Cookie and Kate are finally back in the kitchen. I still wasn’t feeling in the mood up until a couple of nights ago, when I spent a few hours cleaning out the cabinets and the refrigerator. Turns out, everyday cooking doesn’t need to involve avalanches of dried pasta. Organization is key.
The past few weeks of kitchen avoidance have been heavy with introspection. I want to say that I’ve come out on the other side with clarity and a renewed zest for life. (Every sad story needs a happy ending, right?) The truth is, I’m still just one sappy coffee shop love song away from another fit of tearful existential despair.
It’ll pass. In the meantime, I’m treating myself right with these burrito bowls. Roasted sweet potatoes, seasoned black beans and cilantro-spinach brown rice combine in one bowl for a cozy vegan dinner. Oven-toasted pumpkin seeds, avocado and salsa verde make it totally irresistible.
More reasons to love this dish? You’ll have enough time while the sweet potatoes and rice cook to clean the kitchen before dinner’s ready. Oh, and these bowls reheat well for lunch, too. Burrito bowls for the win!
Watch How to Make Sweet Potato and Green Rice Bowls
Please don’t be intimidated by the length of the recipe—it’s pretty basic stuff. All you do is blend up the green rice seasonings and toast the rice before cooking it as usual. Roast some sweet potatoes, toast some seeds and warm some beans. Then you arrange it all in a bowl and make it look pretty. Or not. I assure you that my leftovers won’t look as pretty as shown here.
If you’re craving more spicy sweet potato recipes after this, check out my sweet potato burritos and tacos. Leftover green rice would be great in my kale and avocado burrito bowl, too. Lastly, don’t miss the burrito bowl recipe and sweet potato enchiladas in my cookbook!
Le Creuset 3 1/2-Quart Cast Iron French Oven
Wusthof 7-Inch Santoku Knife
▸ For more of my favorite cooking tools, shop my healthy kitchen!
Spicy Sweet Potato and Green Rice Burrito Bowls
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Main
- Cuisine: Mexican
Healthy burrito bowls made with roasted sweet potato, green rice and black beans! This delicious, vegan dinner reheats well for lunch. Recipe yields 4 servings.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ cups long grain brown rice
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 ½ cup baby spinach, lightly packed
- ½ cup cilantro (mostly leaves, stems are ok), lightly packed
- 1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, seeded, membranes removed and roughly chopped
- 1 medium shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove, peeled, roughly chopped
- ¼ teaspoon salt, more to taste
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes (3 to 4 medium sweet potatoes), peeled and sliced into 1-inch chunks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Seasoned black beans
- 2 cans (14 ounces each) black beans or 3 cups cooked black beans, with their cooking liquid
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar or lime juice
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
- ¼ teaspoon olive oil
- 1 avocado, pitted and sliced
- Jarred mild salsa verde
- Chopped cilantro
- Crumbled feta (optional, not vegan)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line one large, rimmed baking sheet and one smaller sheet with parchment paper. Place the spinach, cilantro, jalapeño, shallot, garlic, salt and ½ cup of the vegetable broth in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.
- Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the rice and stir to coat. Spread the rice in an even layer on the bottom of the pot and let the rice lightly brown. This happens quickly! When the rice starts to brown, stir it and spread it out in an even layer again so that more of the rice browns.
- When most of the rice has lightly browned, scrape the green purée into the rice. Stir until the rice is evenly coated with green purée and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for a minute. Add the rest of the vegetable broth to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover the pot. Cook the rice on a very low simmer until tender, 35 to 40 minutes.
- While the rice cooks, toss the sweet potatoes in the olive oil, smoked paprika and salt until the sweet potatoes are evenly coated in oil. Arrange in a single layer on your prepared baking sheet. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, tossing halfway, until the sweet potatoes are tender and caramelizing at the edges.
- Meanwhile, transfer the beans and their cooking liquid (don’t drain the beans) to a medium pot. Stir in the cumin and chili powder and warm over medium heat. Once the beans are simmering, cover the beans and reduce heat to maintain a very gentle simmer until you’re ready to serve.
- Once the rice is done cooking, remove the pot from heat. Uncover the pot and place a clean tea towel over the pot, then recover. The towel will help absorb excess liquid as the rice continues to cook in its own steam. (If you don’t have a clean towel, you can skip this step, just cover normally.) Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Once the sweet potatoes are done cooking, toss the pepitas with ¼ teaspoon olive oil and a sprinkle of salt on the small baking sheet. Toast the seeds in the oven for 4 to 5 minutes, until they’re turning lightly golden and making little popping noises. Set aside to cool.
