Build a vegan Chipotle bowl at home with fresh, healthy ingredients, oil-free. Skip the drive-thru and eat healthy at home with this copycat version of Chipotle's LifeStyle Vegan Bowl. You will love this vegan chipotle bowl recipe.
Whenever the kids go to Chipotle, I always tell them I can make a Vegan Chipotle Bowl healthier. After a lot of trial and error, I mastered a vegan Chipotle bowl without oil or added preservatives. Although I understand Chipotle's healthy version is different from mine, I prefer homemade food over fast food any day.
Since Chipolte doesn't share their secret recipes, my copycat Chipotle bowl is my best guess at the mystery ingredients. But, the kids said I nailed it, and I guarantee my version is not only easy to make, but it's also fresh and fabulous.
Instead of going out to build a Lifestyle Chipotle Bowl, build a vegan Chipotle bowl at home. And the fun part about making it at home, is there are so many variations to make your Chipotle bowl unique.
Let's layer the lifestyle vegan Chipotle Bowl!
Cauliflower Rice Ingredients
- Cauliflower: Cauliflower pulsed in a food processor, creates rice-sized bites of cauliflower instead of using rice.
- Vegetable Broth: The vegetable broth is used to help cook the cauliflower in the skillet without using oil.
- Lime Juice: The lime juice adds some citrus flavoring to the cauliflower rice.
- Cilantro: The cilantro flavors the cauliflower rice with a beautiful herb flavor.
Cauliflower Rice Substitutions
Of course, there are alternatives to making your own cauliflower rice, as well as using different base ingredients for the vegan Chipotle bowl.
- Frozen cauliflower rice is available in the freezer section. If you use frozen cauliflower, use half the broth and do not thaw it before cooking. It will get mushy.
- Or, cauliflower is often sold already priced in the produce section where the bagged salads and coleslaw are located.
- If you don't like cauliflower, try brown, jasmine, or white rice.
- Quinoa is also a possibility, or any other grain you prefer.
Making Cauliflower Rice
First, cauliflower rice begins with a head of cauliflower.
Once the core is removed and the cauliflower is cut into large pieces, place it into a food processor with a large blade.
Then, pulse until the cauliflower resembles rice.
Another method of preparing cauliflower rice is using a hand box grater using the medium grater side.
One head of cauliflower, for instance, yields 6 cups of cauliflower rice depending on the size of the cauliflower head.
Instead of using oil, place the cauliflower rice in a skillet and heat the skillet to medium-low, and add ¼ cup of vegetable broth.
Stir to combine, and heat covered, so the cauliflower rice steams, for 5-8 minutes.
Once cooked, remove the lid, and add ¼ cup of lime juice, and ½ cup of fresh chopped cilantro.
How to Make the Bowl
To begin, choose the base for the vegan chipotle bowl recipe.
- Prepared brown rice
- White Rice
- Combination of rice and cauliflower rice
- Jasmine Rice
- Mexican Rice Recipe
Next, add Sofritas!
Sofritas at Chipotle are organic, shredded tofu braised in chipotle chilies, roasted poblanos, and a "blend of aromatic spices." What lacks, however, in the description is the added oil and sugar to mass-produce this processed Chipolte health food.
To make a healthy version of Chipotle sofritas, I chose fresh ingredients and roasted my vegetables to make the sauce cook into my crumbled tofu.
Even though most copy-cat Chipotle sofrito recipes include cooking the tofu in oil, I discovered a quick and easy way to cook the tofu oil-free.
- Extra-firm or sprouted tofu
- Campari tomatoes, or tomatoes similar in size and juiciness
- Red onion
- Fresh garlic cloves
- Poblano pepper
- Chipolte peppers and sauce (also called Adobo Chili Peppers in a can) Note: these are not roasted with the other vegetables.
Ingredients for Spicy Pinto Beans
- Pinto beans: Pinto beans are firm and meaty in texture. They are mild tasting and absorb herbs and spices well.
- White onion: White onions, when cooked are slightly sweeter, a bit milder in taste than yellow onions. They're a good choice for dicing and serving raw on sandwiches and salads or in fresh salsas, and are often used in Mexican recipes.
- Garlic: Cooked garlic will still taste like garlic, but it will also have a sweet flavor, and that comes from the fact that it gets slightly caramelized as it roasts in the oven. Roasted garlic has a milder flavor than raw garlic.
