Tofu burrito bowl

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Are you looking for a healthy burrito bowl recipe that is vegetarian friendly? Then you absolutely need to check out this recipe for tofu burrito bowls! These tofu burrito bowls are packed with fresh veggies such as tomatoes, avocados, and onions. They are also loaded with protein so they are a great option for vegetarians who are looking to up their protein intake a little. 

These tofu burrito bowls are made with ingredients that are naturally gluten free so they are suitable for people with celiac disease or other types of gluten intolerances. These burrito bowls are also vegetarian friendly, egg free, and nut free.

Chipotle tofu burrito bowls with rice, avocado, sour cream, and pinto beans. There is a bowl of guacamole and a bowl of crema in the background.

What is in this tofu burrito bowl?

What is in this tofu burrito bowl? Here are the main components that make up this tasty tofu burrito bowl. 

  • Rice. Rice makes up the base of this tofu burrito bowl. You can use any kind of rice you prefer in this burrito bowl recipe. You could use brown rice if you want to make the burrito bowl extra a little extra healthy or cauliflower rice if you want to make a tofu burrito bowl that is lower in carbs. For best results, we recommend cooking the rice in a rice cooker (this is the one we use) so that the rice comes out fluffy and stays warm until you need it.
  • Pinto beans. Pinto beans are added to this burrito bowl to give it a little extra protein. You could also use black beans or kidney beans if you do not have any pinto beans lying around, but we recommend using pinto beans if possible.
  • Chipotle tofu. The chipotle tofu is really the star of the show in this dish. This sweet and spicy tofu is fried until it is crispy then coated in a sweet and spicy chipotle sauce that is made from chipotle chiles, adobo sauce, lime, and honey.
  • Guacamole. The fresh and zesty guacamole contributes a lot of flavor to this tofu burrito bowl. This easy guacamole is made with avocado, lime, red onion, and tomato. It only takes a few minutes to put together so you can spend most of your time making nice and crispy tofu.
  • Lime sour cream. The lime sour cream adds a little extra creaminess to the burrito bowl and prevents the bowl from getting too dry.
  • Queso fresco. This burrito bowl is topped with crumbled queso fresco to finish it off. The light and creamy flavor of the queso fresco contrasts the bold flavor of the chipotle tofu.

A small bowl of chipotle sauce for chipotle tofu burrito bowls

Is this tofu burrito bowl healthy?

Is this tofu burrito bowl healthy? Yes, this tofu burrito bowl is healthy. This burrito bowl features a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and legumes such as avocados, limes, red onions, tomatoes, and pinto beans. There is a lot of protein in this tofu burrito bowl so it is a great dish for vegetarians that are looking for a little extra protein in their diet. The protein in this tofu burrito bowl will help to fuel your body up and keep you feeling satiated until your next meal. 

Tofu covered in chipotle sauce in a skillet

How to make this burrito bowl even healthier

Here are a few tips you can follow if you want to make this tofu burrito bowl even healthier. 

  • Use brown rice. If you want to make your tofu burrito bowl a little extra healthy you should use brown rice rather than white rice. Brown rice is higher in fiber and protein than white rice and it is packed with nutrients. 
  • Use cauliflower rice. If you want to take this a step further you could also use cauliflower rice rather than brown rice. Cauliflower rice is lower in carbs than traditional rice and using cauliflower rice adds an extra serving of vegetables to your tofu burrito bowl. 
  • Use low sodium pinto beans. If you or anyone in your family has high blood pressure you should opt for low sodium or no sodium added pinto beans. You could also use dry pinto beans so that you can control exactly how much salt goes into your beans.
  • Add extra fruits & vegetables. If you want to make this tofu burrito bowl even healthier you can add some extra fruits and vegetables. Here are some of our favorite fruits and vegetables to add to burrito bowls: diced tomatoes, diced white onions, diced green onions, shredded lettuce, diced mango, roasted corn, grilled onions, grilled bell peppers, and fried sweet plantains.

Chipotle tofu burrito bowls with rice, avocado, sour cream, and pinto beans.

How to make crispy tofu

You should make your tofu as crispy as possible to add a little crunch to this tofu burrito bowl. Here are a few tips to follow to make your tofu extra crispy. 

  • Use extra firm tofu. Tofu comes in a variety of textures ranging from soft to extra firm. If you want to make crispy tofu you should use extra firm tofu. 
  • Cut tofu before draining it. The key to getting your tofu to crisp up is drying out the outer surface of the tofu. If you want your tofu to come out crispy you need to drain some of the water out of the tofu before frying it. If your tofu is still in a large block it will be difficult to extract the water from the inner part of the tofu. It is much easier to drain the tofu properly if you cut the tofu into smaller pieces before you drain it.
  • Coat tofu in cornstarch before cooking it. You should coat your tofu in cornstarch before cooking it. The cornstarch helps to dry out the surface of the tofu so that it will crisp up faster. The cornstarch itself also cooks through to form an extra crispy crust. 
  • Leave space between pieces of tofu when cooking. You should leave space between individual pieces of tofu when you cook your tofu. When you cook your tofu the water in the tofu evaporates. If the pieces of tofu are too close together they will steam each other and your tofu will become soft rather than crispy. 
  • Let tofu brown on each side before flipping it. If you want your tofu to come out crispy you need to make sure to give the tofu enough time to brown before flipping it. If you leave your tofu to cook for 3-4 minutes per side it will develop a nice crispy crust. 
  • Make sure tofu is crispy before adding sauce. You should make sure that your tofu has a thick crispy crust before you add the chipotle sauce. You should fry the tofu a little longer than you would if you were not adding a sauce. When you add the sauce the tofu is going to get a little softer so you should make sure you are starting out with extra crispy tofu. 

