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Fall Mexican Rice Bowls

These Fall Mexican Rice Bowls are an easy recipe that I put together a few weeks ago.

I was chatting with Chef Connie Guttersen about putting together a new, simple family meal idea.

Connie challenged me to create a recipe that aimed for simple, easy, and everyday.

She suggested that I develop a recipe that contained 2 varieties of beans, plus at least 2 vegetables and 1 grain for a nutritionally dense recipe.

And that I should plan to use ingredients that could be found at any common, non-specialty grocery store.

And, of course, it shouldn’t take too long to prepare.

Fall Mexican Rice Bowls

Click HERE to save this recipe for Fall Mexican Rice Bowls to Pinterest!

I am a fan of simple and easy.

Although I wanted my recipe to be everyday enough that it was accessible to readers, I didn’t want it to taste ordinary and everyday.

I chose to work on a Mexican Rice Bowl that could easily be adapted depending on what vegetables were on hand.

Because we are in the middle of fall and merging into winter, I wanted to feature seasonal vegetables to create a Fall Mexican Rice Bowl.

That called for sweet potatoes and kale.

Kale and sweet potatoes offer bright appealing colors and interest while also providing a diverse nutritional palate.

They also paired really well with kidney and black beans and the Mexican flavors of cumin and chili.

Fall Mexican Rice Bowls

Click HERE to save this recipe for Fall Mexican Rice Bowls to Pinterest!

Tips for Simple, Easy, Everyday Meals

Make a Plan

We’ve all been there.

Dangerously near 5:00 pm.

No plan.

Minimal groceries on hand.

Panic sets in.

I do this far more than I care to admit (although sometimes that panic allows me to create something truly delicious, it is stressful).

Planning and shopping ahead make weeknight meals come together easily.

And this Fall Mexican Rice Bowls is something you can easily add to your plan.

Fresh Is Best

I find that when I use fresh, seasonal ingredients I can really let the flavors of those vegetables shine.

You don’t have to do a lot to make in season produce taste great.

Prepare in Advance

Any chopping, slicing, or dicing that can be done in advance during less busy periods of the day will save you time during the dinner rush.

In this meal, kale can be pre-chopped and the sweet potatoes can be peeled and diced ahead of time.

Cook Once, Eat Twice

Connie shared some great words of advice for all busy parents out there.

She said “As far as busy night… one concept which works for me, is the cook once, eat twice.”

To simplify these Fall Mexican Rice Bowls one step further, Connie suggests cooking extra meat the night before with plans to use the leftover meat, ” and do a “shredded” meat with the dish you are describing.”

My Crock Pot Shredded Mexican Chicken would be perfect to prepare ahead of time to add on top of these Fall Mexican Rice Bowls.

If you like pork, you could try this recipe for Slow Cooker Southwestern Pulled Pork instead of chicken.

What are your favorite tips for simple, easy, and everyday meals?

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Fall Mexican Rice Bowls

Fall Mexican Rice Bowls

Yield: serves 4 - 6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Fall Mexican Rice Bowls are super easy to put together and feature plenty of tasty fall produce that pair well with spicy, Mexican Flavors.


For the Rice:

  • 1 1/4 cup uncooked basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 of a purple onion, diced
  • 8 ounces peeled and diced sweet potato
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3.5 ounces chopped kale
  • 1 can Bush's Kidney Beans, drained
  • 1 can Bush's Black Beans, drained
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the Chicken:

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Topping Ideas:

  • Lime Wedges
  • Avocado Slices
  • Salsa
  • Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese


  1. In a saucepan, add the water, salsa, and rice.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover with a lid, and turn the heat all the way to low.
  3. Allow to cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large cast iron skillet or stainless steel pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil.
  5. Add the diced onion and saute for 5-7 minutes, or until tender.
  6. Then add the sweet potato, cumin, and chili powder and saute until the sweet potatoes are tender.
  7. Add the chopped kale and cook just until wilted.
  8. Stir in the beans.
  9. Turn heat to low and set aside while you prepare the chicken.
  10. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a cast iron skillet or stainless steel pan.
  11. Add the chicken and seasonings and cook until the chicken is done. Set aside.
  12. In a large bowl (or your skillet if it is large enough), combine the cooked rice with the vegetables.
  13. To serve, scoop the rice and vegetable mixture into bowls, top with cubed chicken.
  14. Although not necessary, serve with any toppings that you prefer.


You can easily swap out vegetables according to season or personal preference. Other great vegetable additions or substitutions include

  • red bell pepper
  • sliced mushrooms
  • diced butternut squash
  • spinach
  • tomatoes

If you like extra heat, try including fire roasted green chiles or minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in the rice.

My Crock Pot Shredded Mexican Chicken would be perfect to prepare ahead of time to add on top of these Fall Mexican Rice Bowls.

If you like pork, you could try this recipe for Slow Cooker Southwestern Pulled Porkinstead of chicken.

A variety of rice can be used as well. If your family prefers brown rice, that is a suitable substitute. Quinoa is another great grain substitution.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 388Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 68mgSodium 522mgCarbohydrates 42gFiber 10gSugar 6gProtein 34g offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love it if you let me know what you think! Snap a photo and tag me on Instagram at @goodlifeeats with the hashtag #goodlifeeatsrecipes so I can see what you’re cooking up in YOUR kitchen!

This post was created in partnership with Bush Beans. 

I have been compensated for my time creating this recipe for Fall Mexican Rice Bowls, however all of the contained opinions are my own.


Monday 2nd of February 2015

Are the potatoes suppose to be boiled first, or are they just peeled, diced, and thrown into the skillet without boiling?

Katie Goodman

Wednesday 4th of February 2015

they are not boiled first.

Janet Fazio

Tuesday 23rd of September 2014

Just in time for fall. I work at home, so leftovers are a must in my life. Looking forward to trying this.

Julie @ This Gal Cooks

Friday 19th of September 2014

These look amazing, Katie! I love all of the fresh veggies, basmati rice and the sweet potatoes!


Wednesday 14th of November 2012

I made these this week with these changes: brown rice, chard (from my garden) instead of kale, and I left out the chicken. What a tasty dinner! I loved the sweet potatoes and the greens together. I was going to have the leftovers for lunch but I couldn't wait and had them for breakfast instead!

Ruby @ The Ruby Red Apron

Monday 12th of November 2012

These rice bowls sound delicious and nutritious!

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