Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowl

~ This Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowl recipe is such an easy way to enjoy a Mexican feast on even the busiest nights! So simple to throw together (hurray, slow cooker!) and a true family fave. Terrific for potlucks, tailgating, and make-your-own burrito bars. You can even skip the rice, set out some tortilla chips, and call it a hearty appetizer. This has absolutely everything going for it! ~

(Originally published as Easy Crock-Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls on September 10, 2015.)

This Recipe Is:     Make Ahead  

Need a dump-and-go recipe that totally doesn’t taste like it only took 10 minutes of effort? A really delicious, ssssssuuuuuper easy dinner?

Yes, I think we all need that … at least some days!

Table set with chicken burrito bowl recipe and toppings in white serving dishes.

Heck, maybe you even need that today?!? You might just wanna whip out your crock pot and make this for dinner tonight. (Ahem … that’s encouraged, by the way!) Our Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowl is your answer to pretty much all of life’s questions. Yes. It’s that good! Check out our little tutorial video, and see for yourself how EASY … and totally drool-worthy … this recipe is!

Video Tutorial

See what we mean?!? Yeah – this recipe kinda has it all goin’ on!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

•  It’s Mexican (hello, DIY Chipotle!)

•  And in the crockpot (so simple … like all our crockpot chicken recipes!)

•  And, well, just plain scrumptious (always a hit!)

Plus, this recipe is so darn easy to throw together. Literally 10 minutes of effort, tops! It’s basically a riff on one of the most popular and absolute EASIEST recipes we’ve ever published – our 3-Ingredient Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos. This recipe spins the taco concept into a Chipotle-style Burrito Bowl. But it’s still ultra-quick and easy, I promise! Oh – and do you need to make a big batch of Burrito Bowls? Maybe for tailgating, or a backyard potluck, or a casual dinner party? No problem! It’s really simple to double this recipe. And if all that wasn’t terrific enough, this recipe is super cost-efficient – coming in at around $3.25 per serving. (Yeah … that’s a lot less expensive than Chiptole’s Burrito Bowls, for sure!)

Alllll the Burrito Goodies You Love! 

My version of this favorite Mexican dinner has all the yummy things you love to have stuffed inside a chicken burrito. The flavors, the textures, the toppings. It’s all here!

Finished recipe set out on table with full slow cooker, fresh vegetable toppings, and chicken in a bowl.

We’re talkin’ …

  • Tender, seasoned chicken
  • Flavorful veggies like sunshine-y sweet corn, plus black beans and onions
  • Big Mexican flavors from a double-hit of salsa and green chilie-studded tomatoes
  • A generous sprinkling of fresh cilantro for a final pop
  • All layered up on a bed of rice, with whatever burrito-style toppings your little heart desires. (With the big bonus that everybody’s little heart can desire a different topping bonanza … customize each Burrito Bowl just the way you please!)

I’ve been making this recipe for my family and friends for years, and they usually end up licking their bowls, exclaiming, “This is soooo yummy!” And then they ask, “When are you sharing this on THK??”

Well, it’s today! Today is the day!! But wait. Maybe we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Are you still sort of scratching your head, wondering …

What Is a Burrito Bowl? (And Why Is It Kinda Better Than an Old-School Burrito?)

Glad you asked! A burrito in a bowl is basically everything you’d put into a “traditional” rolled-up burrito, except you ditch the tortilla and the rolling, and just layer up everything in a bowl. Great concept, right??

√  You can save on carbs and calories by skipping the tortilla.

√  It’s a lot less messy … just grab a fork and dig on in there. No need to worry about tortilla rips and messy spills down your shirt {embasarssing!}.

√  Also, going wrap-less makes it easier to save portions for later and re-heat. Meal prep, anyone??

No wonder Chicken Burrito Bowls are such a runaway hit at restaurants like Chipotle! But, I know what you’re really wondering … so, without further ado, let’s dive in and find out how you can make this yourself!

How to Make Your Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowl

Burrito Bowls (specifically our version) are incredibly easy to whip up. We’ve got just 4 steps here, friends!

Ingredient photo with a table full of fresh corn, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro.

