Chicken “Cantina Bowl”

Hi ya!

Do you like fast food occasionally?

Me too!

Glad we’re on the same page. 🙂

Do you ever go to Taco Bell?

I have fallen in love with their Cantina Bowls, I’ve tried them all. Even the burritos.

If you haven’t had one the chicken ones look a little something like this:

Taco Bell Cantina Bowl 1

Or if you’ve seen the commercials they look like this:

Taco Bell Cantina Bowl 2

Well, mine looks like this:

Chicken Cantina Bowl

It’s on a plate, not a bowl. It tasted pretty good if I do say so myself. 🙂

Here’s how you make it, besides, that’s what you’ve been waiting for right?

For the Chicken:

Marinade characters

You’ll notice that my chicken isn’t in the picture. I forgot to pull it out of the fridge. You will also notice my lime looks a bit naked, that’s because I took the zest off with a peeler. Then I thought “wait take step-by-step pictures, you’ve been saying that you will on your blog!” So I ran and got my camera. But anyway…

You’ll need:

2 chicken breasts (I actually cut one half, it was super thick)

juice and zest of a lime



red onion

2 cloves garlic




olive oil

red onion

I cut my onion in half from root to tip then I cut off a little less than half of the half. I cut up a little and threw it into Alfred, my mini chopper.

I like to name things, like my mixer, she’s Betty, my keurig, she’s Sally, my basil plant, he’s Fred, and my tomato plant, he’s Tom. That’s another story for another day…


I cut just the tip off my jalapeno and threw it into the chopper just like it was. Please remember to wash your hands really really well after handling peppers. Don’t touch your eyes, nose, tongue, lips, or an open cut after handling. Wear gloves if you’ve got ’em. Believe me, if you forget and touch something after handling a pepper it will burn!

olive oil and lime juice

I forgot to include these in the cast of characters photo. The lime I had wasn’t very juicy so I added a little of the bottled stuff.

Alfred, my mini chopper

Meet Alfred, I got him last year for $3 on Black Friday.

Yep…I’m one of those Black Friday shoppers. I don’t trample people but I do go in on a mission. 😉

(P.S. please excuse that small package of granola just hanging out. I forgot it was on the counter from some yogurt I had eaten earlier.)

inside the chopper

I added a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, and a little cilantro to the chopper.

pulse the chopper

I pulsed until everything was blended together, and gave it a taste.

chicken and marinade

 When I was satisfied with the taste and amount of marinate I had I poured it over the chicken in a ziplock bag and stuck it in the fridge for a couple of hours. Oh and remember the garlic, don’t do what I did. Thirty minutes after I put the chicken in the fridge I remembered I didn’t add the garlic into the marinate. I quickly got up from watching Food Network and chopped up some garlic and threw it in the bag and massaged it all around.

cast of characters

Now that the chicken has been hanging out in the fridge for a couple of hours we can make the cantina bowl!

Here’s what you need:

marinated chicken breasts

1 can of black beans or 1 1/2 cups of homemade black beans

1/2 uncooked rice or 1 cup cooked rice

I small can of mexicorn

Roma tomato


red onion

garlic powder



olive oil

lime juice (not pictured, oops)

bag of spinach or lettuce if you prefer

pico de gallo

I made my pico de gallo first. Cut your tomato in half then chop half plus a fourth of it, a little onion(about a 1/2 tbs), a little cilantro(about a tsp), a little jalapeno(about 1/2 tsp), some lime juice, salt and pepper. Toss together, give it a taste, and throw it in the fridge. I didn’t measure these I just used my own judgement.

bunch of cilantro

I love cilantro. 🙂

corn salsa

Next, drain your corn, add a little chopped onion (about a tsp), a little chopped jalapeno(about 1/2 tsp), sprinkle of cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and lime juice. Cook in a skillet until it gets a little brown. Don’t burn it.


See how it’s getting a few dark spots, you want that. Just don’t burn it.

corn in bowl

When it’s heated through and a little brown transfer it to a bowl. I’m the best at picking bowls that are way to small, so I put some in a bowl as well as my counter.


That’s better. 🙂


Put your chicken on your grill pan or in a skillet, whichever suits your fancy. Cook until juices run clear.


Ok, for the rice, I used some I had leftover from last night but feel free to cook some fresh. I just put a drizzle of olive oil in my pan, added the rice, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, a little cilantro, and a little lime juice. Cook until heated through. Then my phone rang and I almost let it get too brown. Don’t do that.


While the chicken is cooking and the rice is warming up (or cooking if your making it from scratch), make your guacamole. I left this chunky, I like it creamy or chunky. But, my Crazy Man doesn’t like the creamy kind so I left it chunky so he’d eat it. I meant to take pictures of me cutting the avocado, but like I said my phone rang and it was a bit difficult to hold a phone with my face and shoulder, cut an avocado and take a picture. So to avoid cutting myself I just took a picture of the finished product. I cut my avocado in half, removed the pit, then cutting lengthwise then across and scooped it out with a spoon, then I chopped up a little onion, 1/4 of a tomato, if you like more tomato add more. I honestly don’t like tomatoes. Then add some cilantro, a little jalapeno, juice of one lime, salt, pepper, a little garlic powder. Taste it after you’ve combined it all. If you want it creamier, just mash-up your avocados then add everything else.

sour cream sauce

 I don’t know what to call this…

It’s 2 TBS of sour cream

2 tsp of ranch dressing

4 small cubes of avocado that I stole from the guacamole


lime juice

and some cilantro

I mashed the avocado and chopped the cilantro, then added everything else until it tasted good.

Ok, to plate start with your cilantro lime rice.

Then black beans. Oh I just realized I haven’t told you anything about the beans!

I’m sorry.

The beans, I made my own, I soaked a pound over night then I rinsed them, covered them with chicken broth in my crock pot. I added half a chopped onion, half a chopped jalapeno pepper, 2 cloves chopped garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin. After they were done I added some lime juice. Then I divided them up and froze them. You could just add the listed seasoning, veggies, and juice to a can of black beans. Make sure you drain them or use a slotted spoon to put them on the rice.

Then put your spinach, or lettuce if you prefer, on top of your beans.

Then your chicken, I cut mine into bite sized pieces, you could just cut into strips.

Chicken Cantina Bowl

Then add your guacamole, pico de gallo, and corn around the sides, then top with the sour cream sauce.

Hubs Bowl

You could add ranch too, that’s what my husband did. He’s not a big fan of sour cream. Oh, see the cherry tomatoes? The bag of spinach came with those, I plan to eat the little bit of spinach that was left tomorrow, but I don’t like tomatoes. So I added those to his plate.

Chicken Cantina Bowl

But I liked mine just like this. 🙂

I hope you enjoy!

Thanks for reading and happy cooking!



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