Mexican Rice Bowl with shrimp is a quick and easy meal to whip up for lunch or dinner. It is full of veggies and topped with a flavorful cilantro lime dressing! We LOVE digging into Healthy Rice Bowls! With a mix of grains, vegetables, and protein, rice bowls are a hearty and flavorful meal the whole family will enjoy.
The holidays are over so it’s time to return to healthier eating. The truth is, I couldn’t be happier about it. I love a decadent cookie or rich snack as much as the next person, but I really love vegetables. For me, there is nothing better than a steaming bowl of healthy soup or a plate of roasted vegetables. Vegetables are super versatile, and you really can’t eat too many of them. One of my favorite ways to eat vegetables is in a healthy rice bowl. I’m kind of in love with this recipe for Mexican inspired rice bowl with shrimp. It’s surprisingly hearty for a healthy meal and the dreamy cilantro dressing adds a cool, creamy pop of flavor that’s hard to resist! As an added bonus – it’s quick and easy to make too!
How To Make our Mexican Rice Bowl
The base of the rice bowl is, of course, rice. The rice is the ingredient with the longest cooking time so I like to get it started first. You can prepare the rice in a rice cooker, stove top, or in an Instant Pot. I love to use the rice cooker simply because it’s quick and easy. Add 1 1/2 cups of rice and 1 1/2 cups water to the rice cooker and press start. Heat 1 can of black beans in a small pan on the stove top (these are Mexican rice bowls after all). Dice 1 bell pepper, cut an avocado into thin slices, and chop 2 cups of fresh spinach. You can use any vegetables you like but this is my favorite combo for this recipe.
Homemade Cilantro Lime Dressing
The thing that ties this Mexican Rice Bowl together and sends it over the top is the creamy cilantro lime dressing. I love throwing a bunch of ingredients into the food processor and ending up with a delicious and flavorful dressing or sauce. This one is super easy to prepare. Simply add 1 cup of sour cream, 1 heaping cup of fresh cilantro, the juice of 2 large limes, 1 tsp. honey, 1 clove garlic, and a generous pinch of salt (feel free to adjust to taste) to a food processor. Blend all of the ingredients together until completely combined. The dressing can be set aside or placed in the refrigerator until ready to use.
How to make Shrimp
For the protein in our Mexican Rice Bowl I chose shrimp. I love shrimp because it cooks fast, and let’s face it, shrimp recipes are so tasty. Clean and peel 1 pound of shrimp. Mince 6 cloves of garlic and heat 1 Tbsp. or so of oil in a skillet. Add the garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Add the cleaned and thawed shrimp to the pan along with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Saute for 2-3 minutes per side. Add 1 tsp. cumin and 1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper. Toss the shrimp in the spices and deglaze the pan with a little cooking stock or water if necessary. Remove the pan from the heat once the shrimp are opaque.
How To Assemble your Mexican Rice Bowl
Now it’s time to assemble the rice bowls. Place desired amount of the cooked rice on the bottom of the bowl. Top it with a spoonful of the black beans, diced bell pepper, sliced avocado, chopped spinach, and sauteed shrimp. Drizzle desired amount of the creamy cilantro lime dressing over the whole thing. Garnish the bowl with a squeeze of lime and extra cilantro. That’s all there is to it!
Rice is such a great canvas for healthy meals. You can go in so many directions with it. Rice helps to create meals that are both hearty and healthy. Recipes like this are great for lunch or dinner and best of all – they get me excited about healthy eating (although I’ll never turn down a cookie).
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- 1 1/2 cups rice
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bell pepper
- 1 avocado
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1 can black beans
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup fresh cilantro heaping
- 2 limes juiced
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 pinch salt
Add 1 1/2 cups rice and 1 1/2 cups water to a rice cooker and press 'Start'.
Dice 1 bell pepper, cut 1 avocado into slices, and chop 2 cups of fresh spinach.
Heat 1 can of black beans on the stove top.
Thaw and clean 1 lb. of shrimp. De-vein and peel the shrimp if necessary.
Mince 6 cloves of garlic.
Heat a saute pan to medium and add 1 Tbsp. of cooking oil. Add the garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
Add the shrimp along with a pinch of salt and pepper and saute for 2-3 minutes per side. Add 1 tsp. cumin and 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper to the shrimp and toss to coat. Deglaze the pan with some cooking stock or water if necessary. Remove the pan from heat once shrimp are opaque and fully cooked.
Add 1 cup sour cream, 1 heaping cup fresh cilantro, the juice of 2 large limes, 1 tsp. honey, 1 clove garlic, and a generous pinch of salt to a food processor (adjust salt levels to taste). Pulse until completely combined.
To assemble the rice bowls add a heaping scoop of rice to the bottom of a bowl. Top with a large spoonful of black beans, diced peppers, avocado, spinach, and cooked shrimp. Drizzle with desired amount of creamy cilantro lime dressing.
Garnish with a squeeze of lime and more cilantro.