Kalyn's Kitchen

Cauliflower Rice and Pinto Bean Burrito Bowl

Cauliflower Rice and Pinto Bean Burrito Bowl features cauliflower rice with seasoned pinto beans, Poblano chiles, and red onions topped with tomato-avocado salsa for a delicious vegan meal. And there’s a lower-carb option for this tasty burrito bowl and if you don’t care if it’s vegan you could add cheese or sour cream.

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Cauliflower Rice and Pinto Bean Burrito Bowl photo of two finished bowls with text overlay

When I celebrated my 15 Year Blog Anniversary I asked readers what kind of recipes they’d like to see more of, and quite a few people mentioned more plant based foods on the blog. And since there are already about 600 recipes in the category for Meatless, I realized I need to spotlight meatless dishes more regularly! Admittedly, quite a few of my meatless recipes are salads and side dishes, but I do have some really amazing meatless main dishes too, like these Cauliflower Rice and Pinto Bean Burrito Bowls that I created with my nephew Jake.

I like the challenge of creating a really flavorful meatless dish, but a high percentage of my meatless recipes include cheese, so I’m extra excited when I can create a knock-your-socks-off recipe like this one that’s actually Vegan. Of course, Jake and I gobbled this up without the slightest thought of it being Vegan, but for those who do care, it’s a plus!

I’ve said it before, but I think you need to add ingredients with strong flavors to turn cauliflower rice into something that’s really good, and in this recipe the beans and cauliflower rice get a big flavor boost with red onion, Poblano peppers, and Kalyn’s Taco Seasoning; then the cauliflower rice and beans mixture is topped with a fresh-tasting salsa with tomatoes, avocados, green onion, cilantro, lime juice, chopped poblanos, and cumin. Oh yeah, this was so, so good!

How Could You Make This Recipe Lower in Carbs?

Jake and I did weren’t able to convince ourselves to make a Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowl without beans, even though that makes this recipe higher in carbs if you’re following a strictly Low-Carb eating plan. But if you’d like to turn this into a lower-carb recipe I’d omit the can of beans and add 2 cups of either chopped red bell pepper or chopped zucchini when you saute the Poblano pepper and red onion. Add the Taco Seasoning and cook a few minutes until the vegetables are tender-crisp, but skip the water if you’re not using beans.

Cauliflower Rice and Pinto Bean Burrito Bowl process shots collage

How to Make Cauliflower Rice and Pinto Bean Burrito Bowl:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Saute the chopped Poblano peppers and red onion in a little olive oil.
  2. Then add Kalyn’s Taco Seasoning, the rinsed beans, and a little water and let the beans cook until all the water is evaporated.
  3. While that’s cooking dice avocado, toss with lime juice, tomatoes, chopped Poblano, green onion, chopped cilantro (or use more green onion if you’re not a cilantro fan), lime juice, and a little cumin.
  4. Cut up a medium-sized head of cauliflower and buzz on the food processor until it’s finely chopped. (Or you can use 5 cups frozen cauliflower rice if you prefer. Take it out of the freezer a few minutes before you start the recipe.)
  5. Heat the oil in a large wok or frying pan with high sides, add garlic, and cook just until you smell garlic, then discard garlic.
  6. Add the chopped cauliflower and cook about 4 minutes, stirring often. (Check the package for cooking time if you use frozen cauliflower rice.)
  7. Season with plenty of salt and fresh-ground black pepper.
  8. When the cauliflower is barely tender, add the bean mixture and cook about a minute or two more to blend the flavors.
  9. To serve the Cauliflower Rice and Pinto Bean Burrito Bowls, put a generous amount of the cauliflower/bean mixture into a bowl and top with a big scoop of salsa. (Chunky commercial salsa could also be used.)
  10. We ate it with a generous squeeze of lime added at the table.

Cauliflower Rice and Pinto Bean Burrito Bowl close-up photo of two finished bowls

More Meatless or Vegan Dinners You Might Like:

Tofu Lettuce Wrap Tacos ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Pitas ~ Letty’s Kitchen
Vegan Red Cabbage Bowl with Tofu and Peanut-Sriracha Sauce ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Ratatouille with Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts ~ Healthy Seasonal Recipes
Low-Carb and Paleo Mediterranean Zucchini Noodles ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Cauliflower Rice and Pinto Bean Burrito Bowl

Cauliflower Rice and Pinto Bean Burrito Bowl

Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes

Cauliflower rice mixed with seasoned pinto beans, Poblano chiles, and red onions and topped with tomato-avocado salsa makes this a delicious meatless burrito bowl.


