This is the ultimate vegan burrito bowl recipe featuring spiced black beans, Mexican-style rice and delicious toppings like homemade guacamole! It’s easy to customize the recipe to meet your needs.
This recipe uses basic ingredients that you should easily find at any grocery store. Feel free to create variations with any of your favorite burrito toppings!
Skill: Easy | Time: 60 min | Servings: 4
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Are Burrito Bowls Vegan?
There are endless ways to make burrito bowls. They can easily be made vegan, but restaurant options and recipes often contain meat and/or dairy products.
Depending on what’s in your burrito bowl, there may also be hidden non-vegan ingredients like chicken broth used to cook rice. It’s always best to ask questions at a restaurant and find vegan substitutions when cooking at home.
This recipe uses common, easily accessible ingredients to create vegan burrito bowls. While you can certainly include things like vegan sour cream or cheese, I’ve left them out of this recipe because sometimes these ingredients are hard to find and/or expensive.
Ingredients and Substitutions for Plant-based Burrito Bowl
There are 2 main components to this recipe: Mexican-style rice and spiced black beans. Together, they make an irresistibly delicious vegan burrito bowl. Just top with all your favorite burrito fixings!
Ingredients for Mexican-style Rice
To make a simple-but-flavorful Mexican-style rice, you’ll need:
- Avocado oil: This recipe starts by “frying” onion, garlic and bell pepper in some oil to bring lots of flavor to the rice. Use any type of oil you like.
- Onion and garlic: Fresh onion and garlic are essential to add flavor to this rice recipe. Use any type of onion you like or have on hand, and feel free to use extra garlic if you’re a garlic-lover!
- Bell pepper: This isn’t strictly necessary to make a tasty rice, but I like the flavor and texture it adds. Plus, why not add even more yummy veggies to your meal? You can leave this out or use another vegetable like zucchini or mushrooms in its place.
- Long grain white rice: While you can make this recipe with any type of rice, I chose long grain white rice for a delicious texture. I’ve seen other recipes use white basmati rice which would be tasty as well. To use brown rice, double or even triple the cooking time, depending on your rice and temperature of your stove.
- Canned diced tomato: Cooking rice with tomatoes is one of my favorite ways to add flavor to a basic rice dish. I like the texture of diced tomatoes in this recipe.
- Vegetable broth: The rice needs liquid to cook, and I love adding extra flavor by using vegetable broth instead of water. For this recipe, I had a mushroom-based vegetable broth on hand, which is earthier in flavor and a nice addition to many recipes. Select a no-salt-added option so you can easily control the saltiness of your recipe (if you have a salted broth, don’t add extra salt until you taste the cooked rice).
- Salt and pepper: Spice the rice with salt and black pepper. You can add to your taste preferences; simply taste the rice before serving and add more if you like.
- Ground cumin: Add some smoky flavor with ground cumin!
- Paprika: For extra flavor, I love adding paprika to this rice recipe. You can use any type of paprika you like, but I typically use a regular/ sweet paprika.
- Dry oregano: Round out the flavors in the rice with dry oregano. Of course, if you have fresh oregano on hand that would be even better, but I typically only have access to dry oregano!
Ingredients for Spiced Black Beans
While you could simply toss cooked black beans into your burrito bowl, I can’t resist any opportunity to add extra flavor. To make these easy spiced black beans, you’ll need:
- Avocado oil: Like your Mexican-style rice, start with a touch of oil to pan-fry more onion, garlic and bell pepper.
- Onion, garlic and bell pepper: Onion and garlic are essential to add flavor to these beans. I’ve also added another bell pepper for some flavor, texture and extra vegetables! You can leave out the pepper or use another vegetable if you prefer.
- Optional jalapeno pepper: For some spicy heat, add minced jalapeno peppers to the beans! It’s best to add them at the same time as the garlic. Remove the seeds for a milder flavor or include them for some ultra-spicy beans.
- Black beans: This component of the recipe is all about black beans! I use canned beans to save time; just drain and rinse them well. If you have freshly cooked black beans on hand, go ahead and use them!
