Syn Free Spicy Beef Burrito Bowls

Delicious, hearty and easy to throw together these syn free spicy beef burrito bowls have fast become a favourite meal in our house.

syn free spicy beef burrito bowls

Beginning with a base of crisp crunchy lettuce topped with tasty Mexican rice, refried beans and spicy minced beef. Sprinkled with tangy fat free yogurt in place of high syn sour cream and freshly prepared salsa, then finally a creamy melted cheesy topping. With all of those flavours and textures  going on, believe me, you won’t miss the tortilla wrap!

Although I usually prepare these bowls from scratch making them syn free (if using the cheese as your HEa), if I’ve arrived home late from work I have been known to buy a few ready made components to make life easier. It is possible to buy cans of refried beans that are syn free. I know that the Old El Paso  refried beans are free and there are probably others, just make sure you check syns online before buying. The other item I sometimes buy ready made is the Mexican rice. So far as I am aware none of the pouches of microwave Mexican rice are free but the Morrisons own brand is only 1 syn for a 250g pouch, the Vetee Spicy Mexican rice is 2.5 syns and the Uncle Ben’s is 3 syns. Again check with syns online before you purchase, but as each pouch is enough for two beef burrito bowls it will only add an 1 or 2 syns per bowl.

The minced beef mixture is quick and easy to prepare as is the salsa so I always make these from scratch. Just one thing to note however, if you are using the microwave pouches of rice you won’t be opening a tin of tomatoes, so rather than use the chopped canned tomatoes in the salsa I skin and chop a couple of fresh tomatoes in their place.

Syn Free Spicy Beef Burrito Bowls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A base of crisp crunchy lettuce topped with Mexican rice, refried beans and spicy beef. Sprinkled with a fresh tangy salsa and fat free yogurt in place of soured cream, finally topped with a creamy melted cheesy topping.
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 2
For the base:
  • Shredded crisp lettuce
Mexican Rice
  • 1 cup Long grain easy cook rice.
  • 1 tbsp canned kidney beans - drained
  • ½ chopped red pepper
  • ½ chopped green pepper
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • I cup canned chopped tomatoes (with the juice)
  • 1¼ cups water
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Pinch dried chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp canned chopped tomatoes drained of most of their juice
  • ¼ finely chopped red pepper
  • ¼ finely chopped green pepper
  • Either ¼ small onion finely chopped or a spring onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp powdered stevia
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
Refried Beans
  • Remainder of the can of kidney beans (1 tbsp used in the rice)
  • ½ tsp ground chilli powder
  • ½ tsp garlic granules
Spicy Mince
  • Low calorie oil spray
  • 1 small finely chopped onion
  • 1 finely chopped clove garlic
  • 250g lean minced beef
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 4 tbsp water
  • Salt and black pepper
In place of soured cream:
  • 2 tbsp fat free natural yogurt
Cheesy topping
  • 1 tube of Primula Light Cheese
  1. Line 2 bowls with the shredded lettuce.
  2. Place all the ingredients for the rice into a saucepan.
  3. Bring to a fast rolling boil until the water level evaporates to just below the surface of the rice - you should notice little pits in the surface of the rice with some bubbles just popping above the surface.
  4. At this point place a close fitting lid on the rice and turn the heat down to the minimum.
  5. Continue cooking for about 10 minutes and then check - if all the water has evaporated turn off the heat but keep the rice covered until needed. If there is still a little liquid remaining continue on the heat and check again in a few minutes.
  6. Meanwhile prepare the salsa. Mix all the ingredients together and set aside.
  7. Take a small saucepan and put in the remainder of the can of kidney beans then add the spices. Using a potato masher crush them thoroughly ensuring the spices are mixed in evenly. Put to one side while you prepare the minced beef.
  8. Spray a non stick frying pan with low calorie oil spray and add the chopped onion and garlic.
  9. Allow to fry for 2 minutes then add the minced beef stirring well to break it up.
  10. Once the minced beef is browned add the cumin, smoked paprika, chilli, tomato puree and water - stir well and turn down the heat to a low simmer.
  11. Place the beans on the heat and stirring continually to prevent sticking heat the beans through.
  12. Squeeze the tube of primula into a small microwaveable bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds - stir well then pop back into the microwave for a further 20 seconds.
  13. Whilst the cheese is melting in the microwave begin to build your bowls. On top of the lettuce layer the Mexican rice, followed by the refried beans and then a portion of the spicy beef. Sprinkle around the edges salsa and yogurt then finally top with the melted Primula cheese.
80g of Primula Light is a HEa. The tubes contain 150g which is just a little less than 2 HEa's. If you are using ready made rice and canned refried beans, heat the beans in a saucepan as per the recipe. Microwave the rice pouch just before the cheese is put in the microwave and then assemble the bowls in the same way as in the recipe.


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