Kale, Black Bean and Avocado Burrito Bowl

A delicious, redeeming, #vegan dinner that packs well for tomorrow's lunch. cookieandkate.com

Last week, Cookie and I zoomed up to Minneapolis to visit a friend. It was a long drive, long enough to justify lots of seat squirming as all the hills and trees started looking the same, but we made it there and we made it back. In between, we explored the city with my college roommate/tour guide. She took me to all the cool places to eat and drink, and shop, and hike and bike. She introduced me to the Minnesota delicacy known as fried cheese curds. (Cheese and beer at midnight is hard to beat, am I right?) It was a wonderful extended weekend and I didn’t want to come back home to a mountain of laundry and unanswered emails.

marinated raw kale

I composed this burrito bowl in my head on the drive home, somewhere between my stop at Ikea (first time!) and Iowa. I was feeling a little off balance after all the eating, drinking and shopping. I wanted a hearty meal with greens, one that would keep well so I could eat leftovers for a few days as I got caught up on work. I wanted something economical and practical, yet so tasty that I could forget about all of those factors and enjoy every bite. Mission accomplished!

avocado salsa verdeburrito bowl ingredientsKale, black bean and avocado burrito bowl recipe

Kale, Black Bean and Avocado Burrito Bowl
4.8 from 18 reviews
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
A fresh burrito bowl with super flavorful components—lime marinated kale, seasoned black beans, brown rice and avocado salsa verde. This recipe is both gluten free and vegan.
Brown rice
  • 1 cup brown rice, rinsed (short grain/arborio or long grain/basmati recommended)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Lime marinated kale
  • 1 bunch curly kale, ribs removed and chopped into small, bite-sized pieces
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Avocado salsa verde
  • 1 avocado, pitted and sliced into big chunks
  • ½ cup mild salsa verde (any good green salsa will do)
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves (a few stems are ok)
  • 1 lime, juiced
Seasoned black beans
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained (or 4 cups cooked black beans)
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped (or ⅓ cup chopped red onion)
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • cherry tomatoes, sliced into thin rounds
  • hot sauce (optional)
  1. Cook the rice: bring a big pot of water to a boil, dump in rinsed brown rice and boil, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, drain the rice and return it to the pot. Cover and let the rice steam in the pot for 10 minutes, then fluff the rice with a fork and season with ¼ teaspoon salt, or more to taste.
  2. Make the kale salad: whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, chopped jalapeño, cumin and salt. Toss the chopped kale with the lime marinade in a mixing bowl.
  3. Make the avocado salsa verde: in a food processor or blender, combine the avocado chunks, salsa verde, cilantro and lime juice and blend well.
  4. Warm the beans: in a sauce pan, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-low heat. Sauté the shallot and garlic until fragrant, then add the beans, chili powder and cayenne pepper. Cook until the beans are warmed through and softened, stirring often, about 5 to 7 minutes. If the beans seem dry at any point, mix in a little splash of water.
  5. To serve, spoon generous portions of rice, beans and kale salad into a bowl along with a couple spoonfuls of avocado salsa verde. Garnish with chopped cherry tomatoes.

P.s. If you’re as obsessed with this avocado sauce as I am, you’ll also enjoy my sweet potato burritos, summer squash tacos and portobello and poblano fajitas.


  1. Marilena says

    This sounds delicious! But here in Germany we don’t get kale at this time of the year, do you have a suggestion what I could use instead?

    • says

      Hi Marilena, that is a good question. I’m not sure what would be a comparable substitution, but I do think romaine lettuce or any other sturdy green would do. Just toss the greens with the dressing right before serving, or they may wilt.

  2. says

    I love this burrito bowl! I was just thinking today about how I could eat black beans differently, and I was really at a loss between tostados and maple baked beans. This is so unique and I’m so glad I can keep this recipe on hand for another great weeknight meal. Pinned!

