23 vegan Buddha bowl recipes for healthy weeknight dinners

Author: Rachel Smith

Fill your bowl with a rainbow of grains, veggies, protein and greens with these vibrantly vegan Buddha bowl recipes.

What are Buddha bowls?

It is thought that Buddha bowls get their name (1) thanks to their round, full appearance, much like Buddha’s belly! Some sources (2) claim however that the name is inspired by the way Buddhist monks carry their bowls around in order to accept small portions of food, leaving them with a variety of different foods in their bowl.

Buddha bowls, or ‘Hippie bowls’ as they’re also known, are made up of proteins, vegetables, grains and a dressing and are a great way to make sure you’re eating a varied and balanced diet.

Buddha bowls are a great option for those days when a salad simply isn’t enough but you need to get those veggies in! Unlike a salad, a Buddha bowl is a more balanced meal as it contains grains and pulses such as wholegrain rice, quinoa or noodles. These help you feel fuller for longer, making them a more satisfying meal.

How to build a Buddha bowl

Proteins

Popular plant-based proteins you can use in vegan Buddha bowl recipes include beans, tofu, lentils, and chickpeas. Protein sources such as tofu can be marinated to infuse them with flavour while roasting chickpeas helps add a crunchy texture to the meal.

Protein helps keep you fuller for longer and forms the basis of muscle, and it’s is our favourite element of our Buddha bowls!

Vegetables & Greens

Buddha bowls are typically overflowing with an assortment of rainbow-coloured vegetables. We like to include a mix of roasted or lightly sauteed veggies, along with raw vegetables such as cucumber and avocado to give it a fresh element.

If you have any leftover vegetables or veggies going bad at the back of your fridge, Buddha bowls are the perfect excuse to make sure they don’t go to waste.

It’s important that you add a handful of leaves or sprouts if possible too as they provide extra antioxidants and are a vital source of vitamins and minerals that help to protect your bones from osteoporosis.

This beautiful Buddha bowl features pan roasted tofu, avocado, sweet potato, rice, vegetables and mixed seeds

This beautiful Buddha bowl features pan roasted tofu, avocado, sweet potato, rice, vegetables and mixed seeds

Grains

You’ll also need grains to help you stay satisfied for longer. Whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, barley or bulgur are often used in Buddha bowls as they are less processed and boast more health benefits.

Dressing & Garnish

Once you’ve assembled your bowl, it’s time to drizzle it with your dressing of choice. Turn up the heat with a spicy Dijon mustard or Sriracha sauce, or keep it cool with a maple tahini dressing.

Finish sprinkle of seeds for good measure. We love to use black onion seeds and sesame seeds to add extra flavour.

Now that you know how to build your bowl, take a look at our list of 22 amazing vegan Buddha bowl recipes and be inspired.

1. Miso-Roasted Broccoli & Tofu Buddha Bowl with Sesame Dressing

This delicious vegan broccoli tofu Buddha bowl recipe is perfect for a quick lunch or dinner and makes great leftovers for meal prepping. What’s more, it’s on the table in less than 30 minutes.

2. Winter Buddha Bowl with Vegetable Fusion Gyoza

The combination of crunchy red cabbage and cavolo nero coupled with spicy cauliflower and vegetable gyoza make the bowl the perfect fuel for a cold winter’s day.

3. Buddha Bowl with Chipotle Cauliflower & Pea Hummus

The vibrant, almost neon, colours of this fiery Buddha bowl make this a treat for both the eyes and the belly! Although it has a fiery kick from the chipotle, the cooling pea hummus offers a nice balance.

4. Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl

This is definitely a bowl of plant-based goodness! It takes just half an hour to put together and the maple-tahini sauce is apparently ‘so good you’ll want to put it on everything’.

5. Late Winter Buddha Bowl

If you’re waiting for winter, this Buddha bowl is filled with winter produce – dates, roasted broccoli, lentils and sweet potato. The lemony garlic dressing is the perfect topping, too.

Buddha bowl recipes

6. Detox Vegan Buddha Bowl

If you’re on a detox, this bowl will put a smile on your face. It’s healthy, varied and incredibly tasty, suitable for packed lunches and larger dinners. Who said dieting had to be a drag?

7. Nourishing Vegan Buddha Bowl

Wow, what a combination of flavours and colours! You’ll certainly want to stick a photo of this on Instagram! Top with pumpkin and hemp seeds for a unique finishing touch.

