These burrito bowls cook under pressure for only ten minutes. The result is a one-bowl meal that’s loaded with flavor!
One of my favorite things about using an electric pressure cooker is that it gives me the ability to make a “one bowl” meal in minutes. Take these burrito bowls. Combine chicken, black beans, rice, and salsa with some sautéed onions and garlic, and, after ten minutes under pressure, you’ve got yourself a tasty meal.
So little work! So much reward!
When using a pressure cooker, I often use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of boneless chicken breasts. The meat always cooks up moist and flavorful. Where, in my experience, the chicken breasts sometimes come out rubbery.
To make life easier, buy a package of boneless, skinless thighs. They’re sometimes labeled, “Thigh Filets”. Then cut the chicken into bite-size pieces, about one to two inches each. (update: see note below about chicken breasts)
The Black Beans
Next up: Black Beans. In my opinion, black beans are the BEST beans. I love ’em so.very.much. Use low sodium or no salt added black beans. If you don’t like black beans, replace them with pinto beans.
For these bowls, I like plain, ‘ol long grain white rice. You could use any white rice that you have in the house. Just don’t replace the white rice with brown rice. The cooking time for brown rice, even in a pressure cooker, is vastly different.
The Chili Powder
Do you love chili powder? I LOVE chili powder! Since it’s a spice blend (usually containing dried chili powder, cumin, garlic), the flavor varies from brand to brand. I use Penzey’s Regular Chili Powder. It doesn’t add much heat but it adds a nice kick of flavor.
If you want to add some heat, use Penzey’s medium or hot chili powder.
Confession time: There are two types of salsa in my kitchen: cooking salsa and all the other salsas.
The collection of salsa that I use for chips and as a topping on foods salsa is REALLY spicy and flavorful. It would take over a dish in 0.02 seconds flat. So I tend not to cook with it.
For cooking, I want something that adds flavor but doesn’t overpower the dish.
Enter: Chi-Chi’s Medium Thick and Chunky salsa. Yes. I said Chi-Chi’s. No, that’s not a typo.
This salsa works really well in dishes like this one. It’s a simple blend of tomatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic. That’s it. And that’s all I want from it.
If you have another salsa that you love and enjoy cooking with, use it! (And then let us know in the comments what you used. The salsa affects the flavor. If you find something amazing, share the love!)
The Chicken Stock
Two cups or one can of chicken stock helps build and maintain the pressure needed for the pressure cooker to seal. Don’t skip this ingredient.
To keep the amount of salt in check, I always use a low sodium or unsalted chicken broth. Two really good ones are Trader Joe’s and Kitchen Basics Unsalted Chicken Stock
Topping it: Cilantro and Cheddar Cheese
As soon as you open the lid of the pressure cooker, this dinner is ready to eat. You don’t need to top it with anything. But what fun would that be?
A sprinkle of Cheddar cheese and, if you don’t hate it, cilantro finishes the burrito bowls nicely. If I have some sour cream hanging out in my fridge, a dollop always seems to find it’s way into my bowl. And my husband always adds some pickled jalapeños and a spoonful of hot salsa to his bowl. So dress it up–or not–as much as you’d like.
Lunches or Leftovers
Consider making a batch of these burrito bowls and dividing it into four or five containers for a week’s worth of easy lunches. To heat, add about a half teaspoon of water. Cover with a microwave cover/steamer and heat for a minute or so. (Reheat time varies based on your microwave.)
If you have a small portion leftover and want to get another meal out of it, cook up an egg, and plunk it onto the hot rice. This makes such a delicious dinner!
UPDATE: Chicken Breasts
Lots of folks have wondered if chicken breasts can be used in this recipe. Absolutely! Simply swap the chicken thighs for boneless breasts. You don’t need to adjust the cooking time.
Pressure Cooker Chicken, Black Bean, and Rice Burrito Bowls
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic minced or put through a garlic press
- 1 teaspoon chili powder (I used Penzey's Regular Chili Powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed (preferably low or no salt added)
- 1 cup long grain white rice uncooked
- 1 cup salsa (I used Chi-Chi's Thick and Chunky Medium Salsa)
- 2 cups OR 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth (preferably low or no sodium)
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro for serving, optional
- 1/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese for serving, optional
Set electric pressure cooker to the saute setting. Heat olive oil until it shimmers but doesn't smoke. Add the onion and cook until soft, about two minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute. Add chili powder and salt. Stir to combine. Add the chicken, black beans, rice, and salsa. Stir. Pour chicken broth over the mixture.
Lock the lid in place. Set a 10-minute cook time on high pressure.
Once the cook time completes, quickly release the pressure.
Open the lid away from your face. Stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
Serve with chopped cilantro and grated cheddar.