  3. says

    This looks so very good! I’m happy to hear you had a good time in our fair city – and visited a chunk of my favourite spots! Tao is just down the street from my office and I’ve developed a dangerous juice habit there.

  4. Satya says

    Yummm, yummm, yummmmm! I sure wish you all had the time to start a menu planning business for folks like me who LOVE your recipes but have a little one at home that makes menu planning tricky at times. I would be happy to pay for a service like this from you.

    • says

      Thank you, Satya. That’s a great idea. I’m afraid I’m not the best menu planner myself, though, so I’m not sure I would be the best person to start a menu planning service. This is sort of unrelated, but I use a free application called Evernote to organize my favorite recipes and grocery list, so you might also find it helpful.

  5. says

    I love Minneapolis – there’s so much great food there! Burrito bowls are quickly becoming a Friday night routine around here, but I’m always looking for variations. Love this one – especially since my CSA has been bombing me with Chinese kale lately – it would definitely be great in these.

  6. says

    I know the feeling. Every time I am on a vacation and gobble a little too much gourmet meal, all I crave for on returning back, is something comfy and loads of greens. That burrito sounds fantastic and definitely refreshing.

  7. says

    Sounds like a lovely way to spend a long weekend! I have a good friend out in Los Angeles, and while I can’t drive there, it’s great going to visit and having her show me so many wonderful things! I love the idea of deconstructed dishes. It’s such a fun, out-of-the-box way of preparing meals (not to mention healthier!).

  8. says

    Weekends like that are so awesome but I always understand the urge to kind of cleanse yourself through healthy delicious food when you get home! This burrito bowl would definitely do the trick!

  9. says

    I have Kale from my garden that was just waiting for a recipe like this. I have most of the other ingredients and lack only the fresh tomatoes. It looks so good that I believe it’s for dinner tonight!

    • says

      I’m jealous that you have kale growing in your garden, Kurt! Someday I will have a garden of my own. Hope you love the recipe.

  10. says

    I have so been there! I often crave something healthy with something green, yet satisfying after any eating vacation, which all vacations short or long turn into :) This sounds perfect!

  11. says

    Mmmm, this looks like exactly what I need to get me through this week (which promises to be super hectic)! Hearty and healthy at the same time, and enough flavors to look forward to.

  12. Liz says

    Thank you so much for this! I’ve been imagining something similar but don’t have the wherewithal to put it together like you do, and I appreciate your talent more than I can say! I’ll be making this later in the week, and the sweet potato burrito will not be far behind. Both sound amazing -and right up my alley- and I can’t wait to try them!! Thank you again in advance; with recipes like these I know I’ll be anything but disappointed!

    P.S. My vote for your Watercress and Forbidden Rice Salad is in. I so hope to hear that you’re going to Thailand!

  13. says

    I’m just amused that it was your first Ikea trip! The bowl (of course) looks awesome. I’m also gonna have to tell my friend who will be out that way to get some cheese curds–yum!

  14. says

    You’ve just given me a reason to visit Minnesota – fried cheese curds sound too good to pass up. And this bowl of kale and black beans, it made me crave for something light and green. It’s lovely.

  15. says

    This recipe looks heathy. satisfying and delicious! I tried to vote for your Harvest Rice recipe, but the contest was closed. :(

  16. says

    Ohhh, I really want to visit Minneapolis someday. Sounds delightful. And sooner than someday, I am going to make myself this salad. This is exactly the kind of thing I love having for lunch, with all those veggies and beans. It looks so fresh and beautiful!

  17. says

    Love that you created this in your head on the drive home! I do the same thing these days as I take care of the little one. My mind is full of ideas – now I just need the time and two free hands to make them!

  18. Sara says

    This was delicious! In lieu of the plain tomatoes, I made a tomato and roasted corn chunky salsa…. but besides that made everything as you put forth. I am officially obsessed with the avocado salsa verde and may be making in non-stop all summer long.