Burrito Bowl Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 large Poblano peppers, chopped small (Poblanos are often called Pasilla peppers; use the other half pepper for the salsa)
  • 1/2 red onion chopped small
  • 2 tsp. + 1 1/2 T olive oil
  • 1 T Kalyn’s Taco Seasoning or your favorite commercial Taco Seasoning
  • one 15 oz. can Pinto beans, rinsed well and drained
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, coarsely chopped (see notes)
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Salsa Ingredients:

  • 2 avocados, diced medium
  • 2 T fresh-squeezed lime juice (I used my fresh-frozen lime juice)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut into fourths
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Poblano pepper (the other half from the peppers used in the bean mixture)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (or use a little more finely sliced green onion if you’re not a cilantro fan)
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced green onion
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • salt to taste


  • fresh cut limes to squeeze on at the table
  • more chopped cilantro to add at the table


  1. Put the pinto beans into a colander placed in the sink and rinse well with cold water (until you don’t see any more foam.) Let beans drain.
  2. Heat the 2 tsp. olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan over medium heat, add the chopped Poblano peppers and chopped red onion and saute until the vegetables are just starting to soften, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add Kalyn’s Taco Seasoning, the drained beans, and 1/4 cup water, turn heat to low, and cook until all the water is evaporated.
  4. Turn off heat.
  5. For low-carb version, you can replace the beans with about 1 1/2 cups of either chopped red bell pepper or chopped zucchini and saute them with the vegetables. Stir in the taco seasoning and cook a minute or two more but don’t add the water if you’re not using the beans.
  6. Coarsely chop up the cauliflower, including the stems. Use the steel blade of a food processor to chop the cauliflower in two batches, buzzing it until it’s chopped enough to slightly resemble rice, with some slightly larger pieces. (Or you can use 5 cups frozen cauliflower rice if you prefer. Take it out of the freezer a few minutes before you start the recipe.)
  7. Heat the 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat until it feels hot when you hold your hand over the pan, add the sliced garlic, and cook just until you can smell garlic. (Don’t let it brown or the oil will taste bitter instead of nicely garlicky.)
  8. Remove the garlic and add the chopped cauliflower and stir-fry until the cauliflower is starting to get tender, about 4 minutes. (I used my new Green Pan Wok (affiliate link), which works perfectly for making cauliflower rice.)
  9. Add the seasoned bean (or vegetable) mixture and cook about 1-2 minutes more, until the cauliflower is as soft as you like it.
  10. Turn off heat.
  11. Dice the avocado into medium-sized pieces, put into a plastic or glass bowl, and toss with the fresh-frozen lime juice.
  12. Cut up the tomato, chop the other half of the Poblano, chop the cilantro, and slice the green onions.
  13. Gently stir all the chopped vegetables and herbs into the avocados, with the olive oil, ground cumin, and a little salt.
  14. To serve, put desired amount of the cauliflower rice/bean mixture into a serving bowl and top with a generous scoop of salsa.
  15. Serve with cut lime and additional chopped cilantro if desired. (You can also serve this with grated cheese and/or sour cream if you don’t care if it’s vegan.)


You can use 5 cups frozen cauliflower rice instead of chopping a head of cauliflower if you prefer.

If you're calculating carbs, note that this recipe has a lot of fiber which lowers the net carbs.

This recipe created by Kalyn and Jake.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 408Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 870mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 18gSugar: 9gProtein: 11g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Cauliflower Rice and Pinto Bean Burrito Bowl thumbnail photo

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Pinto beans are considered a “good carb” for the original South Beach Diet, and this Cauliflower Rice and Pinto Bean Vegan Burrito Bowl with a moderate amount of beans in each serving would be approved for any phase of South Beach. Follow the directions in the recipe to substitute lower-carb vegetables for the beans for other types of Low-Carb eating plans.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Bowl Meal Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for This Recipe:
This recipe was first posted April 2015. It was updated May 2020 with better instructions and the option to use frozen cauliflower rice.

Pinterest image of Cauliflower Rice and Pinto Bean Burrito Bowl

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    15 Comments on “Cauliflower Rice and Pinto Bean Burrito Bowl”

  1. I made it this weekend. I didn’t have pinto beans so I used ground meat. It was delicious. I will make it next time with pintos.

  2. This dish really look so good! I wish I could try this as soon as possible. Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. I love this!!  I am trying to eat more Paleo, so I’ll try this recipe with your extra veggie suggestions.  I am so excited to try this!

  4. This looks great, and we're having it for dinner tonight! But there's no mention about when the drained beans get added to the sautéed poblanos and onions. I assume when you add the taco seasoning and water before cooking down. Right?

  5. looks super delicious!!

  6. I love how I made burritos today and you made this awesome burrito bowl! Great minds.

  7. This sounds wonderful, though I'd probably add a bit of cheese 🙂

  8. Kalyn–
    What a great recipe–I can't wait to try it! You are going places with the cauliflower rice theme!