- Taco seasoning: I always keep some homemade taco seasoning on hand. This makes it incredibly easy to add a perfect blend of flavors to recipes like these spiced black beans. Use any taco seasoning blend you like, and there’s nothing wrong with store bought options if you prefer!
- Lime juice: Acid is always the key to bringing out flavor in recipes, and lime juice is the perfect way to add acidity in this recipe.
Burrito Bowl Toppings
Top your burrito bowls with whatever you like! See the “variations” section below for extra ideas; I’ve chosen to top these bowls with:
- Vegan guacamole
- Jalapeno peppers (raw or pickled)
- Lime wedges (or lime juice)
How to Make Bean and Rice Burrito Bowls: Instructions and Tips
This is a simple recipe, but there are a few components to consider. Start by prepping the vegetables for your rice and beans. Then, while the rice cooks, make the spiced black beans before prepping your toppings and serving!
Step 1: Prepare Vegetables
The rice and beans use the same vegetables, so start by chopping two onions, two bell peppers and all the garlic.
If you’re adding jalapeno peppers to the beans, mince them now.
You can also prep additional toppings now (or after the rice and beans are cooked if you want them to cool down).
Chop cilantro, slice extra jalapeno peppers (or open a can of pickled jalapenos), cut some lime wedges, cook frozen corn, chop tomato, prep a batch of guacamole; whatever delicious toppings you want!
Step 2: Prepare Rice
Mexican-style rice takes longer to cook than beans, so it’s best to start cooking the rice first.
Warm some oil in a large pan, that has a lid, over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper (one onion, one bell pepper; half of what you chopped) and cook for 4-5 minutes, until the onion starts to soften.
Then add the garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until it’s fragrant.
Next, add the remaining ingredients, including rice, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth and spices. Stir this together so all the spices are well-mixed in.
Place the lid on your pan and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and allow the rice to simmer, with the lid on, for 12-15 minutes. You shouldn’t have to stir the rice while it cooks, but I like to give it a few stirs to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom.
Your rice is done when it’s tender and has absorbed all the liquid.
Depending on how much liquid is in your can of tomatoes, you may need some extra vegetable broth (or water) to fully cook the rice.
Cook time varies depending on your rice and the temperature of your stove while the rice cooks. Keep in mind, if using brown rice, the cook time will be anywhere from 30-50 minutes.
Step 3: Make Spiced Black Beans
While the rice cooks, you should have time to cook black beans. If using canned beans, drain and rinse the liquid before you start.
Just as with the rice, heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook 4-5 minutes, until the onion has started to soften. Then add the garlic. If you’re using jalapeno pepper, add this with the garlic.
Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant. If the garlic starts to brown, lower the heat or cool off the pan with an extra splash or oil (or water).
Next, add the black beans, taco seasoning and lime juice. Toss everything until it’s well mixed and everything is coated in the taco seasoning.
Cook for 1-3 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your preferences.
Step 4: Assemble and Serve
When the rice and beans are ready, it’s time to assemble your burrito bowls. If you haven’t already, prep any of the toppings you’re going to use. I like to whip up a quick batch of guacamole which adds lots of flavor and satiating healthy fats!
Load up each bowl with the rice and beans before topping with whatever fixings you like.
How to Serve Vegan Burrito Bowls: Create a Balanced Vegan Meal
This recipe certainly has it all! The rice offers carbohydrates and some vegetables while the beans count for plant-based protein and even more veggies!
There are healthy fats in the small amount of oil used for cooking the rice and beans, as well as the guacamole (I highly recommend serving with guacamole or sliced avocado for a satisfying meal). You could also add fats to the meal with vegan sour cream or cheese.
You can easily add extra vegetables with your choice of toppings; in this case, I’ve added tomato and corn.
