Chipotle’s Chicken Burrito Bowl

My family loves Chipotle. Their chicken burrito bowls are our default food choice when we’re out in town and in a pinch. There are both good and bad aspects of our relationship with Chipotle. The good is that we’re able to find quick meals that are within our dietary parameters and with relatively naturally-raised ingredients. The bad is that while Chiptole is pretty upfront about their standards towards raising animals, they have not released a list of their ingredients to the public. There’s actually a petition (right here) to ask Chipotle to reveal their ingredients. My personal concern is that they are cooking with oils that are high in Omega-6 fatty acids, like soybean oil.

My other issue is that we like Chipotle so much that sometimes it becomes our dinner even if we’re not out in town and in a pinch; it’s so tasty that we find ourselves wanting it even when we have a fridge full of food.

So I decided to do something about it and re-create our beloved chicken bowls so we can enjoy them in the comfort of our own home and know exactly what ingredients go into the meal. Also, I am sure that this recipe isn’t 100% authentic, especially in its use of chipotle powder (as opposed to whole dried chipotles and/or canned chipotles) but I made a couple shortcuts to make the process a little easier. I pieced this recipe together using my taste buds and some rumors I found floating around on message boards, so if you have intimate knowledge of some of Chipotle’s ingredients, leave me a comment below!

You’ll Need:
for the chicken
2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp ground chipotle powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp salt
1 tsp each black pepper and paprika
2 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp lime juice
for the rice
2 cups rice, cooked (add two whole bay to the water leaves when cooking)
2 tsp avocado oil, expeller-pressed coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, or high-oleic sunflower oil (i.e. a healthy, unflavored cooking oil)
4 tsp lime juice
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

To prep the chicken, blend all of the chicken ingredients (minus the chicken!), then mix them with the chicken and marinate overnight.

Grill the chicken on direct, medium heat, until cooked through. Should take about 10 minutes.

Let the chicken rest for five minutes, then chop it up into bite-sized chunks.

For the rice, add the cooked rice to a big bowl. Mix in the oil, stirring together. Add the lime and lemon juices, and the salt, mixing together. Finally, stir in the cilantro, and it’s ready to go. Taste it and add more salt or lime juice as needed.

That’s about it. For the sour cream, I just added 1 tsp cream to every 2 tbsp of sour cream, to get that creamy consistency like what you find at Chipotle. For the cheese, I used a mixture of white cheddar and jack cheeses (50/50 split). The lettuce is just chopped romaine.

Add other toppings as you see fit, then go to town. I didn’t add instructions for their salsas and guacamole, but has pretty comprehensive lists on their site (be sure to read the comments, many of which are from former employees).

In making this recipe, I came to realize why Chipotle’s signature icon is a burrito wrapped in foil – it’s damn hard to take a flattering picture of a burrito bowl! That’s okay, because the authentic taste more than makes up for its non-photogenic appearance.

Printer-friendly version

49 thoughts on “Chipotle’s Chicken Burrito Bowl

  1. i have some chicken thighs in the fridge right now…i can’t wait to try this!! I’ll def take pics and let you know how it comes out!!


  2. I made this tonight with turkey, instead of chicken, and it was fantastic! I cut the chipotle amount in half for the kids and it was a big hit with everyone. Thanks so much for the recipe!


  3. I was looking for something different to do with my whole pasture raised bird. I frequently go to The Perfect Health Diet site and your link was there. Thank goodness! I made your recipe tonight and it was so good! It was just what I was looking for! My husband enjoyed it as well and we thank you so much for sharing it!


  4. Great recipe, thanks! I’ve made it a couple times now…it’s officially on my biweekly menu. Thanks again for sharing your wonderful blog and recipes!


  5. Reblogged this on A Mélange of Contradictory Tendencies and commented:
    Made this last week, and it was REALLY good.
    My only changes:
    I didn’t have oregano, so I used parsley.
    Didn’t have charcoal, so I baked it.
    I didn’t make the rice. Instead, I chopped up some romaine and topped it with the chicken, grated cheese, and sliced avocado.
    I can’t wait to make this recipe on the grill when warmer weather hits!