- Hot sauce: I used Cholula for a slightly spicy flavor.
Bean Ingredient Substitutions
- If I don't have pinto beans, I often replace them with black beans.
- Yellow or red onion substitutes for white onion in recipes.
- I prefer fresh garlic, but jarred garlic can be used in a pinch.
- Choose any hot sauce you prefer. However, always use spicy ingredients sparingly and taste as you cook. If you are sensitive to heat and prefer mild food, leave this ingredient out.
Next, heat over medium-low, and spoon on as the second layer of the Chipotle bowl.
The next layer of the vegan Chipotle bowl is fresh corn salsa.
I make my own corn salsa, but there are many tomato-free corn salsas at the grocery store. One of my favorites is Trader Joe's Corn Salsa.
- Jarred or fresh salsa of choice
- Fruit Salsa Recipe
- Chopped tomatoes
- Grilled, canned, or frozen corn
The final layer of the vegan Chipotle bowl is the garnishes. Instead of guacamole, I chose slices of fresh avocado, sliced jalapenos, sliced grape tomatoes, and lime wedges.
Other Possible Garnishes
Chipotle uses a 32-ounce bowl for its bowl dishes.
Chipotle Vegan Burrito Bowl With Tofu (1 serving) contains 63g total carbs, 47g net carbs, 31g fat, 30g protein, and 654 calories.
When it comes down to comparing lifestyle bowls to burrito bowls from Chipotle, the biggest difference is just how they are made. Lifestyle bowls are pretty specific and include more of a salad base to support a healthy lifestyle.
- Make the sofritas in advance.
- Instead of sofritas, try vegan lentil meat for a tofu-free option.
- The bowl can be eaten hot or cold.
- Choose guacamole and sales instead of sliced avocado and corn salsa.
- Add any toppings you enjoy; don't restrict yourself. Instead, be creative.
- When working with jalapeno peppers always use gloves to avoid contact burns. Remove the seeds and veins before chopping and adding to a recipe.
- Grape tomatoes have fewer seeds and are preferred in Mexican recipes.
- To save time, buy frozen cauliflower rice, or already riced cauliflower available in the produce section.
The next time you're craving Chipotle, make a vegan Chipolte bowl at home healthier! With layers of fresh vegetables and other goodies, this vegan Chipotle bowl will bring you back for more!
Other Great Vegan Mexican Dishes
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Vegan Chipotle Bowl
Cauliflower Cilantro Rice
- 1 head cauliflower riced in a food processor or using a box grater
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 recipe sofritas
Spicy Pinto Beans
- ½ cup white onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 15 ounces can pinto beans rinsed and drained
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce of choice
- 1 recipe corn salsa
- 2 avocados sliced thin
- 3 jalapenos deseeded and sliced thin
- 3 limes quartered
- 1- pint grape tomatoes cut in half
Cauliflower Cilantro Rice
- Wash and remove the core from the cauliflower.
- Cut the cauliflower into pieces and place into a large food processor bowl fitted with a large blade, or use a box grater on the medium grate setting.
- Pulse the cauliflower until the cauliflower resembles rice.
- Place cauliflower in a large skillet and heat to medium-low
- Add ½ cup vegetable broth, stir, cover the skillet, and cook/steam, for 5-8 minutes.
- Remove the cover and add the lime juice and cilantro. Stir and heat through, then remove from heat.
Spicy Pinto Beans
- In a saucepan over medium-low heat, saute the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent.
- Add the drain and rinsed pinto beans and hot sauce
- Stir until heated through
Building a Vegan Chipotle Bowl
- In bowls or plates, divide the cauliflower cilantro rice on the bottom of each bowl/plate.
- Then add a serving of sofritas, followed by a serving of beans, then corn salsa.
- Garnish with avocado slices, tomatoes, jalapenos, and limes.
- Use Jarred or fresh salsa of choice instead of corn salsa.
- For a tofu-free option, try vegan lentil meat.
- The fruit salsa recipe is great for incorporating fruit into the Chipotle bowl.
- Vegan Sour Cream is another great topping.
- If using frozen riced cauliflower do not thaw it before cooking and use half the vegetable broth in the recipe.
- Take a shortcut and buy cauliflower already priced in the produce section of the grocery store.
- Serve the bowl hot or cold based on preference.
- Omit the hot sauce and jalapenos for a milder version.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