    • says

      Thanks, Sara! Your salsa sounds fantastic; I thought about adding corn to the dish but decided to keep it simple. Sounds like you’re as obsessed with the salsa verde as I am!

  19. Danielle L. says

    Oh man, I just made this and let me tell you I am just so happy. I’m a college student who’s trying to eat healthy on a budget, and this is just perfect. Thank you for posting this!!

  20. says

    I made this dish early in the week and have enjoyed eating it throughout the week. This morning I re-mixed the last of the leftovers (minus the brown rice) into breakfast by warming it and adding a couple fried eggs. So good!

  21. Kim says

    I just stumbled onto your blog and noticed this recipe–it looks wonderful! I’m intrigued by your method of cooking brown rice, since I eat a lot of it. This may be a dumb question, but when you’re steaming the rice for 10 minutes with the lid on, is that with the heat on or turned off?

  22. says

    I’ve always been obsessed with making my own variation on a burrito bowl, but your recipe takes the cake! Soaking the kale in lime makes it so much easier to integrate into a dish where kale might seem a little out of place. I make this at least once a week, and my husband, a ravenous carnivore, loved it, too!

  23. Erica says

    I just wanted to thank you for posting this recipe. It’s hard to think of a recipe that is not only this delicious, but where every single ingredient is a great nutrition boost! After eating this, I legit felt like popeye right after he gulps down a can (ew) of spinach. Also, I’ve always been weird about raw kale (even though I’m addicted to the roasted stuff), but this marinated kale was fantastic! So thanks again! This has been added to the top of my list in the recipe rotation.

    • says

      Erica, thank you for your comment! That lime-marinated kale is my favorite, too. I call that Popeye feeling, “kale belly.” :)

  24. Leslie B says

    The melody of flavors “wowed” me! I especially love the kale. I threw tomatoes into the avocado with a little kosher salt and then just whipped up the beans with an onion and the garlic! Delish!

  25. Jessica says

    I just discovered your site but already have tried almost all of your kale recipes (and others!) . Am making this burrito bowl tonight (with my dog Cody by my side). Can’t wait! It smells so good! Thank you!!

    • says

      Hi Jessica and Cody! Thank you! I’m delighted to hear that you’re enjoying my recipes! I’m a big fan of kale, more recipes coming soon. :)

  26. Kathleen says

    This is the second thing I’ve made from your blog….so delicious!! I’m going to put the avocado salsa verde on everything!

  27. HM says

    This was my first recipe from this blog & it was AMAZING. I have tried & failed at brown rice for years. It turned out perfectly here. Wouldn’t change a thing. Looking forward to enjoying this for lunch the rest of the week, and trying many more recipes!

  28. Jennifer says

    This was really good. The sauce was amazing and the brown rice turned out perfectly. Thanks for the great dinner idea!

  29. Bethany says

    Cooked this for my family tonight. Trying to get them to eat less meat and it went down a treat. Especially loved the marinated kale! Going to try the sweet potato and green rice bowl next :)

  30. Aaron says

    One of our favorite recipes for a healthy meal. Everything comes together nicely. We usually substitute farro or wheat berries for the rice. Thanks!

  31. Anjuli says

    Just made this tonight, and my boyfriend and I loved it! We are moving soon and have been trying to not buy a lot of pantry items, so because we are out of rice we used some leftover pearled farro, and we had a couple carrots that were going to go bad soon, so we chopped those and added them to the black bean mixture. The lime dressing with the kale was so good…I just kept picking at it by hand while waiting for the black beans to finish up! We will definitely be making this again, it was sooo tasty!! What a great recipe, and it’s so easy to mix and match with other things that are in the pantry and the fridge.

  32. Natalie says

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was awesome! I was already nervous about making it and serving it to my husband (because, HEALTHY!) and while making it, I knocked the avocado salsa verde sauce over and watched it all pour down the drain. 10x more nervous. And mad. But, it still tasted awesome! And my husband agreed. Can’t wait to try it with the avocado sauce next time.

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