Barbacoa Burrito Bowl


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This barbacoa burrito bowl is the best throw-together meal with layers of classic Mexican flavors. From zesty cilantro lime rice, to juicy beef barbacoa, to freshly made salsa, this homemade version will beat Chipotle’s burrito bowl any day.

Beef barbacoa burrito bowl on a table with salsa.

Burrito bowls have honestly become a staple in my house. They’re so easy to toss together with a few meaty leftovers, rice, and fresh ingredients. And if you do the math, they’re a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay at your favorite Chipotle restaurant. Who doesn’t love that?

You’ve seen me make a carnitas burrito bowl, but when I make a large batch of meltingly tender beef barbacoa, it only makes sense to make a bowl out of that as well. I mean, just look at how tasty the photos look! And then, if I still have barbacoa leftovers, barbacoa tacos are on the menu next. Yes, I’m a little predictable like that.

Ingredients for a barbacoa burrito bowl on a table.

Barbacoa Burrito Bowl Ingredients

Here’s a few essentials to build the ultimate burrito bowl. But keep on reading for more ways to spruce up your bowl!

  • Barbacoa: Prep a batch of my slow cooker barbacoa ahead of time. This is where leftovers will come in handy!
  • Cilantro Lime Rice: Can’t beat the punch of flavor that cilantro and lime add to rice.
  • Black Beans: I always opt for black beans, but you could use pinto beans or really any other beans as well.
  • Corn: You can use fresh, frozen, or grilled, it’s up to you.
  • Tomatoes: Roma tomatoes are always my go-to as they’re less juicy, so won’t water down your bowl.
  • Avocado: Feel free to slice it or dice into cubes. Of course, you could always use guacamole as well.
  • Cilantro: This fresh herb is an essential for garnishing any Mexican-inspired meal.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

Let’s Make A Beef Barbacoa Burrito Bowl

  • Warm up the barbacoa and cilantro lime rice. Pop them both into the microwave for 1-2 minutes, or until warmed through.
  • Layer your bowl up! First, add the rice as your base. Then add the barbacoa, black beans, corn, and diced tomatoes.
  • Finish with garnishes. I love to add sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, and chopped cilantro and, but keep reading for a few more delicious ideas.

Get Creative With Flavorful Toppings

While this is a play on Chipotle’s barbacoa burrito bowl, here’s a few ways to make it even better.

  • Have fun with different salsas. Make it a little fruity with mango salsa, chunky with avocado salsa, or perfectly spicy with my classic salsa recipe.
  • Amp it up with flavorful sauces. Instead of sour cream, drizzle homemade lime crema or my best ever chipotle sauce for a smoky heat.
  • Add some crunch. Slice up radishes or diced onions for a refreshing crunch.
  • Get cheesy! I love to sprinkle cotija cheese on Mexican dishes, but you can use any shredded cheese.

A barbaca burrito bowl next to a plate of barbacoa and sour cream.

Burrito Bowl Meal Prep Tips

Burrito bowls will forever be a meal prep savior! Just prep and store each ingredient into their own containers. They will keep for about 4 days in the fridge.

  • Store the ingredients separately. Storing each ingredient in individual boxes is ideal to prevent sogginess. But if you’re out of containers, you can at least store the corn and beans together.
  • Avocado comes last. Since avocado browns easily, slice your avocados the day of or right before you assemble the bowl.

More Mexican-Inspired Recipes

Skip the trip to Chipotle and opt to make these recipes right at home. You won’t believe how delicious and easy these are to make!

Barbacoa Burrito Bowl Recipe Video

Want to see how I assemble this tasty bowl? Watch the video below! 

If you make this barbacoa burrito bowl, let me know how it turned out! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.

Chipotle barbacoa burrito bowl.

Barbacoa Burrito Bowl

5 from 7 votes
Prep: 30 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 2 bowls
Author: Lisa Bryan


This barbacoa burrito bowl is the best throw-together recipe filled with fresh Mexican flavors! It will beat Chipotle's barbacoa any day!



  • 3/4 cup cilantro lime rice
  • 1/2 cup barbacoa
  • 1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup cooked corn
  • 1 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 avocado, sliced
  • 1 tablespoons salsa
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • optional toppings: onions, sour cream and cheese


  • Warm up your leftover barbacoa and cilantro lime rice in the microwave and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add the rice, barbacoa, black beans, corn, and diced tomatoes. Top with salsa, cilantro and other toppings such as sour cream and cheese.


Calories: 502kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 112mg | Potassium: 731mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 452IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Barbacoa Burrito Bowl, Barbacoa Recipe, Chipotle burrito bowl
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Hi Lisa

    Love your website and enjoyed all the recipes that I’ve tried.

    Thank you for sharing the Beef Barbacoa recipe too! I’ve just made this dish and I think my lime is much, much sour than expected 😖. Do you have any tricks/tip to reduce the “sourness” in this dish? 
    Thank you 

  2. Great combination, colorful and nutritious, Awesome presentation too. I love this Healthy and Happy Meal option.5 stars

  3. My family really enjoys Mexican recipes, and this Barbacoa Bowl hit the spot! Everyone loved it and is asking me to make it again.5 stars

  4. This looks amazing! I’m a huge fan of burrito bowls and can’t wait to make this at home soon5 stars

  5. Amazing Barbacoa recipe, seriously never had better!!! I actually do not like the sweet recipes that most restaurants consider Barbacoa, so this was perfect. It’s spicy, super tender and extremely flavorful! We used the meat for the cilantro lime rice bowls on the first night, and then street tacos on the next night. I had so much left, I’m freezing it for another week-maybe a burrito next time!!!5 stars

    1. So glad you enjoyed this burrito bowl recipe Laura! Excited for you to try the taco version next :)