Vegetarian Mexican Bowl (with Zucchini Noodles)
This Vegetarian Mexican Bowl (with Zucchini Noodles) is perfect for a no-fuss meatless dish, and this is loaded with good flavors. Omit the black beans for a lower-carb version that’s just as flavorful.
In Utah it’s expected to hit 104F this week, and it seems likely we’re going to set a record this summer for the most days above 100F. I hear some people lose their appetite when the weather is extra hot, but that never happens to me; in fact when summer produce is abundant I’m always thinking up new ways to use it.
My latest experiment was this Vegetarian Mexican Bowl, and the fact that the only cooking involved was 2-3 minutes to quickly saute the zucchini noodles made this a great hot-weather dish. If you like zucchini and you’re looking for a light summer meal where you don’t need to heat up the kitchen, I bet you might enjoy this as much as I did.
What ingredients do you need?
(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- can of black beans (optional)
- Zest of one lime
- fresh-squeezed lime juice (I used my fresh-frozen lime juice)
- Poblano chile pepper
- extra-virgin Olive Oil (affiliate link)
- Spike Seasoning (affiliate link), or other all-purpose seasoning blend
- ground Cumin (affiliate link)
- Chili Powder (affiliate link)
- 4 small zucchini
- garlic cloves
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
What makes this Vegetarian Mexican Bowl extra flavorful?
One thing I thought made this Mexican Bowl meal extra good was the chopped fresh Poblano chile pepper, which added fantastic flavor to the black bean, avocado, tomato, and lime mixture. I’m falling in love with these dark green chiles, which are often called Pasilla peppers in U.S. grocery stores.
How did I make the Julienned Zucchini?
I used an inexpensive Julienne Cutter (affiliate link) to make the zucchini strips you see here. This method was featured in my post on How to Make Zucchini Noodles which gives three methods, but now that I have a Spiralizer (affiliate link), that’s definitely the method I’d use.
Want more ideas for Zucchini Noodles?
If you’re a fan of zucchini noodles or have a lot of zucchini to use, check out my collection of Keto Recipes with Zucchini Noodles for lots more tasty ideas!
How to make this Vegetarian Mexican Bowl:
(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- Rinse black beans and let them drain while you make the dressing. (Omit beans for a lower-carb version.)
- Zest one of the limes and then squeeze the juice. (You need 5 tablespoons lime juice total, probably 3 limes.)
- Whisk together lime zest, 3 tablespoons of the lime juice, olive oil, Spike Seasoning (affiliate link), ground cumin, and chile powder to make the dressing. (Spike is not Paleo.)
- Toss the drained black beans with 2 tablespoons of dressing.
- Peel and dice the avocado and toss with 1 tablespoon lime juice.
- Cut up the tomato and toss with the black beans.
- I used this wonderful Progressive International Vegetable Chopper (affiliate link) to chop the Poblano into very small pieces, but you can definitely chop it by hand. (This pepper is mild, but still be careful about washing your hands after you handle it and don’t touch your eyes or face.)
- Stir the finely diced Poblano into the tomato/black bean mixture. Then add the diced avocado and enough dressing to moisten the mixture and gently combine. (Save at least 2 tablespoons of dressing to season the zucchini.)
- I used an inexpensive Julienne Cutter (affiliate link) to make the noodles, although there are many Ways to Make Noodles from Zucchini; take your choice.
- Heat the oil and saute the garlic just until it’s fragrant; then discard the garlic.
- Add the julienned zucchini and cook 1-2 minutes, just until it starts to soften. Then stir in a tablespoon of dressing and cook zucchini about 1 minute longer.
- Serve zucchini in a bowl with a couple of generous scoops of the tasty salsa and enjoy!
- This is easy and delicious for a meatless meal!
Make it a Vegetarian Meal:
More Vegetarian Zucchini Recipes:
- Zucchini Carpaccio
- Easy Grilled Greek Zucchini
- Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini
- Instant Pot Ratatouille
- Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake
- one 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained well
- 2 medium avocados, peeled and diced
- 2 T lime juice (to toss with avocado)
- 1 Poblano chile, seeds removed and finely diced
- 1 cup diced tomato
- Zest of one lime
- 3 T lime juice
- 3 T extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. Spike Seasoning (Spike is not Paleo, so use any all-purpose seasoning of your choice if you prefer.)
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. chile powder
- 4 small zucchini, julienne sliced
- 2 tsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, sliced
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Drain the beans into a colander placed in the sink, rinse well with cold water, and let beans drain while you make the dressing.
- Zest one lime, then squeeze the juice as well as additional limes to make 5 tablespoons lime juice.
- Save 2 tablespoons lime juice for the avocado; mix 3 T lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, Spike Seasoning, ground cumin, and chile powder to make the dressing.
- Put drained beans into a bowl big enough to hold all the salsa mixture and stir in 2 T dressing.
- Peel and dice the avocado and toss with 2 T lime juice (in a separate bowl.)
- Chop tomatoes and toss with the beans.
- Cut off stem and remove seeds from the Poblano pepper, finely dice the pepper, and toss with the beans.
- Then gently stir the avocado with lime juice and enough dressing to moisten it into the salsa mixture, saving at least 2 tablespoons of the dressing to season the zucchini.
- Use a Julienne Cutter (affiliate link) or other tool to make the noodles. (see notes)
- Unless you have a huge wok-type pan, I would saute the zucchini in two batches. Heat half the oil over high heat, add half the sliced garlic, and saute the garlic just until it’s fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Remove the garlic and immediately add half the julienned zucchini to the seasoned oil.
- Saute 1-2 minutes, just until the zucchini is starting to soften, then stir in 1 tablespoon of the dressing and saute about 1 minute more.
- Season zucchini to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
- Repeat with the other half of the zucchini if you’re making all four servings.
- To serve, divide the sauteed zucchini among bowls and top with a generous scoop of the black bean mixture.
I shared Three Ways to Make Noodles from Zucchini or Other Vegetables. That post might be helpful. Now that I have a Spiralizer, I would definitely prefer that.
If you’re not making four servings at once, don’t julienne or saute the zucchini until right before you’re going to eat it. The black bean mixture will keep in the fridge for a day or two. (I ate some of mine over scrambled eggs, which was also delicious!)
Recipe created by Kalyn when it was really hot but she still wanted to experiment with zucchini.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 429Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 4.4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24.9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 426mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 17gSugar: 6.5gProtein: 12g
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.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Everything in this Vegetarian Mexican Bowl is approved for any phase of the original South Beach Diet. For low-carb diets, omit the beans and maybe use more avocado for Keto.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Bowl Meals to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This Vegetarian Mexican Bowl with zucchini was first posted in 2013. It was last updated with more information in 2023.