- Fluff the rice with a fork and season with salt if necessary. Remove beans from heat, stir in the vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Assemble your bowls: First add green rice, then use a slotted spoon or fork to transfer beans to the bowls. Top with sweet potatoes and add a few slices of avocado to each bowl. Sprinkle with toasted pepitas and cilantro and optional feta. Serve with salsa verde on the side.
Green rice adapted from Simply Recipes. Burrito bowls inspired by my sweet potato and black bean tacos.
Change it up: I think butternut squash would be great in place of the sweet potato! You could also substitute another grain for the rice, although you’ll need to adjust the cooking method and amount of liquid for said grain.
I made this last night and it was fabulous! Wonderful combination of flavors. This will definitely be added to our regular rotation, and I’m sure I’ll use the green rice in other recipes. Thank you!
Made this for dinner tonight. It was amazing! Will be making this again. Can’t wait to share with my family. Will use the green rice for other recipes.
I hope they loved it, Denise! Thank you for your review.
Heather (The Blergh)
Hi Kate, I made this recipe as meal prep for the week. It was flavorful and satisfying, and I had a lot of fun making the green rice! I wanted to let you know I’ve included this recipe in my list of Vegetarian College Meal Prep Ideas on my blog, the Blergh.
Thanks for another awesome recipe. :)
This looks amazing. Is the green rice recipe in the ‘Love Real Food’ cookbook?
Hi! Slightly different :)
These were sooo good! For whatever reason, my rice took over an hour to cook, but it was worth the wait.
I’m glad you found it worth the wait, Beth! Thanks for your review.
I don’t know if I’ve ever left a review for this recipe but it is so good. Takes a little time to get everything together but we’ll worth it. Definitely will make again (and possibly leave another review )
I’m glad you left a review, Martha! I appreciate your review.
My boyfriend declared that he loved me more after I made this recipe.
Incredible! I cook dinners for a house full of roommates and everyone adored this dish. One thing I did change was adding a little bit of honey when tossing the sweet potatoes, and while I loved it, it’s definitely not necessary! I’m just weak for that flavor combo. The green rice was stellar!
Thank you for sharing! Sounds delicious, Alex.
Made green quinoa instead of rice and it’s unbelievably delicious! I also threw some pulled pork on it for my non vegetarian BF and it was a huge hit! Get this into your rotation!
Thank you, Jen! I’m happy you loved it.
ooohhhh great idea to make green quinoa instead of rice. I love the recipe as is but it is fun to switch things up sometimes!! I’ll try that next time.
Made this for dinner tonight and everyone loved it! It’s so hard to find a recipe that my vegan husband, omni kids, ages 7 and 9, and I all enjoy. This nailed it – it was so good and will definitely make it again.
Hooray! I’m glad this was a hit with everyone.
So I never leave reviews or comments, but I need you to know that this has been a staple in my house since I first made it 5ish years ago. It is SO good, and filling, and nutritious! Thank you!!
I’m happy you did, Andrea! Thank you for your review.
Thank you, Larisa! I appreciate your review.
Yum! Not quick, but so good. Never put quite that much cumin in my beans before, but it’s just right with the sweet potatoes! Thanks!
Have to add pulled pork for hubs. When we had a houseful, we could split up the prep. Now it’s just three of us, with me doing all of the cooking… so I double or triple the recipe and divvy it up over time. I freeze most of the green rice when I make green rice. I freeze most of the black beans when I make black beans. Ima gonna try crockin sweet taters and stirring in the smoked paprika and salt and spooning that on just to save time, even if I do love roasted vegetation most any day.
But on a lazy day? I’ll make it all fresh, just as is.
Just wishing my bowls were as beautifully plated as yours…..
I’m glad you all were able to enjoy it, Rainah!
Well impressed. Cooked just as described and it was both delicious and very filling. Slowly but surely trying to wean the family off meat and this recipe brings me one step closer to my goal. Thanks!
This was delicious even though my rice came out mooshy! I followed recipe exactly… any idea why that happened?
Oh no! I’m sorry to hear that. How old was your rice?
Didn’t change a thing! It was delicious — thank you. Happy to have a new staple for our family!
That’s great to hear, Tamara! I appreciate your review.
I’ve been making this dish over the past two years, it’s become a staple and thought it was time to give it a rating. I love the verde rice and often make it to go with other dishes.
