These plant-based buddha bowls really are a create-your-own-adventure-style recipe. While a good soup or curry is always satisfying, there’s something exciting about a bowl where every bite brings different flavors, textures, and even temperatures. These buddha bowls really do tick all of the boxes.
There are limitless options and combinations for all the goodies you can pile into a bowl. Just follow this simple formula:
- A whole grain: Quinoa, brown rice, millet, farro
- A legume: Chickpeas, lentils, black beans
- Leafy greens: Kale, spinach, chard, collards, romaine
- Roasted vegetables: Sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower
- Something “meaty”: Mushrooms, tofu, tempeh, seitah
- A garnish or topping: Avocado, toasted seeds, microgreens
- A sauce or dressing: Creamy sauces, lemony vinaigrettes
I suggest cooking a big batch of whole grains and legumes at the beginning of the week so you just have to reheat them for these bowls. You can also use a store-bought sauce or dressing to save time, but I think you’ll find DIY versions to be much more flavorful — plus you can customize them based on your preferences.
One of my favorite easy sauces is a lemon tahini sauce. All you need is:
- 1/4 cup tahini
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Hot water, to thin
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Once your sauce is whisked together, your grains and legumes are cooked, and your veggies are roasted, everything comes together pretty quickly.
This particular buddha bowl arrangement was inspired by a local Austin restaurant called Galaxy Cafe that I worked at all throughout college. This was consistently one of their most popular menu items and I still crave it almost a decade later!
More easy dinner options:
Nourishing Buddha Bowls with Chile Peanut Sauce
For the chile peanut sauce:
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 2 tbsp lime juice or sub rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp chile garlic sauce or sriracha
- 1 inch ginger peeled and grated
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tsp agave or maple syrup
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
For the buddha bowls:
- 1 bunch kale destemmed and chopped
- 1 sweet potato peeled and cubed
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
- 1 head broccoli chopped into florets
- 1 head cauliflower chopped into florets
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup dried brown or green lentils
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 lb cremini mushrooms quartered
- 1 hass avocado peeled, pitted and sliced
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- To make the chile peanut sauce, combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk vigorously to emulsify. Chill until ready to use. This can be made in advance up to 3 days before serving.
- Cook the lentils and brown rice according to their package directions. Set aside until you're ready to assemble the bowls.
- Assemble a steamer and lightly steam the kale for about 3 minutes until tender but still bright green. Set aside.
- Toss the cubed sweet potatoes, carrots, cauliflower and broccoli with the olive oil and roast for 20–30 minutes, until everything's tender and nicely browned. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Saute the mushrooms in a pan on medium-high heat with a touch of oil. In order to get a nice sear, avoid crowding the pan and don't stir for the first few minutes. After about 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper, stir to release the mushrooms' moisture, and set aside once tender.
- To assemble, pile the brown rice and lentils into a bowl. Arrange the roasted vegetables, steamed kale, and sauteed mushrooms artfully around the bowl, topping with the sliced avocado. Drizzle on the chile peanut dressing and serve warm.