Crafting a Buddha Bowl is the simple art of combining a hearty grain of your choice with protein, vegetables and a yummy sauce to pour on top before serving. This hippie bowl is hearty yet light, and will fill you up with all the good stuff!
When I see a vibrant Buddha bowl on a menu, I know it is going to be fresh, vibrant and healthy. It's a lunch I could happily eat daily and, of which, I would never grow tired.
This particular recipe is my favorite combination: fluffy quinoa as the base with roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli, chickpeas, avocado, and a scrumptious lemon tahini buddha bowl sauce all on top.
I love the way almost everything cooks in the oven on the same sheet pan, and the beans come from a can. Also, the sauce takes just minute to make, because there is no cooking required!
This is probably the easiest Buddha bowl recipe you will find. Plus, it is naturally vegan. Browse all of my vegan bean recipes here.
How to Make a Vegan Buddha Bowl
We're going to start by getting the quinoa going on the stove top while we pre-heat the oven. Then, we will roast the veggies (sweet potato and broccoli) while then quinoa cooks. Next, the chickpeas come straight from a can, and require almost no work. However, we will use the residual heat from the pan to warm them through with some smoked paprika. While everything finishes cooking in the oven, we will whisk together the simple, no-cook sauce and slice open our avocado.
I like to serve these Buddha bowls with extra sauce on the table and a jar of sesame seeds to sprinkle on before eating.
- Grain. You can choose any grain you like here! We commonly use quinoa (both white and tri-color), brown rice, or quick-cooking farro. Just follow the directions on the bag of your grain for the proper way to cook it.
- Sweet Potatoes. Two pounds of any color sweet potatoes you like. Try to select potatoes that are uniform in size, because we will be slicing them into coin shapes.
- Coconut Oil. We are roasting our veggies in a mix of coconut oil and olive oil. You can use butter instead of coconut oil, if you don't need this Buddha bowl to be vegan.
- Olive Oil. However, the olive oil doesn't have to be extra virgin, since we're just for roasting vegetables at a high temperature.
- Broccoli. Any green vegetable you prefer here.
- Tahini. The base of our sauce is tahini, which is a ground sesame seed paste. It's the main component of my easy hummus recipe, too.
- Garlic Powder. Just ½ teaspoon dried garlic powder or 2 cloves of fresh garlic, very finely minced.
- Lemon Juice. Freshly squeezed is always best.
- Chickpeas. Just one 15-ounce can of chickpeas that you rinse and drain. Be sure to lightly pat dry before adding them to the baking sheet.
- Smoked Paprika. This brings a smoky, meaty taste to the chickpeas.
- For serving: sliced avocado, sesame seeds, hemp hearts, or toasted pepitas.
A Buddha bowl is a bowl with a little bit of everything delicious: a scoop of grains with roasted vegetables and greens, a lean protein (we love chickpea recipes, of course), and avocado with dressing to tie it all together.
Furthermore, here is a quick reference on the origins of a Buddha bowl, but I hope you know we can make them anyway we like.
Finally, let me walk you through how to make the best buddha bowl recipe with my favorite ingredients. If you want to make swaps, read below for easy ways to substitute your favorite vegetables, spices, or even a different protein!
First, cook the grain of your choice according to package directions. While it cooks, preheat the oven to 425-degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the sweet potatoes into 1-inch (2.5cm) thick slices, and place on a baking sheet without parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Next, Toss the sweet potatoes with the coconut oil, half of the olive oil, and ½ teaspoon of the salt, and roast for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, flip the sweet potatoes and add the broccoli florets. Toss with remaining olive oil and ¼ teaspoon of salt, and cook for another 15 minutes.
At the end of 15 minutes, remove the pan from the oven, but toss the chickpeas with the smoked paprika and ¼ teaspoon of salt. The residual heat of the pan will warm the chickpeas enough for this recipe.
Finally, whisk together the tahini, salt, garlic powder, lemon juice, and ¼ cup of warm water to make the Buddha Bowl sauce. I could drink this dressing!
