Recipe: One-Pot BBQ Chicken Burrito Bowls

Recipe: One-Pot BBQ Chicken Burrito Bowls

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Christine Gallary
Apr 17, 2018
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

As much as I love burritos and tacos, the thought of cooking and arranging all the elements separately — meat, rice, beans, and toppings — is sometimes more than I want to attempt on a busy weeknight. Not to mention the sheer number of dishes to tackle after the meal!

These burrito bowls have tender spiced rice, beans, corn, and BBQ-flavored chicken, all cooked together in a Dutch oven on top of the stove in just about 30 minutes.

Making everything in one pot and serving it as customizable burrito bowls is much more my speed. It's a quick way to get dinner on the table, but it still leaves you enough time to prep your favorite toppings while it cooks away, so that each dinner guest can customize their own dinner at the table.

The dish starts with classic Mexican rice, where rice is cooked in a blender sauce of tomatoes, chicken broth, onion, and garlic. Tender chunks of chicken coated in BBQ sauce cook right in the rice, and while most steamed rice recipes tell you to leave the rice alone, stirring it halfway through cooking ensures the grains all cook uniformly.

When the rice is done, top it with some frozen corn and a can of black beans, and let the whole thing sit for a few minutes to warm through and give the rice a chance to steam and fluff up a bit. Serve with some shredded lettuce and your favorite toppings, and put aside any leftovers to bring to work or school for a satisfying lunch.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

One-Pot BBQ Chicken Burrito Bowls

Serves 4 to 6

  • 12 ounces

    Roma tomatoes (about 3), cored and coarsely chopped

  • 2 3/4 cups

    low-sodium chicken broth

  • 2 cloves

    garlic, peeled and smashed

  • 1/2

    medium onion, coarsely chopped

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    ground cumin, divided

  • 3 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 2 tablespoons

    vegetable oil

  • 1 1/2 cups

    long-grain white rice

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    ground cumin, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    chili powder

  • 1

    bay leaf

  • 1 pound

    boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks

  • 1/4 cup

    barbecue sauce, plus more for serving

  • 1 1/2 cups

    frozen corn kernels

  • 1

    (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

  • Optional toppings: Shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, sour cream, diced avocado, salsa, hot sauce, diced green onions, shredded lettuce, crushed tortilla chips, tortillas

Place the tomatoes, broth, garlic, onion, and 2 teaspoons of the salt in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth. Measure the amount of purée; you should have 5 1/2 cups. If you don't have enough, add more chicken broth or water.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the rice, 1 teaspoon of the cumin, and chili powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is fragrant and starts to make a crackling sound, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato mixture and bay leaf and stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any stuck grains of rice.

Arrange the rice in an even layer and bring to a full simmer, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, place the chicken in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon cumin, drizzle with the barbecue sauce, and toss to combine.

Add the chicken to the rice in an even layer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir, cover again, and continue cooking until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, 10 to 15 minutes more.

Remove the pot from the heat. Sprinkle with the corn, then the beans. Cover and let sit covered 5 minutes for the rice to steam and for the corn and beans to heat through. Gently fold with a spatula to incorporate the chicken, corn, and beans together. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed. Serve drizzled with more barbecue sauce and with desired toppings.

Recipe Notes

Rice: This recipe was tested using white rice only. Brown rice has a longer cooking time and needs more liquid, so do not use it here.

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

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