Tofu burrito bowl

These tasty tofu burrito bowls are gluten free, egg free, and vegetarian.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Keyword: egg free, gluten free, nut free, vegan
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice
  • 8 oz pinto beans (about half a standard sized 15 oz can)
  • 2 tbsp crumbled queso fresco

Lime sour cream

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 tsp lime

Easy guacamole

  • 2 small avocados
  • 1/2 tomato
  • 1 tbsp chopped red onion
  • 1 tsp lime
  • 1/2 tsp back pepper
  • 1 pinch salt

Chipotle tofu

  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch (for frying)
  • 2 large chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp vegetable bouillon (or about half a bouillon cube)
  • 1/2 tsp lime
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp warm water

Instructions

  • Remove the tofu and cut it in half along the shortest side so that you have two thin blocks of tofu. Wrap each block of tofu on a few layers of paper towels then put a flat, heavy object on top of the tofu to press the water out. Press the tofu for at least 30 minutes.
    You can prepare the other ingredients for the tofu bowls while the tofu drains.
  • Add the rice to a medium sized pot that has a lid. Cook the rice according to the instructions on the package.
    You can move on to the next step while the rice boils.

Lime sour cream

  • Combine the ingredients for the lime sour cream and mix them together.
    Cover the sour cream with a sheet of saran wrap and store it in the refrigerator until you need it.

Easy guacamole

  • Chop the tomato and onion for the guacamole and mash the avocado. Combine the ingredients for the guacamole and mix thoroughly.
    Cover the guacamole with a sheet of saran wrap and store it in the refrigerator until you need it.

Chipotle tofu

  • Chop the tofu into small pieces with edges that are about an inch long. Toss the tofu in cornstarch then fry the tofu.
    You should fry the tofu in a large pan with about 1/4 inch of vegetable oil on the bottom over medium high heat. Fry the tofu for 2 - 4 minutes per side until the tofu develops a thick brown crust. Continue to flip the tofu every 2 - 4 minutes until each side of the tofu is cooked.
  • Chop the chipotle chiles into fine pieces and mix together all of the ingredients for the chipotle sauce. You should use all of the ingredients for the chipotle tofu other than the tofu, cornstarch, and vegetable oil for the chipotle sauce.
  • Toss the fried tofu in chipotle sauce then continue to cook the tofu in a pan over medium heat. Cook the tofu for 3 - 5 minutes until the sugars in the chipotle sauce start to caramelize.
    If you want to use the same pan you used to fry the tofu to cook the tofu in the chipotle sauce then you need to drain the vegetable oil into a small bowl first. When you cook the tofu in the chipotle sauce you should not use a pan that has a thick layer of vegetable oil in it.

Assembling the tofu burrito bowls

  • Combine all of the ingredients to make the tofu burrito bowls. If your rice has cooled down you can add the rice and pinto beans to a bowl then microwave them for 30 - 60 seconds to warm them up. If the rice is still warm you can just add the room temperature beans to the rice and let the rice warm them up.
    Add the chipotle tofu to the burrito bowls then top them off with guacamole, lime sour cream, and queso fresco.

Substitutions for tofu burrito bowls

  • Chipotle chiles. This chipotle tofu is not particularly spicy because there are only two chipotle peppers used for an entire block of tofu. If you want to make your tofu dish more or less spicy you can increase or decrease the number of chipotle chiles in the sauce. If you reduce the number of chipotle chiles you should replace each chipotle pepper with 2 tsp of adobo sauce. If you add chipotle chiles to the sauce you do not have to make any other adjustments.
  • Rice. You can use any kind of rice you want as the base of this burrito bowl. You could also use another grain such as quinoa or a vegetable based rice such as cauliflower rice. 
  • Pinto beans. You can swap out the pinto beans in this tofu burrito bowl with black beans or kidney beans if you have a preference for another type of beans. If you have no preference we recommend using pinto beans.  
  • Queso fresco. If you cannot find queso fresco you could use another crumbly cheese such as cotija cheese. If you cannot find cotija cheese you can also use a mild flavored semi-hard cheese such as Monterey jack.
  • Bouillon cubes. If you do not have bouillon cubes you can omit this ingredient from the chipotle sauce, but the sauce will be a little less flavorful. If you are looking for bouillon cube recommendations we highly recommend using Edward & Son’s Non-Chik’n bouillon cubes. These bouillon cubes are gluten free and vegan but they taste just like chicken bullion. 

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