Blackened Tilapia Mexican Bowl (Rubio's Copycat) | Gina Chong
Have I told you that I'm completely obsessed with Rubio's??
Because I am.

You know those days when you want to go out to eat but don't want to spend a lot? Hubby is easy, he always wants In-N-Out. But for me, I always want something that's at least slightly healthy-ish, yet what fast food is healthy?? Luckily I have at least a couple of choices now that we're in Cali, like Panera or Bouchon...but lately my fav has been Rubio's. I always get the California bowl there because it's delicious and extra healthy since it doesn't have a tortilla. Also, our Rubio's gives free drinks to military, sweet!

Since I can't go to Rubio's every day, I decided I'll have to figure out how to make their California Bowl at home...and so I was ecstatic about how well this turned out! Seriously in love and planning on eating this all week until I get sick of it. This tastes almost exactly the same as Rubio's to me, the only difference being that my blackened tilapia has a slight bit of a kick to it that Rubios' doesn't...but I like it.

Rating: 10/10
Why: I'm telling you, it tastes the same. Better than the Cafe Rio copycat I've been making for the last couple of years. And who cares if you've never had Rubio''s delish, promise.

Blackened Tilapia California Bowl 
Makes 2-3 large bowls

Blackened Tilapia:
  • 2 tilapia fillets
  • 1½ Tbsp paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ Tbsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp oil
Citrus Rice:
  • 1 cup long grain rice 
  • 1½ cups chicken broth
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • low-fat mayonnaise (I actually use the Japanese Kewpie mayo, I think it's the best)
  • non-fat plain yogurt
  • fish taco seasoning (I used Ortega)
  • Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 can low-sodium black beans
  • guacamole
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 onion, chopped


For the rice, combine all of the ingredients and cook in a rice cooker. If you don't have a rice cooker, follow the stove top instructions on the package only substituting water for chicken broth and adding the zest.

Prep the tilapia seasoning by combining the paprika, salt, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano and garlic powder in a small bowl. Rub about a tablespoon of the mix on each side of both tilapia filets. Be generous and use all of the seasoning. Let the filets sit for about 15 minutes.

Make the sauce by combining equal parts mayo and yogurt, then add fish taco seasoning according to your tastes. Set aside. Mix together the chopped tomatoes and onions in a bowl. Set aside.

Place a pan over med-high heat with 1 tablespoon of oil. Once hot, cook your tilapia filets about 2-3 minutes on each side.

Assemble your salads:
Place a handful of chopped Romaine lettuce on the bottom of your bowl, then the rice and beans, tomatoes and onions, and guacamole. Put your blackened tilapia on top and add your desired amount of sauce.

Blackened Tilapia recipe adapted from Big Daddy.

Linking with Weekend Re-Treat,Get Him Fed,


  1. Mmm, sounds delicious! I'll been trying food out of my usual chicken and potato comfort zone lately, so I'll have to give this a try.


  2. Oh my goodness I love Rubio's (but clearly can't get it in Florida!) so I am definitely going to have to try out this recipe!!

    1. Yay another Rubio's lover! Tell me if you end up trying it, I honestly love this recipe~~

  3. Yes! I just discovered Rubios, had the california bowl, and wanted to make it at home for the family. thank you, I'm making it this week.

    1. Let me know how it turns out! This is one of my favorite recipes <3

  4. There are different types of menus and you must find some that have whole beans or the meat like chicken or pork. phoenix Mexican restaurant


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