This shredded chicken burrito bowl comes together in just 30 minutes. It’s very easy to adapt so it’s a great meal to share with the whole family – everyone can make theirs exactly how they like it! It’s also a beautifully balanced meal with lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs, not to mention all the vitamins in the fresh produce!
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Health benefits of a chicken burrito bowl
The great thing about the combination of ingredients in this quick burrito bowl is that they all complement each other, not only in terms of flavor but also nutrition. For example, the carbohydrates in the brown rice won’t raise your blood sugar as quickly because the healthy fats from the avocado will slow the absorption. Also, the acid from the lime juice helps the digestion of the fat in guacamole.
The individual components are healthy too. Because the chicken is boiled, it is a great low-calorie source of lean protein. The tomatoes and limes are good sources of vitamin C and brown rice is high in fiber and magnesium.
Notes on ingredients
This recipe calls for brown rice but any rice that is on the lower end of the glycemic index will work well. Basmati and wild rice are good choices but short-grain white rice has a high GI and comparatively less fiber, nutrients, and vitamins than brown, wild, or basmati rice and so, should be avoided.
Boiled chicken is not the most flavorful way to cook this meat. However, because it is cooked separately, it can be used in lots of other meals too. You could add it to a salad for a protein boost, or have it with red lentil pasta and spinach pesto for a completely different meal. Seasoning the chicken the night before allows the salt time to flavor the entire piece of meat.
As soon as this is made, it will start to turn brown. If you can’t serve it immediately, smooth the top and pour the lime juice on it but don’t mix it in until you are ready to eat. The lime juice will act as a barrier between the air and avocado and will help prevent it from turning brown.
Pico de gallo
The most important thing when making pico de gallo is to use the best tomatoes you can get. Make sure they are firm but not rock hard. For all the tips and tricks to make it, check out How to Make Homemade Pico de Gallo.
Time needed: 30 minutes.
How to Make Quick Shredded Chicken Burrito Bowl
- Cook the rice
Rice generally takes the longest to cook so start that as soon as possible. Follow the package directions for the brand of rice you’re using. When it’s cooked, add lime juice and chopped cilantro.
- Cook and shred the chicken
Put the chicken breasts directly into boiling water. Allow to cook for 10 – 15 minutes depending on the size of the breasts. Check they’re done by slicing them in half. If they are still pink in the middle, return to the boiling water for another 5 minutes. Remove from the water and allow to cool slightly before shredding the chicken with two forks. Note: This is not the most flavorful way to cook chicken but the pico de gallo and guacamole more than make up for it.
- Make the guacamole
While the chicken and rice are cooking, make the guacamole. Mash two avocados with salt, a chopped clove of garlic and the juice of one lime. You can also add serrano peppers if you like your guacamole a little spicy. Taste and add more salt or lime juice if necessary.
- Prepare the pico de gallo
Chop the tomatoes, onion, and cilantro then add to a bowl with lime juice and salt. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Assemble the bowls
Add the rice and chicken to your bowl then top with guacamole and pico de gallo. Garnish with a wedge of lime and some fresh cilantro. You can also add jalapeño peppers if you like. Serve and enjoy!
The wonderful thing about burrito bowls is that they are so easily adapted for any diet. No dairy? Don’t add cheese or sour cream. Low carb? Swap out rice for cauliflower rice. Vegetarian? Add beans for protein and leave out the meat. There are so many possibilities! Here are some of my favorites:
- Swap the brown rice for cauliflower rice to make this low-carb.
- Add black beans fried with onion, garlic, and cumin.
- Add serrano peppers to the pico de gallo and guacamole.
- Jalapeño peppers can be omitted if you don’t like spicy food.
The rice and chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for two days. The guacamole can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for three to four days. Smooth the surface with a spoon to make sure there are no air pockets, then pour a small amount of lime juice on top to keep it from browning. Pico de gallo will also keep in the fridge, however, the texture of the tomatoes changes and becomes mushier.
If you make this recipe, please let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear how it went and any changes that you made!
Quick Shredded Chicken Burrito Bowl
- 1 cup brown rice
- 2½ cups water
- 2 large chicken breasts
- 2 pints water for boiling
- 2 avocados
- 1 lime
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 jar pico de gallo (see notes)
- 4 tbsp jalapeño peppers sliced
- wedge of lime and fresh cilantro to garnish
- Bring the water for the brown rice to a boil. Add the rice, cover and reduce to a simmer. Boil for 30 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
- In a separate pot, boil the water for the chicken breasts. Add the chicken breasts and ensure there is enough water to cover them. Boil for 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the breasts. Check they're done by slicing in half. If they're pink in the middle, return to the water for another 5 minutes.
- When the chicken breasts are cooked, remove them from the water. Using two forks, shred the chicken.
- While the rice and chicken are cooking prepare the guacamole. Mash the avocados with the juice from one lime, garlic and salt.
- When everything is ready, add the rice to the bowls, followed by chicken, guacamole, pico de gallo, and jalapeños peppers.
- Serve with a wedge of lime and fresh cilantro.