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8 Layers Fried Black Beans and Quinoa Burrito Bowl

Start eating healthy with a vegetarian, whole grain burrito bowl for breakfast or lunch. Burrito bowl may be famous as Breakfast food but in my home, we enjoy it for lunch and even for dinner. A hearty serving of fried spiced black beans, healthy quinoa, veggies, and creamy sauce on top! I call this is a perfect no-effort and healthy  dinner! Won't you?

I'm certain you have seen glimpse of this burrito bowl in Chipotle Burrito Sauce recipe... I decided to share two in separate posts because chipotle burrito sauce is like one-magic-sauce that I use on many things other than burritos. So it certainly needed it's own post blog.

Plus, this burrito bowl is so delicious, flavorful and self-sufficient that I often enjoy it even with just a dollop of yogurt or sour cream. The secret for that flavor is 8 delicious layers of must-have-in-burrito ingredients. One of which is spiced garlicky fried black beans.

Black Beans and Quinoa Burrito Bowl with Chipotle Burrito Sauce |

I just could not convince myself ever to use beans straight out of can in any recipe. Often, when my weekly menu is already planned, I don’t even use canned beans and boil a fresh batch...But some days when I’m serving dinner in hurry.. a can of low sodium black beans comes in handy.

Either ways,  fresh boiled or canned, I always spice-up beans to add depth of flavor.

To make today’s burrito bowl flavorful and delicious on it’s own, I fried black beans with minced fresh garlic, cumin, paprika, and salt. This 2 minutes step made huge difference in taste of burrito bowl.

Spicy Fried Black Beans and Quinoa Burrito Bowl for Nutrition filled Breakfast

Just like you, it is very important for me to keep breakfast nutritious. A hearty vegetarian burrito is a great way to start day full and focused. Also, instead of a wrapping burrito in a wheat tortilla with rice, I serve burrito bowl-style with serving of quinoa. This reduces the quantity of carbs to almost half. Yet keeps burrito bowl wholesome, and nutritious with 8 layers of yummy ingredients parting together.

Such breakfast or brunch if I may say, is my special favorite when we have planned a long day summer outdoor activities such as visit to beach, day trip to local attractions, or simply a weekend of summer shopping… checking summer sales and picking bargain-priced food blog props from flee market! ;)

Start day fit and healthy with vegetarian Black Beans and Quinoa Burrito Bowl |

If you ever face dilemma of what ingredients to add for burrito bowl. I say, go with whatever you like in Mexican breakfast bowl!  My first thought is always, beans, rice, cheese, salsa and lettuce. I'm sure you thought the same? 

For this burrito bowl, I tried using few layers of Mexican staples that we not normally find in burrito. Trust me, this variation is surprisingly delicious

1. I dare not change the heart-of-burrito-ingredients, namely beans, salsa, cheese, lettuce. 
2. Replacing rice with nutty quinoa added a layer of texture to this humble bowl.
3. Avocado with splash of lime added a pleasing yet healthy creaminess.
4. With this bowl, I'm introducing to one Spanish staple: Nopales or Cactus. This was my pick at Farmer's Market few weeks ago. Once grilled, these taste like tart green tomatoes just crunchier. 
5. I replaced the tortilla wrap with few tortilla chips for additional crunch. However, that is completely optional ingredient.

Fried Black Beans and Quinoa Burrito Bowl for gluten free and delicious breakfast bowl |

Now, what I like most about this bowl?

It is that I can make it a night before or pack in jar for lunch too. Just keep in mind to layer quinoa and beans at bottom with burrito sauce (if using) and fresh ingredients on top with lettuce/cilantro last. Just follow this simple way and you will never have to eat soggy pre-packed veggie bowl ever!

Wish you a wonderful day ahead. 

Oh, I have two sweepstakes running in my blog, each worth $100 Gift Card. Really perfect if you have planned some pre-thanksgiving shopping. :)  Don't forget to enter here and here


Love Quinoa? I'm sure you will enjoy these Summer Quinoa Bowls:

8 Layers Fried Black Beans and Quinoa Burrito Bowl

8 Layers Fried Black Beans and Quinoa Burrito Bowl
Total Time Prep Time Cook Time Cuisine Mexican Category Difficulty Easy Yields 4 Servings (Serves: 4) Notes No. of servings depends on serving size.
Smart Swap Skip cheese and this bowl is also vegan!!


    Fried Black Beans
  • 2 Cup Black Beans (low sodium beans, rinsed)
  • 2 Garlic (cloves, minced)
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika (medium hot, or chipotle chili powder)
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt (adjust to taste)
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil (1.5 AND 1/2 TBSP divided)
  • Quinoa Burrito Bowl
  • 1 Cup Quinoa
  • 2-3 Cactus (leaves, needles trimmed)
  • 1 Cup Salsa
  • 1 Cup Cheddar Cheese (or Mexican cheese blend, shredded)
  • 1 Lettuce (head, chopped)
  • 2 Avocado (ripe, peeled and diced)
  • Lime (wedges, for serving)
  • Tortilla Chips (for serving)


  • 1. Cook quinoa as package directions. I like to boil 1 cup rinsed quinoa with 2 cups of water with some salt for 10 minutes or until quinoa is tender, then cover and let cool until all water has been absorbed.
  • 2. While quinoa cooks, heat 1.5 tbsp oil in a pan, add garlic and let it perfume oil for 20 seconds. Add smoked paprika, cumin powder, as oil sizzles, add beans and fry with salt and spices for 1-2 minutes. Remove in a bowl.
  • 3. If using Cactus (Nopales), brush leaves with oil, and grill until soft. About 2-3 minutes each side. Let cool slightly, then slice per preference.
  • 4. To build burrito bowl, layer all 8 ingredients: salsa, cheese, avocado, cactus slices, lettuce, spiced black beans, quinoa and tortilla chips. Add a splash of lime juice on avocado to prevent browning.
    Additional Notes
    If serving for brunch, serve family-style with all ingredients in separate bowls. Enjoy!

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3 comment(s)

  1. this is really too tasty and also too healthy food, We can eat it in dinner
  2. Woah. Totally drooling over this! Those charred peppers and crunchy tortilla strips just get me, man. Cannot wait to try it out!

    thanks, Karly! I hope you get chance to try this veggie bowl soon :)