Baja Rice Bowls with Grilled Yellow Squash

This taco-inspired spin on a grain bowl is great for weekly meal prep and versatile enough to use up any spare veggies you have on hand. Each bowl starts with a scoop of rice that’s made with salsa verde and cilantro for a spicy, herbal base. Yellow summer squash is then slathered in a chipotle-lime marinade and grilled until lightly charred to bring a delicious smoky flavor to the dish. The final step is to arrange your veggies with pinto beans, avocado slices, red cabbage, and crunchy tortilla strips for a mouthwatering Mexican-inspired meal. Top with extra cilantro and salsa, and dig in!

By Shelli McConnell,


  • 1 15-oz. can no-salt-added pinto beans, rinsed and drained (1½ cups)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh jalapeño chile
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 16 squash (mini pattypan, baby zucchini, and/or baby yellow summer, halved)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 whole fresh jalapeño chiles
  • 2 6-inch corn tortillas
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup dry brown rice
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ⅔ cup purchased mild or spicy green salsa, plus more for serving
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
  • 4 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1 medium avocado, halved, seeded, peeled, and chopped
  • Lime wedges


  • Place beans in a small saucepan. Stir in chopped jalapeño, cumin, and 2 tablespoons of water. Heat over low.
  • In a large bowl toss squash with lime juice, chipotle chile powder, and garlic powder. Grill squash and whole jalapeños in a vegetable grill basket over medium 12 to 15 minutes or until charred, turning once or twice. Grill tortillas 1 to 2 minutes per side or until lightly charred and crisp. Cut grilled tortillas into strips.
  • For Green Rice, heat a saucepan over medium-high. Add the onion and minced garlic; cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding water, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, as needed to prevent sticking. Stir in brown rice; cook and stir 1 minute. Add vegetable broth and ⅔ cup green salsa. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 35 to 40 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Add ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro; fluff rice with a fork.
  • In four bowls arrange beans, squash, whole jalapeños, Green Rice, cabbage, and avocado. Add tortilla strips. Serve with lime wedges, cilantro, and green salsa.

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About the Author

Headshot of Shelli McConnell

About the Author

Shelli McConnell

Shelli McConnell graduated with a bachelor of science in consumer food science and a minor in journalism from Iowa State University. She began her career as a home economist in the Better Homes & Gardens test kitchen before moving into an editorial position within DotDash Meredith. She has since freelanced for 25 years and has served as an editorial project manager for many books and magazines, including three editions of the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book. She has also developed thousands of recipes for publications including Forks Over Knives magazine; Eat This, Not That!; Diabetic Living; Better Homes & Gardens; The Magnolia Journal; and more. McConnell loves to entertain and inspire, so when she’s not in her office, she’s usually in her kitchen. Find her on LinkedIn.
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