Supper at the Last Minute (Burrito Bowl Bar)

I was scanning my social media feed when I found this article from Good Cheap Eats. It’s worth the read and lists several really good ideas for making supper when you’re short on time or groceries.

It was great to see rice bowls at the top of the list of great supper ideas. My family really enjoys beans & rice and putting it on the table has become even easier since I started making Bean-Zing seasoning. But we also enjoy expanding our beans & rice into full-blown burrito bowls reminiscent of our favorite Mexican grill. DIY rice bowls and burrito bowls have the benefit of being quick, convenient, and less expensive than carry-out. The ingredients are easy to keep in the pantry or freezer and they come together quickly for a savory, filling meal.

To build your own burrito bowl bar, you’ll need rice and an assortment of toppings. I suggest:

  • Your favorite cooked rice. We like long-grain white or brown at my house, but instant rice is fine and quick in a pinch.
  • Your favorite beans. Jay & I like black beans, our kids alternate between black & pinto, and sometimes I’ll use a canned three-bean mix. You can defrost precooked beans that you’ve stashed in the freezer or open and drain a can or two of beans, your call. Season the beans to taste, either with Bean-Zing or your favorite seasonings, while you’re warming them up.
  • Your favorite ground or chopped meat. Home canned beef chunks, chicken, or ground beef are great if you have them, but it’s easy to find canned meat at the grocery store if you don’t. Warm it up and season it as you like it. I like chili powder and cumin.
  • Onions & bell peppers. We like to cut them into strips and cook them on the stove in a little butter until they’re soft. A simple seasoning of salt & pepper or even just the butter is sufficient for my family.
  • Corn. We just open and drain a can of corn most of the time but frozen would also work. Whichever you choose, go ahead and heat it up.
  • Salsa. Can we just talk about how much I like salsa? I think it adds so much flavor to meals but it is so affordable and easy to keep in the pantry. If you have home canned salsa, please send me your recipe! I end up buying it at the grocery store and try to keep a good supply in the pantry.
  • Shredded cheese. My family uses plain old cheddar but you add whatever you like.
  • Sour cream. While I almost always have some cheddar cheese in my refrigerator I don’t always keep sour cream on hand. If I have it, I love it on burrito bowls!
  • Guacamole. We are a house divided when it comes to guac and/or avocados. I love ’em. Jay hates ’em. If I have it around, it’s going in my bowl for sure!

You’ve probably figured out that burrito bowls are a great way to use up leftovers, suit different tastes, and accommodate allergies in one meal. And you can easily pull this meal together in a few minutes from ingredients that can be kept on pantry shelves. Even if I just have instant rice and cans of beans, meat, corn, and salsa, I can put a savory meal on the table in minutes. You may be sure that I keep my pantry stocked with those items!

By the way, I try to share fun and helpful articles on my Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest pages. I also provide updates that might not make the blog, like the latest pictures of the indoor Junk Garden. I’d love to have you follow me on social media!

What do you like in your burrito bowl?

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Update: The cover photo for this post was updated.

11 responses to “Supper at the Last Minute (Burrito Bowl Bar)

  1. I’m not quite sure what a burrito bowl is. Are you lining the bowl with the tortilla? Then filling and eat with knife and fork and chop the whole thing into bits?

    We have burritos a couple times a month for an organized dinner. Sometimes for lunch. It’s usually a meal for leftovers but not always. I always have containers of refried beans in the freezer and leftover Mexican rice. We add chopped onion, shredded lettuce and green cabbage , salsa, corn and black olives. I always grate 2 cheeses…pepper jack and co-Jack. We never add meat as the beans and cheese are plenty of protein. We always use plain yogurt rather than sour cream.

    Sometimes we skip the tortillas and make it all into nachos, using corn chips instead.


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