Copycat Chipotle Mexican Bowls

Karthik: I’m a huge fan of Chipotle and have been since it first started in Colorado when I was in middle school. For those times we crave Chipotle, but want to make it our own, these burrito bowls are a regular in our household. We love the versatility and ability to customize it. In addition to eating it as a bowl, you can eat it as a burrito by filling and wrapping your favorite tortilla, or it works great in tacos! Fresh cilantro and lime brings a burst of fresh flavor to the rice, and the veggie mixture is packed with squash, beans and could even work with your protein of choice.

With fresh ingredients, this definitely is a healthier option to some restaurant versions, and we’re sure this will become part of your regular recipe collection too!

Tips & Tricks

  • The key to the rice is using fresh cilantro – you can use frozen cubes in a pinch but you’ll lose some of the freshness this dish has; the red onions also add a great flavor so don’t skip them! 
  • The vegetable mixture is extremely versatile – we tend to use whatever we have on hand and always include a can of beans to bump up the protein. We’ve used zucchini, mushrooms and even Italian squash in the past.
  • If you are looking to make a smaller portion, you can cook the spaghetti squash, scrape it with a fork, and freeze the unused portion. It freezes well for 2-3 months.
  • We serve this with all the fixings – cheese, sour cream, salsa, and our favorite topping is our crunchy Mexican slaw.

Recipe Information

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings


  • Cilantro Rice
    • 3-4 cups cooked rice (white or brown)
    • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped finely
    • Salt / Pepper
    • Juice of 1 fresh lime
    • 1/2 red onion diced (optional)
  • Veggie Topping
    • 1 small onion diced 
    • 1 jalapeno or serrano seeded, diced 
    • 1 small spaghetti squash
    • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
    • 1 can black beans
    • 1 can petite diced tomatoes 
    • 1/2 cup frozen roasted corn
    • 2 cloves frozen crushed garlic 
    • Spices: El Paso taco seasoning, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt & pepper
    • Lime slices, for serving


  • Cilantro Rice:
    • Saute red onions in olive oil till soft, this is optional but we like the flavor! 
    • Add cooked rice over low heat, cilantro, salt and pepper to taste.
    • Squeeze juice of lime at the end and serve with veggies! 
    • If you’re not using onions, you can make this entirely in a bowl as long as you’re using freshly cooked warm rice to get the cilantro to wilt and mix into the rice.
  • Veggie Topping:
    • To prepare spaghetti squash, cut in half and poke holes in outer skin with fork. Microwave in a bowl with about an inch of hot water for about 6 minutes.
    • Use a fork to scrape squash into strands and set aside to cool.
    • Saute onions and jalapeños is some olive oil and add frozen garlic, cook on low about 5 minutes.
    • Add in tomatoes and spices to taste and cook covered for 5-7 minutes.
    • Add the carrots and spaghetti squash and continue to cook on low uncovered.
    • Toss in black beans, frozen corn and salt/pepper to taste cook until mixture has thickened to desired consistency.
    • When ready to serve, squeeze lime juice and mix.