In this post, I’m sharing with you three delicious 30-minute vegan Buddha bowl recipes. Most people nowadays know what a Buddha bowl is, but for those of you that haven’t heard of it before, it’s a bowl that typically consists of a few different components.
Normally you’ll start with a grain, add some vegetables, some form of protein, and a dressing of your choice. I usually add some seeds, fermented or pickled vegetables, and some sprouts if I have them in the fridge.
Essentially, it’s a colourful bowl of goodness using whatever you have in the kitchen. It’s a great way to use up produce and to have a healthy meal.
We’ve been making some variation of vegan bowls for years in our household and more since becoming vegan. So I wanted to share some basics around creating a vegan Buddha bowl, what ingredients I generally use and three combinations of those that frequent our house the most.
Start with a grain or something similar. That could be any of the following:
- Brown, white, black, red or wild rice
- Quinoa – tri-coloured, white or red
- Couscous – plain or pearled
- Or even noodles
Then you’ll add at least two to three different types of vegetables to your veggie bowl. You can have these roasted, raw or steamed.
- Sweet potato
- Cabbage – red or white
- Peppers (capsicum) – any kind but I like red
- Baby spinach
- Kale – massaged
- Salad mix
- Arugula (rocket)
- Bok choy/pak choy – cut in half and steamed or lightly fried
- Scallions (spring/green onion)
- Cauliflower – typically marinated
Then there’s the protein, you’ll want at least one of these as part of your vegan bowl to get a well-rounded meal.
- Marinated tofu
- Marinated tempeh
- Beans – any kind
- Lentils – any kind
- Chickpeas – seasoned and baked or just plain from a can
- Falafel or lentil and veggie patties
Here’s some extras, which I usually keep in my fridge or pantry for that extra bit of flavour, nutrients or crunch.
- Fermented vegetables
- Pickled ginger
- Pickled radish
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Tamari seeds
- Nigella seeds
- Roasted nuts like almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews and peanuts
- Sprouts – like mung bean, lentil, chickpea, alfalfa or bean
And last but not least, a dressing. This is what brings it all together. I keep things simple and mainly use these dressings:
So that’s pretty much it! You may be thinking this is overwhelming, but honestly, you can do whatever you like with it. These are just some ideas based on what we use in our house most of the time to whip it together.
Most lunches will be some form of a vegan bowl with the above ingredients. I wanted to share some inspiration and some recipes that can be a starting point of this adventure for you if you haven’t dived into it before or want to try different combinations.
There are three super easy recipes that you can prepare well ahead of time and have in the fridge ready for work, school, lunch or dinner. I wanted to keep these recipes no more than 30 minutes to make so you can whip them up anytime!
I love these because of how dynamic and waste-free they are. With so much produce ending up in landfill and money wasted, this is an excellent way for us all to use what we have and turn it into a delicious bowl pretty quickly.
I hope you love these easy vegan Buddha bowl recipes as much as I do!
Other wonderful recipes you’ll love:
- Vegan Red Rice Salad With Tahini Dressing
- Vegan Falafel Wrap
- Mediterranean Pearled Couscous Salad
- Spiced Carrot & Millet Salad
- Vegan Vietnamese Salad
If you try these recipes, let me know! I would love for you to leave a comment and rating below. If you want to go that extra mile, tag us on Instagram or share your photo of the recipe/s on Pinterest.
Quinoa Buddha Bowl with Tahini Dressing
A super simple nourishing quinoa Buddha bowl that is packed full of nutritious ingredients. Perfect for a work/school lunch or quick dinner.
- ¾ cup tri-coloured quinoa, washed and drained
- 150g/5.29oz sweet potato, peeled and sliced thinly
- 2 tbsp neutral oil
- 200g/7.05oz baby spinach, washed
- 5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- Pinch of salt
- 1 avocado, cut in half and deseeded
- 1 cup (165g/5.82oz) chickpeas (from a can), drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup fermented vegetables
- Place quinoa in a small saucepan with 1.5 cups of water on medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and cook until all the water has evaporated, partially covered. Set aside once cooked.
- In a frying pan, add the sweet potato rounds and fry on 1 tbsp of oil on medium heat for around 3-4 minutes on each side. The potatoes should be a little golden on the outside and soft on the inside. Set aside.
- Using the same frypan, add the other 1 tbsp of oil and the baby spinach. Place the lid on top and let the spinach wilt down. Give it a quick stir, and then add in the garlic. Stir again and season with a pinch of salt. Set aside.
- Make the tahini sauce.
- Plate up for two serves. In each bowl, add half of all the ingredients (quinoa, sweet potato rounds, garlic baby spinach, avocado, chickpeas and fermented vegetables), and then drizzle the tahini dressing over the top.
- Enjoy straight away or keep in the fridge for up to three days in an airtight container (keep the fermented vegetables and tahini dressing off until you’re ready to serve).
Tofu Buddha Bowl with Peanut Sauce
A quick and easy raw veggie and tofu Buddha bowl recipe that has the most addictive peanut sauce dressing.
- ½ cup medium-grain white rice, washed and drained
- 1 small carrot
- 1 small beet
- 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced or peeled (as pictured)
- 1 shallot (aka spring or green onion), finely chopped
Crispy shredded tofu:
Easy peanut sauce:
- Place rice in a small saucepan with 1 cup of water on medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and cook until all the water has evaporated, partially covered. Set aside once cooked.
- Marinate the tofu and set it aside.
- In a food processor using the grater function, grate the carrot and beet. Alternatively, you can do this by hand, but I find it quicker to do it in a food processor.
- Once you’ve cut up the cucumber and shallot, fry off the tofu. Set aside.
- Make the peanut sauce.
- Plate up for two serves. In each bowl, add half of all the ingredients (rice, carrot, beet, cucumber, shredded tofu and shallots), and then drizzle the peanut sauce over the top.
- Enjoy straight away or keep in the fridge for up to three days in an airtight container (keep the peanut sauce off until you’re ready to serve).
Tempeh Buddha Bowl with Green Goddess Dressing
This green tempeh Buddha bowl is super easy and quick to make. Packed full of protein, it's the perfect fuel for your day!
- ¾ cup black rice, washed and drained*
- 1-2 tbsp neutral oil
- 250g/8.82oz pre-marinated tempeh, cut in half lengthways and then into triangles
- 1 bunch of broccolini
- ¾ cup frozen green peas
- A handful of roasted almonds, chopped
Green goddess dressing:
- Place rice in a small saucepan with 1.5 cups of water on medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and cook until all the water has evaporated, partially covered. Set aside once cooked.
- In a frying pan, add the oil and marinated tempeh and fry on medium heat for around 3-4 minutes on each side. The tempeh should be a little golden on the outside. Set aside.
- Make the green goddess dressing. Set aside.
- Steam the broccolini, making sure to have sufficient water in the double boiler to add the peas to the water a couple of minutes into the steaming process.
- Plate up for two serves. In each bowl add half of all the ingredients (rice, tempeh, broccolini, peas, and almonds), and then drizzle the green goddess dressing over the top.
- Enjoy straight away or keep in the fridge for up to three days in an airtight container (keep the green goddess dressing off until you’re ready to serve).
* Buy one that is already par-boiled.
Note: These Buddha bowl recipes were updated on the 5th of June 2021 from an original post from February 2018. The bowl recipes are new.