Dinner/ Meal Prep

Chipotle Buddha Bowl Meal Prep

This Chipotle Buddha Bowl Meal Prep guide helps you create restaurant-quality vegan Tex-Mex for a week. Includes smoky, spicy tempeh sofritas, cilantro lime rice, roasted corn salsa, and fajita veggies and mushrooms.

Clean Vegan Chipotle Buddha Bowl Meal Prep with Tempeh Sofritas and Brown Rice

What is this Chipotle Buddha Bowl Meal Prep?

This post is a guide on how to make several Tex-Mex dishes that work really nicely together for meal prep. All of these recipes were intended to mimic the food you would get at Chipotle, a chain restaurant in the US. My intent is that you get an idea of how to put together a Tex-Mex themed meal prep bowl with whatever ingredients you prefer. Think of this as a template.

Easy Vegan Chipotle Buddha Bowl Meal Prep with Tempeh

Practical Considerations

If you look at the recipe, you’ll notice that each of the components of the meal prep is pretty simple, but in total, there is a lot to do. To make this guide more approachable and useful, here are a few tips:

  • Get Someone to Help You – It took me about 3 hours to put this together when I was testing the recipe. If you have someone to help you and cook simultaneously, this can be made much more quickly. Most of the cooking time is inactive but there is a lot to do.
  • Make Substitutions – It’s possible to simplify this a lot, if you don’t mind it being a little less “authentic” (i.e. true to the restaurant version). You can make one or two of the dishes in the recipe and use more basic dishes for the rest. See the “Potential Substitutions” section for ideas.
  • Use Kitchen Gadgets – Tools like a rice cooker, Instant Pot, and air fryer can come in handy when making lots of different dishes. The Instant Pot can be used to make the rice or the beans (especially if starting from dried beans). And the air fryer can be good for both roasting the corn and caramelizing the vegetables and mushrooms for the fajitas.

Cooking Each Part of the Chipotle Buddha Bowl Meal Prep

Cilantro Lime Rice

This one is really simple. Cook your choice of rice as you normally would (I go for brown basmati) adding in a bit of salt and a bay leaf before you start cooking. Then you stir in cilantro and lime juice when it’s finished cooking. This rice is more interesting than plain rice but won’t steal the show.

Tempeh Sofritas

The original sofritas contain tofu instead of tempeh. I substituted tempeh because I like the firm texture and its gut-health benefits. If you prefer to use tofu, see the recipe that I adapted from Culinary Hill. Sofritas are the most complicated dish of the bunch, but also the most flavorful. You pan-fry the tempeh in oil, blend lots of fresh ingredients and spices into a marinade, marinate the fried tempeh, then simmer it on the stove.

Zesty Chipotle Style Tempeh Sofritas for

Roasted Corn Salsa

This is another easy one. You roast corn kernels in a skillet until nicely browned, then mix the corn with onion, jalapeno, poblano, cilantro, and lime.

Vegan Chipotle Style Corn Salsa for Meal Prep

Black Beans

Cook black beans with garlic, onion, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, spices, cilantro, and lime. I used canned beans to save time on this one but if you’re interested in using dried beans to save money, check out the original at Culinary Hill.

Fajita Veggies and Mushrooms

Red onions, bell peppers, and portobello mushrooms cooked briefly in a skillet at high heat. The surface of each of these gets blistered but the interior is just cooked through.

Vegan Chipotle Style Vegetable Fajitas for Meal Prep

Potential Substitutions and Additions to the Chipotle Buddha Bowl Meal Prep

Since this is more of a guide than a prescription of what you should cook, here are some substitutions and additions you can make to simplify and/or enhance the meal prep:

  • Use store-bought ingredients -You can buy beans that are already seasoned and will save you some time. The same goes for seasoned seitan or tofu if you’d like to replace the sofritas.
  • Substitute other whole grains for the brown rice – Quinoa is always a nutritious alternative grain, but you could also other types of rice (black, wild) or use whole-grain corn tortillas to make tacos from the other ingredients.
  • Put cilantro and lime on everything – Since the seasoning profile for most of the dishes includes cilantro and lime you can save some effort and just put it on everything once you’ve assembled your bowls, instead of putting it individually in each dish as you make it.
  • Add salsa and avocado – Store-bought salsa adds another layer of flavor, texture, and temperature and will invariably make the meal tastier. Avocado adds a good creaminess that goes with all the other flavors.