8. The Vegan Buddha Bowl

Combine fluffy quinoa, crispy spiced chickpeas and mixed greens in this fabulous recipe. Pour a red pepper sauce over the top to make it even better. This recipe serves two people.

9. Vegan Buddha Bowl with Spicy Peanut Dressing

The spicy peanut dressing for this recipe can be made in a blender or mixed together in a bowl. It perfectly complements the fresh ingredients and quinoa. Definitely worth a try.

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10. Roasted Turmeric Cauliflower Buddha Bowls

You’re sure to love the crispy edges and wonderful flavour of the roasted turmeric cauliflower. It’s the star of this Buddha bowl by far (but the rest of it is great too)!

Buddha bowl recipes

11. Black Bean Buddha Bowl with Avocado Pesto

This recipe comes with a lot of handy tips. One of our favourites is to prep the ingredients one evening, pack them into separate containers and then assemble them when you’re ready to eat.

Buddha bowl recipes

12. Baked Falafel Buddha Bowl

This Buddha bowl is almost too beautiful to eat (and the keyword there is ‘almost’ as we definitely want to eat it)! The vegan falafel balances out the light flavours of the greens incredibly well.

13. Nourishing Garden Veggie Vegan Buddha Bowl

This recipe makes a good point – Buddha bowls are indeed effective ways to get a variety of nutrients into your diet. It’s nutrient-dense, full of protein and contains loads of Vitamin K, which helps your brain.

14. Dragon Bowls

A recipe with a name like ‘Dragon Bowls’ needs to be impressive, and these delightful dishes do not disappoint! It looks incredible and gives you 100% of your daily Vitamin B12.

15. Korean BBQ Chickpea Bento Bowls

For a Korean take on the one-bowl trend, try this one, made with BBQ chickpeas, fresh vegetables and rice. To make the recipe vegan, be sure to swap out the honey for coconut sugar.

Enjoying these vegan Buddha bowl recipes? Why not pick up a copy of our ‘Bowl Food’ issue and discover more delicious recipes to try.

16. Vegan Buddha Bowl with Crispy Tofu

The crispy tofu in this recipe brings a meat-like element to your Buddha bowl. It’s great if you’re craving a heartier meal without the fuss of too much cooking time.

Buddha bowl recipes

17. Vegan Buddha Bowl with Spring Vegetables

Yes, the ingredients list for this one is long. However, by preparing the separate elements in advance you can refrigerate them and use them for numerous lunches and dinners. It’s a serious time saver.

spring vegetable Buddha bowl

18. Vegan Buddha Bowl with Cumin-Roasted Chickpeas

This recipe can be adapted and changed day-to-day as you buy new ingredients and feel the need to experiment. It’s a quick and healthy lunch idea that doesn’t get old and evolves with your tastes.

Buddha bowl recipes

19. Protein Buddha Bowl

The quinoa, black beans and tofu in this recipe are all full of protein. If you like a hint of spice, keep the chilli powder in or, if you don’t, swap it out for something subtler.

20. Sweet Potato Vegan Buddha Bowl Recipe

If you like tahini, you’ll love this one. It’s a mixture of sweet potato, garlicky kale, quinoa and tahini. It’s ready in under an hour and is a good idea for a meal-prep lunch.

Buddha bowl recipes

21. Asian Zoodle Bowl

Fresh zucchini noodles, chopped veg, quinoa and sunflower seeds make up the base of this bowl, and it’s topped with an Asian-inspired peanut sauce you’re sure to love.

22. Easy Vegan Buddha Bowl

If you’re after simplicity, this one is easy to make and still stacks up in the flavour department. You can throw in your favourite vegetables and healthy foods – whatever is lying around in your kitchen!

23. Thai Tempeh Bowl

This recipe comes together in about 30 minutes, is full of nutritious foods and is finished with a drizzle of cashew curry sauce. It also contains 20 grams of plant-based protein!

Buddha bowl recipes

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Sources:

  1. https://www.healthyway.com/content/breaking-down-the-buddha-bowl-and-exploring-the-benefits-of-healthy-one-dish-meals/
  2. https://www.livemint.com/Leisure/7XvuFAMfvI8dSGP00AbPmI/The-irony-of-Buddha-bowls.html

Written by

Rachel Smith

Rachel Smith

As Vegan Food & Living’s Digital Editor, Rachel loves hunting down the hottest new vegan products and trends. Rachel can normally be found practising handstands, walking the dog, or foraging for edible treats in the wild.

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