Both my husband and I enjoy the time we spend in the kitchen cooking for our family, and I am thankful that the kids are taking notice and becoming interested in helping and getting creative in their own ways. Our youngest, Brooklyn, brought home a flyer from school announcing a healthy cooking competition and wanted to enter a recipe. The theme was healthy Mexican dishes, and she had tons of ideas to throw around. Bonus points were offered for the inclusion of certain ingredients in the recipes, including brown rice, black beans, avocados, and more.
In the end, she decided that kids would very much like being able to build their own burrito bowls. We discussed some of the flavors that are predominant in a lot of our Mexican dishes and she decided that chili lime chicken sounded perfect. From there, we talked through what other ingredients should be in a good burrito bowl. She wanted the base to be brown rice and to have black beans, too. We talked about ways to build flavor into these very basic components, and she decided garlic and lime were two things she thought we be good additions. This girl LOVES garlic… as do her parents. 🙂
Finally, she wanted to make our homemade guacamole, a dish that she and her sister always claim dibs on making anytime it’s on the menu. They love mashing the avocados, adding the spices and lime, and then proceeding to sample generously as they analyze what ingredients they need to add more of. It is a lot of fun to watch them through this process… they act all sophisticated and it is adorable. It also makes me incredibly happy to know that they are developing a fundamental understanding of cooking and recognizing different flavor profiles for what they bring to the table.
Part of the criteria for the recipe was ease of cooking and kid appeal. A kid should be able to largely create this recipe on their own. For that reason, we decided that the easiest way to cook chicken is in a slow cooker. Her recipe starts there, adding all the Chili Lime Chicken ingredients to the slow cooker and leaving it for several hours to do its thing. Once the chicken was cooked, she shredded it, returned it to the slow cooker to linger in the cooking liquid and absorb more flavor, and then proceeded to prepare the brown rice, black beans, and guacamole.
We set out a wide array of toppings: fresh salsa, pickled jalapenos, black olives, sour cream, and cheese. Each person went through the assembly line, buffet-style, and built their own burrito bowls, customizing it exactly the way they wanted it. It was fun and easy. Whether you made this as a quick weeknight dinner, letting the chicken cook while you’re at work, or for meal prepping on a Sunday afternoon, this recipe turned out awesome. Brooklyn was really proud of her creation and wanted me to share it here with you, after making sure I would give her proper credit haha. We will see what the judges think and if she gets to move on to the next round.
(It looks like a really long list of ingredients, but most of them are pantry staples you likely already have on hand- don’t let that intimidate you. One of the things we encourage is to eat less pre-packaged foods, so we do not use seasoning packets in our house.)
Chili Lime Chicken Burrito Bowls
Brooklyn’s Chili Lime Chicken Burrito Bowls
For the Chicken:
1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat and cut in half
1 onion, halved and cut into strips
1 ½ tbsp chili powder
½ tbsp cumin
½ tbsp garlic powder
¼ tsp cayenne (optional)
½ tsp salt
1 10-oz can Rotel Original Tomatoes with Green Chilis, undrained, 3 tbsp removed and reserved for later use
Juice of 1 lime
For the Green Chili Garlic Black Beans:
2 15-oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed well
¼ C unsalted chicken stock
4 oz can green chilis, undrained
Juice of ½ lime
1 ½ tsp garlic powder
Dash cayenne (optional)
For the Brown Rice:
3 C Minute Brown Rice plus 3 C water
½ tsp garlic powder
For the Guacamole:
2 ripe avocadoes, pitted and scooped
3 tbsp reserved Rotel Tomatoes with Green Chilis
¼ tsp each cumin, paprika, garlic powder, & chili powder
Juice of ½ lime
Salt, to taste
For the chicken:
- Place onion strips int a single layer in the bottom of a slow cooker. Place trimmed and halved chicken breasts on top of onions in a single layer.
- In a small bowl, mix together all the spices (chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and salt). Sprinkle spice mixture evenly over chicken breast halves in the slow cooker.
- Open the 10-oz can of Rotel Tomatoes with Green Chilies; measure out 3 tbsp of the tomatoes and set aside for later use. Pour remaining tomatoes with liquid evenly over the seasoned chicken. Squeeze the juice of 1 full lime over everything, cover with lid, and cook. (Low for 6 hours or High for 3 hours)
- Once cooked through, chicken should shred easily with two forks or fall apart when handled with tongs. Shred all chicken, return to slow cooker, and keep on warm setting while preparing the rice, beans, and guacamole.
For the rice:
- Prepare Minute brown rice according to package instructions, using 3 cups of brown rice and 3 cups of water. Add ½ tsp of garlic powder to the water and stir. We like using a rice cooker, but stovetop method works great, too.
- While the rice cooks, prepare the beans.
For the beans:
- Add the beans, unsalted chicken stock, green chilies, garlic powder, cayenne powder, & lime juice to a medium sauce pan. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; let simmer for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low. Continue to cook on low heat, stirring regularly.
For the guacamole:
- Mash the avocadoes well with a fork. Stir in ¼ tsp each cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and chili powder. Add the reserved Rotel tomatoes and the juice of ½ of a lime. Stir well to combine. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
To assemble the Chili Lime Chicken Burrito Bowls:
To a single-serve bowl, add:
- ½ C cooked brown rice
- ¼ C black bean mixture
- ½- ¾ C shredded chicken
Top with shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, fresh salsa, and prepared homemade guacamole, as desired. Enjoy!
Yields: 6 servings
As you can see, I chose to keep mine dairy-free, and the recipe is naturally gluten-free. Not dairy-free? Then I highly recommend topping with copious amounts of cheese and a dollop of sour cream. 😉
Tell me what you think! Find me on Facebook or follow me on Instagram, and if you like what you see, I invite you to share. 🙂 What are some of your family’s favorite meals? If you meal prep, what is your go-to recipe?
Talk to you soon- be back later this week with my delicious No-Bake cookie recipe that are the perfect bedtime snack to satisfy your sweet tooth without the guilt. Until then, have a great week!