This deconstructed paleo naked burrito bowl is a healthier alternative to a tortilla, rice and bean-filled classics. Flavourful ground beef chilli is served alongside roasted sweet potato, tomato and pepper salsa salad and avocado for a delicious healthy dinner meal that is gluten-free and Whole30 friendly.
This delicious and healthy naked burrito bowl recipe is inspired by a popular Tex-Mex dish I used to get back in Sydney. It usually came with either chipotle chicken, pulled pork or ground beef chilli (what I use here) as well as rice, beans, salad and other additions of choice.
I wanted to create a grain-free, paleo version so I decided to serve the beef with roasted sweet potato cubes as a healthier starch source and a generous serving of zesty tomato and pepper salsa and avocado for extra satiating fats.
Essentially, it’s a deconstructed burrito and is a great budget-friendly meal that is also super simple to make. It’s paleo, gluten-free and Whole30 friendly and is lower in carbs than a rice and bean-based burrito bowl.
This dish is wonderful for a family table or when you have a few friends popping over. You can serve each dish component in a separate bowl/platter and let everyone assemble their own bowl. It’s well-balanced, satiating and full of flavour. I hope you enjoy it!
How To Make This Naked Burrito Bowl
There are three main components to this healthy burrito bowl: spiced ground beef, roasted sweet potatoes and super tasty salsa salad. What I love about this dish is that you can prepare all of them ahead of time and reheat and finish just before serving. Check out more make-ahead friendly recipes here.
For Spiced Ground Beef
I love using grass-fed ground beef mince for this dish and it really tastes so much better if you use better quality meat (plus, it’s good for the planet). As an alternative, you could use ground turkey, chicken, pork or a mixture. For a vegetarian version, use diced mushrooms and legumes.
The beef is fried with onions, Mexican-inspired spices and tomatoes and you can make a big batch of this dish and freeze it for up to 3 months. Full instructions are below but I suggest starting on this ahead of time OR if you’re cooking everything for dinner that night, start on the beef first and once it’s underway, roast the sweet potatoes. You kind of do them at the same time, really.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Alternatives
Sweet potatoes are also spiced with a little paprika and cumin powder and roasted to tender sweet. You can roast carrots, pumpkin or parsnips instead. Roasted zucchini or cauliflower rice could also be used as a lower-carb option.
For the Burrito Side Salsa
For the salsa, I added a little twist by using some pre-bought roasted red peppers as well as cucumber and tomatoes – it’s more like a salad really. It lifts the cooked elements and brings freshness to the meal, which I think is essential in Mexican and Tex-Mex cooking. I used fresh scallions and coriander and lots of lime juice.
More Tex-Mex Inspired Recipes
Healthy & Paleo Chicken & Kale Tortilla Soup
Mexican Scrambled Eggs With Radish & Avocado Salad
Paleo & Whole30 Nachos
Paleo Chorizo & Chil Con Carne (Beef Stew)
Mexican Shredded Beef
Find all my healthy Mexican-inspired recipes here.
For Mexican chilli beef
- 1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil
- 1 medium brown onion finely diced
- 650-700 g /ground beef grass-fed if possible, 1.5 lbs.
- 1 long red chilli finely diced with seeds
- 1 can diced tomatoes or tomato passata (about 400 g / 1.5 cups)
- 4 cloves of garlic finely diced
- 1.5 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoons cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1.5 teaspoons sea salt
For roasted sweet potatoes
- 2 large sweet potatoes peeled and cut in cubes
- 1 teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika I used smoked paprika here
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- A generous pinch of black paper
- A generous pinch of sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the salsa salad
- 2 large tomatoes cut in quarters, seeds scooped out and diced
- 2/3 cup roasted red peppers diced - see notes
- 1 medium cucumber diced finely
- 1/2 cup diced spring/green onions about 2-3 springs
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander/cilantro leaves and stalks
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 small garlic clove finely chopped
- 1 small red chili chopped or chili flakes to your heat taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Pinch of sea salt
- Heat ghee in a large, deep frying pan or a pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft and golden, about 6-7 minutes. At the same time, turn the oven to 200 C / 390 F.
- Bring the heat under the onion back to high and add the beef mince in small chunks. Stir, breaking it apart, and cook for 5-6 minutes until browned evenly.
- At this time, I peeled and cut the sweet potatoes - it's all about efficiency.
- Add the spices, garlic, salt and chilli to the beef and cook for a couple of minutes together. Add the diced tomatoes and stir through, bring to a boil. Turn to low-medium heat and cook for 20 minutes with a lid on, stirring occasionally. After 20 minutes, remove the lid, bring the hit to high and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes, stirring a few times.
- Once the beef chilli is under way, combine sweet potato with sweet paprika, cumin and olive oil and scatter in a large baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes at 200 C / 400 C. Take out of the oven, sprinkle with a generous pinch of sea salt and pepper, toss through and place back in the oven for a further 5-7 minutes.
- Prepare the salsa salad. Combine all ingredients in a salad bowl and set aside until serving.
- Cut avocado into quarters and drizzle with some lime juice to prevent any discolouration. Once everything is ready, divide between four bowls and serve with a quarter of avocado each.