Crockpot Mexican Chicken Burrito Bowls

5 from 2 votes
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Flavor-packed Chicken Burrito Bowls are a fun and flexible meal for the entire family. This recipe is extra easy with some help from the crockpot. But it’s the toppings that make these Mexican rice bowls completely customizable for different tastes and dietary needs, as well as extra delicious!

Made a big batch of the chicken? Use the leftovers to make Baked Chicken Tacos or Chicken Enchiladas!

Looking down at a Salsa Chicken Rice Bowl with cheese, corn, tortilla chips, lime, lettuce and more on top.

Why You’ll Love These Chicken Burrito Bowls

  • Cuisine Inspiration: Mexican
  • Primary Cooking Method: Slow Cooker
  • Dietary Info: Gluten-free, Dairy-free option
  • Skill Level: Easy

We love a mix-and-match meal in my house. Sometimes it’s meats and cheeses and fruits and veggies for a charcuterie board. Other times I will gather all the odds and ends from the fridge, make homemade salad dressing, pile lettuce on everyone’s plate, and then tell them to make their own salad.

That’s why we are big fans of burrito bowls, which you may have seen at Chipotle. But in case you haven’t, a burrito bowl takes everything you love about burritos but skips the tortilla, turning it into a meal in a bowl. You’ll usually find spiced up chicken, beef, beans, or veggies piled on top of rice, but it’s the toppings that allow you to get creative with your Mexican rice bowls. Here’s why you’ll love making your own at home…

  • Slow cooker makes it easy. Just toss the chicken, seasonings, and salsa in your crockpot. Then, at dinnertime, you just have to get the rice and toppings ready.
  • Make the way you like it. With different components to choose from, it’s a meal that is both fun and makes everyone happy. In my case, I can load it up with lots of veggies. My big guy will extra cheese and avoid tomatoes. The younger one usually skips anything mushy. And my husband is known to double up the meat.
  • Suits any diet. For the most part, this is a naturally gluten free meal, but you definitely have options to make it dairy free, low carb, paleo-friendly, and even skip the chicken for those who prefer a plant-based meal.
  • Meal prep lunch or plan a party. Since you can make it ahead or make it in bulk, you have so many ways to serve it. Package it up in portions to have grab-and-go lunches for the week. Or prepare a big buffet of bases and toppings for a fun meal with a big gathering of friends and family.

Keep reading for all of my suggestions to customize these versatile chicken burrito bowls for different tastes, dietary needs, and occasions.

A Mexican chicken rice bowl with a bowl of salsa behind it.

Recipe Ingredients

Here’s a quick rundown of what you’ll need to make the crockpot Mexican chicken that tops the rice in these burrito bowls. Then we will get into bases and toppings. You can find the full amounts and detailed instructions in the recipe card further down in the post.

  • Chicken. I like to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but you can also combine it with thighs if you like to have some dark meat.
  • Spices. A combination of chili powder and cumin adds smokiness and a little spice. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper too.
  • Salsa. Feel free to use your favorite brand.
  • Black beans. Drain and rinse the beans from the can. You can omit these if you want to make low carb burrito bowls.

How to Make Chicken Burrito Bowls

Make your chicken burrito bowls by piling the cooked chicken and your favorite toppings on top of a grain or grain-alternative base such as these:

Burrito Bowl Toppings

It’s the fixings that allow you to get creative and customize your bowl just the way you like it. Try any or all of these options:

  • Shredded Cheese. Sharp cheddar is usually my choice, but you can also go with easy-melting Monterey Jack or add a little kick with Pepper Jack. Or use a combination of cheeses. Skip the cheese or use a vegan option for dairy free burrito bowls.
  • Salsa. You can use the same salsa you used to make the chicken, just be sure to grab an extra jar. Or you can make your own, and even change it up with something different like Mango Avocado Salsa.
  • Avocado. This adds a lovely bit of rich creaminess. Chopped avocado is great, Avocado Crema adds something creamy, or simply get your favorite store-bought or homemade guacamole.
  • Sour cream. Sour cream or even Mexican crema helps to cool off the spice. You can also substitute it with plain Greek yogurt.
  • Veggies. Shredded lettuce, thinly sliced red onion, and jalapeno slices are classic. But maybe you want to get creative by adding some Chili Lime Roasted Sweet Potato Slices or other roasted veggies.
  • Corn. Corn adds a nice little pop to your chicken burrito bowls. You can drain a can of corn, thaw frozen kernels, or cut raw kernels off the cob. You can even make a batch of Chili Lime Corn for an extra burst of flavor.
  • Chips. For a bit of crunch, crush tortilla chips or buy a bag of tortilla strips. You can also make keto tortilla chips or even chicharrones (pork rinds).
  • Extras. A sprinkle of cilantro can add a little freshness and a squeeze of lime gives the chicken burrito bowls a little zing.
A Chicken Rice Bowl and a Cauliflower Rice Bowl with plates and bowls of fixings.

