Chipotle-Pesto Chicken Burrito Bowls

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It all started in college, when I stumbled into a new fast food restaurant to hold me over in between classes.  I wasn’t expecting much, but after just one meal, I was hooked.  Love at first bite.  

Chipotle-Pesto Chicken Burrito Bowl with Cilantro Lime Rice or Quinoa.  YUM!  Super flavorful, and tastier than you can get from Chipotle! |

But after I graduated, I quickly outgrew that fast food obsession.  I opt instead to cook all of my meals at home now…

While little birdies fly into my kitchen and help me do prep work, and tiny mice wearing fancy shirts and hats set the table for my exquisite dinner parties…

And everything is made using 100% organic ingredients…

All combined with an outpouring of love.

SIKE.  (Do people still say “sike” anymore?  No?  Alright, well, let’s just move along then.)

Actually, my affinity for that particular fast food chain has just gotten stronger and scarier over time.  It’s less of a preference and more of an addiction now, like “GIVE ME A BURRITO BOWL AND NO ONE GETS HURT!”  I’m tellin’ ya, It gets nasty when I don’t get my Chipotle.  Chipotle… ugh.   Even mentioning the name when I’m not diving face first into some shredded chicken heavenliness makes me hangry.

Chipotle-Pesto Chicken Burrito Bowl with Cilantro Lime Rice or Quinoa.  YUM!  Super flavorful, and tastier than you can get from Chipotle! |

You know, hangry, the emotion when hunger and anger intersect.  It’s an ugly place to be in life.

Anyway, the good news is, I don’t have to be hangry anymore because I started making my own burrito bowls and– guess what– they’re better than Chipotle’s.  THAT’S RIGHT, I SAID IT!




First I make my own super tasty cilantro lime rice or quinoa, then I layer on semi-spicy marinated chicken breast, add in some warm beans and corn, sprinkle with tomatoes, onions, and cheese,  scoop on some guac, and drizzle with sour cream and chipotle-pesto (that’s right, chipotle-pesto), and BAM!  Deliciousness ensues.

Chipotle-Pesto Chicken Burrito Bowl with Cilantro Lime Rice or Quinoa.  YUM!  Super flavorful, and tastier than you can get from Chipotle! | hostthetoast.comChipotle-Pesto Chicken Burrito Bowl with Cilantro Lime Rice or Quinoa.  YUM!  Super flavorful, and tastier than you can get from Chipotle! |

Can we, just for a second, go back to that “Chipotle-Pesto” stuff?  Because I just figured out to how to make it, and it’s the best thing since sliced bread.  In fact, it’s really good on sliced bread, too.  Make it.  Eat it on everything.  Love it.  I love it.

I really, really love it.

Oh no.  I feel a new addiction coming on.

Chipotle-Pesto Chicken Burrito Bowls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4-6
For the Chicken:
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • Juice of ½ a lime
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup olive oil
For the Cilantro Lime Rice or Quinoa:
  • 1 cup dried quinoa or rice
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • Zest of ½ lime
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Warm Bean and Corn Salsa:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn, drained and rinsed
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
For the Chipotle Pesto:
  • 4 chipotle peppers in adobo
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
To Top:
  • Guacamole
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped red onion
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • Cheese, such as queso fresco
  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the chicken marinade ingredients and toss to coat the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  2. Pulse all of the Chipotle pesto ingredients in a food processor or blender until mostly smooth. Set aside.
  3. Prepare a pot of rice or quinoa according to the package directions. Toss in the chopped cilantro, lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Set side.
  4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the bean and corn salsa ingredients. Cook until the corn begins to brown, and then remove from heat. Pour the salsa into a bowl and set aside.
  5. With the skillet still warm, add in the marinated chicken and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through and no longer pink inside.
  6. Cut up the chicken pieces and assemble the burrito bowl in layers, complete with your desired toppings.
  7. Mix together and enjoy!

By the way, this recipe makes enough for 4-6 bowls, so save the leftovers and eat them, like, every day.  Or send them to me.

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    • sarah o says

      . I could not figure out what you meant by “sike”, I think it started with “I psyched you out!” which is now “You got punked”. It makes me think of high school :)
      On to the good stuff! This dish looks fantastic and can’t wait to try it. I am just all over the Internet looking for meals that don’t come from the frozen section :) I am taking care of senior parents who still like interesting food but are frankly too tired to feed themselves well. My dad had a heart attack 2 years ago and is addicted to – i have no clue why – HOT DOGS -so if I can steer him away from those, hooray! :) Thank you for sharing the recipe and the gorgeous pics!

  1. Nick says

    These were incredible, thanks for the recipe. Definitely keeping this marinade around, chicken was especially tasty on the grill!

  2. Janelle B. says

    Dude… Dude… DUDE! These are sooo good! I used leftover rotisserie chicken, and I didn’t have the chipotle peppers for the pesto, so I used the seasonings for the chicken and a jalapeno. WOW. I’ve never made pesto before so I halved that recipe, but after I tasted it I quickly added the other half of the ingredients. The toddler even ate a WHOLE burrito. That in it’s self is a miracle. Thank you!

    • says

      I’m not sure how long it keeps, as I have not kept it around long enough to test. However, I usually store extra in the refrigerator in a sealable plastic container.


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