While I enjoy eating meat, I do crave vegetarian meals every once in a while.
However, I understand that some meat-lovers may associate vegetarian dishes with food that isn’t filling or even appealing. I mean, when you have a huge and delicious meat-filled Mexi-bowl right in front of you, it’s hard to think otherwise.
But I beg to differ.
Today’s vegetarian burrito bowl recipe is hearty, tasty, and flavorful. And best of all, it can be whipped up in a jiffy – in 30 minutes flat!
This is exactly the type of meal that I like – healthy, yet delicious, and certainly not difficult to make. I’m also willing to say that this is one vegetarian dish that even meat-lovers can indulge in, and find super satisfying!
All you need is some brown rice, a can of black beans, and an assortment of vegetables.
I’ve used red onions, red bell peppers, zucchini, and garlic, but you can use whatever vegetables you have. It’s a recipe that’s perfect for cleaning out your fridge!
Sauté the veggies in a skillet before adding the beans and a bit of your favorite salsa (you probably have some left over for when you made our mushroom, onion, and pepper tacos!), then serve it with cooked brown rice, sliced avocado, fresh herbs, grated cheese, and yogurt or sour cream.
If you are dairy free or vegan, you can easily substitute the cheese and sour cream with vegan options, or skip these toppings.
The brown rice is a whole grain that’s a healthier option than white rice or flour tortillas, and low-fat Greek yogurt is my top choice as a healthier substitute for sour cream. For those who aren’t a fan of cilantro, which some eaters feel has a soapy taste, flat leaf Italian parsley makes an excellent substitute.
Plain rice lacking flavor? Swap out the plain brown rice for our super flavorful rice and beans recipe, made with a fresh sofrito!
Sounds easy, right? Let’s head straight to the recipe, and go meatless for dinner tonight!
|2 servings||10 minutes|
This is a hearty, flavorful, and simple-to-cook vegetarian meal that can be made in just 30 minutes. It’s so good that even meat-lovers will enjoy it.
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup cubed zucchini
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 8-ounce can black beans rinsed and drained
- 6 tablespoons tomato salsa divided
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 avocado sliced, for garnishing
- fresh parsley for garnishing
- 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese (or dairy free/vegan option)
- 6 tablespoons sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (or dairy free/vegan option)
- Combine the brown rice and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Once the water starts boiling, reduce heat to low and partially cover the pot with a lid. Let it cook for 20 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed and rice is fully cooked.
- Meanwhile, heat up a skillet over medium-high heat and coat the surface with oil.
- Add the diced red onion, diced red bell pepper, cubed zucchini, minced garlic, and ground cumin to the skillet.
- Let the vegetables cook for the next 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the onions have turned translucent. Add the black beans at this stage and stir for a couple of minutes.
- Add three tablespoons of tomato salsa to the vegetables and mix well, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide the sautéed ingredients evenly into two bowls and serve alongside the cooked brown rice. Top with avocado slices, garnish with fresh parsley, and serve with the rest of the tomato salsa, grated cheddar cheese, and plain Greek yogurt.
Recipe by Lorna Kring.
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Set out Your Ingredients
Separately measure out the brown rice, water, ground cumin, grated cheddar cheese, salsa, and plain Greek yogurt or sour cream.
Set out the black beans, red onion, zucchini, red bell pepper, garlic, avocado, and parsley or cilantro.
Step 2 – Dice, Cube, and Mince
Cut the vegetables accordingly. Dice the red onion and bell pepper, cube the zucchini, and mince the garlic.
Step 3 – Cook the Carbs
Combine the brown rice and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and partially cover the pot with a lid.
Allow it to cook for the next 20 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed, or until the rice is soft enough to chew. Or, cook the rice in a rice cooker according to the manufacturer’s directions.
When ready, use a wooden spoon to fluff it up, then cover once more and set it aside.
Step 4 – Sauté the Veggies and Beans
While the brown rice is cooking, heat up a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat the surface with vegetable oil.
You can use any type of neutral-flavored vegetable oil, such as canola or sunflower oil.
Once the oil is hot, add the onion, bell pepper, zucchini, garlic, and cumin. Be sure to stir the ingredients with a wooden spoon as they cook, for the next three to four minutes.
When the onions have turned translucent, add the black beans and stir as they cook for another couple of minutes.
Add about three tablespoons of salsa and stir well before seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
Step 5 – Serve and Garnish
Divide the sautéed ingredients and rice evenly between two bowls, and then top them with avocado slices and chopped fresh parsley or cilantro. Serve with the remaining salsa, freshly grated cheddar cheese, and plain Greek yogurt or sour cream.
A Hearty and Wholesome Vegetarian Meal
I’m a firm believer that eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult and shouldn’t take up much time. As you’ve seen, this vegetarian burrito bowl is extremely simple to make and can be whipped up in about half an hour.
It’s perfect for Meatless Mondays, or whenever you want to have something vegetarian, yet filling and delicious at the same time. It’s the ideal healthy weeknight option.
What are you waiting for? Make this fantastic dish today. Your family will certainly be begging for more – I know I was!
If you want more meals that are quick and easy to cook for dinner, read our guide for 7 fast, tasty, and healthy meals to make every day of the week.
If you’re looking for more meatless Tex-Mex dishes, take a look at our favorites:
What other sorts of vegetarian meals do you love? Share your recipe ideas in the comments below – we’d love to know!
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Photos by Felicia Lim, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Felicia Lim
Felicia Lim is a Singaporean who moved to Argentina for love. Based in Buenos Aires, also known as “the Paris of South America,” she fills her days with freelance writing, recipe development, and food photography – three passions that give her endless joy. When she isn’t typing away at her computer, cooking in the kitchen, or shooting in her balcony-studio, you can probably find her curled up on the couch, lost in the pages of a good book.