This Mexican brown rice salad bowl is not your average salad! It’s filling (thanks to the whole grains) and flavorful (thanks to everything else).
Use your favorite salsa as a dressing, and you’ve got a crave-worthy lunch bowl in 15 minutes flat. And, if you use microwaveable rice packets or leftover rice, there’s no cooking required.
This recipe happens to be vegan, with black beans being the main source of protein. But you can definitely toss in some chicken, beef, or fish if you’d like for even more protein!
Mexican Rice Bowl with Black Beans
This salad bowl is made up of layers of deliciousness: greens, rice, beans, veggies, healthy fats (avocado), and a salsa dressing! Essentially, it’s a burrito in a bowl. It’s a perfect quick lunch for when you’re strapped for time, but still want something ultra tasty. 😉
If you’re not vegan, consider adding some feta to the salad for an extra flavor bonus, too – I always love feta on Mexican salads.
This salad can be served cold or warm (see instructions below for more on that).
Check out my quinoa chickpea salad with feta for another tasty grain salad recipe!
Mexican Brown Rice Salad Ingredients
To make this recipe, you’ll need:
- brown rice (I like to use the microwaveable, quick-cooking rice packets to save time. You can also use other whole grains like quinoa or barley if you’d like!)
- mixed greens (arugula or baby kale would also work)
- black beans (be sure to drain and rinse them well in water)
- bell pepper
- salsa (your favorite store-bought salsa works great. Buying fresh-made salsa from restaurants is a great option, too!)
If you prefer your salad warm, use still hot/just-cooked rice (or another grain), and also microwave your black beans in a bowl for about 1 1/2 minutes before adding them to the salad.
(You might also love these sheet pan loaded veggie nachos!)
How to Make a Healthy Burrito Bowl
Start by washing your mixed greens. Layer them on the bottom of your bowl as a base. Add rice on top, then add the drained and rinsed black beans. Next, top with your diced veggies (bell pepper, tomato) and avocado.
Guacamole would work great here as well in place of the avocado if you’d like to mix it up!
Lastly, dress with a heaping spoonful or two or three of salsa! Feel free to sprinkle with cheese or fresh cilantro at this point, too.
I love the creaminess of the avocado and black beans, mixed with the crunch of the bell peppers. And, depending on the type of salsa you use, you can decide how spicy you like it!
If you want even more heat, dice up some jalapeno peppers (be careful with how many of the seeds you use!) and toss those in, too.
And there you have it: an easy, healthy lunch you’ll want to make again and again!
You’ll find the full Mexican brown rice salad bowl recipe at the end of this post. (Though, this is a super versatile salad, so feel free to just use the recipe as a loose guideline!)
Don’t forget to check out my other mix & match grain salad bowl recipes:
What’s your favorite quick go-to lunch? Let me know in the comments! Always looking for new ideas. 🙂
Looking for more super quick and healthy lunch ideas? Check these out:
- Quinoa Taco Salad (similar to this recipe!)
- Healthy Tuna Salad with Avocado
- Crunchy Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
- Zesty Italian Pasta Salad
- Mediterranean Chicken Pita Pockets
- Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Thai Peanut Sauce
- Healthy Egg Salad with Avocado
- Mix & Match Healthy Sandwich Recipes
- Green Goddess Bowl with Honey Herb Vinaigrette
- 2 large handfuls of mixed greens
- 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
- 1/2 cup black beans (drained and thoroughly rinsed)
- 1/3 cup diced bell peppers
- 1/3 cup diced tomatoes
- 1/3 cup diced avocado
- Heaping spoonful of salsa
- Wash the mixed greens and layer them on the bottom of your bowl as a base.
- Add cooked rice and black beans on top.
- Next, toss in your diced veggies (bell pepper, tomato, and avocado).
- Lastly, add a heaping spoonful of salsa. Stir to mix. Optional: sprinkle with cheese or fresh cilantro.
If you like a warmer salad, use just-cooked brown rice and microwave your black beans for 1 1/2 minutes before adding them to the bowl.