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Grilled Vegetable Naked Burrito

January 7, 2009


Over the past year or so of living in the Bay Area, we’ve tried a lot of restaurants and enjoyed most. This area is known for its high restaurant per capita ratio, and definitely lives up to it’s freshest-tasting-food reputation. However, we still miss our quick Mex joint in Denver – Qdoba. Qdoba has locations in most of the US , but alas, none in the Bay Area.

G’s favorite meal at Qdoba is their Naked Grilled Vegetable Burrito. Why naked? Because it’s not rolled in a tortilla- you can skip the 200 calories that a flour tortilla adds to the meal. You can add as many salsas as you want, and have the burrito made with the fixings that you fancy. Yes, it’s like the Burrito Bowl at Chipotle, but the grilled veggies are a Qdoba specialty.  There are many layers of flavors in the Naked Burrito – there’s the cilantro-lime rice, the black beans, the grilled vegetables, the salsa verde (made with tomatillos), pico di gallo, the fiery habanero salsa (yes, we would get all three), and a generous helping of the three cheese mix.  We’ve recreated our favorite Qdoba meal at home, and it comes close to the real deal. The recipe serves 6.

What you need

For the cilantro-lime rice

  1. 2 Cups of Rice
  2. 4 Cups of water
  3. Zest of a lime 
  4. Juice of a lime 
  5. 1/2 a Cup of chopped cilantro
  6. Salt

For the Grilled Vegetables

  1. 2 Zucchinis
  2. 2 Yellow Squash
  3. 1 Eggplant (optional)
  4. 1 Red Bell Pepper
  5. 4 cloves of garlic
  6. 1 Tsp of oregano
  7. 1 – 2 Tblsps of olive oil
  8. Salt and pepper

For the pico di gallo

  1. 2 salad tomatoes
  2. 1/2 a red onion
  3. 1/4 a jalapeno
  4. 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
  5. salt and pepper
  6. 1 Tsp of olive oil

For the Salsa Verde

  1. 5 Tomatillos
  2. 1/2 cup of cilantro
  3. 1/4 a jalapeno
  4. Salt and pepper

For the Black Beans

  1. 2 Cans of Black Beans
  2. 1 Cup of water
  3. 1- 1 1/2 Tsp of Ground Cumin
  4. 1/2 Tsp of oregano
  5. 1/2 Tsp of thyme
  6. Salt and pepper
  • TJ’s Habanero Hot salsa
  • 2 Cups of TJ’s Lite Mexican Shredded Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup of chopped cilantro
  • Sour Cream (optional)


How its done

  1. Dice the vegetables.  Mix the olive oil, minced garlic, oregano, salt and pepper and toss the vegetables in it.  Marinate for about 15- 20 minutes before you broil the vegetables in your oven. Make sure you evenly spread the vegetables in an oven-safe dish.  Broil them for 15-20 minutes. Toss them half-way through so they evenly cook.  The vegetables need to be crunchy for best flavor and texture.
  2. In the meanwhile, Wash the rice and cook it like you usually do, add some salt and half of the lime juice before cooking.  I use my microwave rice cooker – I add the rice, the lime juice, salt and water and cook it at half power for 18 minutes.
  3. While the rice is cooking, you can get the beans cooking too. Well, technically they’re cooked so all you’re doing is seasoning them and heating them through.  Rinse the beans out of the can first and add them to a saucepan. Add the water and all the seasoning and let simmer for about 15 minutes.  Mash some of the beans.
  4. Now you can turn your attention to the salsas.  For the salsa verde, halve the tomatillos and grill them along with the jalapeno with a little olive oil.. you can also pop them under the broiler till you see them brown.  When you see the browning or caramelization, put the tomatillos, jalapenos with the cilantro and salt and pepper in your blender and blend until smooth. 
  5. For the pico di gallo, halve the tomatoes and deseed them. Dice them and finely dice the onions and jalapenos. Mix the onions, tomatoes and jalapenos with the cilantro. Add the salt and pepper and oil and mix. Let rest while the vegetables are broiling.

To assemble – ladle the beans over a bed of the cilantro rice; the grilled vegetables come next, followed by the pico di gallo, the salsa verde and the hot salsa. Top it with the cheese, sour cream (if you have non fat greek yogurt, thats a great and healthy substitute) and some cilantro. Buen provecho!

  1. woww looks veryy yummy

  2. Great name and delicious dish. I love Mexican taste and dishes.

    Happy new year to you! :))

  3. aaah…. sounds time-consuming, but I guess the end result must be worth it. One of these days…! 🙂

  4. Looks fantastic, I haven’t yet tried the Qdoba here, will give it a try soon. Happy New Year to you and your family, have a wonderful 2009 🙂

  5. plopfizz permalink

    I am not sure if you life in Sf or not…but have you tried El Metete, Taqueria San Francisco, or El Farolito Burrito? All located in the Mission.

  6. I’m about to make your recipe. I just moved from SF to North Carolina and my co-workers put me on to Qdoba. The only “fast food style” Mexican I had tried before moving here was Moe’s, which is disgusting — they should be ashamed to call that stuff Mexican food.

    Anyway, Qdoba is awesome, but man! If you’re in the Bay Area, you really need to take in what the area has to offer. There’s so much amazing burrito joints in and around the Mission and various other spots in the city.

    Taqueria Cancun — best in town.

    Pancho’s on Geary Blvd. near Arquello (in the Presidio) is way better than any of their other locations.

    Taqueria Vallarta is so amazing too, probably my true favorite in the city, but I lived so out of the way from it, that I only ever got to eat there twice in the three years I lived there.

    Just some advice. I’ll try to remember to let you know how the recipe turns out. If I don’t, drop me an email and I’ll let you know.

    Take care.

  7. My wife works in downtown Chicago and raved about the Qdoba naked burritos. I thought she was nuts until she made an attempt to cook them at home. She does the ground beef recipe and they keep getting better. I absolutely love them.

    I tried your recipe today because I surprisingly had all of the ingredients. Since you noted the eggplant was optional I decided to leave it out and substitute some smoked chicken I had made over the weekend. They turned out delicious. My wife was nervous about it but she loved it also (she’s very picky). The only other different thing we did was to grill the cubed veggies on a perforated grill sheet outside. I had also thought to make it easy you could grill the veggies almost whole and then cube them. Maybe just cut them in half so they didn’t fall through the grill.

    Thank you for such a great recipe. I wanted to let others know they should not be afraid to change things around. As long as you have the cilantro lime rice and the beans as a foundation you can put almost anything in this dish.

    Try this recipe you can’t go wrong. Just be sure to have all of the toppings because there’s something magic about all the sour cream and cheese on top.

  8. joe permalink

    i made this just like described. really good.
    the rice was spot on, it didnt say how much lime to use, you dont need much.
    the beans were great.
    the pico, excellent.
    needs recipe to meats though.

    • Thanks, Joe..glad it worked out well for you. You need the juice of a lime (I’d put it in the ingredients for the lime rice). Adobo marinated grilled chicken would be an awesome addition to this dish.

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