How to Reheat a Chipotle Bowl in 4 Easy Methods

Reheating a Chipotle Bowl is one of life’s great pleasures. Who doesn’t love the taste of a fresh burrito bowl followed by the warm pleasure of being able to eat it again hours later? Not only does it save you from having to make another meal, but it’s also super easy and economical. 

In this article, we’ll go over the different methods for reheating your favorite Mexican-inspired takeout dish at home—with tips on how to make sure that everything comes out perfect every time!

If you’re anything like us, the burrito bowl provides you with two luscious meals. Reheating your leftovers so they’re just as good the second time around takes a little bit of skill.

You can easily reheat your leftovers in the microwave, the oven, or on the stovetop. With a little prep work and tricks, you’ll have a quick meal.

Can You Reheat a Chipotle Bowl?

You can reheat a Chipotle Bowl in a variety of ways, including the microwave and oven. However, it’s important to remember that you should always reheat food until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (or higher) and then let it cool down before eating.

There are a few things you’ll want to do ahead of time, like remove the cold toppings first, but more on that later. It’s easy to ruin the textures and sometimes the flavor if you don’t follow these tips.

How Do You Reheat a Chipotle Bowl?

First things first, you can’t simply shove your bowl in the microwave, push start and off you go. Reheating your chipotle leftovers isn’t nearly that simple. 

If you only added rice, beans, meat, and cheese, then go ahead and just reheat and go. Most of you won’t have a bowl that simple though. We’re talking about the salsas, veggies, sour cream, guacamole, and other toppings that may not fare well in the heating process and could very well ruin your leftovers if you try. 

Brown guacamole and curdled sour cream don’t sound very appetizing, right?

No matter which method you choose to reheat your bowl, there’s a certain amount of prep work to complete first. 

Prep

You really need to remove some of the toppings before reheating your chipotle bowl. For some, this is easier said than done.

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You want to try and keep the fresh ingredients as crisp and fresh as possible instead of soggy and wilted. 

Remove any of the following toppings and set them aside for later. If you’ve mixed them in, do the best you can.

  • Sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Lettuce

Microwave

There’s nothing wrong with microwaving your burrito bowl in the original packaging, but you’ll want to remove the foil lid first. The bowl itself is made from paper (compostable paper for those environmentally conscious). 

It’s considered microwave-safe. However, the bowl itself isn’t marked in any way to verify this fact. If you’re worried, then feel free to transfer the contents into a known, microwave-safe dish. 

The microwave is the go-to method for heating up most leftovers and is just as good in this case too.

Steps

  1. Complete your prep work listed above.
  2. Either place your bowl (sans lid) in the microwave or transfer the contents into a microwave-safe dish.
  3. Cover the dish with a paper towel.
  4. Set your microwave for around 20 seconds. You don’t want to cook the ingredients, just heat them.
  5. Stir up your leftovers, breaking up any clumps, and make sure things are heating evenly. Then, microwave for another 20 seconds.
  6. Is it warm enough? If you want it warmer, then tack on another 15 to 20 seconds. You only want to heat in 20-second intervals so as not to burn or overcook your leftovers. 
  7. Add back in the toppings you removed during your prep work.
  8. Voila, an excellent second meal from your favorite Mexican-inspired restaurant. 

Skillet

If you want to go all out, or maybe turn your leftovers into a new meal, the stovetop is always an option. 

It’s a quick and easy way to reheat your food or change them up into something else. The possibilities are endless. You can even make them into a burrito.

Steps

  1. Complete your prep work. You don’t want your fresh toppings in the skillet either.
  2. Place your skillet over medium heat on the stovetop.
  3. You’ll want to grease your pan a little with butter or cooking spray.
  4. Once heated, toss in your leftovers (sans bowl).
  5. You’re going to want to stir while it reheats. If you don’t, they’ll stick and burn to the pan. Stirring prevents burning and provides more even heat throughout the leftovers.
  6. Reheating this way will take about 2-4 minutes depending on how much you have to reheat. 
  7. Once they’re heated, transfer them to a dish or burrito shell.
  8. Add in your fresh ingredients and you’re all set!
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Oven

While the microwave is fast, if you have the time, the oven may give you better results. 

