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Build a Better Bowl: Oat Burrito Bowls

If there’s two things we love, it’s oats (obviously) and burrito bowls. Just those two things. Seriously. Everything else comes in a distant third.

So, when the burrito bowl craving hit us hard the other day, instead of sending the intern out to the strip mall to pick us up some lunch, we moseyed down to the Oats Everyday kitchen and rustled up some tasty – and healthy – homemade burrito bowls with a delicious cilantro-lime crema.

Since we are all about the oats here, that’s where we started. Instead of the usual rice, we decided to build our bowls on a bed of steel cut oats. If you haven’t tried steel cut oats in your savory recipes yet, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.

We may be biased, but we think steel cut oats make the perfect substitute for rice. Just like brown rice, they’re versatile and satisfying, and have a chewy texture and mild, nutty flavor. Where they pull ahead is in the fiber department – oats have twice the fiber and will keep you feeling fuller longer.

But, back to the bowls! After getting the oats going in the rice cooker, we grilled a couple chicken breasts, opened a can of black beans, grated some cheese and did a little slicing and chopping. In no time at all, we had everything we needed. Everyone pitched in with the prep work and by the time the oats were done, so was our assembly line.

When it was time to assemble, everyone took a bowl of hot oats and made their way down the line, adding as much or as little of the toppings as they wanted and creating some seriously epic burrito bowls.

Not only did the bowls taste great, everyone got to make their own masterpiece and it was super-fun. So much fun that we’re already talking about making it a regular thing! The best part? No healthy eating resolutions were sabotaged and no interns were sacrificed. And, score one for the vegetarians – the combination of oats and beans is a complete protein.

Best. Lunch. Ever.

Oat Burrito Bowls

Oat Burrito Bowls

Build a better burrito bowl with all of your favorite toppings on a base of healthy, fiber-rich steel cut oats.
Oat Type: Steel Cut Oats
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4 people


For the oats:

  • 1 cup steel cut oats (250 ml)
  • 3 cups water (750 ml)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (2.5 ml)

For the crema:

  • 1/2 cup sour cream (125 ml)
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice fresh (15 ml)
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro leaves finely chopped (30 ml)

For the bowls:

  • 2 chicken breasts approx. 6 - 8oz each (170 - 225g)
  • 1 cup black beans (canned) drained, rinsed and heated (250 ml)
  • 1 cup corn (canned or frozen) heated (250 ml)
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack cheese, grated (125 ml)
  • 1/2 cup salsa or pico de gallo (125 ml)


To make oats:

  • Bring water to a boil. Stir in oats and salt. Reduce heat to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-25 mins.

To make crema:

  • For cilantro-lime crema: Stir together sour cream, lime juice and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and set aside.

To make chicken:

  • Season chicken breasts to taste with salt and pepper and grill until cooked through, then slice or dice into bite-sized pieces.

To assemble:

  • Divide oats between four bowls.
  • Top with beans, chicken, corn, cheese, avocado, salsa and cilantro-lime crema.


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