I didn’t record the exact weight of one of these burrito bowls, but you could safely say it’s over 1.5 pounds of food. And with only 556 calories per burrito bowl, that qualifies as a bonafide high volume meal in my book. A high volume meal, if you’re unfamiliar, is a meal that’s low in calories relative to its size or the amount of food. High volume meals like these burrito bowls keep you full and allow you to simply eat more food while staying in a caloric deficit.
Enough about that, let’s talk about what really matters—the deliciousness.
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a texture eater. Meaning, I love a bit of crunch in almost every dish. With most burrito bowls, I really love eating it with or on chips. And while it’s nearly impossible to supplant chips, the crispness of the ingredients in these burrito bowls do a standup job. The perfectly pan-fried cilantro lime cauliflower rice gives a slight crunch while the roasted corn and black beans lend a savory, salty-sweet flavor. And I’d be remiss to not mention the crispy carnitas and their beautifully smoky taste and crispy exterior.
Are you hungry yet?
Ingredients for Burrito Bowls
This recipe is super simple and really could be cooked in a single pan as long as you’re okay with losing some aesthetic value. I won’t spend a ton of time in the ingredients section simply because the recipe is straightforward and covers everything.
For protein pairings, I’d highly recommend my chicken thighs carnitas, crispy pressure cooker pork tenderloin carnitas, or jalapeño lime chicken thighs. No worries if you want to go with another meat, though. You could use shredded chicken, ground beef or turkey, or even tofu Sofritos-style like Chipotle.
Here’s an easy chicken fajitas recipe.
For the pan roasted corn and beans, we’ll be keeping it simple as always with canned versions of both. You can get as fancy as you’d like with fresh corn off the cob and soaking beans overnight, but it’s not a requirement. The same goes for the cilantro lime cauliflower rice, where the recipe calls for frozen cauliflower rice as usual. I find this saves time in prep and cleaning, and avoids food waste. Not to mention, my recipes always turn out better using frozen over fresh for some reason.
The only real ingredient note pertains to seasoning your meal. The recipe mentions the bare minimum amounts of cilantro, lime juice, and other seasonings. Taste test your dish as you go and add as you see fit. If you’d like more salt or a stronger lime flavor, there ain’t nothin’ to it but to do it.
And finally, you can top your burrito bowls with anything you’d like. The recipe calls for guacamole and pico de gallo, but you could leave that off or add other ingredients like shredded cheese, a low calorie dressing, hot sauce, or all of it. Not to mention, there’s always the option to stuff everything in a tortilla for an actual burrito, taco, or grilled quesadilla (see below). Get creative!
How to Make Low Calorie Tortilla Chips
Okay, one last update (for now). Since making these burrito bowls, I’ve been eating it nearly every day for lunch. One final tip I’ll leave you with is eating it with homemade low calorie tortilla chips. The video below goes through the recipe I use. You’ll get the salty, crunchy texture of tortilla chips and a ton of volume for only 120 calories!
Pan Roasted Corn and Black Beans
- 1/2 C (125g) Canned Corn , drained and rinsed
- 1/2 C (130g) Canned Black Beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 tsp Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, or Chili Powder, based on preference
Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice
- 1 bag (12oz) Frozen Cauliflower Rice, thawed (or 300g fresh riced cauliflower)
- 1-2 Tbsp (15-30mL) Lime Juice, I used the bottled lime juice
- 1-2 Tbsp Cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp Salt, sea salt for texture bonus
- 1/3 recipe (6oz) Crispy Carnitas, or 6oz (cooked) meat of your choice
- 2 Tbsp Pico de Gallo, optional
- 2 Tbsp Guacamole, optional
- Heat two large skillets over medium-high heat and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Drain and rinse black beans and corn, removing as much water as possible before adding to one skillet.
- In the other skillet, add thawed cauliflower rice. If you're going straight from the freezer, pop it in the microwave for 3-4 minutes first.
- Leave both skillets untouched for 4-5 minutes.
- Add lime juice and salt to rice and stir. At this point, begin stirring the corn and beans, which should be slightly browning. (You can add any spices you'd like to the corn and beans like a bit of chili powder and paprika. Or if you like spice, a bit of cayenne pepper.)
- Both skillets should be finished around the same time. (Maybe 8-10 minutes.) Don't sweat precision here. If you'd like your rice a bit crispier, keep it in the pan longer. Same for the corn and beans.
- If you're reheating leftover carnitas, you can add them to one of the skillets during the last few minutes of cook time.
- You can get fancy with your plating or just add everything to one big bowl and top with pico and guac before diving in. I didn't include it in this recipe, but you could add a bit of fat-free shredded mozzarella for even more protein and flavor!
- Each serving has 8 Smart Points.
- Macros with 1/4 C guacamole (Wholly Guacamole macros): 629 Calories, 65g protein, 56g carbs, 17g fat
- Macros with guacamole and 1 oz cotija cheese or queso fresco: 719 Calories, 71g protein, 56g carbs, 24g fat
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 bowl
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 509Total Fat: 4.5gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 54gProtein: 63g
More Proteins to Pair with These Burrito Bowls
As always, if you make this for a post-workout snack or sweets fix, tag me in your creation on Instagram. I hope you enjoy!