The downside to the oven is strictly time. You have to wait for it to preheat and then the actual heating takes longer, but you don’t risk the possibility of a soggy meal due to excess steam. 

Steps

  1. You’ll still complete the prep work listed above before heating in the oven.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. This time you’re going to need to transfer your leftovers into an oven-safe dish.
  4. Once your leftovers are transferred, you’ll want to cover the top of the dish with aluminum foil to help seal in moisture. You don’t want to dry out your leftovers while heating them.
  5. Reheating should take around 10 to 15 minutes at this temperature. Check the temperature and make sure it’s to your liking.
  6. Remove the dish from the oven and transfer the burrito bowl to a plate or dish.
  7. Add your toppings back on, or replace them with new ones and you’re good to go. 

Air Fryer

Another fast and easy way to reheat your leftovers is in the air fryer, if you have one. 

Steps

  1. As always, complete your prep work.
  2. Preheat your air fryer to 375 degrees F. Preheating an air fryer doesn’t take long at all.
  3. Once preheated, put the bowl in the air fryer for around 6 to 7 minutes. 
  4. After 6 minutes, check and make sure your leftovers are heated through. If not, add another 2 minutes and check again.
  5. Place your fresh toppings back in the bowl and off you go. 

Tips

  • The only things that should be in your bowl when reheating are the rice, queso, grilled veggies, meat, and beans
  • Think about replacing your fresh ingredients entirely. If you have the sour cream, lettuce, and salsa in the fridge, your leftovers will be so much better. Even with your bowl stored in the fridge, the fresh toppings will have started to wilt.
  • If you are one that mixes your bowl before eating it, it’s hard to remove the fresh toppings in order to reheat your burrito bowl. Heating those toppings can make it really unpalatable. In that case, consider eating it cold! There’s nothing wrong with a cold burrito bowl. 
  • Make sure your leftovers are stored in the fridge. Any food that’s been left at room temperature (any temperatures between 40 and 90 degrees F) for more than 2 hours is not considered safe to consume according to the USDA. If the temperatures are over 90 degrees F, that’s knocked down to 1 hour. This is due to bacteria thriving at those temperatures. 
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Ingredients That Don’t Reheat Well

  • Sour cream. When heated, sour cream tends to curdle. This will add a foul taste and strange texture to your meal.
  • Guacamole. Not only will it turn brown, but the avocado will break down considerably. This is a significant texture change that may not appeal to you. 
  • Tomatoes. The fresh tomatoes in your salsa will soften when heated and strengthen in flavor. If you don’t want the textures and flavors to change, it’s best to remove them before you reheat your leftovers
  • Cheese sauce. If you have queso sauce on your burrito bowl, it’s best to use the oven method to reheat your leftovers. The cheese sauce can easily burn or film over in the microwave making for some poor leftovers. 

What’s the Best Way to Reheat a Chipotle Bowl?

Microwaves have quite the bad rep when it comes to reheating leftovers. This is mainly because they’re notorious for not heating food evenly, burning your food, or turning it into a soggy and dried-out mess. 

However, when it comes to reheating your chipotle burrito bowl, the microwave is your best option.

It’s quick and relatively painless. You’ll have piping hot leftovers in seconds. Can’t complain about that. The nice thing is, the steaming that happens in the microwave is a good thing when it comes to chipotle bowls. 

Conclusion

In summary, there are many ways to reheat a Chipotle bowl. The best way will depend on your preferences and the ingredients you’re using. 

If you want to reheat the entire meal in one pot, then it’s recommended that you use the microwave or oven method because they both heat up quickly without drying out your food too much. 

Keep in mind the extra toppings you have on your bowl when you’re deciding which method to use.