Authentic Vegan Chipotle Buddha Bowl Meal Prep

Credit for Original Recipes

Meggan from Culinary Hill has a vast collection of comfort food recipes on her site, including those that helped me tremendously in putting this post together: black beans, corn salsa, rice, sofritas, and fajitas. I adapted each recipe to fit this post, but her work in recreating the flavor profiles of each dish eliminated a lot of guesswork for me. She has quite a few plant-based recipes, as well, including lots of salads and useful guides on cooking veggies simply and deliciously. Definitely check it out if you’re interested.

More Plant-Based Meal Prep Guides

More Plant-Based Tex-Mex Food

As always, if you try this recipe out, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @gastroplant on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

Chipotle Buddha Bowl Meal Prep

Create restaurant-quality vegan Tex-Mex at home for a week. Includes smoky, spicy tempeh sofritas, cilantro lime rice, roasted corn salsa, and fajita veggies and mushrooms.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican, Tex-Mex
Servings: 5 meals
Author: Thomas

Ingredients

Rice

  • 1 cup dry rice of your choice (I used brown basmat(means 1 US cup or 240 milliliters)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice

Tempeh Sofritas

  • 1 pound tempeh (500 grams) sliced 1/2 inch (1 centimeter) thick
  • 1-2 Tablespoons peanut oil or other cooking oil

Sofritas Marinade

  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne ground
  • 2 chipotle peppers
  • 2 Tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 1/2 poblano pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar or other vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Seasoning at end
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup nutritional yeast

Roasted Corn Salsa

  • 8 ounces frozen corn kernels (250 grams)
  • 1/4 cup red onion finely diced
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeno seed removed and finely diced
  • 1/2 poblano pepper seeds removed and finely diced
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • Salt to taste

Black Beans

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion diced finely
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh oregano chopped
  • 2 cans black beans liquid drained and reserved
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
  • 1 chipotle pepper minced
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro chopped

Fajita Veggies

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 bell peppers cut into strips
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 3 portobello mushroom caps sliced 1/4 inch (1/2 centimeter) thick
  • 1/2 Tablespoon fresh oregano chopped
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

Cook the Rice

  • Use a rice cooker or follow the instructions on your specific rice package to cook the rice. Stir in the bay leaf and salt with the rice and water before you start the cooking.
  • When the rice has finished cooking, remove the bay leaf and stir in the cilantro and lime juice.

Fry the Tempeh for the Sofritas

  • Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the tempeh slices. Flip the tempeh periodically until golden brown on both sides. Remove the pan from the heat and turn the heat down if the oil starts to smoke at any point. Cook the tempeh in batches if needed. Add more oil if the pan runs dry.
  • Place the cooked tempeh slices on a paper-towel-lined plate to cool.

Blend the Sofritas Marinade Ingredients

  • Combine all the ingredients for the Sofritas Marinade in a blender or food processor. Blend or process until the mixture is of uniform consistency.

Marinate and Cook the Sofritas

  • Chop the tempeh into small cubes. Place the tempeh in a large bowl or dish and add the blended marinade and stir to mix well.
  • (Optional) If you have time to marinate the tempeh, you can marinate it anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight in the fridge.
  • Pour the tempeh into a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in 1/2 cup of water. When the marinade begins to boil, reduce to low heat and cover. Simmer until the tempeh is heated through and saturated, 10-15 minutes. If the sauce is too watery, uncover and simmer until reduced to the desired consistency.
  • Stir in the nutritional yeast just before serving.

Roast the Corn and Mix the Salsa

  • (Optional) Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the corn. Cook until well browned, 8-12 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Combine the corn with the rest of the Corn Salsa ingredients in a bowl. Stir to mix well.

Cook the Black Beans

  • Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion. Stir for 2-4 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic. Stir for 1 minute. Add the oregano and cumin. Stir for 1 minute.
  • Add the beans, bay leaf, adobo, and chipotle pepper. Stir well. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and cilantro before serving.

Cook the Fajitas

  • Before starting, check the size of your largest and heaviest skillet to see if it can fit all the ingredients (roughly) in a single layer. If not, you’ll need to cook in batches.
  • Heat the oil in the large, heavy skillet over medium to medium-high heat until hot. Add the vegetables and mushrooms. Cook until nicely caramelized on the exterior, but still crisp, 6-8 minutes. If the oil starts to smoke, remove the skillet from the stove and reduce the heat before returning it.

Assemble the meal-prep containers

  • Serve equal amounts of each component into each container.

Notes

The prepared meals will stay good for 5-6 days in the fridge.
Clean Vegan Chipotle Buddha Bowl Meal Prep with Brown Rice, Mushrooms, Tempeh

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