These easy-to-make quinoa buddha bowls are loaded with a rainbow of veggies layered with make ahead/leftover proteins and straight from the pantry quinoa.
I love it when I hear from readers that I’m doing my job. Right after I posted the recipe for baked turkey meatballs in coconut sauce, reader Gail R emailed me back and said,
“Yum! These look and sound delicious! I’m making them this week since I have all the ingredients already. Thank you! Gail R”
I was pleased to hear she said they looked delicious. But the best part of that email? SHE ALREADY HAD THE INGREDIENTS! Giving you guys recipes that are easy to make with ingredients on hand is what we’re all searching for now.
These easy, healthy quinoa buddha bowls are loaded with a long-lasting rainbow of veggies—sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and broccolini—that are roasted then layered with make ahead/leftover proteins and straight from the pantry quinoa. Here’s how to make them.
What Makes It a Buddha Bowl
Traditionally, Buddha bowls are a vegan, mix and match meal made up of little bites of whole grains, plant proteins, and vegetables to make up a healthy and tasty-to-eat one-bowl dish.
Since I have a mixed household who still loves their meat-as-meat alongside little bites of everything, I’ve bridged the vegan buddha bowl gap by making two versions: One with healthy baked turkey meatballs and one with crispy crispy baked tofu.
It’s the best of both worlds.
What’s In These Buddha Bowls
The best thing about Buddha bowls is they don’t adhere to a strict recipe, list of ingredients, or even exact measurements. They represent the best of a little bit of this, a little bit of that eating. Exactly the way I love my meals.
I’ve kept these bowls healthy and easy to make with a few make-ahead, meal-prepped recipes sitting in the refrigerator just waiting to be introduced to one another.
Check out what’s in these Buddha bowls below, and let the matchmaking begin!
Buddha Bowls Step 1: The Grains or Rice
Healthy carbs are the base of a buddha bowl, providing long-lasting, slow-burning energy to get through the day. Choose whole grains for the best healthy benefits with low calorie, healthy nutrients and fiber to keep you fuller longer.
Choose one or a combination of the following grains or rice:
- Quinoa — here’s how to cook it perfectly every time
- Brown rice
- Cous cous
- Wheat berries
Buddha Bowls Step 2: The Vegetables
It’s time to eat the rainbow, and studies show colorful vegetables pack the most nutrient dense punch when it comes to nutrition. These vegetables have more photochemicals and antioxidants to fight of disease, boost immunity, keep cancers and heart disease at bay, and increase blood function and longevity.
Vegetables should take up the largest portion of your bowl. Choose a combination of fresh leafy veggies or fresh vegetables with crunch to match layer with roasted vegetables that become sweeter and crisper with a little time in the oven, like:
Fresh vegetables such as:
- Spinach, arugula, shaved kale
- Shredded cabbage
- Shredded carrot
- Snap peas
- Radish or sunflower sprouts and microgreens
Roasted vegetables such as:
- Cauliflower — How to make roasted cauliflower
- Broccoli or broccolini (or steam it if you prefer)
- Sweet potatoes — How to make yummy roasted sweet potatoes
- Squashes such as butternut squash or acorn squash
- Corn — How to make the best grilled corn
- Bell peppers, mushrooms or onions
And don’t forget the fruits if you’re feeling sweet…
- Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries
- Sliced oranges, nectarines
- Chopped apples
- Pineapple — try it grilled or roasted for a caramelized flavor
Buddha Bowls Step 3: The Protein(s)
When it comes to proteins, these should be the smallest portion of your bowl, like:
Beans/legumes such as:
- Cannellini beans
- Black beans
- Pinto beans
Vegetarian proteins such as:
- Tofu — How to cook the best crispy tofu
- Vegetarian chick’n patties
- Hard boiled or fried eggs
Or, side-step the traditional vegan/vegetarian buddha bowls and add lean proteins such as:
- Baked chicken breast — How to cook the best baked chicken breast
- Baked turkey or chicken meatballs — Baked Thai turkey meatballs
- Baked turkey breast — How to cook the best juicy turkey breast
Buddha Bowls Step 4: Dressing It Up & Garnishes
Adding a sauce brings this whole bowl together. Go creamy, sauce it with broth, or keep it light and easy with olive oil, lemon juice, and S&P.
- Tahini dressing — try this one
- Sesame dressing — try this one
- Greek salad dressing
- Chimichurri sauce
- The curry coconut sauce left over from this recipe
Don’t forget the garnishes! Pickled or crunchy, these are the small spikes of spunk that will have you craving this bowl again later.
- Dried cranberries, blueberries, currants
- Toasted nuts, seeds
- Pickled onions
- Pickled beets
- Fresh herbs like dill, basil, cilantro, parsley
More Healthy Bowl Recipes
- Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl With Broccoli And Tomato
- Roasted Chicken, Butternut Squash And Guacamole Rice Bowls
- Korean Beef Bulgogi Bowls Recipe
- Sesame Shrimp With Asian Greens Rice Bowl
- Vietnamese Curry Chicken And Rice Noodle Salad Bowl
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Buddha Bowls With Turkey Meatballs or Crispy Tofu
These easy, healthy quinoa buddha bowls are loaded with a long-lasting rainbow of veggies—sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and broccolini—that are roasted then layered with make ahead/leftover proteins and straight from the pantry quinoa.
For the Sesame Dressing
- 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
All of the ingredients can be combined cold or warmed. Divide the quinoa between two bowls. Layer with the spinach, meatballs, tofu, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted cauliflower and broccolini.
In a small bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, canola oil, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and pepper. Drizzle over the bowls. Garnish with pickled onions and chopped cilantro. Enjoy warmed or at room temperature.
Make or prepare all of the ingredients ahead of time for easy weekly meal prep.
The quinoa, meatballs, tofu and roasted vegetables can be served warm, at room temp, or chilled.
Bowls can be composed ahead of time and dressed when ready to eat.
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