Chipotle inspired chicken bowl

Am I the only one who dreams about Chipotle at night?

No? Good. I wouldn’t want people to think I’m weird or anything.

I don’t eat out that much, but about 1/3 of the time that I do it’s for a Chipotle bowl (bol?). I had to stop getting the burritos because I look like a fool eating them. Seriously, it’s bad. It’s a wonder I have any friends at all.

I tried recreating the bowls at home, and while it’s not exactly the same these are still pretty dang good.  I obviously used the ingredients I like, but feel free to change it up to recreate your favorite combination!

I took about 53 photos of this bowl and this was the least blurry. Some may call it a fail, I prefer to call it “I’m too hungry to spend time taking a perfect picture”. Also, I don’t really know how to use this fancy camera yet. Help me.

My apologies, there is just no way to make this chicken look good.

Maybe this is better? Nope. Ugh, I think this one looks even more gross.


Oh look, colorful things!

Okay, enough of that. Recipe below!

I know it seems like a lot of steps ( and it kind of is) but I have two reasons for you to make all this:

1. It’s delicious, duh.

2. Everything is good on its own. So if you’re ever sitting around wishing you had some of Chipotle’s corn salsa, now you can make it yourself. Unless you don’t like their corn salsa, in which case you can make whatever salsa you want.

But if you don’t like that corn salsa we probably can’t be friends. How awkward.

Kind of like Chipotle chicken bowls

Spiced Chicken:

2 T canola oil

2 t vinegar ( I used rice vinegar, but I’m sure white would work too)

1 T honey

1 T ground cumin

1 T ground chili powder

1 t salt

1/2 t black pepper

1/2 t dried oregano

1 lb chicken, thighs or breast (thighs are better, breasts are healthier..guess what I chose?)

Pierce chicken all over with a knife – seriously, be mean. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and pour over chicken. Marinate for at least one hour and up to 24 hours. If we’re being completely honest, I only marinated mine for like 40 minutes because I got bored, but normal people should be able to wait for an hour.

Sear the chicken for two minutes on each side in a little bit of oil. Then transfer the meat to a slow cooker and cook for four hours on high.

Note: I’m pretty sure Chipotle grills their chicken, and if you’re lucky enough to have access to a grill by all means do that. You could also bake the chicken, but I’d still sear it a little on the stove – that little crunch from the sear can’t be beat.

Corn salsa – enough for one bowl + extras:

2 cups corn

2 jalapenos

2 garlic cloves

1/2 red pepper, roasted

1/4 orange pepper, roasted (optional)

1/4 cup red onion, chopped

juice of half a lime

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425. Cut jalapenos in half and discard seeds. Don’t be an idiot like me and touch you face before washing your hands. I apparently will never learn.

ANYWAY, lay the jalapeno halves on a baking sheet and rub with a tiny bit of oil. Spread the corn out on the same baking sheet – trying to get it all in one layer. Throw the two garlic cloves (skins on!) on there too with a little oil and salt. Roast for about 30 minutes, or until the jalapenos are a little bit charred and the garlic is soft. If you’re roasting your own peppers, this would be the time to do that too. Let everything cool before making the salsa.

Chop up the jalapeno and red pepper into tiny pieces (roughly the same size as the corn kernels). Mix everything together with the lime juice and salt and pepper. Keep tasting as you go so you know how much you’ll need. This will last in the fridge for quite a while – yay leftovers!

Note: I’m all about spicy food, so two jalapenos was totally fine for me. If you like things a bit milder you can just use one. Also, the garlic is technically optional, but roasted garlic is amazing and should be put in everything. So there.

Pinto beans – enough for one bowl + extras:

1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

Quarter of an onion, chopped

1 huge garlic clove, minced

1/2 t ground cumin

1 t salt

1/2 t black pepper

1/2 t red pepper flakes (optional)

Saute the onions for a few minutes, until they start to soften. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the beans and spices. Give it a big stir and then cover and let cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat.

Cilantro-lime rice – enough for one, maaaaaybe two bowls:

1/4 cup rice ( I used brown, you can use whatever you have on hand)

1/2 cup chicken stock

1 bay leaf

juice of half a lime

3 T cilantro, chopped

Mix rice, stock and bay leaf together. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer until rice is done ( about 4o minutes for brown, 20 for white). When rice is done and all the liquid is absorbed, add lime juice and cilantro.

To assemble the bowl (finally!):

Layer the following ingredients however the heck you want to:

Spinach (Chipotle uses lettuce, but spinach makes me feel better about myself. Use whatever you want, or omit completely. I’m not here to judge)

Cilantro-lime rice

Pinto beans

Spiced chicken

Corn salsa

Shredded cheese ( I used white cheddar – again use whatever makes you happy)

Sour cream

Anything else you want!

Leave a comment


  1. A. This sound delicious. B. I also like corn salsa, thank-goodness! Let’s play with your camera later!


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