Burrito Bowls

Tested & Perfected Recipes

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Spice up dinnertime with delicious burrito bowls! Packed with grilled chicken, a spicy green sauce, and toppings to your heart’s content, these bowls are always a crowd-pleaser.

burrito bowl with green sauce and glass of water on side

Who doesn’t love a burrito bowl? It’s a satisying way to bring together all your favorite flavors in one beautiful, colorful dish. These burrito bowls have two essential components: an easy grilled chicken recipe that’s perfect for grilling season, and a spicy green sauce that you’ll want to put on everything. The toppings are entirely up to you—fresh corn, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, or whatever suits your taste.

These bowls are a fantastic option for both family dinner or a party, as you can make most of the recipe ahead, and everyone will love assembling their own bowls. Serve them over plain basmati rice, cilantro lime rice (another one of my go-to recipes!), simple quinoa, or any grain. Not only are these bowls versatile and delicious, but they’re also healthy and gluten-free, making them a crowd-pleaser all around.

“This is such a delicious recipe! My tween has declared it her favorite meal and my little guy loves that he can build his own bowl to his liking…Fantastic for next day lunch as well!”

Erika

What You’ll Need To Make Burrito Bowls

ingredients for burrito bowls
  • Extra-virgin olive oil: Forms the base of the marinade and helps distribute spices and flavors evenly.
  • Lime zest: Infuses the chicken with a vibrant, citrusy flavor. (Note: Use only the zest, as lime juice or any acidic ingredient can turn lean boneless skinless chicken breasts into shoe leather before they ever hit the grill. Save the limes for the green sauce.)
  • Garlic: Adds aromatic depth to the marinade.
  • Ancho chili powder, ground coriander, oregano: Provide a warm, smoky, and earthy flavor profile.
  • Honey: Adds a touch of sweetness, balancing the spices and helping the chicken brown on the grill.
  • Chicken tenderloins or boneless skinless chicken breasts: Serve as the protein base for the dish.
  • Green Sauce: Made with jalapeño chili pepper, cilantro leaves, garlic, mayonnaise, sour cream, fresh lime juice, and extra-virgin olive oil. Adds a spicy kick, herbal notes, tanginess, and creaminess that ties the dish together.
  • Toppings: Fresh corn, tomatoes, avocado, cucumbers, beans, pickled red onions, and cilantro all add color, texture, and additional flavor to the bowls. Use as many or as few as you like!
  • Cilantro lime rice, basmati rice, or quinoa: Serve as a satisfying and gluten-free base for the dish. You can make your own or buy pre-made options from the store. Frozen or microwave options make life easy.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

Step-by-Step Instructions

Begin by making the marinade for the chicken. To make life easy, I combine everything in a ziplock bag (no dirty bowls!).

marinade ingredients combined in zip-lock bag

Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for at least six hours or overnight.

chicken marinating in zip-lock bag

Next make the sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor.

spicy green sauce ingredients in blender

Blend until smooth. You’ll notice that I add some of the seeds of the jalapeño to make it spicy—go easy at first and add more to your liking.

blended green sauce in blender

Up to this point, the entire recipe can be made ahead. Come dinnertime, preheat the grill. Place the chicken on the grill and cook, covered, for 2 to 3 minutes per side, turning only once.

grilled chicken on white plate

Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and serve with the quinoa, green sauce, and toppings of your choosing.

burrito bowl with green sauce and glass of water on side

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Chicken & Quinoa Burrito Bowls with Spicy Green Sauce

Spice up dinnertime with delicious burrito bowls! Packed with grilled chicken, a spicy green sauce, and toppings to your heart’s content, these bowls are always a crowd-pleaser.

Servings: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 60 Minutes, plus at least 6 hours to marinate the chicken

Ingredients

For the Chicken

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest, from two limes (save the limes for the green sauce)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1¼ teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 pounds chicken tenderloins (or boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded to an even ½-inch thickness)

For the Green Sauce

  • 1 jalapeño chili pepper, seeded and roughly chopped (reserve the seeds; see note)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup mayonnaise, best quality such as Hellmann's or Duke's
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, from 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For Serving

Instructions

For the Chicken

  1. Combine all of the ingredients except for the chicken breasts in a 1-gallon freezer bag. Close the bag and squish the marinade around to mix. Add the chicken and massage the marinade into the meat until evenly coated. Seal the bag and place it in a bowl in the refrigerator (the bowl protects against leakage); marinate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  2. Clean the grill and preheat to high. Lightly dip a wad of paper towels in vegetable oil and, using tongs, carefully rub over the grates several times until glossy and coated. (Alternatively, you can spray the grates generously with a non-flammable cooking spray.) Place the chicken on the grill and cook, covered, for 2 to 3 minutes per side, turning only once. Transfer to a cutting board and slice into bite-sized pieces.