This tastes exactly like Chipotle’s burrito bowl. Not kidding. I’m a very picky home chef and it takes A LOT to impress me. I made this exactly to the letter. I HIGHLY recommend topping your bowl with cilantro, cheddar cheese and most important – fresh cut salsa (like pico de gallo) and crushed tortilla chips. No need to go to Chipotle anymore! Thanks for a great recipe! So happy to have found your blog
Used instant pot Plus mini (3 quart) so the cooking time varied for pressure. Took me 30 min and stirring halfway through. Also took lid off and stirred for 1 or 2 min to cook off excess liquid
Really enjoyed this delicious recipe. The mixture was nicely thickened. I used chicken breast and cut it into cubes. Will definitely make again.
Chris R says
Hi. I’m in self isolation and loved this the first time I made. Craving a burrito bowl and I don’t have salsa. Can I substitute a can of rotel tomatoes and just add a little more garlic? Thanks
Yes! That will work. The flavor will be a little different but I think adding a little bit of garlic would be great!
I tried this recipe twice and want to share what I learned.
First: one of the comments says this is “just like Chipotle”. It’s not. Chipotle’s ingredients are prepared and seasoned independently, and it’s just not the same!
Second: I used low sodium chicken broth AND omitted the half teaspoon salt. This was a mistake – it needs that half teaspoon.
Third: the rice came out overcooked. On my second attempt, I left my pressure cooker on saute mode after adding all the ingredients EXCEPT the rice, and I let it come to a boil. Then I stirred the rice in, waited 1 minute, and then threw the lid on and flipped it to pressure cook. MUCH better – the rice was nearly perfect. If I cook it again, I’ll wait 2 minutes before throwing the lid on and starting the pressure cook.
Fourth: it came out with no heat or chili/spice flavor at all. 1 teaspoon chili powder just isn’t enough. The second time I made it, I added an extra teaspoon of ground ancho chile powder, and an extra teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder. This was MUCH better – still no “heat” or spiciness, but it brought out flavor.
Fifth: there’s quite a bit of rice in the end result. I might add more beans next time.
I make this all the time and my son loves it. I’m about to go away and won’t have access to my instant pot for a few weeks. Do you have any tips on a stovetop method that might work?
I don’t but now I want to make a stovetop version. That’s a great idea!
Victoria Clark says
Do you know how many calories per serving? I track on MyFitnessPal and can’t find anything comparable.
Is there a way to sub cauliflower rice?
I don’t think so.
Pam graffice says
Am I the only person that gets the burn notice when they cook rice in instant pot? I rinse it but when I stir into a recipe I get burn every time. I have learned to not stir in the rice but lay on top and pat down so liquid covers it.
You aren’t. It seems that some Instant Pots do this. I’m not sure why. It’s super frustrating!
Fred Flint says
For chicken breast I would cut it a little thinner than 1 inch squares for more flavor soaking in. Maybe 1/2″ by 1″.
Has anyone tried freezing leftovers? Does it work well?
Instant pots require a cup of thin liquid to build pressure. If you stir everything together you are making a thick liquid and you will get a burn notice as food will stick to the bottom of the pan. This is especially true of a recipe with tomato paste. Don’t stir it until the cooking is finished!!!
Followed recipe exactly and so delicious that I’m going to add it to the menu again next week! We scooped into small flour tortillas bowls and topped with green onions, sour cream and cheddar.
Jennifer Coke says
This was excellent! I paid attention to the people who said it wasn’t spicy enough and added extra Chile powder, cumin, and black pepper. Served with guacamole and sour cream.
This has been made several times and for varying people in my house…all with rave reviews! I add a can of corn to mix. I also added sour cream and guacamole to my toppings.
I forgot to dice the chicken first last time I made it so I shredded it instead…so good!!
Yummo, first time making this and oh so delicious. I didn’t have any salsa so used a small jar of taco sauce, 3 extra diced tomatoes, more garlic and the consistency was perfect. So quick and easy! Topped with Greek yoghurt as I had no sour cream.
Hi, will a stove top pressure cooker be okay to make this delicious recipe? Because I don’t have an electric instant pot.
Yes. But I haven’t tested it in a stovetop cooker. So I’m not sure of the cooking time. It’s usually a little less on the stovetop.
My daughter sent this to me. She made it and her son age 10 loved it so much he ate two bowls. The a day to two later when his mom asked what he would like for dinner he asked for the burrito bowls. since they had just had it, his mon suggested beef. She tweaked the recipe using ground beef and ranch style beans. Plus about 1/2 packet of taco seasoning. Then added 1/2 can southwest corn mixture. He loved this version also. Now I must try it.
How many calories are each serving?