Step #1

Layer your chicken, taco seasoning, salsa, and veggies in your slow cooker. (See what I mean about EASY?!?)

Step #2

Turn on the slow cooker and put your feet up for a few hours! (Or, let’s be realistic, you could also use this luxurious extra time to knock a few things off your busy to-do list.)

Step #3

Just before you serve up your Bowls (to thunderous applause and adoring cheers, of course), shred the chicken, toss in some cilantro, and give it all a good stir.

Overhead look into slow cooker showing chicken and other burrito bowl ingredients that are ready to be cooked.

Step #4

Serve! (Is this actually even a step???) For the true Chicken Burrito Bowl vibe, you’ll probably want to spoon your chicken mixture over rice. That’s all you really need. It’s delicious just as it is. But, I usually also set out some additional toppings to turn the yumminess factor up even further.

What to Put in a Burrito Bowl

Depending on what your family likes, and what you have on hand, you could try:

  • shredded lettuce
  • chopped tomatoes
  • shredded, reduced-fat cheese
  • chopped avocados or guacamole
  • reduced-fat sour cream
  • chopped green onions
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • hot sauce

Are Burrito Bowls Healthy?

Yes, Burrito Bowls are healthy (if you do them right). Like any recipe, there are things you can tweak that will make them healthier.

Black slow cooker pot filled with cooked chicken and other ingredients.

And, of course, you know I’ve got some suggestions to help you wave your health-ification wand. I mean, this is THK, after all! Here are some things I recommend, to maximize this recipe’s nutrition potential:

1) If you’re serving this over rice, serve it with brown rice instead of white.

2) If you’re serving it with chips (like an appetizer … more on that in a minute …), choose multigrain or whole grain tortilla chips.

3) Use low sodium taco seasoning and avoid mixes that contain MSG.

4) Top it with reduced-fat cheeses and sour cream, instead of the full-fat varieties that have larger amounts of unhealthy fats and typically also more calories.

Can You Put Frozen Chicken in a Crock-Pot?

Short answer: No … Reputable cooking sites, cookbooks and food safety resources agree that it’s not a good idea. As we explain in more detail in our post about cooking frozen meat in your slow cooker:

  Slow cookers don’t reliably get frozen meat up to a safe temperature (above 140°F) evenly enough or quickly enough.

  Your meat will likely spend too much time hovering in the danger zone (from 40°F – 140°F), which opens the door for bacteria to flourish.

Not yummy … or safe! So, even if you’ve heard tales about people doing this with no problem, we urge you not to risk it. It’s NOT a safe idea.

How (and When) to Serve These Bowls

You’ve got lots of options for creating a fiesta-style Mexican dinner with this crock pot recipe as the base.

Overhead table spread featuring a central bowl filled with slow cooker chicken on a yellow napkin surrounded by burrito bowl toppings.

These Chicken Burrito Bowls are perfect:

• In the winter as a nice, warm, comfort-food dinner. Mmmmmmm … your house will smell so, so good when you walk in after a long day!

• Taco Tuesday and Cinco de Mayo – of course! These Bowls are an instant fiesta! (Psssst … try our Mexican Fiesta Black Bean Hummus to kick off the fiesta fun.)

• They’re also great at casual potlucks, for tailgating parties, or for a make-your-own-burrito bar (think easy graduation parties and family reunions). Everybody enjoys customizing their own! And, it even sparks conversations as people compare notes on topping strategies, which is a terrific ice breaker if you’re hosting a party where not everyone knows each other.

• Oh … and all those busy weeknights (which occur all year long!). 

• And if you love meal prep recipes, this is a winner for ya, too! The leftovers are wonderful, so you can even stretch this burrito meal over a couple nights or take extras for lunch throughout the week. Niiiiiice!

Serving This As an Appetizer

Weird but true … this recipe is even fabulous as a hearty appetizer. No kidding! I saw this surprising phenomenon in action when I made these Bowls for an impromptu backyard party. After everyone had ooooohed and aaaaaaahed and yummed their way through dinner, I noticed that my guests were grabbing tortilla chips and scraping up every last bit of chicken burrito filling from the bottom of the bowl. For real!

