Spice Up Your Lunch With This Burrito Jar Recipe

There are only three downsides to burritos, which are generally agreed to be the very best of workday lunches. The first is that they are expensive, especially if you are suckered into adding guacamole by the cheery demeanour of the person serving you. Second, they can be a tad unhealthy. Third, and most importantly, they are impossible to eat without creating a huge mess in the office and ensuring that at least three colleagues never speak to you again.

But what if we told you that all these problems could be solved using nothing but a jam jar and the recipe below? Well, they can. Swap the tortilla wrap for a jar and you banish both the mess of burritos and some of the calories, because you can’t eat a jar. And since you’re making it yourself, you can add all the guac you want. Go guac crazy.

RECOMMENDED: Five Healthy Take-To-Work Lunch Ideas From Fit Men Cook

This superb burrito jar recipe comes from Dominique Eloïse Alexander, author of Jar Food: Recipes for On-The-Go. Have at it.


(Image credit: Unknown)

Ingredients (makes one 700ml jar)

  • 1 boneless and skinless chicken thigh or your favourite veg
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp paprika
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 175g brown rice
  • 3-4tbsp sour cream
  • 50g cheddar, grated

For the salsa

  • Handful of chopped cherry tomatoes
  • Large pinch of sea salt
  • ½ a red onion, finely diced
  • ½ a red chilli, finely chopped
  • Grated zest of 1 lime
  • 1tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1tbsp olive oil

For the guacamole

  • ½ avocado
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Small handful of coriander (keep the stalks for the black beans)
  • Large pinch of sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

For the black beans

  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, finely diced
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • Coriander stalks, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 200g canned black beans, well rinsed


Start by making the salsa and guacamole. For the salsa, mix the chopped tomatoes and salt in a bowl, then leave for a few minutes to draw out some flavour. Then add the remaining ingredients and stir. Leave at room temperature until serving if making on the day or in the fridge overnight.

For the guacamole, mash all ingredients together in a bowl, adding a twist of pepper if you wish. If you can, make your guacamole no later than the night before you eat it – any longer and despite the lime juice, it will start to turn brown. Keeping the avocado stone in the guacamole can limit this effect.

Marinate the chicken or chosen vegetable in the cumin, paprika and olive oil for at least 15 minutes, or preferably overnight in the refrigerator.

RECOMMENDED: The Spice Is Right In This Healthy Chicken Fajita Recipe

Cook the rice according to instructions and allow to cool.

For the black beans, heat a glug of olive oil in a pan over a low heat, add the white onion, spring onions, coriander stalks and garlic and cook gently until softened. Add the beans and cook until they are warmed through and slightly broken down.

Heat a griddle pan until very hot. Add the marinated chicken or vegetable and cook until charred.

To fill your jar, add the cooled rice first, followed by the guacamole and salsa, reserving some of the juice from the latter. Add the chicken or vegetable and the black beans. Pour over the remaining salsa juices, then top with the sour cream and grated cheese.

This keeps well overnight in the refrigerator – you can keep it all in the jar or you can keep each part (except for the guacamole) separately for a few days.

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.