  6. This is serious the yummiest!! Made it last night…kids and hubby loved it. I used riled cauliflower and it worked great!! Next up your Garbage-Free Chick-fil-A Nuggets!! Thank you for such great recipes :)


  7. Russ, this is INCREDIBLE! I mean FREAKING INCREDIBLE! The chicken was so moist and had such an awesome spicy kick. My husband said it was better than true Mexican street food (and he spent 6 months traveling around Mexico and central America). I made the rice with cauliflower which was fantastic and threw zucchini, yellow squash, and red pepper in a grill basket as well. Topped it off with chipotle garlic salsa from TJs and I also made dairy free queso: which was fabulous! One of the best meals we have ever eaten. I made your chicken nuggets last week with the pickle brine which were incredible as well. Don’t know which is my favorite. Thanks so much for your amazing recipes; they have all been hits!


  8. They use daisy brand sour cream and whip in with a mixer until it is smooth. It just works out the stabilizers used to make the sour cream thick.


    1. Tom, this recipe is not labeled as being Paleo. If you look at the first picture on my recipes I add a guide to let readers know what dietary guidelines my recipes follow. I expect my readers to know to substitute cauliflower rice or something equivalent if they have concerns with white rice.

      That being said, I follow the Perfect Health Diet interpretation of the Paleo diet, which considers white rice to be a safe starch and an adequate food source, especially when combined with proteins, fats, and acids like in this dish.


  9. This was Ah-Ma-Ziiing! I have picky kids so I left the chipotle powder at half strength, and that was perfect. Just a little lip tingle, but no burning tongue! :) They ate it up. We used Trader Joe’s black beans for the bowl, and Central Market’s fresh salsa (from their salsa/fresh bar) for the pico. A bag of On the Border chips from the store completed the kids meal for us. And because we use brown rice, I used the Success boil in a bag brown rice, and it made a perfect base for the bowl. Thank you so much!!!


  10. Wowza, this is a fantastic recipe. I didn’t have enough time to allow the chicken to marinade overnight, only 5 hours. The chicken was excellent regardless. I used 2% Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and guacamole, no cheese. Options just like Chipotle gives! My husband LOVES big flavor, not necessarily big spice always, and this delivers! I may make this for Super Bowl Sunday as we cheer on our home team! Go Broncos! Thanks for posting.


  11. Just made this GLORIOUS recipe. I only let it marinate for an hour or so, and the chicken was still flavorful and moist, so I can imagine what it would taste like overnight! The recipe for the cilantro lime rice was also killer. Topped it all with pico, guacamole, and Kerrygold cheese. so good!


    1. Janelle – what pico do you use to mirror the Chipotle? That was my only missing flavor, and the kids didn’t like the fresh pico from Central Market’s fresh bar.


  12. This looks amazing Russ! Stumbled upon this and going to try it next weekend!

    Quick question, how many servings will your recipe make?

    Thank you so much!


  13. I’ve adapted this to beef. Marinate bite-size pieces overnight and then sauté until done. The whole family loves it!


  14. This was delicious—we had friends over for a Mexican Fiesta, and everyone loved it! Followed recipes exactly for the chicken and the rice, and they were both perfect! Thanks so much!!


  15. This is Amazing! I bought Paleo Takeout and made this from the book, and AGAIN… My husband said this is a once a week dish! This is delightful and so scrumptious, and “Chipotle” beware.. This is Darn good,,,😋 that even the neighbor that stopped by went back for seconds!
    Have made several recipes from book all are winners!


  16. I have been making your cilantro lime rice for a couple years now to go with my carnitas and my family loves it. Tonight was the first time I actually made the chicken (I halved the chipotle pepper like someone else commented) and it is so incredibly delicious! It will be made frequently in the future. Thank you for the wonderful recipes!


  17. I’ve been using this recipe for years and it’s by far my very favorite meal. I looked and it doesn’t seem you have a recipe for carnitas posted but if you have a recipe that is equal is taste and delivery I would be highly interested in giving that a go


  18. Could I use this marinade on Mahi Mahi and use it in fish tacos? Will the flavors compliment fish? Or will the lime juice and vinegar affect the texture of the fish?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s