Hot Without Heating up the House: Spicy Burrito Bowl

Since moving to Portland just over a year ago (happy recent Portlandversary to us!) we noticed that it had been a long time since we had eaten at Chipotle–weird, I know. Back in Chicago, with working late, no A/C, and little patience, we sought out the best option for a healthy, convenient meal. The winner was Chipotle’s Burrito Bowl; gluten-free, large, and filling (I would usually eat it over two meals), and full of fresh veggies and good proteins. Then I realized–why not just make our own?

That is what led us to creating a great meal for both hot nights and quick lunches, where the most difficult ingredient is rice (and that’s just depending on how you cook it). This meal yields a fantastic vegetarian and even vegan option too (minus meat and sour cream). Put this on your grocery list the next time you’re in need a meal without heating up the house!

Spicy Burrito Bowl

A super healthy, flexible meal to make the whole family happy. This recipe is gluten-free and has dairy-free, vegetarian, and even vegan options.


  • 1 lb steak, grilled (optional) (we like the adobo marinated steak from Trader Joe’s–grills up and stores nicely!)
  • 1 cup rice, cooked
  • 1-2 jalapeños, sliced (optional)
  • 8 oz fresh salsa (again, TJ’s has a great one to grab and go)
  • 1 avocado, sliced (optional)
  • 1 16 oz can black beans, rinsed (optional)
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 t chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 t cayenne
  • 1 t oregano (dried)
  • 8-12 cherry tomatoes, quartered (optional)
  •  1 c Lettuce, chopped (optional)
  • 1 small can/jar of black olives, chopped (optional)
  • 2 T sour cream (optional)
  • Hot sauce (optional)


Start the rice–cook according to package instructions. Meanwhile, grill the steak 4-6 minutes per side depending on thickness and how cooking preferences. Remember: the steak can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for a few days–when we plan this recipe we will grill it with something else earlier in the week, chop it up, and store it.

In an oiled pan on medium-high heat, combine red pepper, onion, chili powder, cayenne, oregano, and chipotle chili powder (because of the heat level I would suggest something like coconut or grape seed oil, however, in a pinch olive oil will do—simply keep the temp under its smoke point). Cook approximately 5-7 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat, and set to side.

Ensure all your toppings are chopped, and now you can begin the build! There isn’t really a wrong way to combine all of the ingredients, though I find it to be a nice presentation if the rice is the base to build on. You could also combine all ingredients into a large bowl, mix, and refrigerate until needed. Do what works best for you! This may even be a great dish to bring to your 4th of July picnic!

I like to top mine with a lot of olives and hot sauce:)

How do you like your burrito bowl?

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