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How to make a Taco Bowl in 30 minutes with juicy taco meat, rice, beans, and customizable toppings. It’s a delicious healthy taco in a bowl!
Why everyone loves this taco bowl recipe
Get ready for a mouthwatering, nutrition-packed taco rice bowl. It’s an irresistible combo of lettuce, taco meat, rice, and beans piled with your favorite Mexican toppings. Taco bowls are fun, easy, and family-loved!
Busy home cooks will also love that everything can be made ahead so, when it’s go time on busy weeknights, the bowls can be assembled in minutes. You can even swap just a few healthy ingredients to make this taco bowl low carb or keto; or easily make it paleo or whole 30 approved.
Taco bowl ingredients
The beauty of a taco bowl is that it can be anything you want it to be. So, feel free to use my suggestions as a guide and dial in your favorite bowl ingredients and toppings.
The base we love has taco meat, rice, beans, and lettuce.
- taco meat - Use taco meat made with lean ground beef or turkey.
- brown rice - This 10-minute cilantro lime brown rice adds color and flavor, or you can make plain Instant Pot brown rice.
- black beans - Use canned beans or pressure cooked black beans.
- lettuce - Iceberg, romaine, or any green leaf lettuce will work. The lettuce fills out the bottom of the taco bowl and adds nutrients and volume without adding extra calories, carbs, or fat.
The toppings - If you've seen my Instant Pot chicken burrito bowl, you know I love to really pile on the fresh toppings. Taco rice bowls are no different. Here's my list of recommendations to keep these bowls healthy.
- tomatoes - Use any tomato variety or make homemade pico de gallo.
- avocado - or guacamole.
- cilantro - Freshly chopped cilantro adds color and flavor.
- lime - Serve plenty of lime wedges with taco rice bowls.
- jalapeno - Use fresh or pickled jalapenos
- cheddar cheese - Or mexican cheese blend
- sour cream - or lime crema
- hot sauce - we love a few drops of a good hot sauce in our taco bowls.
How to make a taco bowl
Cook the taco meat per recipe instructions below. Make cilantro lime rice by adding cilantro and lime to brown or white cooked rice. You can make Instant Pot brown rice and enjoy it in the taco bowl exactly as it is. Meahwhile, prep the toppings.
To serve, distribute lettuce into serving bowls, topped with taco meat, brown rice, and beans. Add other toppings as desired. What you see here is sliced avocado, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, lime crema (sour cream with lime juice), jalapeno, cheese, lime wedges, and homemade hot sauce.
What to use instead of ground turkey or beef
Substitute the meat in beef or turkey taco bowls with any cooked protein by chopping and heating it with a sprinkle of taco seasoning and a splash of water or broth.
- Substitute brown rice with cauliflower rice and omit the beans for a low carb variation.
- Make this easy salsa recipe or avocado ranch dressing for alternate toppings
- Swap the rice with quinoa for added protein and a different texture.
- Use refried black beans in place of whole black beans for a different texture.
- Add sweet corn for a pop of color and flavor.
- Add crispy tortilla chips for texture and flavor.
Easy weeknight Mexican recipes
Taco Bowl Recipe
- 1 head Iceberg or Romaine Lettuce chopped (about 8 cups)
- 2 cups Cilantro Lime Rice or plain rice
- 1 (15 ounce can) Black Beans rinsed and drained
- 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes chopped
- 1 large Avocado sliced
- 2 ounces Cheddar Cheese shredded (about ½ cup)
- ½ cup Cilantro chopped
- 2 Limes cut into wedges
- 1 small Jalapeno thinly sliced
- Sour Cream or Lime Crema optional
- Hot Sauce optional
Cook the taco meat
- Heat OIL in a skillet. Add ONIONS and saute until translucent.
- Add GROUND TURKEY or BEEF and saute until browned. Drain excess fat, if necessary.
- Stir in TACO SEASONING, WATER, and TOMATO SAUCE.
- Reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes until thickened, stirring as needed. Add SALT and PEPPER to taste.
- Set aside until ready to use.
Build the taco bowls
- Distribute LETTUCE evenly into serving bowls.
- Warm the TACO MEAT, BROWN RICE, and BEANS via the stove or microwave; distribute into bowls.
- Distribute toppings as desired: CHERRY TOMATOES, AVOCADO, CILANTRO, LIME, JALAPENO, CHEESE, SOUR CREAM, HOT SAUCE.
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