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 vegan 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
Buddha bowls are made up of five components including: proteins, vegetables, grains, dressing and nuts or seeds.
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 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 sautéed 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
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.
Nuts & Seeds
Finally, finish your Buddha bowl with a sprinkle of seeds for good measure to pack in even nutrients. 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 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. Vegan Lebanese Buddha Bowl with Tahini Drizzle
This rainbow-coloured bowl brings together a medley of different vegetables with a filling chickpea-based falafel to pack in the protein. It’s finished with a drizzle of nutty tahini dressing to make a healthy Buddha bowl recipe you’ll make over and over again.
Want more vegan recipes? Try 3 issues of Vegan Food & Living magazine for just £3!
3. Vegan Jamaican Jerk Bowl
This Jamaican-inspired Buddha bowl is hot and spicy – just the way we like it! This dish is tasty, nutritious and full of vibrant colour and contains delicious ingredients like plantain, callaloo greens and a little scotch bonnet to bring the heat!
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Perfectly Balanced Vegan Buddha Bowl
Bring balance into your life (at least at dinner time!) with this Buddha bowl recipe that contains just the right amount of everything your body needs to thrive.
7. Roast Winter Veg & Quinoa Buddha Bowl
This vegan Buddha bowl gives you a delicious balance of taste, textures and nutrients and will leave you feeling perfectly satisfied.
8. Turmeric Tofu & Wild Rice Bowl
Turmeric adds colour and a whack of nutrients to this flavoursome Buddha bowl recipe. It’s packed full of plant-based protein and healthy properties that will make your body feel amazing.
9. Easy Bibimbap-Inspired Buddha Bowl
Turn up the heat with this pickly Buddha bowl that’s chock full of fresh flavours and textures.
You’ll even learn how to make your own gochujang sauce using Korean fermented red pepper paste, a staple in Korean cooking.
10. Vegan Winter Moroccan Buddha Bowl
Looking for a hearty dish that’s also packed with goodness? This Moroccan-spiced Buddha bowl uses chickpeas, cous cous, walnuts and beetroot along with homemade falafel to create a filling and delicious Buddha bowl.
11. Buddha Bowl with Crispy Chickpeas
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.
12. 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.
13. 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)!
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. 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.
20. 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.
21. Sweet Potato Vegan Buddha Bowl
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.
22. Easy 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!
Loved these vegan Buddha bowl recipes?
Try these incredible vegan street food recipes!