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Recipe for slow cooker chicken and pinto bean burrito bowl

Slow cooker chicken and pinto bean burrito, in a bowl.

I'm a gal who loves a good burrito, the overstuffed kind that dribbles down your chin when you bite into it: meat, beans and rice, guacamole, maybe some sour cream, and salsa, bundled up in a tortilla. I love it all.

Everything except the tortilla goes into this slow cooker chicken and pinto bean burrito bowl. You probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry, and the slow cooker works its magic while you're out for the day. You can roll the filling into a tortilla for a traditional burrito, but if you're cutting down on carbs, like we are, you'll love it in a bowl. All you have to do is add some fresh garnishes -- avocado, chopped cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese -- and you can sneak a few tortilla chips on the side.

Slow cooker chicken and pinto bean burrito bowl. No tortilla, lots of goodness.

Slow cooker chicken and pinto bean burrito bowl  {gluten-free}

From the pantry, you'll need: chicken breasts, Ro*Tel, canned green chiles, onion, cumin, chili powder, lime, agave nectar, canned beans, long-grain white rice or brown rice, shredded cheese.

Serves 4-6.


3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise
10-oz can Ro*Tel
4-oz can roasted green chiles
1 medium onion, diced
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
Juice of half a lime (reserve the other half for garnish)
1 tsp agave nectar
15-oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups cooked long-grain white rice, or brown rice (1 cup rice cooked with 2 cups water)
Optional toppings: avocado slices, shredded cheese, chopped cilantro


In a 4-1/2- or 5-quart slow cooker, place the chicken pieces.

In a small bowl, stir together the Ro*Tel, chiles, onion, cumin, chili powder, lime juice and agave. Pour the mixture over the chicken, and add 1/4 cup of water.

Cover, and cook on LOW for 5 hours, giving a stir halfway through the cooking time.

Remove the chicken from the cooker and set aside to cool for 5 minutes in a mixing bowl.

While the chicken is cooling, turn the cooker to HIGH, and add the beans to the cooker.

Using two forks, shred the chicken. Return the chicken to the cooker and stir gently to combine with the liquid and beans. Then, add the cooked rice, and stir again to combine. Cover, and continue to cook on HIGH for 30 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Serve hot, topped with avocado slices, grated cheese or cilantro, and a squirt of lime juice. Or, remove from the slow cooker into smaller containers; allow to cool completely, then refrigerate or freeze.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More beans:
Black bean and brown rice burrito, from The Perfect Pantry
Slow cooker vegan spicy pinto bean chili with corn and kale, from The Perfect Pantry
Semi-homemade refried beans, from Pinch My Salt
Beef and bean burritos, from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Slow cooker chicken and pinto bean burrito bowl. #slowcooker #glutenfree

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


this sounds good

We're big fans of burrito bowls, too. I've never added pintos, but my hubby would love that addition. Thanks, Lydia!

Satonahat, it is! And so comforting in this cold, cold weather.

Pattypro, the pintos help make the burrito "filling" a more substantial meal. You could use kidney beans or black beans, too.

Oh, how yummy this would be, Lydia! Shared on my gfe Facebook page and pinning. :-)


Shirley, thanks so much. I love your approach to gluten-free, looking for recipes that are naturally g-free without any special additives or ingredients. And I'm always glad when one of my recipes meets those criteria.

Oh yes, please. I love everything about this recipe.

Thank good ness for "ro*tel" and what a great dish to put on while you finish shoveling out!

Lydia, this looks divine! Grateful you have power to run your crockpot. This is the first time we haven't lost power in a lollapalooza storm since we came here 3 years ago. Very grateful to see your beautiful burrito. Only thing missing is the avocado ;)!

Kalyn, I know this is your kind of recipe!

Carol, so warm and filling after dealing with the snow. Hope you made out alright in the storm.

Cary, same here, our power held and we're so grateful. Glad you are okay, too. Enjoy this without the avocado, if you must. After a storm, we all improvise a little bit!

I love all the flavors of this--and my family would love it. I don't have any agave nectar. I think I could sub a tsp of honey for that, no?

Kirsten, absolutely. I find honey to be much sweeter than agave, so you might try half a teaspoon to see if it's to your taste.

I recently followed a similar recipe, but with uncooked rice--which was still uncooked after 24 hours. Ugh. Will give this one a shot--cooked rice would be lovely!

Erika, that does sound awful! Cooked rice is a great and easy addition to this dish (and if you have a rice cooker, you can plug that in right next to the slow cooker and let it cook itself).

Lydia - this sounds like a great weeknight meal - love the idea of a burrito in the bowl without the wrapper.

Jeanette, it's an easy weeknight dinner thanks to the slow cooker, and you'll never miss the tortilla!

I always get my burritos "naked" (in a bowl instead of tortilla) at Qdoba. I will be giving your crockpot chicken a try since I love to make burrito bowls at home too.

Janel, this is my preferred way to eat them, too, and it's so much less messy!

Made this on sunday and loved it. Right now I am having it for breakfast with an egg on top because anything with an egg on top spells breakfast:—). The only thing I would change for my palette — instead of putting the chicken back in on high for 30 minutes I would just keep it covered and incorporate at serving time. I liked the moisture it had when I first pulled it.

Christine, thanks so much for your feedback. I'm always happy when readers take my recipes and make them their own.

Hi Lydia,
And THANK YOU SOOOO much for the recipe. I love coming to your site! You always have quality recipes.
Thank you again!!!

Can you provide the nutritional info for this recipe?

This was fabulous! Hubby and I both thought it tasted very similar to Chipotle's burrito bowl.

I did make some minor changes to adjust for timing and allergies. I made it with chicken thighs instead of breasts (I knew I wouldn't be taking it out at the 5 hour mark, and thighs seem to be more forgiving of a longer cook time). My hubby is allergic to tomatoes, so I used Goya salsa verde in place of the Ro-tel.

I used Trader Joe's brown rice, red rice and barley blend from the freezer, and served with guac and monterey jack. So good!

I see someone asked this question, but I don't see the answer. Can you give the nutritional facts to the above recipe.

Denise, I don't have the time or expertise to provide nutritional information. I suggest you enter the recipe into CalorieCount (http://caloriecount.about.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php) to calculate for you.

Made this today and we really enjoyed it. Rotel is not available where I live so I used a can of diced tomatoes and a generous pinch of pepper flakes.

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