, pepper jack or cheddar & sprinkle it on top of your bowl.
- Make it a burrito – Vegetarian burrito bowls are great but it’s hard to beat wrapping everything in a warm flour tortilla. It’s also a fun way to re-purpose leftovers!
- Or, make it a salad – You can’t go wrong here! Add the grilled veggies, black beans, pico de gallo, & fresh cilantro to a bed of greens for an extra veggie-forward salad. Plus a big scoop of green rice on the side just because. 😉
I can’t wait for you to try this Grilled Veggie Burrito Bowls with Green Rice! They’re a longtime PWWB favorite & I think you’re going to love them just as much as we do. (Especially that green rice! 😍)
If you do give them a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations! ♡ Happy cooking!
More Recipes Like This:
Move over Chipotle! This Grilled Veggie Burrito Bowl recipe is a longtime PWWB favorite. These veggie-loaded bowls explode with fresh flavor & hearty texture, making for a seriously light-yet-satisfying meal, plus, they’re so easy to make!
In my experience, building a satisfying vegan or vegetarian burrito bowl at home is all about creating layers of different flavors & textures. That’s exactly what you’ll find in these bowls:
- Grilled veggies, of course! Tossing hearty veggies on the grill makes them gloriously charred & smoky, plus they cook up really quickly. I like a combination of fajitas-style peppers & onions, hearty sweet potatoes, & sweet corn, but you can really use whatever veggies you love most or happen to already have on hand.
- Creamy green rice, which is basically like next-level cilantro lime rice. Blitz up avocado with cilantro, jalapeno, & plenty of lime juice, then fold it into your cooked rice of choice.
- Add-ons galore. Whether you like black beans, shredded lettuce, salsa, cheese, yogurt or crema, pile on whatever your heart desires to layer on new flavors & textures.
The beautiful thing about these veggie burrito bowls is that they’re infinitely customizable – be sure to check out the blog post, above, for plenty of easy variations, & look to the Recipe Notes, below, for meal prep tips to make dinnertime even easier.
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or high smoke point vegetable oil of choice
- 2 ears sweet corn, husked
- 3 large bell peppers (color of choice), sliced from stem into 3–4 flat planks
- 2 red onions, peeled & sliced into ⅛ths (with root end in tact)
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled as desired & sliced into ½-inch rounds (crosswise) or planks (lengthwise)
- 1 (one) 15-ounce can black beans, drained & rinsed
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- for serving, as desired: green rice (below), pico de gallo or salsa of choice, chopped lettuce, finely chopped cilantro, sour cream or cashew crema, guacamole or mashed avocado, lime wedges, etc.
for the green rice:
- 2 cups cooked brown rice or rice of choice
- 1 large avocado
- 2 jalapeños, deseeded as desires & roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves & tender stems
- 2 large, juicy limes, juiced (about ¼ cup juice)
- ¼ cup water
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- Prep: Preheat the grill for medium-high direct heat grilling, 450-500 degrees F. Gather & prep all ingredients according to Ingredients List, above.
- Prep the green rice: Add the avocado, jalapeños, garlic, cilantro, & lime juice to a food processor. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Pulse to combine. Once combined, let the food processor run, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary, & slowly stream in the water until the mixture is creamy & pureed. Depending on the size of the avocado you use, you may need a little more/less water. Transfer the avocado mixture to a large bowl, then fold in the rice until combined. Taste & season with additional salt or ground black pepper as desired. Set aside for serving.
- Grill the veggies: Place the corn, bell peppers, onions, & sweet potato on a baking sheet. Drizzle with avocado oil. Season with heaping 1 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Toss to coat well. Place the vegetables on the preheated grill. Grill 3-4 minutes per side, or until charred & tender as desired. Transfer the grilled veggies to the baking sheet. Once cool enough to handle, slice the corn from the cob & chop remaining veggies into bite-sized pieces.
- Burrito bowl assembly: Place a generous spoonful of the green rice on the bottom of a large, shallow bowl. Top with the grilled veggies, grilled corn, black beans, lettuce, & any other toppings you’d like. Enjoy!
- Easy add-on ⇢ Go-To Quick Pico: My go-to quick pico is the best, simple homemade salsa. If you have some fresh tomatoes on hand, whipping it up only takes a couple of minutes! Quarter 1 pint cherry tomatoes, finely dice 1/2 small red onion, & roughly chop 1/2 cup cilantro leaves & tender stems. Add to a medium bowl. Squeeze 1 lime over top & season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Stir to combine & enjoy.
- Storage & Reheating: Store leftover grilled veggies & rice in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat the veggies in the microwave or on the stovetop until warmed through, then assemble a veggie burrito bowl as desired.
- 10-15 Minute Meal Prep: Nearly all of the active prep work for these grilled veggie burrito bowls comes from prepping the veggies &/or cooking the rice. Prep either or both in advance to get a head start on your vegetarian bowls – it takes 15 minutes of active work, tops:
- Cook 1/2 cup brown rice according to package directions. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. (5 minutes active) Alternatively, you could also use quick-cook or minute rice to eliminate a longer cook time.
- Vegetable prep: Husk 2 ears sweet corn, slice 2 bell peppers into large, flat planks (pictured), slice 2 red onions into 1/8ths with root end in tact (pictured), & slice 1 large sweet potato into 1/2-inch rounds (crosswise) or planks (lengthwise). Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. (>10 minutes active)
Recipe and Food Styling by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Rachel Cook, Half Acre House.