Whenever I make this I always use a can of beans and can say that have cooked them with the liquid found inside the can, as well as, rinsing them beforehand and subbing the can liquid for 1/2 of water instead. I can confirm that cooking the beans with the liquid from the can creates the best type of consistency and taste.
Made this tonight and it is delicious. I food prepped the roasted potatoes and made your black bean recipe on Sunday and then tonight I made the rice. I LOVE the green rice. Thank you for a delicious weeknight meal.
Your’e welcome, Sarah! I’m happy to hear you enjoyed these burrito bowls.
I tried green quinoa instead, and the flavours were supreme. I tone down the portion of the vegetable stock and the grains came down perfectly cooked. My fav vegetarian Burrito Bowl recipe ever.
That’s great, Nat! I appreciate your review.
This dish looks delicious. Is it also gluten free? I’m planning to make it for my friend who is vegan and gluten-free. Thank you!
Hi! Yes, this is gluten free. I hope you enjoy it!
Truly one of the best recipes I’ve made. I have now made this numerous times with both butternut squash or sweet potato. I have also blended up the ingredients for the green rice (when I have an abundance from the garden) and put it in the freezer for another time. Highly recommend this recipe!
I love to hear that, Ashely! Thank you for your review. I’m glad it’s a favorite.
Love the flavors but have made this several times and the rice takes forever and is till chewy. Thinking about making the rice by itself and adding the green puree at the end. Puzzled.
My family has made this recipe many times, and every component is delicious. I had never seen a rice prepared like this, and it is so, so good.
I’m happy you enjoyed it, Laura! Thank you for your review and comment.
Well, thank you, Matt! I am planning to make this today, and wanted to use my instapot. I’m glad I found your comment.
This recipe was delicious! I subbed 1/2 and onion for the shallot because I didn’t have any, and added the chopped cilantro at the end of the rice’s cooking because I like the fresh flavor. Healthy, worth the bit of prep time fixing all the elements, and yummy!
Thank you for sharing, Trisha!
This is incredible! So so good. I made the green rice with white rice instead of brown, didn’t have any in my pantry, and cooked it in the Instapot and it came out perfectly. Had to adjust liquid- 3 cups of rice and 3 cups of broth. I used a 8qt instapot, 4 min of pressure cooking, 10 min of natural release. Everything else did as directed. Amazing. Thank you!
This recipe was delicious! We especially enjoyed the rice. I will be using this method for cooking my rice for bowls from now on. So flavorful!!!!
We made this last night for the first time and it was an instant winner! Everyone loved it! Thank you for your thoughtful healthy recipes–they are always my family’s favorite recipes. I think I have now gifted your cookbook to everyone I know!
Thank you for your review and support! I’m delighted you are enjoying my blog recipes and cookbook.
This sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try it! My hubby has IBS and vegetable broth hurts his stomach, could I sub water instead? Or do you have another suggestion for an alternative? Thanks in advance for your help!
Hi, You could try water. Let me know what you think, Rachel!
I love this recipe (I have the cookbook), but the rice always takes at least an hour and a half to cook, which I didn’t allow time for the first time I made it. Maybe because of the other ingredients in with it? Perhaps you want to consider adjusting the directions (after making it following your current directions)? Or do you have an explanation?
Hi Karen, That’s interesting. Are you cooking it at high enough heat? Are you using a large enough pot? The freshness of your rice can impact it too. Let me know if you try it again with any changes and what your results are.
I did remake it! Turns out the green rice recipe in the cookbook isn’t the same as the one here on the website. The cookbook recipe (which I was following, along with the recipe for Tikka Masala) doesn’t have enough liquid. I increased it (to total twice the amount of rice) and it worked perfectly. I bet this one would too! Love the Masala! Sorry for the mixup! OX
I have made this recipe at least once a month for about two years now and my family loves it so much!!! Thank you
You’re welcome, Tiffany!
Hi Kate – I have never commented, but have made and enjoyed so many of your recipes for years! I made a birthday dinner for a dear friend and her daughter last night, and picked some favorite recipes, and then realized they were ALL yours! So we had the Baked Spinach and Artichoke dip, then the Spicy Sweet Potato and Green Rice Bowls, then the Best Carrot Cake for dessert. Everything was so good and we all loved it, so I just had to tell you and say a big Thanks! I look forward to many more years of fun and pleasure from your delicious food.
I’m so glad you did, May! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and I’m delighted you have enjoyed so many recipes .