I really wanted to name these “shorty-shorty-shortcut burrito bowls” or something that more eloquently celebrates how many corners you can cut and still have a really good, healthy dinner. We’re trying to plan ahead for quality family time since Jay’s schedule gets a little crazy this time of year, and we decided that Wednesdays we’ll do an easy, early dinner and the beach. This was the perfect meal to get us out the door in record time! (Okay, that’s a lie, it still took us 100 years to get out the door, but that wasn’t dinner’s fault. It was more the putting on of suits and changing of diapers and forgetting of sunglasses and searching for flip-flops and general disorganized corralling of excited kids. Maybe I need some sort of sheepdog to help with this process?)
I’ve posted about burrito bowls before, and they’re one of our favorite things – we eat some version almost weekly. Today’s burrito bowl uses chicken. We used leftover grilled chicken (pretty often when Jay grills, he’ll also cook a package of chicken thighs. They’re great on the grill and very forgiving as leftovers because they don’t dry out). Since today I’m all about shortcuts, I recommend planning to grill once/eat twice for these burrito bowls! (But there are several easy routes to chicken: quick and easy pan-seared chicken, or this fajita-spiced version, or rotisserie chicken are always options!) Or you can open a can of black beans and call it a day for a meatless meal.
The biggest timesavers are these lovely Trader Joe’s buys: precooked frozen brown rice (3-4 minutes in the microwave!) and frozen fire-roasted peppers and onions. I love the roasted flavor, and they don’t have any oil or seasoning so you can control how much you add. They only take a couple of minutes in a pan with a little olive oil since they’re already cooked!
I love to have fun with toppings for burrito bowls, but I can rein it in for the sake of speed. On nights when we’re keeping it simple and easy we do avocado OR cheese, depending on what we have on hand, or sometimes these cute little guacamole cups from Costco. A spoonful or two of salsa is nice, too.
I like my bowl all mixed up: “Stir ’round, stir ’round!” – as my 2-year-old would say!
Obviously, you can make your rice instead of thawing it, chop up your own peppers and onions, or go crazy with toppings, and there’s a time and a place for these endeavors. Right now with Jay’s schedule and an 8-week-old, I’m embracing the freezer section and my microwave and simplifying wherever I can. I love being able to sit down to dinner 10 minutes after I walk into the kitchen! Timesaving weeknight (shorty-shorty) shortcut burrito bowls are a new staple dinner for us, and I hope you love ’em, too.Print
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 package frozen roasted peppers and onions
- 1 (10 oz) package frozen, cooked brown rice
- 3 leftover grilled chicken thighs (or other cooked chicken)
- avocado or guacamole cups, or shredded cheese, and salsa for topping
- Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add frozen peppers and onions and stir and cook until heated through and sizzling. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Meanwhile, heat rice in the microwave according to package directions. Warm the chicken in the microwave or add it to the skillet with the peppers and onions until heated through.
- Assemble burrito bowls by layering rice, vegetables, and chicken in a bowl and adding toppings to taste.