An Appetizer Dip

This pairs really {really!} well with tortilla chips. Just skip the rice, and dig your chips on in there.

Mmmmmmm … A Nacho Platter

You could really get super-crazy here and layer up a nacho platter. Maybe run your creation under the broiler to melt some gooey cheese on top, and then toss on lots of those toppings we suggested, like diced tomatoes and chopped lettuce and avocado. Oh my goodness!

This Recipe Was Even Featured in a Cookbook

We originally published this beloved Chicken Burrito Bowl recipe in a cookbook, as a special project we worked on with Feeding America, to raise money for Second Harvest Food Bank. 

And now … we can share the cookbook (in addition to this super-popular Burrito Bowl recipe), with all of you! Want the cookbook?

  • You can sign up for our email list and receive the e-book (for FREE!)
  • Or, you can buy the physical copy on Amazon and proceeds will benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida!

White burrito bowl filled with chicken and rice, topped with fresh vegetables, sour cream, and cilantro.

But maybe there’s no time for a cookbook today … you just need to get dinner ready. I hear ya! Just want our extra-super-delicious Chicken Burrito Bowl ASAP? Pop on down to the recipe card and get a batch simmering in your slow cooker for dinner tonight!

Large white dish filled with finished burrito bowl recipe and surrounded by smaller white cups of toppings.

Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowl

Yield: 7 cups (plus rice and optional toppings)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes

This Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowl recipe is a perfect Mexican feast on even busy nights! So simple to create a fun burrito bar anytime!

This Recipe Is:   •  Make Ahead  

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 (1.25-ounce) packet low-sodium taco seasoning (see note)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (from about two ears of corn if using fresh)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained (preferably organic or reduced-sodium)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 (16-ounce) jar of your favorite salsa
  • 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chilies with juice (such as Ro-Tel)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • brown rice, cooked and hot, for serving
  • optional topping ideas: shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, shredded reduced-fat cheese, chopped avocados or guacamole, reduced-fat sour cream, chopped green onions, additional chopped fresh cilantro, and hot sauce

Instructions

  1. Place chicken in the slow cooker. Sprinkle taco seasoning, corn, black beans, and onions over chicken. Pour salsa and canned tomatoes on top.
  2. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
  3. Just before serving, use two forks to shred the chicken. Add cilantro. Stir to combine ingredients.
  4. Serve over brown rice with optional toppings as desired.

Notes

Taco seasoning: We recommend avoiding taco seasoning mixes that contain MSG. Also, there are differences in the amounts of sodium (and other ingredients) in various brands, so it’s a good idea to read the nutrition information for the brands offered at your store.

To serve as an appetizer: To serve this as a hearty appetizer dip, simply omit the rice and serve alongside whole-grain tortilla chips.

Make-ahead tips: The Chicken Burrito mixture refrigerates beautifully, so you can enjoy leftovers for a second dinner or lunches later in the week. Great for meal prep!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 7 servings Serving Size: 1 cup chicken mixture (plus rice and optional toppings)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 314Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 754mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 8gSugar: 5gProtein: 38g

Nutrition calculation does not include rice and optional toppings, as those can vary. Nutrition information should be considered an estimate only, and may additionally vary depending on your choice of ingredients or preparation. No guarantees are made regarding allergies or dietary needs. Always consult a physician or dietician for specific advice and questions.

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Easy Crock Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}
Easy Crock Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}
Easy Crock Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}
Easy Crock Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}
Easy Crock Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}
Easy Crock Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}
Easy Crock Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

32 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowl”

  1. Sounds delicious! Something my whole family would love. I have chicken tenderloins in my freezer. Do you think I could use those instead of breasts?

    Reply
    • Hi, Karen! I’m so glad you like this recipe! I’ve never tried this with tenderloins, but I think they could definitely work. The only problem is that they are much smaller than chicken breasts, so the cook time may be less. You’ll just want to check on them every once in a while to be sure you don’t overcook them! Also, if you’re using them from the freezer, be sure to thaw them before putting them in the crock-pot — you can read more about this on our post on whether it’s safe to cook frozen meat in your crock-pot. Hope that’s helpful!
      ~Amy

      Reply

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Published on
Updated on September 22, 2021
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