How To DIY A Chipotle Burrito Bowl, Win At Life

Chipotle is the fast food unifier. There is no stereotypical Chipotle customer, because it is all of us. And unlike some favorite fast food joints, Chipotle is reasonably healthy, pretty fresh, and undeniably satisfying without the grease factor of other quick meal options. That said, homemade will forever trump store-bought, and this DIY Chipotle burrito bowl recipe is no exception. Making your own Chipotle-style burrito bowl at home is surprisingly easy, totally good for you, and costs significantly less per serving. Plus, there's an *actual* Chipotle wine pairing chart, and the comfort of your home is the perfect place to test it out.

Besides the fact that your at-home burrito bowl — or burrito, if you throw it all in a tortilla — is made mostly from ultra fresh produce (you can get almost all the ingredients for about $10 at your local farmer's market), each element is completely customizable to your taste. Have you always wished Chipotle's pico de gallo had a little more heat? Do you want just a little extra guac? Are you never quite satisfied with the rice to bean ratio? Now's your chance to make it right. I've laid out a basic guide to building the ultimate veggie bowl, but put your culinary creativity to use and make this your own.

Shopping List:

  • 1 large avocado
  • 4-6 limes
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 1 large bunch cilantro
  • 2 ears of corn
  • 3 medium, firm but ripe tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans
  • Long grain white rice (like basmati)
  • 1 medium-large red onion
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Optional: shredded cheese of choice, finely chopped lettuce, sour cream or Greek yogurt, grilled peppers and onions
  • If you want to add Chipotle-style meat, check out these recipes for chicken, steak, carnitas, and barbacoa.

1. Fresh Corn Salsa

What You'll Need:

  • 2 ears white or yellow corn
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, small diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt

Remove all husks and rinse your corn. Boil salted water, and cook corn until just tender (about three minutes — you still want it to crunch). If your pot isn't huge, cut each ear in half.

Rinse corn cobs in cold water to jumpstart the cooling process. Remove corn kernels from ears, and set aside in a bowl to cool completely.

When corn has cooled, add cilantro, red onion, lime juice, and salt to taste. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate until serving.

2. Pico de Gallo

What You'll Need:

  • 3 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 2 heaping tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Half of 1 jalapeño, seeded, deveined, and fine diced. Jalapeños vary significantly in heat, so test yours to see how much you want.
  • Salt

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Do not skip the seeding of the tomatoes — it really is crucial to getting the right consistency.

3. Cilantro-Lime White Rice

What You'll Need:

  • 1 cup long grain white rice (I used basmati)
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 handful cilantro, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt to taste

Mix rice, water, and butter in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and keep covered for five minutes. After five minutes, fluff rice with a fork and mix in the cilantro, salt, and lime juice.

4. Guacamole

What You'll Need:

  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 1 small handful cilantro, chopped
  • 1 sliced red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeño, seeded, deveined, and finely chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Salt to taste

Cut your avocado in half, remove the pit, and cut into quarters. Remove the skin from each quarter, and place in a medium bowl. With two forks, mash slightly. Add the rest of the ingredients, then use your forks to continue the mashing/chopping up process. I prefer guacamole on the chunkier side, but the beauty of DIY Chipotle is that you can make it as smooth as you want.

Chipotle just released its official guacamole recipe, and I'm proud to say that my imitation attempt is VERY close. But obviously if you're going for the total Chipotle experience, you may choose to follow their instructions.

5. Seasoned Black Beans

What You'll Need:

  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large sliced red onion, diced
  • 1 large pinch cumin
  • 1 large pinch chili powder
  • Salt to taste

In a medium non-stick pan, heat the vegetable oil on medium-high heat. Add the onions, and sauté until soft. Add black beans, cumin, chili powder, and salt, and simmer on medium-low for about 15 minutes. If these are done before your other elements, just keep them covered on extra low heat until serving.

6. Assemble

You did it! It's time! Build your bowl to your liking, but in true Chipotle form, I'd recommend rice and beans at the base. Then add your salsas, guacamole, cheese, lettuce, sour cream or Greek yogurt, grilled veggies, or whatever else your heart desires.

This recipe will make enough for at least two people, and you'll likely have leftovers.

Serve with hot sauce, lime wedges, and a top-notch Netflix selection.

Image: thisamericanguy/ Flickr; Jenna Wexler