Veggie Burrito Bowl Variations
There are endless ways to prepare a veggie burrito bowl! Depending on what you like or have time to prepare, you could use:
- Sweet potato cubes (roasted with taco seasoning)
- A fresh tomato or tomatillo salsa
- Pickled red onion
- Fajita vegetables
- Vegan cheese shreds
- Vegan sour cream
- Queso or vegan cheese sauce
If you’re looking for cheesy flavor, top with some nutritional yeast or add it to the rice and/or beans while they cook!
How to Store Leftover Vegan Burrito Bowls
Transfer any leftover rice or beans to airtight containers and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
It’s ideal to eat guacamole the day it’s made. If you need to store leftovers, try adding some lime juice to the top of the guac or cover the top directly with plastic wrap to prevent browning.
You can refrigerate additional toppings in containers too. Keep everything separate or mix together, your preference! This is a great recipe to use for meal prep if you have containers and fridge space. It makes a tasty and filling packed lunch!
I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it, please rate and comment below so others benefit from your experience.
More Deliciously Filling Vegan Dinner Recipes
Vegan Burrito Bowls
Spiced Black Beans
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 medium onion , chopped (155 g)
- 1 medium bell pepper , chopped (140 g)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 C black beans (2 14 oz/ 398 mL cans, drained and rinsed)
- 1-2 tbsp taco seasoning
- 1 tbsp lime juice (juice of ½ lime)
- jalapeno pepper , diced (to taste, optional)
- 1 batch guacamole
- 1 ½ C corn (260 g)
- 1 ½ C tomato , diced (250 g)
- ½ C cilantro , chopped (30 g, optional)
- jalapeno pepper , sliced (fresh or pickled, optional)
- lime juice (optional)
Step 1: Prepare Vegetables
- You’ll prepare rice and beans using the same vegetables, so start by chopping some onions, bell pepper and garlic. If you’ll use jalapeno pepper in the beans, mince that now.1 medium onion, 1 medium bell pepper, 2 cloves garlic, 1 medium onion, 1 medium bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, 3 cloves garlic
- It’s also best to prepare any toppings you want to use. This can include guacamole, corn, chopped tomato, chopped cilantro, jalapeno peppers and/or lime wedges (whatever you like).1 batch guacamole, 1 ½ C corn, 1 ½ C tomato, ½ C cilantro, jalapeno pepper
Step 2: Prepare Rice
- Heat some oil in a large pan (that has lid).1 tbsp avocado oil
- Add chopped onion and bell pepper and cook 4-5 min, until the onion starts to soften.1 medium onion, 1 medium bell pepper
- Then, add garlic and cook 2-3 min until it becomes fragrant. If the garlic starts to brown, lower your heat (or cool the pan with a splash of oil/ water).2 cloves garlic
- Then add the rice, canned diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, salt, ground cumin, paprika, dry oregano and pepper. Stir to combine.1 C long grain white rice, 3 C diced tomatoes, 1 ½ C vegetable broth, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp paprika, ¼ tsp dry oregano, ¼ tsp black pepper
- Put the lid on your pan, bring it to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 12-15 min. Stir a couple of times while the rice cooks to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of your pan.
- When your rice is tender and has absorbed the liquid, taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
Step 3: Make Spiced Black Beans
- Heat some oil in a medium-sized pan.1 tbsp avocado oil
- Add onion and bell pepper and cook 4-5 minutes, until the onion starts to soften.1 medium onion, 1 medium bell pepper
- Add garlic and cook 2-3 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant. Lower your heat if the garlic starts to brown (or add a splash of oil/ water to cool the pan). If using jalapeno peppers, add with the garlic.3 cloves garlic, jalapeno pepper
- Then add black beans, taco seasoning and lime juice.3 C black beans, 1-2 tbsp taco seasoning, 1 tbsp lime juice
- Toss to coat everything with the spice and cook another 1-2 minutes.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning to your preferences, if needed.
Step 4: Assemble and Serve
- To assemble, load a bowl with the rice and beans. Top with your prepared fixings; I use homemade guacamole, corn, tomato, cilantro, jalapeno slices and lime wedges.1 batch guacamole, 1 ½ C corn, 1 ½ C tomato, ½ C cilantro, jalapeno pepper, lime juice