Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowl Recipe
Let your crockpot do the work for this Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowl. Your family will love these crockpot burrito bowls filled with chicken, beans, corn and rice and topped with colorful garnishes.
Why you’ll love this Chicken Burrito Bowl Recipe
- You can control the ingredients, making it a bit healthier than takeout if you want.
- Perfect for meal prep lunches, or a make-ahead dinner for a busy weeknight.
- Customize with whatever toppings your family likes best.
Chicken Burrito Bowl Ingredients
- salsa – chunky salsa serves as a flavorful base, adding zesty tomato flavor and acidity.
- chicken – I like boneless, skinless chicken thighs here, as they stay the most tender in the crockpot. But you can also use chicken breast if you prefer.
- chicken broth – keeps everything in the dish moist as it cooks.
- chili powder – adds a warm and mild heat to the chicken and gives the dish a characteristic Mexican flair.
- black beans – add protein and fiber. You could also substitute pinto beans.
- instant brown rice – this bulks up the dish and makes it a burrito bowl. Instant rice is the easiest option to stir into the slow cooker near the end of the cook time.
- corn – adds a touch of sweetness and incorporates a vegetable element.
- garnishes – choose any or all the garnishes, like avocado, cilantro, chopped red onion, chopped fresh tomatoes, lime wedges, sour cream and shredded cheese.
How to make Chicken Burrito Bowls
For this crock pot burrito bowl, we let the crock pot do most of the work!
- Slow Cook: Add some boneless, skinless chicken thighs, a jar of chunky salsa, a bit of chili powder, and some chicken broth in the bowl of your slow cooker, and let it do it’s thing for 3-1/2 hours on high or 7-1/2 hours on low.
- 30 Min Extra: After that, you’ll shred the chicken, then stir in some instant brown rice, black beans (buy an extra can to make vegetarian stuffed mini peppers or black bean meatballs) and corn, and cook on high for 30 minutes longer.
- Additions: While that’s happening, go ahead and prep whatever garnishes you like for this crock pot chicken burrito bowl.
I used sour cream (If you have Greek yogurt on hand for Greek yogurt pasta, that works great, too!), shredded cheese, avocado, red onion, tomatoes, cilantro and limes for my slow cooker chicken burrito bowl, but feel free to just choose a couple of those for a simpler meal.
Burrito Bowl Substitutions
Can I use a different type of rice for this crock pot chicken burrito bowl?
This recipe has only been tested using instant brown rice (I used Uncle Ben’s brand), and the cooking time and liquid amounts were only tested for that variety of rice.
If you want to use any other type of rice (traditional rice, parboiled rice, microwavable rice, etc.), I would suggest fully preparing the rice and simply stirring it in right before serving and garnishing.
Or, serve the chicken, bean and corn mixture spooned over the rice (or as part of a fajita bar).
Can I use chicken breast instead of chicken thigh for this slow cooker burrito bowl?
Sure, you definitely can. The reason I like chicken thighs for recipes like this slow cooker burrito bowl is that the dark meat doesn’t dry out as much as white meat tends to (I also prefer thighs for my orange glazed chicken, grilled chicken shawarma and almond crusted chicken).
But if you prefer chicken breast, by all means, you can use it in this recipe (and orange ginger chicken)!
Or, omit the chicken and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth to keep this dish vegetarian, like my vegetarian fajitas.
Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowl Tips
Can I start with frozen chicken for this slow cooker chicken bowl?
While some people have reported making crock pot chicken burrito bowls successfully with frozen chicken, the USDA recommends always thawing meat or poultry before putting it into a slow cooker.
This is due to food safety issues arising from temperature and timing. If food spends too long in the “temperature danger zone” (between 40 degrees and 140 degrees F), it can become unsafe to eat.
By starting with frozen chicken in this crock pot burrito bowl recipe, or any of my crockpot soups, the food in your crock pot may spend longer in the danger zone. So, it’s best to err on the side of caution and start with thawed, raw chicken.
What to serve with Slow Cooker Burrito Bowls:
This slow cooker burrito bowl is an entire meal in a bowl! There’s protein, grains and vegetables! So, all you need to go along with this is a delicious drink.
Chicken Burrito Bowls Storage
If you have any leftovers, cool them to room temperature then transfer them to an airtight container in the fridge, where they will keep up to 3 days. Store the burrito mixture separately from the garnishes.
Slow Cooker Chicken Bowl FAQs
A chicken burrito bowl typically contains seasoned chicken, rice, black beans, veggies like corn or peppers, and toppings like cheese, sour cream, guacamole and salsa.
While both burrito bowls and taco bowls share a lot of similarities, the main difference lies in the tortilla. A burrito bowl doesn’t use a tortilla, whereas a taco bowl may be served in a big crispy flour tortilla shell.
A burrito bowl is typically served hot for a comforting and satisfying meal. However, some components like fresh tomatoes and avocado can be served cold to add contrast in temperature and texture.
For the Burrito Bowls
- 1 jar (16 ounces) chunky salsa
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2-1/2 cups less-sodium chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups instant brown rice
- 1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
- Chopped avocado
- Chopped cilantro
- Chopped red onion
- Chopped tomatoes
- Lime wedges
- Sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
- Shredded Colby Jack cheese
- Make the Burrito Bowls: In slow cooker, stir together salsa, chicken, broth and chili powder. Cover and cook on high 3-1/2 hours or on low 7-1/2 hours.
- Transfer chicken to cutting board and coarsely shred; return to slow cooker. Stir in beans, rice and corn. Cover and cook on high 30 minutes longer or until rice is cooked through.
- Serve with desired garnishes.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 614Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 167mgSodium: 1161mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 10gSugar: 10gProtein: 44g