Poultry · Recipes

{Copycat Recipe} Taco Bell’s Cantina Bowl

taco bell, cantina bowl, recipe, how to make

¡Hola amigos!

You guessed it, I took Spanish in high school and that’s about the extent of what I can remember too.

Have you seen those commercials for Taco Bell’s new Cantina Bowl?  “Experience our new citrus-herb marinated chicken, flavorful black beans, guacamole made from real Hass avocados, pico de gallo prepared fresh daily, roasted corn & pepper salsa and a creamy cilantro dressing, all served on a bed of cilantro rice.”

I must say, they worked on me.  I purchased one of these suckers the other day and I haven’t stopped dreaming about it since.  Their Cantina Bowls are amazing!

And no, I am not getting paid to write this article (although I wish I were … *wink wink Taco Bell*).

This is my favorite item on any fast food menu by far.  The ingredients are fresh and the lime and cilantro really makes everything pop.  This is my rendition of their Cantina Bowl.  I made sure to marinate the chicken in lime and herbs and mix plenty of cilantro into the dressing.  It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty dang close! Give ‘er a try and let me know what you think!

{Copycat Recipe} Taco Bell’s Cantina Bowl

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yields: About 4 servings

{Copycat Recipe} Taco Bell’s Cantina Bowl


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise
  • For the Marinade:
  • The juice from 2 limes
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 medium jalapeno, deveined, deseeded and diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or enough oil to cover the chicken)
  • 2-3 cups of your favorite rice (We used Brown Rice)
  • For the Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 small can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small can of corn kernels, drained
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Pico de gallo
  • Sliced avocado


  1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a ziplock baggie and add the chicken. Make sure there is enough oil to cover the chicken and close it tight. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
  2. In the mean time, cook the rice.
  3. Combine the ingredients for the dressing, taste and adjust flavors to your taste. Chill in the fridge.
  4. In a large pan over medium high heat, add a bit of the marinade (oil) to the pan then add the chicken. When the chicken begins turning white on sides of each piece, flip the chicken over and cover the pan with a lid. Lower the heat to a simmer and leave the chicken undisturbed for 6-8 minutes. Check the internal temperature of your chicken and remove from the heat once cooked to temperature (165 degrees). Allow to rest for 5 minutes then slice into bite-size pieces.
  5. Heat the black beans and corn kernels in a medium pot over medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. To build your cantina bowl, place the rice, black beans and corn, chicken and lettuce in a bowl then drizzle with lime-cilantro ranch dressing. Add dollops of pico de gallo and guacamole and serve.

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13 thoughts on “{Copycat Recipe} Taco Bell’s Cantina Bowl

  1. This was AMAZING!!! The only things I did differently was water instead of oil in the marinade & instead of ranch, I combined ranch mix, Greek yogurt & water to make the dressing. Thank you so much for this! My husband is hard to please when it comes to copycat recipes but this was absolutely on the mark! Mmmm…

    1. I’m so happy you liked this recipe as much as I did!! These Cantina Bowls are so yummy. Thank you for commenting!

  2. I really would love to find a recipe for the cilantro rice that they are using in the cantina bowl. It’s so good by itself, but I haven’t had luck recreating it at home.

  3. I could eat a bowl a day I’m hooked, then you actually have to wait until 11 to get them, I’m going to try to make it with beef ! Taco bell has it down pat!

  4. I can’t wait to try this recipe. Taco Bell doesn’t have the catina bowl anymore
    🙁 They another salad that is not good at all. I hope they bring back my favorite salad.

    1. That’s so sad! I didn’t realize they took the bowl off of the menu. Enjoy the recipe. It should scratch that itch until T-Bell figures out that people miss these! 🙂

  5. They never stopped selling it. It just isn’t on the menu. I’m eating one right now as I surf to find out how to make it myself Lol!!!

    1. *gasps* I had no idea! Thanks for letting me in on the secret menu. I’m so happy that they still have them. They’re sooooo good!!

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