Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls
1 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or a mix
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock, divided, plus more if needed
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 cup brown rice
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
Optional toppings: shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, sour cream, diced avocado, salsa, hot sauce, diced green onions, shredded lettuce
Combine the chicken breasts, diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup of chicken stock, chili powder, salt, and cumin in the bowl of a 2 1/2- to 3 1/2-quart slow cooker. Make sure the chicken is covered, and add additional stock if needed. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours.
Remove the lid and add the rice, black beans, frozen corn, and the remaining chicken broth. Replace the lid and continue cooking on low for another 3 to 4 hours. Check the rice periodically in the last hour of cooking, stirring once or twice to make sure the rice cooks evenly and adding more chicken broth if the mixture seems dry. Cooking is done when the rice is tender — if the rice is done while there is still liquid left in the slow cooker, remove the lid and cook on high to let the liquid evaporate.
→ Total cooking time from start to finish is 6 to 8 hours.
Use two forks to shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. You can do this either in the slow cooker itself and then mix it into the rice, or you can transfer the chicken to a cutting board if you prefer to keep it separate. Taste the burrito mix and stir in more salt or other seasonings to taste.
Serve burrito bowls with a selection of toppings. The burrito mixture will keep for 1 week refrigerated or for 3 months in the freezer. This recipe makes about 7 total cups of burrito mix.
- Cooking the rice separately: If you won't be home to add the rice to the slow cooker, you can skip this step and cook it separately on the stovetop just before serving (use these directions). To modify the recipe, combine the chicken, diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup of stock, and spices in the slow cooker and cook for 6 to 8 hours on low. Add the black beans and corn, and cook for another 1/2 hour, or until warmed through, while you're cooking the rice (omit the remaining chicken stock).
- Vegetarian burrito bowls: Combine the diced tomatoes, 1 cup of vegetable stock, spices, rice, black beans, and corn in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours, until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the liquid. Stir once or twice toward the end of cooking to make sure the rice is cooking evenly.
- Beyond burrito bowls: Besides burrito bowls, you can use this filling to make regular tortilla-wrapped burritos or freezer burritos.