These Mexican Rice Bowls make the easiest weeknight dinner! They’re quick to assemble, budget-friendly and made with simple ingredients. They’re a family favorite and are perfect for Meatless Monday!
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This rice bowl recipe has become one of my family’s favorite meatless dinners. It’s kind of like a vegetarian taco salad that married a burrito bowl. And let’s just say, it’s a match made in heaven! Ha!
My husband and kids are big fans because it is just so delicious! And the kids especially love the crunch that the corn chips add.
I love it because it is so quick and easy to make while also nutritious, budget-friendly and made with basic kitchen staples that I nearly always have on hand. My favorite kind of meal!
WATCH VIDEO: LEARN HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
Mexican Rice Bowl Ingredients
- Black Beans
- Garlic Powder
- Shredded Cheese
- Shredded Lettuce
- Corn Chips or Tortilla Chips
- Sour Cream or Salad Dressing
Substitutions and Variations
RICE- I prefer using long-grain rice like Jasmine or Basmati. But you could substitute with white rice, brown rice or even cauliflower rice. And for a totally different twist, you could switch it out for quinoa instead.
CORN/TORTILLA CHIPS- Skip the chips and instead of adding the ingredients to a bowl, use as a filling for a burrito or tortilla shell.
ADDITIONAL TOPPINGS- Feel free to add corn, bell peppers, green onions, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, fried egg, roasted butternut squash or anything else that seems delicious to you!
How to Make a Rice Bowl
STEP ONE: Cook rice using your favorite method. I love using my Instant Pot- it gives me perfect rice every time!
STEP TWO: While the rice is cooking, heat the black beans, salsa and spices until hot throughout. You can either use your microwave or simply put everything in a pan and heat it on the stove until it begins to simmer.
STEP THREE: Crush the chips and if necessary, shred the lettuce.
STEP FOUR: Assemble the bowls and serve!
FAQ and EXPERT TIPS
Can I prepare this recipe ahead of time?
Yes! Just cook the rice, refrigerate it and then reheat it when you are ready to serve the bowls.
What is the best way to store leftovers?
All leftovers should be refrigerated. You can either put the rice and bean/salsa mixture in separate covered bowls or you can make things super simple and just mix them together and store them in one bowl. Any toppings should definitely be stored separately, as adding them to the rice and bean mixture will make them soggy.
Rinse your rice. This removes any starchy dust and you’ll end up with fluffier rice!
TIPS FOR MAKING THIS RECIPE EVEN EASIER
- Use cooked rice. This recipe is already quick to make, but using already cooked rice makes it even faster, which is great for super busy days. I like to freeze rice in 2 cup portions and then pull it out for recipes like this. I just add a bit of water to it when I heat it up which keeps it from drying out.
- Use bagged lettuce. While slightly more expensive, you can save time by using Spring Mix or other already small/cut-up lettuce.
Try these other simple dinner recipes:
- Super Easy Beef and Macaroni Skillet
- One Pan Spanish Chicken and Rice
- Herb Roasted Chicken and Potatoes
- Bisquick Chicken Alfredo Casserole
Easy Mexican Rice Bowl
- 2 cups uncooked long grain rice (see Notes below)
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1 ½ cups salsa (any tomato based variety)
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- salt (to taste)
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheese (cheddar, Mexican blend, pepper jack)
- shredded lettuce
- crushed corn or tortilla chips
- sour cream or your favorite salad dressing
- optional toppings: corn, peppers, green onions, tomatoes, avocado, fried egg, roasted butternut squash
- Cook the rice according to the package directions
- While the rice is cooking, heat the beans, salsa, cumin, garlic powder and salt until hot throughout. Stir to thoroughly combine.
- If necessary, shred the lettuce and crush the chips. Prepare any other toppings you want to add.
- Get 6 dishes and assemble the bowls by adding approximately 1 c. rice, ⅓ to ½ cup salsa/bean mixture and ¼ cup shredded cheese to each dish.
- Top with shredded lettuce, chips, sour cream or salad dressing and any other toppings of choice. Mix together and enjoy!
- RICE: You can skip the step of cooking the rice and use 6 cups of cooked rice instead.
- LETTUCE: I've found that Romaine lettuce, leafy head lettuce and spring mix all work well with this recipe.
- This homemade salad dressing recipe is really good with this!