Fresh Black Bean Burrito Bowl

I’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite meals this season. These homemade fresh black bean burrito bowls are created with basic, healthy ingredients. Although the preparation of the ingredients initially takes some time, the leftovers are fantastic and may be eaten all week. These bowls also travel well for lunch.

These burrito bowls actually reflect my typical home cooking. I enjoy creating a small number of complementary elements that I may combine throughout the week. I won’t grow bored and I won’t have to start again at every meal that way.

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.


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.



Also read: Favorite Veggie Burgers


  • 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.