Tips and Variations

Here are some ideas to make the best chicken burrito bowls:
  • Use the right crockpot. You can make this in your basic 4-quart slow cooker. It’s also fine to use a 6-quart slow cooker, and I especially recommend that if you are going to double it to feed a crowd or freeze leftovers.
  • Make it for meal prep. Divide the rice and chicken between containers, and add any toppings that can be warmed. Keep the cold toppings in a separate container and add them after you’ve reheated your burrito bowl.
  • Have a party. Double the batch of chicken and keep it warm in the slow cooker. Set out bowls of rice and cauliflower rice and a variety of toppings on a big buffet and let everyone create their own.
  • Make it keto-friendly and paleo-friendly. Omit the beans and be sure to use a brand of salsa that does not have added sugar. Use cauliflower rice, or just pile everything over a bed of lettuce. Choose toppings that suit your needs.
  • Go meatless. If you are serving someone who doesn’t eat meat, try this Pineapple Black Bean Taco Filling or Instant Pot Pinto Beans as a plant-based alternative.
  • Change your meat. If you don’t want to use the crockpot, slice some Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken or use Instant Pot Ground Beef Taco Meat instead.
A Chicken Burrito Bowl made with cauliflower rice with a margarita next to it.

Make it a Meal

While this chicken burrito bowl recipe is truly a meal on its own, maybe you want to make it for a Cinco de Mayo celebration or build a Tex-Mex buffet for a party. In that case, add some of these to your menu:

A birds eye view of a Chicken Burrito Bowl with toppings and garnished with lime and cilantro on top of cloth napkins.
A Mexican chicken rice bowl with a bowl of salsa behind it.
5 from 2 votes

Chicken Burrito Bowls

Flavor-packed Chicken Burrito Bowls are a fun and flexible meal for the entire family. This recipe is extra easy with some help from the crockpot. But it's the toppings that make these Mexican rice bowls completely customizable for different tastes and dietary needs, as well as extra delicious!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 8 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 16 oz. jar of your favorite salsa, mild, medium or hot, as desired
  • 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed (can omit for low carb)
  • Cooked white or brown rice or cauliflower rice

Burrito bowl toppings (use any or all)

  • Your favorite Cabot Cheese, shredded (Medium Cheddar, Sharp Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, or any combination) – about 1/4 cup per bowl
  • Salsa
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Sliced red onions
  • Jalapeno slices
  • Guacamole or chopped avocado
  • Corn kernels
  • Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • Roasted sweet potato slices
  • Tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips
  • Lime juice
  • Cilantro

Instructions

  • Place chicken in a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker and sprinkle with chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  • Pour salsa over the chicken.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  • About 20-30 minutes before you plan to eat, remove the chicken from the slow cooker andf shred with forks, add the black beans, and mix everything thoroughly before replacing the lid.
  • Return the chicken to the slow cooker, stir in the blank beans, if using, replace the lid and cook on Low for another 20-30 minutes or until heated through.
  • Place rice or cauliflower rice in a bowl, top with chicken mixture, Cabot cheese, and your favorite toppings.

Notes

The recipe is easily doubled to feed a large group.
Nutrition is based on one serving of the chicken and black beans with 1 cup of brown rice. It does not include toppings, so you will need to adjust based on your choice of rice and toppings.
Nutrition Facts
Chicken Burrito Bowls
Amount Per Serving (1 bowl (see Note))
Calories 244 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Cholesterol 71mg24%
Sodium 813mg34%
Potassium 778mg22%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 5g20%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 30g60%
Vitamin A 420IU8%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 45mg5%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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