For the Green Sauce

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend into a smooth sauce. Taste and then blend in some of the reserved jalapeño seeds to add heat, if desired. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Transfer the sauce to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To Assemble

  1. Scoop warm rice or quinoa into bowls and top with grilled chicken, optional toppings, and green sauce.
  2. Note: When it comes to the grain base, you can make your own or buy pre-made from the store (frozen or microwave options make life easy!) The rice recipes are linked above. To make your own quinoa, you'll need 1½ cups pre-washed quinoa (or rinse it before cooking) and ¾ teaspoon salt. To cook, add the quinoa, salt, and 2⅔ cups water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked. You'll know it is done when the little "tails" sprout from the grains. (Add 1 to 2 tablespoons more water if the quinoa is not cooked by the time all the liquid is absorbed.)
  3. Note: After touching the seeds of the jalapeño pepper, be sure to wash your hands well and avoid touching your eyes.
  4. Note: Nutritional information was calculated assuming that approximately 3 Tbsp. of the oil is absorbed by the chicken while marinating.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 bowl (data does not include green sauce or vegetable toppings)
  • Calories: 627
  • Fat: 33 g
  • Saturated fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 53 g
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 29 g
  • Sodium: 701 mg
  • Cholesterol: 62 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Comments

  • Hi, Jenn! Whenever I serve something incredible, my family and friends all ask, “Is this from Jenn Segal, also?!” Thank you for all you share with us home cooks.
    I’m making your yummy Chicken and quinoa Burrito Bowls with Spicy Green Sauce for 10-12 people this weekend. When I double the amount of chicken, will I also double all of the other ingredients for both the marinade and the green sauce? For instance, would I use 10 Tblsp oil vs. 5 Tblsp, 2 1/2 tsp salt vs. 1 1/4 tsp, 8 cloves garlic vs. 4 cloves, etc. or would I use less than double of certain ingredients? Thank you for sharing any rule of thumb you may have for doubling recipes.

    • — Eljer on June 12, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Eljer, I’m really flattered by your comments and so glad you enjoy the recipes! Yes, if you are doubling this, I’d double all the ingredients. And while there are some occasional exceptions, generally, when doubling a recipe, you’d double all the ingredients.

      • — Jenn on June 13, 2024
      • Reply
  • This recipe is a great addition to my recipe box! The chicken marinade is really good. Rather than substituting a chili powder that I had on hand, I splurged and bought Ancho Chili Powder and am glad I did. I have made this twice now. I like that it is not difficult or time-consuming. It is also very versatile as there are so many toppings that you could add.

    • — Susan Davis on May 30, 2024
    • Reply
  • This was such a hit in my family! So delicious! Will be a regular in our home. The cilantro lime rice was perfect with it as well! Thank you for yet another great recipe!

    • — Matts Mom on May 11, 2024
    • Reply
    • Loved it, so simple yet so delicious and that sauce was something else! Bright green and exploding with flavours. This dish has shot right up to my top 10 preferred repeats!

      • — Johanna on May 20, 2024
      • Reply
  • This was fabulous! We plan to make it for company. I give it a 10 out of 10. Wonderful flavor in both the marinade AND the delicious green sauce.

    • — Cheryl on May 6, 2024
    • Reply
  • Unfortunately I’m the only person in my household who enjoys the taste of cilantro. Because it does impart significant flavor, is it worth making the green sauce without it? Anything you would add to the sauce if the cilantro is not used? Thanks Jenn!

    • — Kelly on May 2, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Kelly, I think it’s still worth making the sauce. You could use flat-leaf parsley instead of cilantro. It will taste a bit different will still be good. 😊

      • — Jenn on May 3, 2024
      • Reply
      • This was delicious! Loved the marinade. Loved the green sauce. Not hot at all. Would add more seeds next time. Added the Restaurant style salsa. Great for a crowd if you make it in advance. Great recipe.

        • — Julie on May 12, 2024
        • Reply
  • Hi. My family does not like spicy. Would it work to make the green sauce and exclude the jalapeño? Thanks in advance!

    • — Laurie W on May 2, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Laurie, The jalapeños themselves are not particularly spicy; it’s the ribs and seeds inside that provide the heat, so if you’d like to include the pepper, you could just take care to remove both. That said, it’s perfectly fine to omit it.

      • — Jenn on May 2, 2024
      • Reply

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