How to Make an Awesome Vegan Buddha Bowl

If you’ve ever wondered what the ingredients in a Buddha bowl are, and what makes the difference between an ok and an awesome buddha bowl, then you’ve come to the right place.

Buddha bowls are filled with healthy goodness and are easy to make so it’s no wonder they’re so popular at the moment – they can be thrown together in minutes and made with so many variations – whatever takes your fancy, pop it in, but make sure you include lots of antioxidants, protein, vitamins and minerals in there.

Buddha Bowl Concept

So how to create scrumptious buddha bowls that you’ll make time and time again. Because creating tasty food is often more about a concept than a recipe.

First off, have you ever created a buddha bowl before? If not, don’t worry, it’s easy. And you can prepare everything in advance too, so it’s even great for when you’re feeding other people or busy with other things, or for keeping in the fridge in advance.

And of course, it can be made with leftovers from the day before.

The trick is to have the main ingredients pre cooked and the toppings on hand in the fridge.

Vegan buddha bowl with quinoa, broccoli and sweet potato

What’s in a Vegan Buddha Bowl?

A vegan buddha bowl’s basically a complete meal served in a bowl (beautiful by nature!). It’s filled with a variety of veggies, protein and natural carbs making it a really healthy and filling option.

Traditionally a buddha bowl’s served cold but I also like to serve it with some hot ingredients and rest cold, because I love the contrast. You can also add a vegan cheese like this vegan cashew cheese with jalapeños to your bowl.

Another great use for a buddha bowl is when you have leftovers. So if you’ve made some vegetable nasi rice the day before, or maybe some Bami noodles or vegan eggplant parmesan, you can take any leftovers and use them as part of your buddha bowl. Another great ingredient would be some of this lentil pasta salad.

Whatever your imagination comes up with can become a Buddha bowl. But normally, as a rough guide, a buddha bowl often has certain ingredients.

Essential Ingredients of a Buddha Bowl

  • A grain – whole grain rice, black rice, buckwheat, quinoa.
  • A green leaf – spinach, kale, Swiss chard, lettuce, lambs leaves
  • Vegetables – avocado, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, onion
  • A topping – pumpkin seeds, walnuts, chia, flax, hemp
  • A dressing – extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, tahini

The secret to creative cooking is to just create a delicious dish using whatever you have in your cupboards and fridge, without limiting yourself to strict recipes.

So you can absolutely change the ingredients however you like. And that’s where the buddha bowl is so flexible.

How to Make a Buddha Bowl

  1. Choose a grain and cook it in advance. I love black rice, red rice or quinoa so any of those will go perfectly in my buddha bowl of the moment. You could also use pre-cooked chickpeas instead but a grain is my favourite base.
  2. Choose some green leaves for your buddha bowl.
  3. Add veggies, either cooked or raw.
  4. For example, you could have a buddha bowl made with roast eggplant, zucchini, roasted chickpeas and quinoa (as well as the additional extras), or you might have raw vegetables like red pepper, carrot, tomato with wholegrain rice and tofu for example.
  5. Add toppings to the bowl: pumpkin seeds; chia seeds; ground flax seeds
  6. Choose some sauce: hummus; sweet chilli sauce; hot pepper sauce; cashew nut sauce; vegan mayonaise.

Easy Vegan Buddha Bowl Recipe

Prepare something in advance:

When you’re ready to start putting your easy vegan buddha bowl together, toss the broccoli florets and sweet potato cubes in a wok or frying pan in a little olive oil.

Heat the quinoa and spinach in the microwave (or in a pan) then place into a deep bowl and top with the chilli beans, vegetables and sauces.

If you want, you can serve everything cold. In the summer I do them all cold, and in the winter I do half-half, as above.

Build Your Own Buddha Bowl

The greatest thing about building your own buddha bowl is that anything goes. Literally, a buddha bowl just means a complete meal in a bowl, so if you fancy some noodles with tofu and grated carrot on top, that’s your buddha bowl.

Bowl of food on a table in a garden with a view
Buddha Bowl Lunch With a View

If you liked this recipe, I’d love to see you over on Instagram #loveveganliving!

7 Responses

  1. Jan
    | Reply

    I have never heard about the Budha bowl. It’s very appealing for me, to try it myself and to recommend to others. The recipes sound very delicious, I’m not a vegan tough, but I like vegan food. The only question is if you can do it with some kind of meat, like chicken breast, for the protein source?
    Thank you =)

    • Soraya
      | Reply

      You’re so right, you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy vegan food! You can put anything you like in a buddha bowl but if you like the vegan buddha bowl you don’t need to add meat for protein as you can use beans, chickpeas, lentils, tofu, quinoa – all good sources of vegan protein. I hope you enjoy it!

  2. Jan
    | Reply

    I have never heard about the Budha bowl. It’s very appealing for me, to try it myself and to recommend to others. The recipes sound very delicious, I’m not a vegan tough, but I like vegan food. The only question is if you can do it with some kind of meat, like chicken breast, for the protein source?
    Thank you =)

  3. David nelson
    | Reply

    YUM-O!!! I have yet to make a Buddha bowl – I’m soooo behind! This one looks amazing. That delicious looking avocado. NOM NOM! Your pics are fantastic!This buddha bowl is perfect. It has everything you need to complete a perfectly healthy meal. Looks amazing. I love the look of it! Will be trying this soon. Thanks for sharing this recipe I can’t wait to try it out.

    • Soraya
      | Reply

      Thanks for the comment, enjoy! 🙂

  4. Gloria Loring
    | Reply

    I also have never heard of the Buddha Bowl!
    I can’t wait to try your delicious recipes!
    The Buddha philosophy has always been close to my heart and the Buddha Bowl is so appropriate.
    Thank you for sharing.

    • Soraya
      | Reply

      Thank you Gloria! The food buddha bowl had been popular since about 2013 and interestingly there are three possibilities as to how it got its name: a. from the bowl that Buddha would carry and fill with tidbits of vegetables which people would offer him or b. because the bowl looks like the round belly of a Chinese monk who was mistaken for Buddha or c. because the buddha bowl as a meal is balanced and balance is a key concept in Buddhism. I like the last suggestion best! Hope you enjoy the recipes!

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