A few years ago, while away at college, my son discovered Chipotle, a Mexican fast-food chain. When he told us about it, I was skeptical and indifferent. Fast-food has never really appealed to me and I just didn’t feel inspired to even give it a chance. Then one day…I did. OK, so I’m not going to bore you with the oooh’s and ahhh’s, but let me just say, I fell in love.
Every time I go there, I get the burrito bowl. If you love the flavors of Mexican food, you’ll probably agree that it’s a bowl of heaven. Like a burrito unraveled, my favorite bowl includes layers of cilantro-lime rice, corn salsa, black beans, carnitas, salsa, grated cheese, sour cream and guacamole. Truly. What more could you want?
I know what I want…I want to be able to eat this every night of the week! OK, so that’s bit of an exaggeration, but I’ve been wanting to make this at home for a while now. I don’t claim this to be a “copycat” recipe by any means. This is just my interpretation. I have to say, this interpretation made me feel like I was cheating on that very first bowl I fell for.
There are several recipes going on here, but you’ll find that each of them are super easy and you’ll be making enough to either have leftovers for a few nights or to have your own Burrito Bowl Party!
Beer Braised Carnitas Burrito Bowl
Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice (See recipe below)
Jalapeño Corn Salsa (See recipe below)
Fresh Tomato Salsa (See recipe below or use your favorite jarred salsa)
Beer Braised Carnitas (See recipe below)
Black Beans (See recipe below)
Shredded blend of Cheddar and Monterey Jack Cheese
Guacamole (you can make your own, but I bought some prepared)
Light sour cream
Assemble each bowl with the ingredients in the order listed…or any order you like…this is just how I do it! :)
Serves approximately 10 – 12
Beer Braised Carnitas
2 – 2 1/2 pounds boneless pork tenderloin, cut in half
1/2 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 sprigs fresh thyme, tied together
1 – 2 bay leaves
12 ounce bottle Mexican beer
1/4 cup orange juice
2 – 3 tablespoons chipotle in adobo (see Notes)
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Special equipment: Slow cooker (see Notes)
Place all of the ingredients into your slow cooker. Cover and set it to cook for 6 hours. After the first four hours or so, I flipped the the tenderloin pieces over and recovered quickly, but you do not have to do that.
After six hours, remove the tenderloin pieces onto a cutting board. They will be so tender, they’ll be falling apart. Remove and discard the thyme bundle and the bay leaves. Slice the tenderloin into 2 inch slices then shred the slices. Return the meat back into the slow cooker with its sauce.
Keep it on the warm setting until ready to use.
Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice
2 cups jasmine brown rice or any long grain brown rice
3 cups water
1 bay leaf
zest of one lime
juice of one lime
1 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
In a medium saucepan, combine the rice, water and bay leaf. Cover with a lid. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes (or longer if you are using a different variety of brown rice, check package directions). Remove from the heat and allow to sit covered for about 10 minutes.
Add the lime zest and juice and the cilantro. Remove the bay leaf and fluff with a fork. Keep covered until ready to serve.
Fresh Tomato Salsa
2 large tomatoes, finely diced
2 tablespoons red onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, finely diced
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt
pinch of sugar
juice of one large lime
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
1 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
2 15 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder (or use smoked paprika if you do not have chipotle)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
In a small saucepan, sauté the onions in the olive oil until softened. Add the garlic and stir for a second then add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, discard the bay leaf and keep covered until ready to use.
Jalapeño Corn Salsa
16 oz. package frozen corn, thawed for a few minutes in a mesh sieve
1 jalapeño, finely diced
1/4 cups red onion, finely diced
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
juice of one lime
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Allow to sit in the fridge until ready to use.
- I buy the chipotle in adobo in a 7oz. can. Then using a blender, processor or hand blender, I puree the whole can. Just use what you need, then store the rest in a labeled sandwich size zipper bag in the freezer. Try to spread it out thinly in the bag so it’s easy to just break some off next time you need it.
- I call for 2 to 3 tablespoons of the chipotle in adobo for the carnitas. If you don’t want it too spicy, just use 2 tablespoons. Hey, if you want it super spicy, go ahead and use more than 3, but you may want to take an antacid first! ;)
- I’ve only tested this recipe in my slow cooker. If you wanted to make this in a pot, I would use a Dutch oven, sauté the onions and garlic for a few minutes until softened, add the remaining ingredients and simmer on low for at least three hours.
Hi-I was googling around for a black bean recipe, and this showed up. I keep a strictly kosher kitchen, and I’ve never eaten at Chipotle (it’s not kosher). This looked complicated when I read it, but I made it for supper tonight–and it wasn’t as difficult as it looked. I swapped in beef for the pork (I need to do a little more tweaking to get it to shred properly.) It was delicious and was quickly gobbled up. I’m looking forward to making it again soon. Thanks for the recipe.
