Black Bean Rice Bowl with Garlic Yogurt Sauce

This black bean rice bowl is a healthy vegetarian meal packed with fresh Mexican flavours! 

A vegetarian and gluten free black bean rice bowl packed with fresh Mexican flavours.

I’m a bit of a walking contradiction.

I have expensive tastes when it comes to food, but I also love to save money. In fact, I get a bit of a thrill out of it. Every time I score an item on sale or calculate the cheaper item by comparing the unit prices, I get a burst of satisfaction. Probably because it means I feel less guilty about hitting up the cheese counter afterwards and spending $11 on a tiny block of aged cheddar.

Likewise I try to avoid eating out at cheap restaurants to save money for more expensive dinners out. As much as I love a good loaded pita from Pita Pit and Starbucks’ chai lattes, I’d much rather skip them if it means being able to go out for a pricier dinner every so often.

Which is why after I fell in love with the hot rice box from William’s Fresh Cafe after having it for the first time, I immediately made plans to recreate it at home. The components – rice, black beans, tomatoes, corn, avocado, feta, and garlic sauce – were simple, so I knew it would be easy. And it was. My black bean rice bowl is eerily similar, although I left out the chicken or salmon that the cafe version comes with. I decided to leave this version vegetarian – you know, cause I’m cheap.

BlA vegetarian and gluten free black bean rice bowl packed with fresh Mexican flavours.

Black Bean Rice Bowl with Garlic Yogurt Sauce
Prep time
Total time
A vegetarian and gluten free black bean rice bowl packed with fresh Mexican flavours.
Yield: 4 servings
  • 4 cups cooked short grain brown rice
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup sweet corn kernels
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 4 oz crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 batch of garlic yogurt sauce (link below)
  1. Divide the cooked rice amongst 4 bowls.
  2. Top each with one quarter of the black beans, cherry tomatoes, corn, avocado, and feta. Sprinkle fresh cilantro on top of the bowls and drizzle with garlic yogurt sauce.

Get the recipe for the garlic yogurt sauce here.

What dishes from restaurants have you recreated at home?


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17 Responses to Black Bean Rice Bowl with Garlic Yogurt Sauce

  1. Gotta love a mexican inspired bowl! Avocado and beans are a must!

  2. We have such a similar approach to food- shop sales and look for deals but splurge on the good stuff. I find myself going to multiple stores to buy food to save $1 here and there only to but some super expensive honey or the like. Also yes to nicer dinners out. If I can make a dish at home but make it way better (and probably for less even if it is at a cheap place), it’s just not worth it!

    I like this budget dinner- looks so delicious!

  3. This is very much my idea of the perfect meal. I’ve never really gone out of my way to recreate a restaurant dish at home, but I’ll whip up the odd burrito bowl here and there to try and replicate the one from Chipotle. It’s never quite the same, though, which is why Chipotle needs to make its way to Edmonton!

    • Chelsea

      It’s so true – my burrito bowls are delicious, but they’re always missing something compared to Chipotle’s. I’m surprised Chipotle is taking so long to expand throughout Canada. I’m sure they’ll make a killing once they do!

  4. I love meals like this! Especially when they’re colorful and neatly organized. haha!

  5. Woo hoo for cheap vegetarian meals! This looks perfect to me. :)

  6. This looks amazing. I’m similar I love the high end products but adore a good deal.

    • Chelsea

      Thanks Lisa! I love a good deal when quality isn’t necessary, you know? Like I’ll spend $12 on a bottle of aged balsamic vinegar, but when it comes to things like beans and rice, the cheap stuff is fine by me!

  7. This sounds so good, exactly my kind of food. Inexpensive and delicious.

  8. I’m still in love with that first picture. It’s stunning. Also so much veggie love. I’m happy you kept it meat free. Makes it more appealing for little old me.

    • Chelsea

      Honestly meat free is usually more appealing to me too. I like meat occasionally when it’s cooked really nicely at restaurants, but for home cooking I generally prefer to keep it vegetarian.

  9. Those pictures are fab! I’ve only tried recreating a sauce that I saw on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives but it turned out really well!

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