Instant Pot Burrito Bowls with Black Beans and Brown Rice
Easy Instant Pot burrito bowls made with cilantro lime brown rice and black beans using the pot-in-pot method. These Chipotle inspired burrito bowls are vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free, and make an excellent dinner or meal prep option.
As much as I love Italian food, whenever I’m away from California for a couple of weeks I start craving a bean burrito with guacamole. On our way home from Italy last week a Chipotle ad started popping up for their new plant based burrito bowls and I had to have one right away. These black bean and brown rice burrito bowls are inspired by Chipotle, complete with cilantro lime brown rice and fresh corn salsa.
Pressure cooking makes cooking dried beans easier than ever as they don’t need to be soaked like when cooking on the stovetop. One of my favorite uses for the Instant Pot is cooking two things at once using the pot-in-pot method, as I did here with black beans and brown rice all in one pot. These burrito bowls have tons of flavor and are super satisfying. They are one of my family’s favorite nourishing dinner ideas and I hope you love it too.
Pot-in-Pot Black Beans and Brown Rice
If you’re wondering what exactly “pot-in-pot” means, let me explain. This is a method where you cook one dish in the bottom of the pot, while another recipe cooks above in a separate container. Foods with similar cook times must be used for pot-in-pot pressure cooking. Black beans and brown rice cook in the same amount of time, making them a great pair for pot-in-pot pressure cooking. If you’d like to find more matches, check out the Instant Pot Cooking Time Chart.
For our burrito bowl black beans, we saute onion and garlic, then add spices, water, and rinsed (not soaked) black beans. This is the bottom layer.
A trivet goes on top of the bean mixture to elevate the rice where it will steam above.
Cilantro Lime Brown Rice
Stir together rinsed brown rice, water, salt, and a bay leaf in an oven-safe dish such as Pyrex. It’s important to use brown rice here as it has roughly the same cook time as dry black beans. Quinoa, which only needs 1 minute to pressure cook, for example would not be a good match.
Set the rice dish on the trivet, uncovered. Lock the lid and select manual, or pressure cook, depending on your model, for 25 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release for 20 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure. Keep in mind that it will take about 15 minutes for the pressure cooker to come to pressure before the 25 minute countdown begins.
Once the beans and rice have cooked, carefully take the rice container out with hands covered. Season the rice and beans with lime juice and any additional salt and pepper.
How to Make Veggie Burrito Bowls
Once the beans and rice are cooked, you’re ready to make the burrito bowls. You can make the beans and rice in advance and reheat, or make right at dinnertime.
Burrito Bowl Toppings
Now comes the fun part – assembling the burrito bowls! There are many different veggies you could add to your bean and rice burrito bowls. I’ve done everything from Sheet Pan Fajita Veggie Bowls to super simple Quick Quinoa Burrito Bowls in the past. Some favorite fresh ingredients include:
Fresh Corn Salsa
Fresh corn salsa made with white sweet corn, cilantro, lime juice, and onion ads such great flavor and texture to these burrito bowls. It takes just a minute to make and is a must in the summer.
Instant Pot Burrito Bowls Tips
Black bean and brown rice burrito bowls are a great option for meal prep. Cook the beans and rice when you have time early in the day or over the weekend. Keep separate for reheating. Prep the cold toppings and store in airtight containers in the fridge. If you like to meal prep, check out these Quinoa, Broccoli, Grape, and Pecan Bowls with Lemon Dressing!
This recipe makes mild burrito bows, as our kids don’t like super spicy foods yet. If you want more heat, add a chipotle pepper from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce to the bean mixture before cooking, then remove the pepper and stir in adobo sauce to taste (a little goes a long way).
If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can use the same bean and rice recipes and cook on the stovetop/rice cooker, but you’ll need to adjust cook times and amounts of water. Check the packaging for water ratios and cook times.
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (optional)
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups dry black beans, rinsed
- 4 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 cup brown rice, rinsed
- 1 cup water
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 bay leaf
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1/8 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 ears sweet white corn, kernels cut off
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1/2 seeded diced jalapeno (optional)
- Heat oil, if using, in an Instant Pot on saute mode. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute one minute longer. Select cancel. Add the beans, water, bay leaf, oregano, cumin, and salt. Stir to combine, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom to avoid the burn warning. Place a trivet over the beans to elevate the rice dish.
- In an approximately 6-inch oven-safe glass dish, stir together the rice, water, salt, and bay leaf. Place the rice dish on to trivet over the beans. The rice will steam while the beans cook.
- Lock the lid, with valve set to sealing, and select pressure cook/manual mode (high) for 25 minutes. It will take about 15 minutes for the pot to come to pressure before the countdown begins.
- Let the pressure naturally release for 20 minutes before manually releasing any remaining pressure. Carefully remove the lid. Using pot holders, carefully remove the rice dish and trivet. Squeeze lime juice over the rice and beans. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if needed. Fluff rice with a fork and stir in cilantro.
- While the rice and beans cook, make the corn slasa. In a medium bowl, stir together the corn kernels, lime juice, cilantro, and jalapeno, if using.
- To assemble the burrito bowls, add a scoop of rice into bowls, then add beans, corn salsa, lettuce, guacamole, and tomato salsa. Enjoy!
If you'd like spicy burrito bowls, add one Chipotle pepper from a can of Chipotles in Adobo Sauce to the bean mixture before cooking. Add a tiny bit of sauce at a time after cooking to add more heat.
This is a great meal prep recipe. To make in advance, only make the beans, rice, and corn salsa. Reheat beans and rice when ready to eat and add toppings.
If you don't have an electric pressure cooker, you can still make the burrito bowls. Soak the black beans overnight then cook them on the stovetop with the same ingredients, but know you'll need to add quite a bit more water as there is little to no evaporation with pressure cooking. Cook the rice on the stovetop or in a rice cooker, using the appropriate amount of water for each method.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 582 Total Fat: 11g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 1140mg Carbohydrates: 100g Fiber: 26g Sugar: 10g Protein: 28g