Better Than Chipotle’s Cilantro Lime Rice and Black Beans

Disclaimer: I stole this recipe from my sister in law and added my own spin to it. Big shout out to her. Thank you for inspiring my first published meal prep recipe. Also, my first few recipes will only be published on my blog initially but you’ll soon find them on as well.

For all you Chipotle fans, the name of this recipe may sound like a pretty bold claim. But just wait until you try it and Chipotle will never be the same for you. I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but if I can teach you how to meal prep Chipotle style dishes, you may never waste another lunch break standing in their long lines again. Just saying.

This is the perfect meal prep side dish because it’s very easy to make in large quantities. It is ridiculously delicious and very rich in protein and fiber. It will make 6–8 servings.

The ingredients

  • 2 cups of brown rice (short-grain or long-grain)
  • 2 cans of unsalted or low sodium black beans (preferably organic)
  • ½ cup of coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup of chopped yellow onion
  • 2 de-veined and finely chopped jalapeños (they will not make your dish spicy if you take off the seeds and the white stuff)
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped garlic
  • 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper (fresh cracked for extra flavor)
  • 2 teaspoons of sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons of unflavored/unscented coconut oil (I use Nutiva Refined Coconut oil but olive oil will be just fine)

The Rice

The rice is a very important part of the recipe. Its texture is key to making it easy to mix and toss with the other ingredients, so it is important that you cook it right. Brown rice works better than white rice because it does not get as clumpy and mushy which makes it easier to combine with the other ingredients. You can use either short-grain or long-grain.

  1. Add 2 cups of brown rice to a pot. I recommend pre-rinsing the rice with water and draining it well to remove excess starch.
  2. Add water to the pot. The water-to-rice ratio is critical for the perfect rice. If you are using long-grain rice, add 2 ½ cups of water. If you are using short-grain, add 3 cups of water.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  4. Bring the rice, water, and salt to a boil.
  5. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat to low for a slow, steady simmer.
  6. Cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
  7. Take rice off heat and let it sit for another 10 minutes, covered.
  8. Remove lid, fluff rice with a fork and let it cool.

The Beans

The beans are just as important as the rice. Getting the right texture will allow them to mix perfectly with the rice.

  1. Strain your beans very well and discard the juice. Just like the rice, the texture of your beans is critical to make them easy to mix and toss. Excess liquid in the beans will make them mushy and very hard to saute and toss. I like to strain them using a fine mesh strainer and shake them to extract as much liquid as possible.
  2. Heat up a large non-stick frying pan on medium high heat and add 1 teaspoon of unflavored/unscented coconut oil. I use Nutiva Refined Organic Coconut Oil for most of my cooking and highly recommend it as a healthy alternative to most cooking oils, but olive oil will work just fine.
  3. Once the oil is hot, gently add the strained beans to the pan.
  4. Add a teaspoon of sea salt.
  5. Add a teaspoon of cumin.
  6. Toss or mix on high heat for 5–10 minutes or until the shell on the beans is nice and crispy. Don’t be afraid to toss your food around on the pan. It takes a little practice but it is way quicker than stirring with a spatula. Plus it looks way cooler.
  7. Set beans aside and wipe pan with a dry paper towel.
  8. Add another teaspoon of oil to the pan.
  9. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped garlic and jalapeños. DO NOT LET THE GARLIC BURN OR IT WILL TURN BITTER. Simply toss or mix until the garlic is lightly brown.
  10. Add the chopped onions.
  11. Toss or mix everything until the onions are translucent.
  12. Add the beans back to the pan and toss or mix everything together.
  13. Take the pan off the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes.

The Marriage of Flavors and a Very Happy Ending

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the rice and the sauteed black bean mix.
  2. Add the chopped cilantro
  3. Add the juice of a lime
  4. Add black pepper
  5. Toss everything together if your bowl is big enough or simply mix it with a large spatula.
  6. If desired, add extra salt to taste.

Once you put this heavenly mix of Mexican flavors in your mouth, the recipe will live up to its name and quickly become one of you go-to meal prep recipes.

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