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Black Rice Burrito Bowl

Black Rice Burrito Bowl Recipe - Marinated black beans, cool avocado, sweet mango, a good helping of herbs, tangy pickled onions, and the soft, toasty flavor of pepitas (pumpkin seeds) combine for a dramatically colorful presentation. Delicate and chewy, black rice—also called “forbidden rice”—is a purple-hued, unpolished variety that touts many of the same health benefits as brown rice, but with a nubbier texture. And like brown rice, it benefits from soaking for a few hours, which makes its nutrients more accessible and also shortens its cooking time. Like all nuts and seeds, pepitas’ flavor fades as they sit, so it’s best to toast them just before serving, as instructed below.

Black Rice Burrito Bowl Recipe


  • 1½ cups black rice
  • 2½ cups water, plus more for soaking the rice
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1¾ cups cooked black or pinto beans (or one 15-ounce can, rinsed)
  • 2 serrano chilies, seeded and finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 2 limes (about 3 tablespoons), plus lime wedges for serving
  • ¾ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • ½ cup Pickled Red Onions
  • ¼ cup crumbled mild white cheese, such as cotija or queso fresco, feta, or ricotta salata (optional)
  • ¼ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 2 tablespoons loosely packed fresh oregano leaves
  • Pico de gallo (store-bought or homemade), for serving

How to make Black Rice Burrito Bowl

  1. Place the rice in a medium bowl, cover with about 3 inches of water, and soak for 2 to 12 hours. Rinse, then place in a saucepan and cover with plenty of cold water. Place over high heat and bring the water to a boil. Cook for 15 to 25 minutes, until the rice is tender. Drain through a sieve, then return to the pot and let stand, covered, until ready to serve. (If you skip the soaking step, you’ll need to continue cooking the rice for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.)
  2. Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and toast for 45 to 90 seconds, until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar or spice mill and coarsely grind.
  3. Combine the beans, cumin, serrano chilies, oil, lime juice, chili powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Let stand as the rice cooks.
  4. Return the skillet to the heat and add the pumpkin seeds. Toast, swirling the pan often, for 3 to 5 minutes, until the seeds turn a pale brown color and start to pop. Transfer to a plate or bowl.
  5. To serve, divide the rice among four bowls, then spoon the beans over the rice in each bowl. Top each serving with the avocado, mango, cabbage, pickled onions, pumpkin seeds, cheese, if using, cilantro, and oregano. Serve with lime wedges and pico de gallo on the side.