This easy vegan burrito bowl is filling, healthy, and takes less than 30 minutes. Spicy black beans, rice, and summer veggies make up this adaptable homemade weeknight meal.
This post was originally published in September 2018. It has been updated with improvements to the text and recipe as of June 2020.
Tomatoes are just coming into season in July, and so are these vegan burrito bowls. Spicy black beans and piles of colourful summer veggies top off a base of fluffy rice, with simple pickled onions and lime making up the ‘sauce’ for this vegan burrito bowl. I’m not a big fan of avocado (too imported, too expensive, and with a host of social issues attached) and you definitely don’t miss it in this Mexican inspired rice bowl.
Because you can make the beans and prep the veg while the rice is cooking, this is about a twenty minute meal. That depends on what kind of rice you use, of course – but if you want to cut your brown rice cooking time, soak it 24 hours ahead of time (you can freeze soaked rice, too).
- Rice (whatever kind you prefer)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Bell pepper or mini sweet peppers
- Rucola or lettuce
- Pickled onions
- Cilantro or parsley
For the Spicy Black Beans:
- Cooked black beans
- Olive oil
- Red onion
- Apple cider vinegar
- Cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper
Before you begin, keep in mind that pickling onions takes at least a couple of hours. If you want to have this for dinner, do the onions at lunchtime or the night before.
Start off by cooking the rice – it should take 15-20 minutes for white rice, or about 40 for brown. While the rice is cooking, get going on the beans and vegetables. This is what makes it a short prep-time!
Sauté the onions over medium heat in a large pan with olive oil. The longest cooking time here is for the onions, because you just need to warm the beans through. Once the onions are translucent, stir in the garlic and spices. Cooking the spices for a minute toasts them slightly and releases fragrant oils – in other words, it makes them taste a lot better.
Add the beans and ACV, stir through to coat, then pop a lid on there to keep warm while you prep the remaining elements and the rice finishes up.
This is when you want to cut the vegetables – slice the tomatoes and peppers, wash the greens, chop the cilantro. Once everything is ready to go, divide it up between two bowls and serve immediately.
Tips and Notes
This is great for cooler summer days – you have a warm base but it’s still topped with energising raw veggies. If you don’t mind cold rice, these super healthy vegan burrito bowls make great packed lunches because there’s no sauce to sog things up. Or pack the rice and beans in a heat-safe container and then top them with the veggies after warming them up at work or school.
If you feel that rice isn’t nutritious enough, try subbing quinoa in its place or cauliflower rice if you prefer. You could throw some extra rucola or lettuce in there instead too. I didn’t have brown rice at the house we’re currently in so I used a wild rice/long grain mix and boy is it a treat to have some white rice! No regrets here. We usually eat a pile of brown rice and I can’t remember the last time I had white rice, so good.
Of course, change up the veggie toppings with your preferred veg or with what you have in the house or garden. Cucumber, some sautéed zucchini or green beans, even some pumpkin in later summer/early autumn.
More Summery Bowls
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Fo the Rice
- 110 grams (1/2 cup) rice
- 250 ml (1 cup) water
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Spicy Black Beans
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, extra virgin
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 100 grams (1 1/2 cups) cooked or canned black beans, rinsed
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
For the Bowls
- 150 grams (1 cup) cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 bell pepper or 3 mini peppers, sliced
- 2 small handfuls rucola or lettuce
- 40 grams (1/4 cup) pickled onions
- 1/2 fresh lime
- Small handful cilantro or parsley
- Add the rice, water, and salt to a medium pot. Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce to low-medium and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes or until the water is fully absorbed.
- While the rice is cooking, prepare the beans. In a large pan, heat the oil over medium. Add the onions and sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until softened and translucent.
- Stir in the garlic, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Cook for another minute before adding the beans and stirring in the apple cider vinegar.
- Lower the heat and cook for a couple more minutes to heat the beans. Reduce the heat to low or place a lid on the pan to keep warm while you finish the other elements.
- Once the rice is finished, divide it between two bowls. Top with half the black beans, tomatoes, peppers, greens, and pickled onions. Add some pickled onions, a squeeze of lime, and cilantro to each bowl, and serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 206Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 413mgCarbohydrates: 80gFiber: 15gSugar: 6gProtein: 13g
This data is provided by a calculator and is a rough estimation of the nutritional information in this recipe.