To serve, place a scoop of the cooked grains in each bowl. Top with a few sweet potato coins, a portion of the broccoli and chickpeas. Drizzle the Buddha bowl sauce on top. For the final touch, add a few slices of avocado and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
Substitutions for Buddha Bowl Ingredients
In addition to enjoying this recipe immensely, I really want you to give this Buddha bowl recipe your own spin. Furthermore, I want you to swap in your favorite grains, vegetables, and beans. Here are some of my suggestions.
- Grains - Any kind of whole grain that you prefer is great. We love quinoa, brown rice, farro, millet, pearl barley, or even sorghum seeds, which have more protein and fiber than any other whole grain!
- Vegetables - We most commonly reach for sweet potatoes and broccoli, but any kind of root vegetable with kale would be great here, too. Try carrots, beets, parsnips or regular potatoes. For greens, try Brussels sprouts, Broccolini, or baby spinach. If you use kale, it only needs about 5 minutes in the oven to crisp up. If you have any pickled red veggies, like pickled green beans, they bring a tangy crunch to this Buddha bowl!
- Beans - We reach for chickpeas quite often, but a scoop of this black bean salad would be great, too. I've also used frozen edamame (lightly steamed) and a scoop of my instant pot pinto beans. Truly, any lean protein is great in a hippie bowl, even seared salmon or chicken strips, if you're not vegan, of course.
- Buddha Bowl Sauce - I believe the sauce you drizzle on top should be simple and no-cook. The combination of tahini, garlic, and lemon juice is simply perfect. If you're making a Latin-inspired bowl, try the sour cream and salsa sauce from my vegetarian enchiladas.
Storage and Make Ahead Rules
The truth is, Buddha bowls are best stored with all of the ingredients separate. I make the bowl as needed. If you're packing a lunch, scoop everything next to each other, keep the sauce separate, and then drizzle on the sauce and toss just before serving.
To make ahead, you can absolutely cook the grains ahead of time and store covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. The roasted vegetables can be cooked ahead of time and stored for up to 3 days. The Buddha bowl sauce keeps in an airtight jar for up to 2 weeks.
Buddha Bowl Recipe
This vegan buddha bowl is packed with quinoa, roasted vegetables, and an incredible Buddha bowl sauce.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 pounds of sweet potatoes
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
- ¾ teaspoon salt, divided use
- 1 pound of fresh broccoli florets
- 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained (1 ¾ cups)
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the Buddha Bowl Sauce:
- Sauce: Lemon-Tahini Sauce
- ½ cup tahini
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup warm water, plus more as needed)
- For serving: ½ of a ripe avocado, sesame seeds, or pepitas.
- First, cook the quinoa by combining it with 1 /2 cups water in a 2-quart sauce pan with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a simmer, lower heat and then cover for 18 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425-degrees F. Peel and slice the sweet potatoes into 1-inch thick slices. Pile the slices on a large baking sheet, drizzle with the melted butter, one tablespoon of the olive oil and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Space the slices evenly on a large roasting pan. Roast the sweet potatoes for 15 minutes, and then flip them over.
- Add the broccoli to the side of the pan with the sweet potatoes that have just been flipped. Drizzle the broccoli with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt and toss. Slide this back into the oven for 15 minutes.
- When the veggies are done roasting, remove the sheet pan from the oven and add the chickpeas, sprinkled with smoked paprika and salt. Use tongs to toss the beans in the remaining oil and spices on the sheet pan.
- While the veggies roast and the grains finish cooking, make the lemon tahini sauce. Whisk together all ingredients, adding more warm water, as needed, to make a thin easy-to-drizzle sauce.
- To serve, divide the grains in the bottom of 4 bowls, and top each one with a scoop of veggies and beans. Then, top each bowl with some avocado slices, a drizzle of tahini sauce and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
To make ahead, store individual components separately and then toss with buddha bowl sauce just before serving.
Leftovers keep for up to 3 days in the fridge, tightly covered.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 712Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 549mgCarbohydrates: 75gFiber: 18gSugar: 15gProtein: 24g
Looks fabulous! Can’t wait to try! We have a seasame allergy, do you have other dressings you recommend?