These barbacoa burrito bowls are loaded with tender and tangy homemade barbacoa and all your favorite burrito toppings layered over a bed of cilantro lime rice.
Sometimes there’s nothing quite as satisfying as digging into a big bowl of rice and meat and beans. You *could* run out for takeout and buy a burrito bowl, but they’re pretty delicious and easy to make at home.
Make these with leftover barbacoa if you have it or follow my easy barbacoa recipe for tender fall-apart meat with hardly any hands-on cooking time.
- Cilantro rice: This homemade cilantro rice is made with 4 ingredients, butter, long-grain rice, cilantro, and a lime. It’s fluffy, perfect, and so good topped with burrito fillings.
- Barbacoa: The shredded beef for these burrito bowls is a pared-down version of my favorite barbacoa recipe. You can make it on the stovetop or toss it in the crockpot before you leave for work in the morning.
- Your favorite burrito toppings: For these bowls, I used pico de gallo, black beans, corn, cheese, sour cream, and guacamole.
More Topping Ideas
There isn’t much you can’t put in a burrito bowl. Some other toppings to try:
- Scrambled eggs for a breakfast burrito bowl
- Fajita vegetables
- Fresh tomatoes
What to serve with burrito bowls?
How to store leftovers?
To store leftovers, allow rice to cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Store leftover barbacoa in its juices in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
To store assembled bowls for meal prepping, build bowls in airtight containers (I like these 3-cup Pyrex containers) omitting any ingredients that you wouldn’t want to microwave like sour cream and guacamole. Store for up to 3 days.
Can I make the barbacoa in advance?
Yes! You can make the barbacoa a couple of days in advance. If making in the slow cooker, you can also pre-cut the meat and pre-mix the rest of the ingredients the night before. In the morning, just toss the meat in the slow cooker, pour the rest of the ingredients over the top and let it cook while you go about the rest of your day.
More Recipes That Make Great Leftovers
Barbacoa Burrito Bowls
- 1 boneless 2-3 pound chuck roast trimmed and cut into fist-size chunks
- Salt and pepper
- 1 medium white or yellow onion diced
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1-6 cups beef or chicken broth
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce minced optional
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves optional
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 bay leaves
Cilantro Lime Rice
- Juice from 1 lime about 2 tablespoons
- Scant 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup long-grain rice
- Zest from 1 lime divided
- 1 tablespoon (14g) butter salted or unsalted is fine
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup chopped loosely packed cilantro divided
- 1 15-ounce can black beans rinsed, drained, and warmed
- 1 15- 15-ounce can corn drained and warmed
- 1/2 cup (2oz) shredded Mexican-blend cheese
- 1 cup pico de gallo
- 1/2 cup guacamole
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- Generously salt and pepper meat on all sides.
- In a large dutch oven (or skillet if you’ll be using a slow cooker), heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown meat on all sides, in batches if necessary. This may take up to 15 minutes.
- Add onion and just enough chicken or beef broth to mostly submerge the meat. Stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any stuck-on bits. Stir in remaining ingredients and bring mixture to a low simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until meat is very tender and can be pulled apart with a fork.
Slow Cooker Barbacoa
- If using a slow cooker, transfer meat and any drippings remaining in the pan to the slow cooker and add onions, 1 cup of broth and remaining ingredients. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, low for 7 to 8 hours, until the beef is tender and can be easily shredded with a fork.
- Once meat is done, use a slotted spoon to transfer the pieces to a cutting board. Use two forks to shred the meat, discarding any large pieces of fat as you go.
- Return shredded meat to the cooking liquid. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
Cilantro Lime Rice
- Add lime juice to a 2-cup measuring cup. Fill the measuring cup the rest of the way with chicken broth.
- In a saucepan or rice cooker, cook rice according to package instructions, replacing the water with the lime juice/chicken broth mixture and adding butter and salt when you add the rice (if the package instructions already call for salt, do not add additional salt).
- After rice has finished cooking, stir in half of the lime zest and cilantro. Taste and add more lime and cilantro to taste.
- Divide cilantro rice between bowls or food prep containers. Top rice with shredded barbacoa and the rest of your burrito bowl toppings. Serve and enjoy.
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