Carnitas Burrito Bowl


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This carnitas burrito bowl is a play on Chipotle’s recipe – but better. It’s an easy meal prep throw-together that’s flavorful, filling, and all around healthy. Just prep your ingredients, layer everything together, and don’t forget a slab of fresh guacamole and salsa.

A carnitas burrito bowl, in a white bowl, surrounded by ingredients.

While getting a burrito bowl at Chipotle is satisfying, let me tell you something. A homemade bowl is even better. Ingredients are prepped the night before. Assembly only takes five minutes. And guacamole never costs extra!

But the best part is that you can get creative with your burrito bowl layers. Swap the chopped Romaine lettuce with arugula or add a spoonful of freshly made mango salsa instead of the pico de gallo. Let your creativity wander to create a burrito bowl that’s flavorful and never boring.

Watch How I Assemble It

Burrito Bowl Ingredients

Here are the base ingredients you’ll need to replicate Chipotle’s version.

  • Fresh Greens – I’m using chopped up romaine lettuce. But feel free to use any type of greens such as spinach or arugula.
  • Rice – If you want fresh and bright flavors, use cilantro lime rice. You can also use white rice, brown rice, or cauliflower rice.
  • Fajita Veggies – Give sliced bell pepper and onions a quick char in your cast iron pan.
  • Carnitas – Prep a batch of my easy, slow-cooker carnitas beforehand for easy assembly.
  • Black or Pinto Beans – You can either use canned beans or cook them fresh.
  • Pico De Gallo – Whip up a fresh batch, it’s easy to do.
  • Guacamole – I suggest making this the day of so your guacamole doesn’t start to brown.
  • Cheese – Shredded Monterey Jack is a Chipotle staple. But choose your favorite cheese or leave it off.

Ingredients for carnitas burrito bowl on a kitchen counter.

How To Assemble A Carnitas Burrito Bowl

Start With The Base

If you’ve been to Chipotle, the first step to a burrito bowl is rice and lettuce. So start with a base of cilantro lime rice, then add freshly chopped romaine lettuce on top.

Layer On The Warm Toppings

Next comes the warm layers of meat and veggies. Warm up about one cup of your carnitas and layer it on top of the lettuce.

If you don’t have the veggie fajitas prepped – don’t worry. Heat a cast iron pan over medium-high heat, then give the bell peppers and onions a quick stir fry. Until the onions become translucent and bell peppers are cooked through. Then, spread this on top of your carnitas.

Dollop The Final Touches

Now here comes the fun stuff. Dollop on freshly made pico de gallo and guacamole. If you don’t have guacamole ready, you can just add sliced avocados on top. And if you’re feeling extra, sprinkle on the shredded Monterey Jack cheese and drizzle some lime crema or chipotle sauce.

Up close shot of carnitas burrito bowl with a fork full of ingredients.

Burrito Bowl Meal Prep Tips

Thankfully, this burrito bowl comes together easily with a bit of meal prepping. These ingredients will stay good for about 4 days in the fridge. But, here’s a few tips to keep your bowl fresh during the week.

  • Store the ingredients separately. To make sure nothing gets soggy or loses its flavor, store everything in their own containers. That means fajita veggies in one box, cilantro lime rice in another, and salsa on the side.
  • Save the guac for last. Since guacamole will turn brown over time, it’s best to make this the day of.

More Mexican Inspired Recipes

Carnitas burrito bowl surrounded by bowl of individual ingredients.

Carnitas Burrito Bowl (Chipotle Copycat)

5 from 14 votes
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 8 hours
Total: 8 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


Make a carnitas burrito bowl at home just like Chipotle - it's easy! The quantity below is for making four bowls, but you can make just a single bowl as well. Watch the video above to see how I make mine!



Salad Bowl

Fajita Veggies

  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • fajita seasoning, to taste


  • Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Stir fry the bell pepper and onion until cooked through, then set aside.
  • Warm up your leftover slow-cooker carnitas in the microwave then set aside.
  • In a large salad bowl, layer the lettuce with cilantro lime rice, black beans, carnitas, and fajita veggies.
  • Then dollop on the pico de gallo, guacamole, and sprinkle with cheese.

Lisa's Tips

  • Just omit the cheese and lime crema for a delicious dairy-free option.


Calories: 688kcal | Carbohydrates: 96g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 333mg | Potassium: 1011mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 5251IU | Vitamin C: 46mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 4mg
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: burrito bowl, Carnitas burrito bowl, 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. This was absolutely delicious, and a delightful meat at to use leftover pulled pork. I looked over at my husbands bowl and was concerned he didn’t like it — turned out he was saving it for last bc it was so good. I started wincing as I was making all the components … but it was worth it. I didn’t have any fresh tomatoes, so I used some drained petite diced tomatoes and added some sweet onion, jalapeño, cumin, salt, cilantro, and lime juice — perfection. Thank you for this!5 stars

    1. Hi Jen – I’m happy you and your husband both loved this recipe! It does take a little time to prep all the ingredients, but it’s so worth it in the end. Enjoy!

  2. This was delicious!!!!  This will become a regular regularly cycled recipe for us!  We can’t believe how good this was!
    Thanks for a great recipe. (Loved the Lime Crema  recipe!) It gave the whole bowl a very fresh, light, uplifting taste!

  3. This bowl is crazy good!!!! We followed Lisa’s carnitas recipe and man is it delicious. These bowls are so fresh and satisfying!5 stars

  4. Made this last night for Halloween. Delicious! I assembled it like a poké bowl so you could see all the individual ingredients with the guac in the middle. Fab! Your Lime crema and Salsa recipes were also delicious on it. I tried to post a picture here, but not working. Loved this!! 5 stars

  5. This is so delicious! My husband wants it once a month for the summer. I made this bowl following your instructions for the meat and each of accompaniments. Well, except for the fajita vegetables. I was so wrapped up in making the cilantro rice, pico, guac, and crema that I forgot about the peppers and onions. Also I didn’t include beans by choice. Even without those, it was very filling.5 stars

    1. Hi Jessica- Excited to hear that you and your husband enjoyed this carnitas bowl without a few of the ingredients! This will definitely be the perfect summer meal.

  6. Yes! All my favorite things in one bowl. This is perfect. If there were a book club that just discussed cookbooks, I’d be all about it. I can’t be the only one that read cookbooks (and cooking blogs) like novels.5 stars

  7. I don’t always have tortillas at home, but I always have rice, so this way of enjoying burrito is so much better suited for me. :)5 stars

    1. Hi Anita – This bowl is a great way to use up any leftovers really you have in your fridge :)