Kale, Black Bean & Avocado Burrito Bowl

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.

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!

Kale, Black Bean and Avocado Burrito Bowl

  • Author: Cookie and Kate
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Mexican

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)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

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 saucepan, 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.


Recipe inspired by Not Without Salt’s jalapeño and lime marinated kale tostada. Rice cooking method adapted from Saveur’s perfect brown rice recipe.

LEFTOVERS? Each component of this recipe keeps well in the refrigerator. For leftovers, just reheat the beans and rice and serve alongside marinated kale and salsa verde. To make sure the salsa verde stays bright green, store it in a bowl with plastic wrap pressed against the sauce.

IF YOU LOVE THIS RECIPE: Don’t miss my simple kale and black bean burritos.


The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. See our full nutrition disclosure here. Did you make this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #cookieandkate.

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


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