Aidel, I’m so happy you found this and had success with it! I agree, one look at the recipe and it seems overwhelming with so many different elements, but you’re right, it’s actually quite easy. I love that you substituted with beef. I’m not sure what cut you used, but a boneless chuck roast is a nice choice for cooking this way. It should shred easily as long as it’s cooked long enough in the slow cooker. Thanks for taking the time to comment…you brightened up my day!
I’ve probably eaten 1200 burrito bowls since they’ve open a Chipotle where I live 11 years ago where I live (and many others since). For about a year I ate there 6 days a week. Always get: white rice, black beans , pinto beans, carnitas. ( Half the time I get double meat with barbacoa), a LOT of tomatoes, a LOT of corn (I always demand/insist on a LOT of both of those) , two scoops green chili-tomatillo, one scoop the hot stuff, sour cream, cheese (now and then side of Guac). Sometimes servers are generous and the bowl probably weighs 4 lbs! I avoid the ones where I think they’ll skimp. In short when it comes to burrito bowls I’m professional, been doing it since they opened here. Nowadays I eat at Chipotle about once or twice a week. My wife says: “Don’t you EVER get tired of it?” Well, for short periods, anyway from time to time. HaHaHa !!
Wow, John! And I thought I was a huge Chipotle fan! I love your story! Hope you get to try this and have your own Chipotle experience at home!
This looks so yummy. I am making it today. I didn’t notice a setting for the crock pot. Mine has high, low, and warm but I couldn’t tell from the time listed if I should put it on high or low. Do you have any insight on temp level?
I’m so happy you are making this Chanda! Sorry for the late reply…you may already have figured it out, but my slow cooker automatically uses high heat for the 6 hour option. I’ve had great results with that, although, I’m sure if you had it on low, you’ll still get tender results. I’d love to hear how you made out!
I ended up putting it on low for 6 hours and it worked great. I also used pork shoulder since that is what I had on hand and it also worked well. Thanks!
Wonderful! Glad to hear it worked out! Thanks for letting me know!
Sounds so yum! Do you think chicken breasts would do instead of the pork? Thanks so much for the recipe – I love Chipotle!!!!
Absolutely, Rachel! Chicken would be delicious! Just use the same proportion of chicken as the pork (about 2 to 2 1/2 lbs) and follow the recipe as is. I love Chipotle too…maybe a little too much! ;) Let me know how it turns out! Hope you love it!
We made this whole meal this weekend and everyone loved it! We had friends over and this was the perfect meal. Everything was so delicious! The pork was so flavorful and tender. Thank you so much for these great recipes. I really love your blog.
Ava, I’m so happy you and your friends all liked the carnitas so much! I’m impressed that you made the whole meal! It seems like a lot of work, but each step is pretty easy, isn’t it? I’m so glad you like the blog and I really do appreciate you being so kind to come back and let me know! Thanks so much! :)
Beer, carnitas, burrito… what time is dinner?!? Wait for me!! ;-D
Hahaha…I’ll keep your plate warm Kate! :)
Gretchen @ Two Healthy Kitchens
When I was in college, they built a Chipotle just off campus. It was a newer chain at the time (I won’t say how many years ago!), and nobody could figure out how to say the name! Chi-pot-lee? Chi-polt-ee? Chi-polt-el?
Oh and then it opened, and I walked in and purchased a burrito. It was the size of my head. I feel like I ate that thing for days. It fed me and several of my sorority sisters! It was great after that first visit, we learned we would just split one!!
Now that I’m a grown-up, we love Chipotle for those ‘we-are-so-busy-we-don’t-have-time-to-make-it-home-anywhere-near-dinnertime’ evenings. And I always get the burrito bowl, too! But I won’t apologize for making it myself and throwing a burrito bowl party!! :)
YUM! Thanks for the awesome recipes!!
I love that story Gretchen! I’m still laughing over the pronunciations! I can’t order the regular burrito…you are so right. They ARE the size of one’s head! I’d make a mess of that! Confession time…I just had a ‘we-are-so-busy-we-don’t-have-time-to-make-it-home-anywhere-near-dinnertime’ evening tonight! And yup…that’s where we ended up!
Annie @ ciaochowbambina
Oh my gosh! My husband and I were out and about this weekend and picked up Chipotle – Burrito Bowls to be exact! I love them – I love everything about them, except the cilantro (I know I’m in the minority!) I am going to make this dish! Thank you!!
How funny Annie! See? I’m not the only one! They are SO good! I think people either love or hate cilantro…its got a really strong flavor…parsley works great in place of it. Thanks so much…I hope you love this as much as Chipotle’s! :)
This looks amazing! can’t wait to make i! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much Margie! So glad you like it! Let me know how you like it!